The 17-mile Altamaha Scenic Byway passes Fort King George, Butler Island, the Darien waterfront, sweeping marsh views, and majestic Live Oaks draped with Spanish Moss and ends at the Sapelo Visitor Center. This Byway lets visitors explore both the rich cultural heritage and the diverse marsh ecosystems found along Georgia's coast.
The Altamaha Historic Scenic Byway displays a collage of history; from Guale Indians and 16th and 17th century Spanish missionaries to the pre-colonial occupation of Fort King George; from hardy Scottish Highland soldiers and colonists to the rice and cotton planters who succeeded them. Descendants of early African slaves who built the nineteenth century plantations live in the area today, contributing their culture and traditions to life in communities scattered along the byway. The Geechee community still survives on Sapelo Island and descendants of the 177 Scottish Highlanders who first settled Darien are scattered throughout McIntosh County. Enhanced by the archaeological remnants of a long ago era, this byway adds a rich cultural and historical note to the ecological beauty found in the present. Roads included in Byway are SR 99, McIntosh Road, SR 25 Spur and US 17.
Places to Visit in Driving Tour
Bulter Island Rice Plantation - Owned at one time by one of the wealthiest plantation owners in the country, Pierce Butler of Philiadelphia, and his wife, renowned British actress, Fanny Brice Butler.
Blackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuge - The refuge's 5,618 acres include maritime forest, salt marsh, freshwater marsh and beach habitat.
Fort King Geroge Historical Site - Georgia's oldest fort was built to defend the southern colonies from French and Spanish invaders.
Sapelo Island Visitor Center - The Sapelo Island Visitor Center serves as a major distribution point for information concerning educational opportunities, coastal ecosystems, and various tourism activities.
Driving Directions: Take Interstate 95 to Exit 49, turn east on SR 251 - turn right on US 17 - the byway begins at the intersection of SR 99 and US 17. Follow SR 99 to Fort King George Historical Site, then on to Sapelo Island Visitor Center, through areas know as Ashantilly, Ridgeville, Carnigan, and Meridian.
Hours of Operation
Sunday: 8:00AM - 8:00PM
Monday: 8:00AM - 8:00PM
Tuesday: 8:00AM - 8:00PM
Wednesday: 8:00AM - 8:00PM
Thursday: 8:00AM - 8:00PM
Friday: 8:00AM - 8:00PM
Saturday: 8:00AM - 8:00PM