Jekyll Island, St. Simons Island and Savannah
This Georgia Getaway allows you to explore the cool breezes and tranquil environment of our coast from Millionaire's Island to Georgia's First City. While you could spend a lifetime exploring all the wonders of Georgia's pristine coastline, allow us to take you there on this two-day sample getaway.
Your experience begins on Jekyll Island. From 1888 to 1942 the island, known as Millionaire's Island, was a winter retreat for some of the wealthiest families in the world including the Pulitzers, Rockefellers and Vanderbilts. Members of the Jekyll Island Club, who were said to comprise one-sixth of the world's wealth at the time, built a magnificent clubhouse and a community of cottages. Many of these cottages, mansions by today's standards, have been restored and are today part of the Jekyll Island National Historic Landmark District.
As you explore this piece of Georgia heritage, be sure to visit the Island History Center to learn about this and other interesting aspects of Jekyll Island's rich history.
After you spend the morning exploring Jekyll Island's past, step into the present with lunch at The Jekyll Island Club Hotel. Recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1978, this Victorian treasure has been designated a Historic Hotel of America by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Originally a hunting retreat for the nation's wealthy elite, the hotel today is a resort with architectural character and a charming historic ambience.
After lunch, continue your exploration of Georgia's coast and depart for St. Simons Island. Along the way, you'll see the vast Marshes of Glynn, which inspired Georgia poet Sidney Lanier to write a poem by the same name.
Once you arrive on St. Simons Island, visit The Village, filled with a variety of interesting shops and galleries and great restaurants. There's plenty to explore on this enchanting island including the St. Simons Island Lighthouse and Neptune Park. Every St. Simons Island visit should also include a stop at the Left Bank Art Gallery, owned and operated by Mildred Huie Wilcox, the daughter of well-known St. Simons Island artist Mildred Nix Huie.
For dinner and overnight accommodations, experience the wonder of the Sea Island resorts - The Lodge at Sea Island and The Cloister - which rank among the world's finest. Dine at The Lodge at Sea Island, which has earned unprecedented honors since its opening in 2001 including two AAA Five Diamond Awards and the Mobil Five Star Award. After dinner, end your day relaxing at The Cloister, a famed oceanfront resort which supplies the perfect environment to unwind.
Depart for Georgia's First City, Savannah. On the way, take a moment to explore some of the natural scenic beauty that makes Georgia's coast so unique at the Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, one of more than 18 stops along the Colonial Coast Birding Trail. As you explore Harris Neck, a peninsula of a few thousand acres in coastal Georgia, you'll discover that this land was part of a large tract from South Carolina to Florida that was granted to freed slaves after the Emancipation Proclamation as part of General Sherman's Field Order 15.
A National Wildlife Refuge since 1962, this area offers a direct link to the village in Sierra Leone from which this community descended. The connection was made by lyrics and the melody of a song that was handed down from generation to generation.
After a morning of exploring the heritage and beauty of the coast you arrive in Savannah just in time for lunch with Savannah's First Lady of Southern Cuisine, Paula Deen. This Food Network sensation was made famous in Savannah at her restaurant, The Lady and Sons, where Lowcountry cooking is always on the menu.
After-lunch option #1
Ride the trolley for a guided tour of Savannah's Historic District, the nation's largest registered urban Historic Landmark District. After a quick stop at the Savannah History Museum, board a trolley for your historical overview of Savannah and Georgia's founding places, faces and events.
After-lunch option #2
Enjoy a first-hand, behind the scenes glimpse of Savannah's film history and the places made famous on the silver screen during the Savannah Movie Walking Tour. Learn about the more than 20 major motion pictures that have been filmed in Savannah including Forrest Gump, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Glory.
After-lunch option #3
Take a stroll by lantern light and hear the tales of some of Savannah's more restless residents on the Ghosts and Gravestones Tour. Savannah is America's most haunted city and the Historic District is filled with tales of ghostly apparitions and things that go bump in the night.
End your day with dinner at 700 Drayton and a good night's sleep at the Mansion on Forsyth Park. The hotel and restaurant within the Historic District incorporates the exterior architecture and design of an original 18,000 square feet Victorian Georgian Mansion.