Day 41: The Golden Isles


time of year

Midway between Savannah, GA, and Jacksonville, FL, are four barrier islands

St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Jekyll Island, Little St. Simons Island—and the mainland city of Historic Brunswick. Pristine stretches of marshland, interrupted by small islands known as hammocks, define the beautiful landscape.

After a long drive we made it to Jekyll Island, GA

($8/car) to see Driftwood Beach, where you can find a strip of deadfall trees. It was overcast and the perfect temperature to enjoy a quiet time exploring the beach. The sand hard packed so it’s really nice to walk on. The deadfall is natures art on the beach (there were several photographers set up, trying to capture it). We found anemone and tiny crabs in some of the the tide pool’s farther down the beach.

Deadfall Beach is at the north end of the island. We drove to the south end to visit St. Andrews Beach to see if we could see any whales or dolphins. North Atlantic right whales migrate to the coast of Georgia and North Florida to give birth each winter. These whales are some of the most endangered marine mammals in the world, with a population estimate of only 400. Calving season in Georgia runs from December through April each year. We didn’t get to see any whales or dolphins but we had this huge, wide beach all to ourselves and we were able to find some really pretty shells.


difficulty: 1

We decided to make things easy and order takeout from Tortuga Jacks, Baja Mexican

which was a few minutes away on the island. We bought it South Dunes Picnic Area where Chris saw an alligator in one of the ponds. We had the entire picnic area to ourselves. Our fish and veggie tacos were freshly made and delicious and the perfect choice for a beachfront picnic.


We drove through the self guided Christmas light display on Jekyll Island

On the way we saw deer grazing along the road in the evening light. Holiday lights lined the road and were hung in the trees along the road. The main area was a sort of square with historic upscale hotels on 3 sides, decorated in a traditional green and red ribbons and off white lights. In the square the huge live oak tree trunks and branches were completely covered in white lights. It was really beautiful.


Tired after our day of adventures, we drove to St. Simon’s Island, GA

to check into our hotel for the night, Queens Court Inn ($95) and settled in for a good night’s sleep.

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