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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Golden Isles of Georgia

We have never stopped in the Golden Isles area before so we decided to spend the three days we were there exploring the area.  The Golden Isles lies along the Atlantic coast between Savannah and Jacksonville.  It is made up of the city of Brunswick, and the barrier islands of St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island.

Our first stop was the old historic city of Brunswick. The city is laid out in a grid similar to Savannah with streets and squares bearing their colonial names.  We had planned to spend the day here, but there really was not much to see.  There were some very nice old Victorian homes, but for the most part it was pretty run down.  It probably took us all of 1/2 hour to see enough to know that it was not worth our time hanging out there.  Many of the storefronts were boarded up. The only hopping place there was the library.

City Hall

Old Historic Square

Cute little monkey

We were more impressed with the Sidney Lanier Bridge we had to cross to get over to the city.

We were very fortunate to have great weather while we were here.  Perfect weather to visit the islands.  First stop......Jekyll Island. Jekyll Island was once an exclusive winter retreat for some of the wealthiest Americans. Most of Jekyll Island remains in a natural state and development is very limited.  We found it to be so peaceful and laid back. Our first stop was at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and Museum. We did not pay to go in the museum since we don't have a real interest in turtles but had a lovely walk of the grounds and surrounding historic district. The Jekyll Island Club and surrounding buildings are now a National Historic Landmark.  The landscaping and flowers were beautiful as well.

Jekyll Island Club

Faith Chapel built in 1904 by Jekyll Island Club

Near the historic district was this lovely restaurant.  We did not eat hear but thought about having a beer on the deck overlooking the water and boats.

 We checked out the huge dunes on the beach followed by a cold beer at McGarvey's Wee Pub at the beach.  We had a nice chat with the bartender. She informed us that there were several snowbirds living on the island.  We commented on how quiet it is and she told us they will never build any more homes on the island in order to keep the natural state. She did warn us that St. Simon island was just the opposite, extremely busy and touristy.  We were about to find out.

Small outdoor shopping area 

Our last day, the bartender proved herself right.  We went to St. Simon Island and what a difference.
It was very commercial with a lot of traffic.  I'm just glad we weren't there in the summer because I am sure it would be swarming with tourists and locals as well.  Our only stop here was along the waterfront.  We stopped at the St. Simon Lighthouse to get a few photos and then drove down to Pier Village.  This was your typical beach side shopping area with hokey shops and high prices.  We did enjoy sitting on the pier watching the guys fish and the boats go by.  There was also a service going on for a gentleman who had died.  His wife brought her husband's ashes to throw in the ocean I guess, and she also brought his cat to say good-bye.  Several people spoke about the gentleman while all of us strangers were hanging out on the pier.  Very awkward to say the least.  Our day ended with a nice long walk on the beach and some shell collecting as well.