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I’m exposing 3 secret islands because frankly, they are bucket list-worthy! Were they mentioned in 8th grade Georgia History class and I just missed it? Either way, I’m sharing these vacation destinations to add to your travel bucket list, and… you are welcome!
“The perfect vacation is having secret islands to choose from and then having nothing to do and all day to do it in.”
–The How-to Guru
SECRET ISLANDS OF COASTAL GEORGIA
Some of the most uniquely, beautiful parts of the south are still a mystery to most of the world – especially those who are busy. I used to be that person —too caught up with work and my own little world to notice the beauty around me.
With over 100 miles of coastline that stretches along the coast of Georgia from St. Marys to Savannah, there are many types of islands…
River islands, sea islands, lake islands, barrier islands, wildlife refuges, heritage preserves, and private islands bought by individuals and rented out for secluded adventure destinations.
Today, I’m sharing “other” hidden treasure secret islands of Georgia that are open to the public and worth the extra effort it takes to reach these unspoiled natural escapes.
I bet you’ve heard of “Blackbeard,” a famed and feared pirate of the 18th century. Did you know that a 5,618-acre island was named after him after it was known that he frequented the area? A legend still abounds that he buried treasure all over this Coastal Georgia island.
Today, it’s managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a national wildlife refuge. Visitors can explore the great outdoors from sunrise to sunset every day to go surfing, wildlife watching, wildlife photographing, fishing, seasonal deer hunting, or exploring the unique beach.
While there is no lodging, you can take a day trip and join up with an exciting educational program tour with a small group of others.
You can fly into the private airport of Sapelo if you are super fancy, but most folks just take a 30-minute ferry ride from McIntosh, Georgia. Step back in time when you exit the ferry onto this state-protected island.
This 16,500-acre island is quiet and serene where you can search for:
- an 1810 mansion
- tabby ruins
- University of Georgia Research Center
- Nannygoat Beach
- Hogg Hammock – last Geechee settlement community in GA
You have the option to take a day trip or spend the night. Depending on whether you choose a public or private tour determines which of the many exciting places that you will see.
If you are fortunate, you may catch a glimpse of alligators, feral cattle, snakes (poisonous and non-poisonous), deer, and other wildlife. Be advised that there are also ticks and other bugs so be prepared with your bug spray.
What to eat: There are no restaurants on Sapelo Island except the dining room if staying at the Reynolds Mansion. Bring your own food for a day trip picnic. If staying at an Airbnb or VRBO rental, there is one small store to shop for food items and other necessities.
Where to stay: Airbnb, VRBO, Reynolds Mansion
LITTLE ST SIMONS ISLAND
A couple of years ago, I remember watching an HGTV show about a New York couple that wanted to give their family a vacation to escape from the fast-paced realities of their world. I was shocked to hear about one of these secret islands known as Little St. Simons Island, and I couldn’t believe it was in Georgia!
Imagine this unique vacation that’s only a short boat ride to take you to 11,000 acres of a coastal living escape. Where you can walk along seven miles of deserted beaches on a privately owned island. You probably won’t see another human because the island is shared with only 32 other guests.
There are no stores, restaurants or structures except an exclusive lodge and cabins for guests. There is staff there to cook all your meals and naturalists to share knowledge and adventures about the ecosystem you’ll be immersed in.
Can you imagine a family vacation with plentiful wildlife all around, outdoor adventure on moss-draped trails, fishing for the evening meal, and naturalist-led excursions?
SECRET ISLANDS FAQS
Honestly, it depends on which type of adventure you would prefer. If you have very young children, I would suggest Sapelo Island. If you want the most remote vacation possible for your family, choose Little St. Simons Island. Want to only spend a few hours exploring a deserted island and be done? Choose Blackbeard Island!
The summer months of Georgia are very humid. Since most of these secret island activities are outdoors, I personally would opt for any month EXCEPT July, August, or September. May and June may be very warm but aren’t quite as bad as the following three months.