It’s not easy to get to the ocean in Georgia. It’s not evident when you glance to the map but woods, wetlands and rivers make it nearly impossible to find a real beach. But the ocean must be somewhere so we traverse innumerable bridges in the effort to get there. The entire coast is not particularly hospitable: in the past marshes prevented access; nowadays it’s private islands and gated communities.
If there was a list of wasted opportunities St. Simons main drag would have a prominent place on it. It’s true that beach cities all over the world are rarely beautiful places but not many attempt to entertain tourists by skillfully arranging outdoor siting in the middle of endless parking lot.Such setting does allow you to keep a close eye on your car without a distraction of an ocean view. If that’s your thing you should absolutely visit.
European colonization of Georgia barrier islands started in the 18th century and proceeded intermittently. Locations of Spanish missions and British forts were lost and archeologically rediscovered. You walk among meticulously preserved remnants and feel as if you are in Pompeii - never mind it’s less then 300 years. Time flows slow in the South and vegetation is aggressive.You ponder stupidity of Spaniards and Brits fighting over the land they couldn’t use and abandoned only to return later, once technology allowed for felling cypress trees and transporting resulting timber. Well, we have our own share of stupid wars over the resources we cannot or should not use.
Brunswick - not an island - shows signs of boom followed by bust: freshly painted facades and boarded store fronts. Our trusted droid suggests the best restaurant in town - Cargo Portside Grill - and we are not disappointed by Shrimp & Grits!.
Jekyll Island turns out to be perfect for bike ride with a wide range of amusement options including recycling park for environmentally minded visitors.
The island used to be an exclusive winter resort for extremely wealthy but state of Georgia put an end to it in 1947 and turned it into a state park open to the public. We, for one, are grateful and suggest the tax payers pitch in and do the same to Sea Island and Little St. Simons Island.