Jekyll Island clubhouse

Day 77 – Georgia’s Colonial Coast Part 2

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Day 77 of a Year Long Road Trip Along America’s Scenic Byways

Marshes of Glynn Overlook

I thought it might be the afternoon before the dogs got a good, long walk, so we made a short stop at a roadside park called the Marshes of Glynn Overlook Park where where we stretched our legs as we took in the view of expansive salt marshes.  Salt marshes surround the area, and we passed over several as we crossed the bridge to St. Simons Island, part of the Golden Isles.

marshes of glynn overlook park on Georgia's Colonial Coast

St. Simons Island and Fort Frederica

On St. Simons Island on Georgia’s Colonial Coast, we visited the remains for Fort Frederica and its surrounding town.  Englishman James Edward Oglethorpe helped establish Georgia, the last colony of the original 13.  Georgia served as a buffer between Spanish occupied Florida and the English land to the north. Approximately 114 English immigrants settled Fort Frederica under Oglethorpe’s guidance.

The town thrived as long as there was a Spanish threat because English soldiers were stationed at the fort and helped support the economy.  Oglethorpe, his troops, and his Indian allies successfully defended the fort and Georgia from Spain for the last time in the 1740s.  Thereafter, the troops disbanded, and the town slowly faded into demise.  Only foundations of a variety of buildings remain.

St. Simons Lighthouse

After visiting the fort, we visited the nearby St. Simons Lighthouse.  The original lighthouse, built between 1804 and 1810, stood 75 feet high.  During the Civil War, when Georgia was invaded by Federal troops, the Confederates destroyed the lighthouse before evacuating so that the Federal forces could not use the lighthouse as a navigational aid.  Ten years later, in 1872, a second lighthouse was constructed just to the west.  This lighthouse was designed by Charles Cluskey, one of Georgia’s most noted architects.  Additional renovations were made over the next 75 years and in 1950, the lighthouse became fully automated.

St. Simons Lighthouse on Georgia's Colonial Coast

Sea Island, Georgia

I failed in snapping any photos on Sea Island, Georgia, mainly because I wasn’t allowed past the guard house situated just near the bridge that spans the marshes separating the island and the mainland.  The Reader’s Digest Book suggested visiting The Cloister, a hotel visited by movie stars and presidents, but the guard, who came running out to the stop sign when VANilla approached.

She stated, “The island is exclusive.” 

“I thought there was a hotel called The Cloister,” I responded.

She replied, “Yes, are you checking in?” 

Of course I answered, “No.” 

“Well then”, she said, “You can make a U-turn right here. The island is exclusive.” 

Got it!  Unwelcome on this part of Georgia’s Colonial Coast, I continued on to Jekyll Island and Jekyll Island Clubhouse.

Jekyll Island

In 1886, names such as Rockefeller, Pulitzer, Vanderbilt and Goodyear purchased Jekyll Island and built the Clubhouse.  Today it operates as a hotel and guests may play croquet on the front lawn.  I took a quick peek inside, but a raw bar on the water was beckoning me for oysters and a beer.  I took a seat on the wooden deck, ordered a Corona Light, and ½ dozen oysters on the half shell. 

Basking in the sun and a cool breeze, I felt like I was part of a Corona commercial except I wasn’t on a beach.  A few minutes later, the wait staff informed me they were out of oysters, one of only three items on the menu!  Hmmm…I didn’t really want either of the other choices, so I left and made my way south on Georgia’s Colonial Coast to St. Mary’s where a ferry runs to Cumberland Island.

Cumberland Island

The only transportation on Cumberland Island is via visitors’ own two feet except for hotel guests who may use bicycles.  I wasn’t certain if the ferry allowed dogs, but gave it a shot as I wanted to see the Dungeness Ruins of the 1880 Carnegie mansion. Additionally I hoped to hike one of countless trails around the island.  Unfortunately, I never got the chance to see if dogs were allowed as the ferry doesn’t run on Tuesdays or Wednesdays during the winter season.

Fernandina Beach

The dogs had been patiently waiting for a long walk, so I headed a few miles south into Fernandina Beach in Florida where we strolled along the beach.  I noticed a lady studying the sand rather intently as waves ebbed and flowed on the sandy shore.  I found out Connie was looking for sharks’ teeth.  She had found two black ones which she told me were over 10,000 years old.  She said the white ones found in gift shops come from deserts.

All I found were jellyfish!  Before we parted ways, she gave me the teeth and suggested I go to St. Augustine, Florida.  After some “Krabby Bites” from a beachside restaurant, the dogs and I traveled south to the St. Augustine Walmart for the night. ETB

Map of My Road Trip Across the USA

For a summary about my road trip across the USA, click HERE. For the interactive map, see the below link.

Other Posts About Georgia You May Like

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned award winning travel blogger and photographer sharing the earth's beauty one word and image at a time.

9 thoughts on “Day 77 – Georgia’s Colonial Coast Part 2

  1. Beth, I went back to the beech Saturday and found 11 pretty good size shark teeth. When you come back up the west coast of Fl. you should check out Cedar Key. It’s like a little Key West, That’s where the David Yulee built the first railroad in Fl. It ran from Cedar Key to Fernandina Bch. Be safe. Connie

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