Fort Frederica National Monument
The ruins of the fortified village once built by Oglethorpe can be seen at the fort on the Frederica River at Christ Church on St Simons. The surrounding countryside is attractive. On the Demere Road south of the fort there was the Battle of Bloody Marsh between the English and the Spanish in 1742. The question at stake was which nation should rule this part of the New World in the future. www.nps.gov/fofr
At the southern tip of the island, in Neptune Park in downtown St. Simons, is the lighthouse dubbed the St. Simons Island Light. The lighthouse, built in 1872, can also be climbed. 129 steps lead to the viewing platform, from which one has a comprehensive view of the surroundings. The lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). According to legend, the ghost of the former lighthouse keeper Frederick Osborne, who lost his life in a duel with his assistant in 1880, roams here. ( www.goldenisles.com )
According to answerresume, Sea Island with the luxurious hotel “The Cloister at Sea Island” is located near Bloody Marsh and has been one of the best hotels in the USA for years. ( www.seaisland.com )
The most famous of the Golden Islands, however, is Jekyll Island with its 10 miles of white sand beach. The island was developed at the beginning of the 20th century. This is where the super rich like the Vanderbilts, the Goodyears and the Rockefellers spent the winter. During World War II, the Golden Isles were considered unsafe and millionaires moved their vacation homes elsewhere. There was never an attack, so a great many of the cottages (as the villas were modestly called) remain today – such as the 1892 Indian Mound Cottage, purchased by William Rockefeller in 1904 ( www.jekyllisland.com ). The Crane Cottage became the Jekyll Island Club Hotel ( www.jekyllclub.com) repurposed.
The MOSAIC Jekyll Island Museum ( www.jekyllisland.com/history ) commemorates the glorious past. (100 Stable Rd., Jekyll Island, GA 31527). Jekyll Island is well known for its seafood restaurants. One of the most famous spots is The Wharf (370 Riverview Dr, Jekyll Island, GA 31527 ( www.jekyllwharf.com )), where you can watch a gorgeous sunset.
Zachry’s Riverhouse (1 Harbor Rd, Jekyll Island, ( www.zachrys-riverhouse.site ) is also one of the better-known restaurants. The Beach House Restaurant & Tap Room is located in the Holiday Inn Resort Jekyll Island (715 Beachview Dr N, Jekyll Island). ( www.jibeachhouse.com ). Eighty Ocean Kitchen and Bar (inside the Jekyll Island Club Hotel) is also a very popular restaurant. More information about Jekyll Island www.jekyllisland.com
Detailed information on the Golden Isles is available from the Brunswick County Tourist Board 529 Beachview Drive, St. Simons Island, Georgia 31522 ( www.goldenisles.com )
Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
The approximately 1,600 km² large swamp area in the remote southeast of the state – near the border with Florida – is one of the real highlights of Georgia. The primeval and exotic landscape with cypresses is home to numerous water birds in addition to turtles, alligators and otters. The marsh’s name derives from the language of the indigenous people, the Miccosukee Seminoles, and means both “bubbling water” and “trembling earth” – and describes clods of peat moss that come to the surface in the water.
Those wishing to take a boat tour of the swamp can do so from either Okefenokee Swamp Park near Waycross or from the park’s headquarters in Folkston. Multi-day paddling tours are also offered. Fargo at Western Park Gateway is the closest town to Stephen C Foster State Park. Here you can camp or rent a cabin.
For more information: Okefenokee Swamp Park, Hwy 177, Waycross, daily 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., ( www.okeswamp.com ). Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Hwy 121, Folkston; daily sunrise until 5:30 p.m., ( www.fws.gov/okefenokee ).
The Dahlonega Consolidated Gold Mine has existed since 1991 – the largest and most famous show mine. Gold was mined here from 1897 to 1906, and in 1980 the mine was included in the National Register of Historic Places as a Historic District. (185 Consolidated Gold Mine Road, Dahlonega, GA 30533, www.consolidatedgoldmine.com ). For more information: 13 S Park Dahlonega, www.dahlonega.gov
Surroundings of Dahlonega
About 30 km from Dahlonega is Amicalola Falls State Park – the southern access point to the 3,500 km long Appalachian Trail ( www.appalachiantrail.org ). The long-distance trail begins at Springer Mountain in Georgia and ends at Mount Katahdin in Maine.
The park, which features the 780-foot falls (the tallest in Georgia and the tallest in the US east of the Mississippi River), also has much shorter hiking trails, as well as rustic lodging, a summit lodge and restaurant, and a campground. (Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge, Hwy 52, gasateparks.org ). The wild, 62-mile-long Chatooga River flows east of Dahlonega along Highway 441 on the Georgia-North Carolina border. Incidentally, the picturesque landscape was the setting for the 1972 Hollywood film “Deliverance”, starring Burt Reynolds. However, local residents do not like being reminded of this film. High above the river, a suspension bridge spans the spectacularTallulah Gorge in Tallulah Gorge State Park (338 Jane Hurt Yarn Drive, Tallulah Falls, GA 30573, Rabun County, gasateparks.org/TallulahGorge )
Stone Mountain Park
The heart of the popular excursion destination, which is only around 30 minutes’ drive from Atlanta, is a relief carved into a huge granite mountain. It depicts three Confederate heroes: Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and General Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson. The artist who began this massive relief in 1924 was Gutzon Borglum. He then became known for his work on Mount Rushmore. The park is very popular, especially on weekends. A cable car runs to the top of the granite mountain. Numerous events take place on the meadow in front of the relief – on July 4th, for example, the big fireworks. Entertainment is very important here, because in addition to the park there are also the Geyser Towers, which lead visitors around a spouting geyser, an artificial ice rink and a paddle steamer, with which you can sail on the lake. There are also restaurants and accommodation options. US Hwy 78, 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd. Stone Mountain, GA 30083www.stonemountainpark.com
Away from the tourist trail is the pretty town of Americus with a population of 20,000, which also boasts a historic district. However, Americus became known because of the international aid organization “Habitat for Humanity”, which has its headquarters here. The organization supports the poor in building their own homes. In Americus there is the Global Village & Discovery Center, in which houses from 40 different countries can be visited in addition to an international marketplace (721 West Church St., Americus, GA 31709, Mon to Fri 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat 10 a.m :00 to 14:00, www.habitat.org/global-village-discovery-center )
Ten miles north of Americus, in Andersonville, is the National Prisoner of War (POW) Museum. The depressing building complex was a prisoner of war camp during the US Civil War and eventually became a veterans’ cemetery. At least 13,000 people died here because of the catastrophic living conditions. The exhibition is not only dedicated to the prisoners of war from the Civil War, but also to all other US prisoners of war from World War II to the Vietnam, Gulf and Iraq wars. ( 496 Cemetery Rd, Andersonville, GA 31711, www.nps.gov/natl_pow_museum ).