Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Golden Isles of Coastal Georgia

When you envision of the state of Georgia, what scenery enters your mind? Would it be navigating the overcrowded highways in the Atlanta area? The colorful flowers on the course and lush fairways of Amen Corner at Augusta, home of the famous Masters Golf Tournament?

While we don’t generally think of it as being a coastal state, one source indicates that Georgia actually has 192.63 miles of coastline. From Brunswick to the four islands comprising The Golden Isles, there is much territory to explore, dining to relish, golf to frustrate or delight, bicycles and horses to ride, fish to catch, beaches to stroll, spectacular scenery to photograph, and so much more. Jekyll Island, St. Simons Island, Sea Island, and Little St. Simons Island welcome you for a well-deserved period of rest or recreation.

During a September, 2011 visit to The Cloister at Sea Island, I was pleasantly surprised to find a spacious room at The Beach Club, beautifully manicured grounds, accommodating staff, a massage experience at the 65,000 square foot spa  & fitness center that could sooth and relax even the most stressed out bodies, five miles of private beach, three swimming pools, and an all around peaceful, romantic hideaway.

Just a few of the organized activities on tap during the week were an ecumenical Sunday service in the Cloister Chapel, swimming lessons, programs for children, fitness classes, personal training, nutritional consultations, sailboat rentals, rides and lessons, tennis, golf, horseback riding including beach rides, wooded trail rides and private lessons, fishing lessons, clay target shooting, dance lessons, and on and on!
With an average high of 60 degrees and an average low of 43 during January, and July charting an average high of 91 and low of 75, the month of September offered warm days and comfortably mild evenings during our visit.

Walking around the property was a pleasure, and our group was treated to a facility, kitchen, and wine cellar tour, which was informative as well as entertaining. The beauty of this location is that you can be as enthusiastically active or shamelessly lazy as you wish, and no one will object. It’s your time, and your respite from the real world. 

Chef Daniel taking time from his busy day!
From an exploration of the lighthouse and Maritime Center on St. Simons Island, salt marsh kayaking and boat tours at The Cloister, to meandering around the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, a National Historic Landmark where America’s wealthiest families were known to winter at the turn of the century, the natural beauty of The Golden Isles will call your name to return time and time again.

 Treat yourself—you deserve it!

I'll be seeing you soon with another amazing location to share. Wishing you all a happy, healthy, blessed, travel-filled new year!!