Exploring the Coastal Beauty: Day Trips from Savannah

Savannah, Georgia, is not only celebrated for its historic charm and Southern hospitality but also serves as an excellent starting point for a variety of delightful day trips. Whether it’s the allure of sandy beaches, the intrigue of historic sites, or the tranquility of natural landscapes, there’s a nearby destination to satisfy every traveler’s curiosity. Here’s a guide to exploring the coastal beauty and beyond with the best day trips from Savannah.

Key Takeaways

  • Savannah offers a unique mix of cultural heritage and natural beauty, making it an ideal hub for day trips.
  • Nearby islands such as Hilton Head and Tybee provide beachside relaxation and diverse outdoor activities.
  • Historic cities like Beaufort and Charleston offer a deep dive into Southern history and architecture.
  • State parks and natural reserves like Skidaway Island and Cumberland Island are perfect for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
  • The coastal region is rich in culinary experiences, from fresh seafood to traditional Southern dishes.

Hilton Head Island: A Coastal Escape

Hilton Head Island: A Coastal Escape

Beach Bliss and Golf Greens

Hilton Head Island is the epitome of a coastal paradise, offering a perfect blend of relaxation and activity. The island’s pristine beaches are ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and building sandcastles, while the lush golf courses are a haven for enthusiasts of the sport. With a variety of courses to choose from, golfers of all skill levels can find a green that suits their game.

Hilton Head is also known for its family-friendly atmosphere. Here’s a quick guide to some of the best beach spots and golf courses on the island:

  • Beaches:

    • Coligny Beach Park: Vibrant and bustling with amenities.
    • Driessen Beach Park: Secluded with playgrounds and picnic areas.
    • Folly Field Beach: A quieter option for a more relaxed experience.
  • Golf Courses:

    • Harbour Town Golf Links: Famous for its PGA Tour event.
    • Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort: Three high-ranking courses.
    • Sea Pines Resort: Offers a scenic backdrop for a memorable round.

Whether you’re looking to hit the links or just enjoy the sound of the waves, Hilton Head Island caters to all your coastal desires. The island’s charm is in its ability to provide a serene escape with the promise of adventure just around the corner.

Harbour Town Adventures

Harbour Town is the heart of Hilton Head Island, offering a plethora of activities for every type of traveler. Stroll along the marina and gaze at the impressive array of yachts, or take a leisurely cruise to witness the island’s beauty from the water. For those seeking a more active adventure, kayaking and paddleboarding provide an up-close experience with the local marine life.

Shopping and dining here are not to be missed. With a variety of boutiques and galleries, you can find the perfect souvenir to remember your coastal escape. After a day of exploration, unwind at one of the many waterfront restaurants, indulging in fresh seafood while enjoying the sunset.

For a truly unique experience, climb to the top of the iconic Harbour Town Lighthouse. The panoramic views of the island and the surrounding waters are simply breathtaking.

Culinary Delights by the Sea

After a day of sun and surf, the culinary scene on Hilton Head Island offers a perfect way to savor the coastal experience. Indulge in fresh seafood caught daily, served up in styles ranging from classic Southern to innovative fusion. The island’s eateries boast a variety of atmospheres, whether you’re looking for a casual beachfront bar or an upscale dining room with ocean views.

Local oysters are a must-try, often featured on happy hour menus alongside craft cocktails that showcase regional flavors. For those with a sweet tooth, the key lime pie is a tangy treat that captures the essence of the coast.

  • The Coastal Kitchen: A hotspot for shrimp and grits.
  • The Oyster Bar: Known for its raw and roasted oyster selections.
  • Sea Breeze Bistro: Offers a stunning sunset view with your meal.

Embrace the relaxed pace of island life as you dine al fresco, listening to the gentle waves and feeling the warm breeze. This is the true taste of Hilton Head’s seaside charm.

Tybee Island: Savannah’s Beachfront Backyard

Tybee Island: Savannah's Beachfront Backyard

Sun, Surf, and Sand

Tybee Island, affectionately known as Savannah’s beachfront backyard, is the quintessential spot for those looking to bask in the sun and play in the sand. Whether you’re up for an early morning jog or a lazy afternoon building sandcastles, there’s a stretch of beach that’s just right for you.

Tybee’s North Beach is a local favorite, offering a more tranquil atmosphere perfect for watching the sunrise or spotting dolphins. For a livelier scene, head to the island’s south side where the pier and pavilion promise bustling activity and endless entertainment.

Tybee Island’s charm isn’t just in its beaches but also in the vibrant community and the array of activities available. From shopping to relaxing, there’s something for everyone.

Here’s a quick guide to help you find your ideal Tybee beach experience:

  • Surfing the waves or simply dipping your toes in the water
  • Enjoying a cocktail at a beachfront bar
  • Exploring the local ecology and marine life
  • Indulging in Savannah’s culinary delights with a mix of tradition and modernity

Remember to check out the complete list of beach rules to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.

Downtown Delights: Shops and Eats

After soaking up the sun on Tybee Island’s picturesque beaches, a stroll through the downtown area offers a charming change of pace. Discover a variety of unique shops where you can find everything from beachwear to handcrafted souvenirs, ensuring you’ll take a piece of Tybee home with you.

For foodies, the downtown district is a treasure trove of culinary delights. Whether you’re craving fresh seafood or sweet treats, the local eateries cater to all tastes. Here’s a taste of what you can expect:

  • North Beach Bar & Grill: A casual spot for a refreshing drink and tasty bites.
  • The Salty Pelican: Perfect for sampling the catch of the day.
  • Sundae Cafe: Indulge in a delectable dessert or a hearty meal.
  • Salt Island Fish & Beer: A must-visit for craft beer enthusiasts and seafood lovers.

Embrace the laid-back atmosphere as you meander from one delightful establishment to the next, each with its own island charm.

Remember to leave room in your itinerary for these downtown delights, where the vibrant spirit of Tybee Island shines through in every shop and restaurant.

Historic Lighthouse and Marine Science Discoveries

Tybee Island is not only a place for sunbathing and relaxation but also a treasure trove of history and marine science. Climb the historic Tybee Lighthouse and get a panoramic view of the island’s stunning coastline. Just a short walk away, the Tybee Island Marine Science Center offers a fascinating glimpse into the local aquatic life.

For those interested in Civil War history, a visit to Fort Pulaski National Monument is a must. Here, you can explore the fortifications and learn about the pivotal role this site played in the conflict.

Embrace the opportunity to connect with nature and history on your visit to Tybee Island.

If you’re seeking a more secluded experience, consider a trip to Little Tybee Island. Accessible only by boat, this pristine barrier island is perfect for adventurers eager to explore untouched landscapes and observe Savannah’s wildlife refuge.

Remember to plan your visit to include these enriching experiences, and immerse yourself in the island’s unique blend of natural beauty and historical significance.

Skidaway Island State Park: Nature’s Playground

Skidaway Island State Park: Nature's Playground

Trails and Tales of the Salt Marsh

Skidaway Island State Park offers a unique opportunity to explore the salt marshes that are characteristic of the Georgia coast. Wander along the boardwalks and trails that meander through the maritime forest and over the marshes, where you can observe the intricate ecosystems at work. The park’s trails are perfect for all ages and skill levels, providing an accessible way to immerse oneself in nature’s beauty.

  • The Sandpiper Trail Loop is an easy 1-mile walk with stunning views of the marsh.
  • The Big Ferry Trail offers a longer trek at 3 miles, leading to an observation tower.

Skidaway Island is not just a place to visit; it’s an experience that connects you with the coastal environment in a profound way.

Remember to bring water, sunscreen, and a camera to capture the breathtaking landscapes. And while Savannah offers serene outdoor retreats like the Savannah Ogeechee Canal Museum, Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, and secret gardens, the trails of Skidaway Island hold their own unique charm and tales waiting to be discovered.

Bird Watching and Wildlife Encounters

Skidaway Island State Park is a haven for nature enthusiasts and bird watchers alike. Stroll along the winding trails and keep your eyes peeled for the diverse array of birds that call this park home. From the majestic osprey to the delicate painted bunting, the park’s avian residents are a sight to behold.

Wildlife spotting is not limited to feathered friends; you may also encounter deer, crabs, and other species that thrive in the salt marsh ecosystem. The park’s educational center offers a wealth of information about the local flora and fauna, enriching your visit with cultural and natural history.

For a truly immersive experience, consider visiting during the quieter hours of dawn or dusk, when wildlife is most active and the park reveals its serene beauty.

Here are some tips for maximizing your wildlife encounters:

  • Bring a pair of binoculars for a closer look at distant creatures.
  • Stay on marked trails to protect the habitat and ensure your safety.
  • Visit the educational center to learn about the species you might see.
  • Be patient and quiet; often, wildlife will reveal itself when you least expect it.

Picnicking and Relaxation Amidst the Oaks

Imagine unwinding under the shade of towering oaks, a gentle breeze rustling the Spanish moss above. Spacious Skies Savannah Oaks offers just that: a serene picnic spot where you can savor the flavors of the South in the great outdoors. With the Ogeechee River as your backdrop, it’s the perfect setting for a leisurely afternoon.

Picnicking at Spacious Skies isn’t just about the food; it’s about the experience. The campground’s amenities ensure your comfort and convenience, with full hookups and a refreshing pool to dip into on those warm Georgia days. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Shaded RV sites with full hookups
  • A pet-friendly environment
  • Proximity to Savannah’s historic sites and coastal excursions

Escape the hustle and bustle and find your slice of tranquility at this top-rated camping destination. With spots filling up quickly, it’s a coveted retreat for both locals and visitors alike.

Whether you’re looking to relax or explore, Spacious Skies Savannah Oaks is your gateway to the best of both worlds. From here, you’re just a short drive from the vibrant history and charming shops of Savannah, as well as the natural beauty of the Golden Isles. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to blend relaxation with adventure.

Beaufort, South Carolina: A Historic Haven

Beaufort, South Carolina: A Historic Haven

Antebellum Architecture and Charming Streets

Beaufort, South Carolina, is a treasure trove of historical splendor, with its antebellum architecture providing a window into the past. Stroll down the palm tree-lined streets and you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time. Beaufort’s Craven Street is often cited as one of the South’s most picturesque, with its grand mansions and ancient oaks draped in Spanish moss creating a scene straight out of a Southern romance novel.

The town’s historical charm is complemented by a vibrant community spirit, where the past and present merge seamlessly.

For those who appreciate the finer details of historical architecture, Beaufort offers an array of homes and buildings that have stood the test of time. Here’s a quick list of must-see spots:

  • The John Mark Verdier House Museum
  • The Beaufort Arsenal Museum
  • St. Helena’s Episcopal Church

Beaufort was named the Coolest Small Town in South Carolina, a testament to its unique blend of culture, history, and natural beauty. Whether you’re a history buff, architecture enthusiast, or simply in search of a peaceful day trip, Beaufort’s streets and structures will not disappoint.

Cultural Festivities and Local Art

Beaufort’s vibrant art scene comes alive with events like the Chalk It Up! Festival, where the streets of the historic downtown transform into a canvas for artists. Experience the creativity of the South Carolina Lowcountry as local talents showcase their work in a kaleidoscope of colors.

  • Freedman Arts District presents its 1st annual Chalk It Up! street painting arts festival.
  • The event is scheduled for March 23-24, 2024, in Historic Downtown Beaufort.

Beaufort’s art festivals are not just about the display; they’re a celebration of community and creativity, inviting participation and appreciation from locals and visitors alike.

Sea Island Scenery and Activities

Beaufort, South Carolina, is a treasure trove of outdoor activities that cater to every taste and budget. From the serene Southurn Rose Buggy Tours to the vibrant Sea Island Carriage Company, there’s an experience waiting for every visitor. The Spanish Moss Trail offers a scenic route for those who love to explore nature at their own pace.

For those seeking a more structured adventure, consider the following:

  • Kayaking through the marshes
  • Fishing excursions in the local waters
  • Guided nature walks to discover the area’s flora and fauna

Beaufort’s outdoor scene is complemented by its rich history and cultural offerings, making it the perfect blend of relaxation and discovery.

Whether you’re looking to unwind or fill your day with action, Beaufort’s outdoor activities are sure to leave you with lasting memories. Remember to check out the latest deals and special offers to make the most of your visit!

Jekyll Island: A Gem of the Golden Isles

Jekyll Island: A Gem of the Golden Isles

Driftwood Beach’s Natural Artistry

As you step onto Driftwood Beach, you’ll quickly understand why it’s considered one of Jekyll Island’s most photographed spots. The haunting beauty of the sun-bleached driftwood creates a stark contrast against the soft sands and rolling waves, offering a serene and almost otherworldly landscape.

Jekyll Island is not just about picturesque views; it’s a place where nature and artistry collide. Here’s what you can expect during your visit:

  • A tranquil environment perfect for contemplation and photography.
  • Opportunities to witness the dramatic sunrise or sunset hues painting the sky.
  • A chance to explore the beach’s ever-changing canvas, as each tide brings in new shapes and stories.

While the beach is a visual spectacle during the day, the true magic happens as the dusk falls. The silhouettes of the driftwood create a mesmerizing scene that’s both peaceful and thought-provoking.

Remember to tread lightly and respect the natural artistry that took years to form. This is a place of quiet reflection, where the whispers of the ocean can be heard in every weathered branch and twisted root.

The Historic District’s Timeless Allure

Stepping into the Jekyll Island Historic District is like walking through a portal to a bygone era. The grandeur of the Victorian architecture and the whispering oaks tell tales of the island’s storied past. It’s a place where history is not just learned but felt with every step on the sun-dappled paths.

Visitors can explore the district at their own pace, uncovering the secrets of the island’s former glory. From the opulent cottages of the wealthy to the community church, each structure holds a piece of the puzzle that is Jekyll Island’s rich history.

The charm of the district is amplified by its serene surroundings, making it a perfect spot for reflection and admiration of the island’s heritage.

Here are some top ways to experience the Historic District and nearby attractions:

  • Take a guided tour to dive deep into the island’s history.
  • Visit the Grand Dining Room for a taste of luxury dining.
  • Stroll to The Wharf for picturesque views and fresh seafood.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply in search of a peaceful retreat, the Historic District offers a timeless allure that captivates all who visit.

Conservation Efforts and Turtle Center

Jekyll Island is not just a place of scenic beauty, but also a hub for conservation and education. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is a testament to the island’s commitment to wildlife rehabilitation and environmental awareness. Here, visitors can witness the admirable work of rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing injured sea turtles back into the wild.

Jekyll Island Foundation plays a pivotal role in supporting these efforts. For instance, the Cold-Stunned Plunge event raised significant funds for turtle conservation. This kind of community involvement underscores the island’s dedication to its natural inhabitants.

The Turtle Center offers interactive exhibits and educational programs that highlight the importance of conservation. It’s a place where both children and adults can learn about the challenges sea turtles face and the efforts being made to protect them.

If you’re passionate about marine life and want to support these initiatives, consider participating in one of the center’s programs or events. Your visit could make a real difference in the lives of these majestic creatures.

St. Simons Island: Coastal Culture and Comfort

St. Simons Island: Coastal Culture and Comfort

Lighthouse Legends and Coastal Views

St. Simons Island is not just a destination; it’s a picturesque experience where the past meets the present. The iconic lighthouse, standing tall since the 1800s, offers breathtaking coastal views that are a must-see for any visitor. Climb to the top for a panoramic spectacle of the Atlantic Ocean and the island’s lush landscape.

St. Simons Island is also steeped in maritime history, and the lighthouse museum provides a glimpse into the life of a lighthouse keeper and the evolution of nautical navigation. Here’s a quick list of what you can expect during your visit:

  • A historical journey through the lighthouse and museum
  • An opportunity to witness the local wildlife and marine life
  • A chance to soak in the stunning vistas from the lighthouse

Embrace the serene ambiance as you explore the grounds, and let the whispers of history guide you through a truly unique coastal narrative.

While the island offers a tranquil retreat, it also serves as a reminder of the vibrant literary history that Savannah and its surrounding areas boast. From museums to art events, the cultural tapestry is rich and inviting, much like the island itself.

Boutique Shopping and Coastal Cuisine

St. Simons Island offers a unique shopping experience with its array of boutique stores that capture the essence of coastal living. Find the perfect souvenir or a new addition to your wardrobe as you stroll through the charming streets, each store presenting its own treasure trove of finds.

  • Coastal fashion
  • Handcrafted jewelry
  • Local art
  • Home decor

After a delightful day of shopping, indulge in the local cuisine that is as rich and varied as the island’s history. From fresh seafood to traditional Southern dishes, the restaurants here cater to every palate. Enjoy a meal with a view, as many eateries offer scenic vistas of the ocean or the marsh.

Embrace the relaxed atmosphere of the island as you dine al fresco, the gentle sea breeze complementing your culinary adventure.

Whether you’re looking for a casual bite or a fine dining experience, St. Simons Island’s culinary scene will not disappoint. The blend of friendly service, delicious food, and the laid-back coastal vibe makes for an unforgettable dining experience.

Kayaking and Fishing Adventures

Embark on a journey through the winding marsh creeks and experience the Golden Isles from a unique perspective. Paddle alongside nature as you glide through the tranquil waters, where every stroke brings you closer to the serene beauty of coastal Georgia. Our daily tours cater to all skill levels, ensuring a memorable adventure for everyone.

Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or trying it for the first time, the friendly guides at Southeast Adventure Outfitters will ensure your experience is both informative and enjoyable.

Join us and explore the extensive trail system that coastal Georgia boasts – it’s a water-based labyrinth waiting to be discovered! From combing remote beaches to diving into the area’s rich ecosystem and history, there’s an adventure for every interest.

  • Daily Kayak and Boat Tours
  • Tours designed for all ages
  • Experienced guides
  • Explore marsh creeks and remote beaches
  • Learn about the unique ecosystem and history

Don’t miss the chance to create lasting memories on the water. Book your tour today and see why kayaking is a favorite among visitors and locals alike.

Sapelo Island: An Undisturbed Retreat

Sapelo Island: An Undisturbed Retreat

Guided Tours of the Island’s Rich History

Embark on a journey through time with the guided tours of Sapelo Island, where history comes alive amidst the natural splendor. Discover the stories that shaped the island, from Native American inhabitants to European settlers, and the legacy of the Reynolds family.

Guided tours offer a comprehensive look at the island’s past, weaving through the historic Reynolds Mansion, the lighthouse, and the ruins of old chocolate plantations. Here’s what you can expect:

  • A visit to the iconic Reynolds Mansion, with its rich narrative and architectural beauty.
  • An exploration of the Sapelo Island Lighthouse, standing tall as a beacon of maritime history.
  • Insight into the island’s agricultural past through the remnants of chocolate plantations.

Embrace the tranquility of Sapelo Island as you step back in time, uncovering the layers of history that make this destination truly unique.

Whether you’re a history buff or a nature lover, the guided tours on Sapelo Island promise an enriching experience that combines education with the sheer beauty of the Georgia coast.

Pristine Beaches and Natural Beauty

Sapelo Island’s untouched shores offer a serene escape from the hustle of daily life. Bask in the tranquility of the island’s pristine beaches, where the soft whisper of waves and the gentle rustle of sea oats create a peaceful symphony. The natural beauty of this coastal gem is preserved, allowing visitors to experience the landscape much as it was centuries ago.

Experience the island’s diverse ecosystems, from maritime forests to coastal dunes, each providing a unique backdrop for your day of exploration. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply seeking a quiet spot to unwind, Sapelo Island’s beaches are a perfect choice.

  • Take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline
  • Search for shells and other ocean treasures
  • Observe the local wildlife in their natural habitat

Embrace the simplicity of island life as you disconnect and recharge in this slice of coastal paradise. The absence of crowds means you can find your own secluded spot to reflect and soak in the sun-drenched scenery.

The Unique Gullah-Geechee Culture

Sapelo Island offers a rare glimpse into the vibrant Gullah-Geechee culture, a community with deep roots in the coastal heritage of Georgia. The Gullah-Geechee are descendants of enslaved West African people who worked on coastal plantations from North Carolina to northern Florida, and their traditions have been preserved for generations on this secluded island.

The Gullah-Geechee people have maintained a distinct way of life, with their own dialect, folklore, music, and crafts. Visitors can explore this unique culture through guided tours that highlight the community’s history, artistry, and connection to the land.

Embrace the opportunity to learn about the Gullah-Geechee’s rich heritage and their enduring spirit. The island’s serene environment complements the educational experience, allowing for a reflective journey into the past.

To truly appreciate the Gullah-Geechee culture, one must immerse themselves in the local customs and engage with the community. It’s an enriching experience that connects you to a pivotal part of Georgia’s coastal history.

Charleston, South Carolina: Southern Charm and History

Charleston, South Carolina: Southern Charm and History

Historic Market and Cobblestone Streets

Step back in time as you wander through Charleston’s historic market, a bustling hub where the city’s past and present converge. Artisans and vendors line the corridors, offering everything from handcrafted jewelry to sweetgrass baskets, a testament to the region’s rich cultural tapestry.

Stroll along the cobblestone streets and you’ll feel the echoes of history underfoot. Each stone tells a story of the old city, from the colonial era to the antebellum South, and beyond. It’s a tactile reminder of Charleston’s enduring charm and resilience.

Embrace the leisurely pace of Southern life as you explore the quaint shops and galleries that dot the market area. Here, the spirit of Charleston is palpable, inviting you to linger a little longer.

  • Visit the historic market early to catch the best selection of goods.
  • Take a guided walking tour to uncover hidden stories behind the storied streets.
  • Pause to enjoy street performances that often grace the market area.

Plantation Tours and Gardens

Charleston’s plantation tours offer a glimpse into the grandeur of the Old South, with sprawling estates and lush gardens. Step back in time as you wander through the manicured grounds and historic homes of these storied plantations. Each site tells a unique story of the region’s past, with a blend of beauty and history that captivates visitors.

Middleton Place, known for its stunning landscapes and reflective pools, tops the list of must-visit plantations. Here’s a quick guide to the top plantation tours in Charleston:

  • Middleton Place
  • Boone Hall Plantation
  • Drayton Hall
  • Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
  • McLeod Plantation Historic Site

Embrace the tranquility of the gardens and the echoes of history that permeate the air. The plantations are not just a feast for the eyes but also a sanctuary for the soul, offering a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Vibrant Food Scene and Rooftop Views

Charleston’s culinary scene is a feast for the senses, with a diverse array of dining options that cater to every palate. From the freshest seafood to traditional Southern comfort food, the city’s restaurants offer an unforgettable gastronomic journey. Discover The Watch, the ultimate rooftop bar in Charleston, featuring exquisite cocktails, dining, happy hours, and breathtaking city views.

Charleston’s rooftops provide the perfect backdrop for an evening out, where the flavors of the city can be savored alongside panoramic vistas.

For those who love to explore the local food scene, here’s a quick guide to some must-visit spots:

  • Husk: A celebration of Southern ingredients
  • FIG: Seasonal dishes with a focus on quality and flavor
  • The Ordinary: A seafood hall and oyster bar set in a historic bank

Each venue offers a unique taste of Charleston’s vibrant food culture, ensuring that your culinary adventure will be as rich as the history that surrounds you.

Cumberland Island: Wild Horses and Ruins

Cumberland Island: Wild Horses and Ruins

Backcountry Hiking and Pristine Beaches

Cumberland Island beckons the adventurous spirit with its promise of secluded trails and untouched shorelines. Embark on a journey through maritime forests and over dunes to discover the island’s hidden gems. The wilderness campsites, as highlighted by the National Park Service, offer a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in nature.

  • Sea Camp
  • Stafford Beach
  • Hickory Hill
  • Yankee Paradise

These campsites serve as perfect basecamps for your exploration. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or simply seeking solace away from the bustle, Cumberland Island’s backcountry is a sanctuary of tranquility.

Embrace the quietude of the island’s pristine beaches, where the rhythm of the waves sets the pace for your day. Here, time slows down, allowing you to savor every moment of your coastal escape.

The Carnegie Family Legacy

The legacy of the Carnegie family on Cumberland Island is as rich as it is intriguing. Discover the remnants of their luxurious lifestyle at the ruins of Dungeness, the once-magnificent mansion that now stands as a hauntingly beautiful relic of the Gilded Age. The Carnegies were among the wealthiest families in America, and their impact on the island is still evident today.

Experience the grandeur of a bygone era as you wander through the extensive grounds, which include a variety of outbuildings that served the estate. The history of these structures is a testament to the island’s past splendors and the lavish lifestyle of its former inhabitants.

  • The Main House
  • The Swimming Pool
  • The Garden
  • The Servants’ Quarters

The beauty of these ruins lies not only in their architecture but also in the stories they tell of a time when Cumberland Island was a private retreat for America’s elite.

While the Carnegies no longer reside on the island, their legacy continues to captivate visitors. It’s a reminder of the island’s storied past and the transient nature of even the grandest of empires.

Camping Under the Stars

Experience the unique thrill of camping under the vast canopy of stars at Cumberland Island. Pitch your tent on the soft, sandy soil and let the symphony of the ocean waves lull you to sleep. With the island’s minimal light pollution, you’re in for an unforgettable night sky display.

Recreation.gov is your go-to for securing a campsite reservation. Remember, this is a popular activity, so plan ahead to ensure your spot among the stars. Here’s a quick checklist for your camping adventure:

  • Reserve your campsite online
  • Pack essentials like water, food, and a first-aid kit
  • Bring a map and compass for navigation
  • Check the weather forecast and tide schedules

Embrace the simplicity of island life where your daily routine is dictated by the sun and the tides. Cumberland Island’s camping experience is a true escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Please note that while you’re enjoying the pristine beaches and wild beauty, you might encounter some of the island’s wildlife, including several wild hogs grazing in the open areas. Always keep a safe distance and respect their natural habitat.

Bluffton, South Carolina: The Heart of the Lowcountry

Bluffton, South Carolina: The Heart of the Lowcountry

Old Town Charm and Antiques

Step back in time as you wander through the heart of Bluffton’s Old Town, where the air is thick with the scent of history and the promise of unique finds. Antique enthusiasts and casual browsers alike will delight in the eclectic array of shops, each offering its own trove of treasures from bygone eras.

Bluffton’s Old Town is not just a destination; it’s an experience. From vintage furniture and rare collectibles to nostalgic memorabilia, the hunt for the perfect piece is as enjoyable as the find itself. Here’s a taste of what you can discover:

  • Time-worn books and classic novels
  • Handcrafted jewelry and heirlooms
  • Antique home decor and period pieces

Embrace the leisurely pace of Bluffton as you meander from shop to charming shop, each with its own story to tell. The Old Town’s allure lies not only in its merchandise but in the warm Southern hospitality that greets every visitor.

May River Excursions and Oyster Roasts

Bluffton’s May River is a pristine waterway that offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the Lowcountry. Embark on a guided kayak tour and paddle through the calm waters, where the lush marshlands whisper stories of the past. Along the way, keep an eye out for playful dolphins and a variety of shorebirds.

After working up an appetite on the water, nothing beats the communal atmosphere of an oyster roast. Gather around the fire pit as the sun sets, savoring the smoky flavor of freshly roasted oysters. It’s a time-honored tradition that brings people together, creating memories that linger long after the last shell is discarded.

For a truly authentic Lowcountry experience, join the locals at an upcoming event. The Ole Fashioned Oyster Roast on April 13th is not just about the food; it’s a celebration of community and the reopening of the Gullah Museum of Hilton Head.

Here’s a quick glance at what to expect:

  • Guided kayak tours along the May River
  • Spotting wildlife and enjoying the serene environment
  • Participating in a traditional oyster roast
  • Engaging with the local community and culture

Artisanal Finds and Farmers Markets

Bluffton’s heart beats in rhythm with the local artisans and the vibrant farmers markets that dot the landscape. Discover handcrafted treasures and fresh produce that embody the spirit of the Lowcountry. Each market visit becomes a sensory journey, with the colors, flavors, and sounds of the region coming to life.

  • Handmade jewelry and crafts
  • Locally-sourced honey and jams
  • Seasonal fruits and vegetables
  • Artisanal cheeses and breads

Embrace the charm of Bluffton as you meander through stalls brimming with creativity and community pride. It’s not just shopping; it’s an experience that connects you with the soul of the South.

Whether you’re looking for that perfect gift or simply want to indulge in the local culture, the markets in Bluffton are a must-visit. Take a piece of the Lowcountry home with you, and savor the memories of a day well spent among friends and neighbors.


As we wrap up our journey through the delightful day trips from Savannah, it’s clear that the area surrounding this historic city is as rich in experiences as Savannah itself. From the sandy shores of Tybee Island to the lush trails of Skidaway Island State Park, each destination offers its own unique slice of coastal charm. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a taste of Southern culture, these excursions prove that the beauty of Savannah extends far beyond its cobblestone streets. So pack a day bag, grab your camera, and set out to discover the treasures that await just a short drive away. And remember, the perfect day trip is the one that leaves you with memories to cherish and stories to share long after the sun sets on your Georgian adventure.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some popular day trips from Savannah?

Popular day trips from Savannah include Hilton Head Island, Tybee Island, Skidaway Island State Park, Beaufort, Jekyll Island, St. Simons Island, Sapelo Island, Charleston, Cumberland Island, and Bluffton.

How far is Hilton Head Island from Savannah?

Hilton Head Island is just short of an hour’s drive from Savannah’s Historic District.

What activities can I enjoy on Tybee Island?

Tybee Island offers activities such as surfing, sea kayaking, sunbathing on the beach, and exploring shops and restaurants in Downtown Tybee Island near South Beach.

What natural features does Skidaway Island State Park offer?

Skidaway Island State Park is filled with salt marshes and salt flats, which can be explored on various raised trails and platforms built throughout the park.

Is there a place to stay in Savannah that’s convenient for taking day trips?

Yes, staying in Savannah’s Historic District provides a perfect launching point for day trips, with a variety of rental properties available for booking.

Can I find luxury vacation rentals in Savannah?

Absolutely, there are premier rental properties in Savannah that offer unparalleled luxury for your vacation.

What is Hilton Head Island known for?

Hilton Head Island is famous for its long stretches of sandy beaches, world-class golf courses, and the picturesque Harbour Town.

Are there any historic sites to visit near Savannah?

Yes, there are several historic sites near Savannah, including the antebellum architecture in Beaufort, the historic lighthouse on Tybee Island, and the rich history of Charleston’s cobblestone streets and markets.

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