Leaving Savannah, we moved further south and pulled into a Georgia Visitor’s center for lunch. Upon walking into the lobby we were surprised to find Forrest Gump sitting on his park bench. How could we not seize the opportunity to take a candid photo with the man who said “life is like a box of chocolates.” After lunch we moved on down the road and pulled into our next location, Golden Isles Vacation Park. which is yet another of our favorite Passport America parks not for its scenery but for its location.
From Brunswick, Georgia it is only a short 15 minute drive to scenic Jekyll Island. We have always enjoyed visiting Jekyll Island which is located off the coast of Georgia. It is one of the Golden Isles in the Georgia barrier islands. The island is owned by the State of Georgia and run by a self-sustaining, self-governing body who charges $6 to enter the park but once inside all parking is free.
I always wondered why this area was called the “Golden Isles” but can’t find a great answer. The tourism web site says: “One needs only to witness a gorgeous sunrise over the ocean or bask in the beauty of the sun setting westward beyond the mainland to know the namesake of this stretch of Georgia's coast.”
Another theory says that the area was known as a place of many riches drawing people hoping to make their fortune.. But the one I like the most is that the color gold prevails here. There is gold in the hues of the beaches, in the color of the setting sun and in the marsh grasses in winter time. We also love the glittering gold flecks often seen in the beach sand as the surf retreats.
Unfortunately the area was devastated by a hurricane last year and we visited shortly after its destruction.. The dead artistically arranged trees along the beach on Jekyll Island were used often as backdrops to many a wedding venue. Last year when we came it was sad to see that many of those beautiful trees we photographed in the past were toppled and destroyed leaving only a few behind.
This year a lot of rip-rap or rock on the beach has been placed to deter erosion and promote sand deposits to replenish the beach. There are still a few scenic spots that maybe could be used for a wedding but I am sure this area took quite a huge economic hit when the trees fell. As sad as it is, it is nature’s calling and there will be better days ahead for this otherwise scenic area.
We also drove over to scenic St .Simons Island as it is another place we like to visit along this coast. The iconic lighthouse and “wedding venue” grounds in the town historic area are fun to walk around. The architecture, gardens and Spanish moss draped live oaks lining the sidewalks are always pleasant to walk around.
In the evening the sunsets have been spectacular and we could often be found at another or our favorite little taverns, Tipsy McSways, for happy hour in Brunswick Georgia before we called our day complete…
NOTE: We are now in Gamble Rogers State Park in Flagler Beach Florida…