Vacation Georgia Coast

Check out these Georgia Coast Vacation Spots, the important “Sea Islands“, aka barrier islands, that protect the America’s southeast coast along the Atlantic Ocean seacoast.

Sea Islands comprise a chain of more than 100 low islands off the Atlantic coast of South Carolina, Georgia, and north Florida, extending from the Santee River in South Carolina, to the St. Johns River in Florida. The ocean side of the islands is generally sandy; the side facing the mainland is marshy. The islands have a humid, subtropical climate, with hot summers, warm winters, and rain throughout the year. Once the center of the Gullah culture of former slaves, most of the islands have succumbed to modernization, and much of the African-American population has moved away. Some islands remain uninhabited; others are resorts and wildlife sanctuaries. The Intracoastal Waterway passes through the Sea Islands.

The Spanish explored and were the first to inhabit the islands, setting up missions and garrisons in the 16th cent. These were abandoned as the English steadily advanced in the area. James Oglethorpe, founder of the Georgia colony, built Fort Frederica on St. Simons Island between 1736 and 1754, during the English-Spanish struggle for control of the southeast United States. The ruins of the fort are a national monument.

The Sea Islands were the first important cotton-growing area in North America. In the early 19th century, St. Helena and Port Royal Island in South Carolina became the seats of large plantations that grew long-staple, Sea-Island cotton. The Union invasion in the Civil War and the distribution of land by the federal government to newly freed slaves after the war affected the wealth of the planters. With the coming of the boll weevil (c. 1920), cotton culture gave way to diversified farming, including the growing of corn, potatoes, and peanuts.  Read more: Sea Islands —

Sea Islands in Chatham County, GA

* Tybee Island
* Little Tybee Island
* Cockspur Island
* Wilmington Island
* Whitemarsh Island
* Oatland Island
* Skidaway Island
* Isle of Hope
* Dutch Island
* Burnside Island
* Wassaw Island
* Ossabaw Island

Sea Islands in Liberty County, GA

* St. Catherine’s Island
* Isle of Wight
* Hampton Island

Sea Islands in McIntosh County, GA

* Blackbeard Island
* Sapelo Island

Sea Islands in Glynn County, GA (the Golden Isles)

* Jekyll Island
* Little St. Simons Island
* St. Simons Island
* Sea Island

Sea Islands in Camden County, GA

* Cumberland Island

Additional Resources:

Secret Seashore: Georgia’s Barrier Islands, Georgia Public Broadcasting