Friday, April 20, 2018

Springtime In Georgia: Jekyll Island and Savannah

The Wildebeest has begun her migratory journey back north. We are so grateful for all the sunshine and warmth ... and opportunities to visit with dear family and friends in Florida this past winter. But the beauty of Springtime beckons us back to the land of four seasons.

See y'all next December!

With "Winter Storm" and "Blizzard" warnings still making the headlines in Minnesota, we decided to heed our feathered friend's advice and make our way up north slowly ... 

... while enjoying some springtime beauty along the way at ...

Jekyll Island, Georgia

Jekyll Island is a barrier island off the coast of Georgia that was acquired by the state in 1947 in order to preserve the island's natural beauty. Its beaches, parks, wildlife, and historic buildings has made it a popular tourist destination. We heard about the Jekyll Island Campground, located on the island, from some fellow RVers who enjoyed the shaded full hook up sites and the easy access to the beach. 

When we settled into our site, we found that ... and more. We found beautifully maintained bike paths that led us to the beaches, forests, villages, and historic sites that make Jekyll Island a unique vacation destination.

Our trip around the island on these trails and the beach (about 18 miles total) quickly became one of our favorite bike rides of all time.

From the campground we headed around the western
perimeter of the island along Riverview Drive ...

...catching a glimpse of the marshlands and
bridges that connect us to the mainland.

We come upon a piece of early island history
with the shell of the Horton House ... built in 1743.

Entering the Historic District, we admire the stately
community buildings and winter homes of the wealthy
that made up the Jekyll Island Club Resort.

Big names like Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Pulitzer
and Goodyear, whose "cottage" is shown here,
socialized during winter months on the island
in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

After stopping for ice cream in the village,
we headed on the gravel bike path that
lead us through hammock forests and over salt water marshes.

We made our way to St. Andrews picnic area. Because it was
low tide, we were able to get onto the hard-packed sand and
enjoy a southernly wind that pushed us the 7+ miles up the beach.

We made it to Driftwood Beach where we were able to
climb on the many giant trees and enjoy all the unique configurations.
When we reached the Clam Creek fishing pier, we caught the bike trail
once again and made our way back to the campground.

Day Trip to Savannah, Georgia

Located an hour and a half north of Jekyll Island is Savannah, Georgia ... a perfect day trip destination!

We had heard that Savannah is very pedestrian and bike friendly. The historic downtown streets retain their original 18th century grid layout. Twenty-two town squares provide beautiful green space. Designed with tall oaks, flower gardens, benches, fountains and statues, each square welcomes you with its own unique beauty. 

We went on a Sunday, so there was not much business traffic. We paid $5 to park in a surface lot for the day, but found out that the metered street parking is free on Saturdays and Sunday. 

We really enjoyed our Sunday walk around Savannah. From the historic churches and homes to the beautiful squares to the abundance of good restaurants ... one day is not enough. We will be back!

Our day started with Mass
at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist,

followed by a walk through
the neighborhoods.

Because Savannah avoided a lot of the destruction
that fell upon other Southern cities during the Civil War,
numerous historic buildings remain family homes.
This lovely home dates back to 1790.

A mere 1.4 million dollars, and this could be mine!

Savannah has a unique history of "urban planning"
with 22 neighborhood squares providing open green space,
and sidewalks that make this a very "walkable" city.

The original cobblestone streets make the walk
all the more interesting,

... and the spring blossoms
definitely add to the beauty!

The largest of the squares, Forsyth Park,
has an impressive fountain and public recreational areas.

Along the river is the commercial district
with shops and restaurants to satisfy any tourist's desire.

A stop at Leopold's Ice Cream
added to the sweetness of exploring Savannah.

But the fact that only one of the four
microbreweries was open on Sunday
gives us a reason to return again someday.

Beach Walks and Sunsets

Back at Jekyll Island, we ended our days with sunset walks along the trails and beach.

During low tide, Doug found
a few sand dollars to help fund his retirement,

... and discovered large Lightning Whelk shells
that I will have to get "crafty" with!

We walked past driftwood structures
that seem to resemble Dr Seuss characters,

... and made our way through the driftwood "mazes",

... to come upon a springtime sunset that
brings the promise a beautiful tomorrow as our travels
take us further up the coast to Charleston, South Carolina!

Until next time ... Know that April showers (or snow storms) will bring springtime beauty ... and enjoy the adventures in your life!

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