The Georgia Isles: A Golden Opportunity
Ivory sand and salty air. The warm kiss of the sun. Spanish moss, hanging in heavy green curtains from trees older than the state itself. Birdsong, and the silken sound of the wind flowing through the marsh grasses. This is what awaits you in Georgia’s Golden Isles. These islands are a perfect snapshot of the best of the South, so slow down, stay a while, and open your heart wide.
The Isles are a delight to every sense, and we’ll experience them not as a blur behind the window of a car, but firsthand at the pace of a bicycle. Read on to find out more about what’s in store for you as Great Bike Tours heads to Georgia’s Golden Isles.
History of the Isles
The Golden Isles pack about three hundred years of history into the old city of Brunswick on the mainland and four little barrier islands: St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Jekyll Island, and Little St. Simons Island. The Isles are the southerly portion of the eleven barrier islands along the coast of Georgia, against the Atlantic Ocean.
Georgia’s Golden Isles are crisscrossed with walking and biking trails. Follow them, and you’ll find along the way some of Georgia’s oldest establishments, many of which played an important role before Georgia became a state. Some of these include:
- Simons Lighthouse. The lighthouse guards the entrance to St. Simons Sound, and helps protect ships against dangerous sandbars just beneath the beguiling blue waves. The St. Simons Lighthouse Museum houses old photos and items from hundreds of years ago.
- Ford Frederica, a national monument built in 1736 by General James Oglethorpe of Great Britain to guard against Spanish expansion. The Battle of Bloody Marsh was fought nearby in 1742, expelling Spanish forces from the area, and General Oglethorpe would go on to found the city of Savannah.
- Christ Church on St. Simons Island. This church heard the sermons of Charles and John Wesley, who would go on to play pivotal roles in the founding of the Methodist and Episcopal denominations. First built in 1820, the church was left in ruins by Union forces in the Civil War, but was rebuilt in 1884 to a structure that has changed little to the present day. Look around in the cemetery and you’ll find headstones bearing names of some of Georgia’s earliest builders, statesmen, and authors.
Bike Tour Details
We get to spend 6 days in the Isles. We’ll start by spending a night in Savannah, and from there we’ll head south to St. Simons Island for two nights, then to Jekyll Island for another two nights. At the end, we’ll deliver you safely back to the Savannah airport for your journey home. We promise you won’t want to leave! Here are just a few of the things you’ll see as we bike through Georgia’s Golden Isles:
- A guided tour of Savannah on a 15-person bike.
- An easy ride on paved bike paths along St. Simons and Jekyll Islands, which wind through over fifty miles that display the full beauty of the Isles.
- A visit to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, which helps protect and study loggerhead sea turtles.
- A cruise just for us on a commercial shrimp boat. Later, we get to eat some of the freshest shrimp you can get!
- The sight of shorebirds taking wing from the Marshes of Glynn.
We’ll make sure all your needs are taken care of while we’re on the tour. This includes five nights of comfortable lodging, van support at all times, a rental bike and helmet, maps, even a water bottle with our logo.
After experiencing our tour of Georgia’s Golden Isles, you’ll want to return to the area again and again. Here are some items we like best:
Food of the Isles
The Georgia Isles offer some of the best, freshest food to be had. If you love seafood, you’ll be in heaven as we enjoy fare like shrimp and oysters right off the boat. The fertile soil produces delicious produce, like tomatoes both tangy and sweet, and cucumbers as crisp as an autumn apple. Ask each restaurant who makes the best sweet tea, and you’ll quickly agree that they all do.
The Southern United States are well-known for their hospitality, and as we bike in Georgia’s Golden Isles, you’ll see that the area is no exception. The culture of the Isles is deep and rich, with influences from the peoples that have resided there over the centuries and the many peoples that have visited the seaports for commerce.
Flora and Fauna
If you love plants and wildlife, biking in Georgia’s Golden Isles offers no shortage of sights and sounds. The heady scent of wisteria, drooping in purple-blue clusters. Dogwood trees, covering pathways with their soft petals in colors ranging from snowy white to a deep pink blush. Watch armadillos trundle through the underbrush, see dolphins leap from swell to swell in the ocean and rivers, and if you can spot them, you might see fallow and white-tailed deer watching you from between the trees.
The Greatest Bike Tour in Georgia
Great Bike Tours’ first priority is your safety and experience. Contact us today to see our full itinerary and ask any questions about biking in Georgia’s Golden Isles. We hope to take you with us to this magical place!