A Southern Road Trip to Sapelo Island & Darien, Georgia
There is something about a road trip that is both nostalgic and freeing. In a world that moves quickly, there is much to be said about packing up the car and taking in the view. ROSE & IVY’s Monica Picca did just that by taking in the sights of Sapelo Island, a barrier island located off the coast of Georgia and Darien, a charming southern town that is nestled at the mouth of the Altamaha River.
Sapelo is a relatively untouched and untamed barrier 11-mile island that sits off the coast of Georgia to the south of Savannah. The island can only be reached by ferry in either a group or private tour. We recommend JR Grovner’s private tours that can be booked through toursapelo.com. The reserve is situated in an estuary where the Doboy Sound and the clean, clear waters of the Duplin River meet.
Once you have arrived on the island, there are extensive trails that run through Sapelo’s lush and varied forests, marshes, tidal creeks, expansive dune systems and untouched beaches. One of the most beautiful locations on Sapelo is Nanny Goat Beach that serves as a pristine gateway to the sea with white sand stretching the length of one side of Sapelo. It is a quiet oasis of true tranquility and the perfect place to catch some sun.
If you wander deep enough through the island, the remains of an old plantation still stand near a field in the forest. If you climb the stairs of the old barn house, the only structure that still remains in tact, you can get a glimpse of the shimmering, blue edge of the the sea peaking out beyond the thicket of the woods.
Sapelo Island is also home to the historic Reynold’s Mansion a beautiful estate that is only accessible for visitors who book a room. You can however, still glimpse a bit of its splendor just outside its doors. The architecture of the structure is elegant but modest with a small garden and fountain grace its front doors. The Reynold’s Botanical Gardens are open to the public and are comprised of swampland, not too far from the mansion, with thick hanging moss, untamed, tropical flowers and water thick with algae.
Further down the Island is Sapelo Lighthouse, a historic landmark that stands erect amidst wide, open sea marshes. The lighthouse is rarely open to the public, but is worth visiting if you have the time.
Where to Stay
Darien Waterfront Inn | 711 Fort King George Dr, Darien, GA 31305
Darien, Georgia is one of the most charming little towns with easy access to Sapelo Island. The Darien Waterfront Inn is a picturesque place to stay. The rooms are decorated in subtle nautical tones of clean coastal blues and whites. Each room has access to a balcony that boasts a panoramic view of the Darien River with miles of salt water and marshlands. At the golden hour, it is absolute splendor, especially with a glass of wine in hand.
To book your stay visit darienwaterfrontinn.com
Where to Shop
Turnip Greens | 109 N Walton St, Darien, GA 31305
Turnip Greens is a cozy, little store located in the heart of Darien. The store is filled with local produce, handmade products and artisan goods all made in Georgia. It is the perfect place to pick up a heartfelt gift to bring home.
Where to Eat
Skipper’s Fish Camp | 85 Screven St, Darien, GA 31305
Skipper’s Fish Camp is a local eatery with the best, fresh caught fish and casual, waterside dining. We recommend the peal and eat shrimp drenched in garlic sauce with a side of sweet tea, its the perfect staple for a warm southern night.
To check out the full menu online visit skippersfishcamp.com
Photography & Words by Monica Picca / Edited by Alison Engstrom