Sapelo Island Vacation

Last week, Kevin and I were in Sapelo Island, GA. It was absolutely magical! For those of you who haven't ever heard of Sapelo, don't fear; we hadn't either.

Sapelo Island is located north of St. Simons Island and Jekkyl Island on the Georgia coast. Most of the island (~95%) is owned by the state of Georgia while the rest (around 490 acres) is privately held. We have a friend who owns a home on the island and offered it to us. It took a few offers, but we eventually gave in and I'm so glad we did. It was a nice getaway and first anniversary trip.

To get to the island, you either have to ride a ferry, take your own boat or use a private plane. Since we don't have a plane, we opted for the boat. We put in at a private hunting and fishing club in Darien, GA, and made the trek through several creeks and rivers to our location on Sapelo. The trip was about twenty minutes, which wasn't bad at all. When Chris and Barbara, the couple who was kind of looking after us during the week met us at the dock, they were shocked we made it over on the first try! I say thanks to a husband who can navigate and my iPhone's GPS!

Our first view of Sapelo.
We arrived around 5 on Sunday. Once we unloaded our car, Chris and Barbara took us on a brief drive around the island to show us how to get to the places we were allowed to drive to on our own - the lighthouse, beach and dock. The roads were all unmarked and with the exception of the North-South Autobahn, single-lane. Oh, and they were all dirt except for a handful.

This is taken from the yard of the house where we stayed. It's one of the dirt roads we were allowed to drive!
Since there are no stores or restaurants on the island and it's cumbersome to get back to the mainland, we took a cooler full of food - frozen lasagna, frozen pizza, sandwich stuff and some other odds and ends. We made our pizza the first night which was delicious. We ended up falling asleep before 8 the first night and didn't wake up until almost 10 the next morning! Vacation had begun!

On Monday, we drove to the lighthouse. We both agreed that it was the most beautiful lighthouse we've seen.

After we visited the lighthouse, we headed to Nanny Goat Beach. We had to park about half a mile from the beach as the wooden bridge wasn't in good enough shape to handle vehicles. We had a picnic lunch on the beach and then explored several miles of it.

The beach was gorgeous! The whole time we were there, we saw no one else on the beach. It was incredible. We found so many conchs near the dunes. We also found a sea turtle that had apparently died on the shore. (Sad face.) There were also a few pods of dolphin hanging out near the shore. We sat down and watched them for a while. It was really neat!

Day 1 treasure.
After exploring the beach, we went back to the house to get ready for our official tour. Chris took us all over the island for about two and a half hours. I don't know if words can even describe how beautiful everything was, so I'll let the photos do the talking. I can totally understand why they don't let people who don't live on the island drive around the northern portion of Sapelo - we would have gotten lost!

The Spanish Moss in the oaks was so beautiful to me!

This is thought to have been an old praise house. If you look closely, you can see that it's made with oyster shells and mud.

Every where we looked we saw beauty!
Here we are in front of a barn at Chocolate Plantation. Unfortunately, there was no chocolate as the name came from a former Native American tribe.
This is the Shell Ring. Chris told us that all the visitors get so excited to see it and he didn't understand. We had to agree. Still, it was pretty cool to be standing inside a ring of oyster shells that accumulated over thousands of years when Native Americans inhabited the island. This is one of the only places on the East Coast where shells can be found like this.

The original First African Baptist Church. The church was built in the late 1800's using wood that washed ashore after a hurricane in 1896. In the early 2000's, the Sapelo Island Cultural and Revitalization Society, the state of Georgia and the Savannah College of Art and Design restored the church.

Our first two days on the island were great and our last two were as well! I'll finish up the recap of our trip tomorrow, so be sure to check back!

Labels: , , , ,