For this weeks challenge, Ann-Christine has asked us to showcase a special spot. My special spot is a sandy beach.
I tried to pick a specific beach but couldn’t narrow it down to just one. Instead, I chose a few shots from some beaches here in my own home state of Georgia.
There are 15 barrier islands off the Georgia coast. Only four can be reached by road – Tybee Island, St. Simons Island, Sea Island, and Jekyll Island. The rest can only be reached by boat. Some of them are undeveloped, some are managed by the state of Georgia, and one is a National Seashore.
Sapelo Island is one of the barrier islands that is owned and managed by the state of Georgia. The island is accessible by ferry from Darien. You can see more photos from our visit there at Weekend Getaway on the Georgia Coast.
I can’t mention the Georgia barrier islands without including Cumberland Island, the largest and southernmost barrier island in Georgia.We spent a day there about 40 years ago but unfortunately, I don’t have photos from that visit. Cumberland Island is a National Seashore and can be reached by ferry from St. Marys. We’re hoping to make a return trip to the island this spring.
It’s been over 40 years since we last camped in Anastasia State Park. We were camping in a tent with our kids and back then you could drive on the beach.
Today there is no more driving on the beach in the state park. Instead, there is a huge parking area with walkways over the dunes and a wheelchair accessible beach mat to the beach.
It was chilly, foggy and raining during most of our stay. On the first sunny day we went exploring. After a drive south on famous highway A1A, we headed to the Saint Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park.
Founded in 1893, the Alligator Farm started out with just a few exhibits of Florida reptiles. It has expanded over the years to include not only reptiles but also birds and mammals from all around the world. Today, in addition to the educational shows and exhibits, it is also used for research.
As we wandered through the zoo toward the Native Swamp and Rookery to see the nesting birds (I posted about them here) we stopped to observe the many varieties of animal life.
Saint Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park
Albino alligator from Louisiana
Baby alligators and turtles at the Saint Augustine Alligator Farm
Maximo, a saltwater crocodile, is largest animal at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm
We took a break for lunch and drove to the nearby Conch House Marina and Guesthouse to eat outside on their waterfront deck.
After lunch it was back to the Alligator Farm to watch the 3:00 alligator feeding. Can you say feeding frenzy?
Alligator feeding time at the Alligator Farm
The alligators go after a tasty rodent on the end of a fishing rod
Our next stop was the Saint Augustine Lighthouse. Gorgeous views were our reward for climbing all the steps to the top.
St. Augustine Lighthouse
St. Augustine Lighthouse Fresnel lens
View from the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse
When we weren’t exploring St. Augustine we enjoyed being in Anastasia State Park. Our campsite was surrounded on three sides by natural vegetation and the beach was only a 10 minute walk from our campsite. One afternoon we explored the nature trail near the campground.
I’ve had many people ask about my favorite place and the answer is always the same.
There is no place else on earth I love more than my little peace of paradise here in coastal Georgia. This is where our children grew up and where Henry and I are growing old together. I have the best friends and neighbors anyone could ask for and there is beauty every where I look.
Want to go to an uninhabited barrier island? A boat or kayak will get you there.
Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins are a common sight in the waters.
Let’s not forget the birds.
Whether you cook it at home or eat out at one of the many great restaurants nearby, there’s nothing better than eating fresh caught seafood.
I love to travel and always enjoy our wanderings. Every trip ends the same way. I know I am almost home when I start smelling the salt marsh and seeing the creeks and marsh as we drive the last few miles.
No matter where you may roam, the best part is coming home – anonymous