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Woman rides her bike on Jekyll Island, one of the barrier islands off the Georgia coast.

EXPLORE GEORGIA'S BARRIER ISLANDS

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The coast of Georgia is peppered with 14 stunning barrier islands – islands that run perpendicular to the coastline and feature incredible beaches, salt marshes, and sand dunes. Some of these islands are part of the Golden Isles, well-known in the area as popular travel destinations.

Here are some fun sights to visit on the islands.

Georgia Sea Turtle Center

This rehabilitation, research, and educational facility is the best place to go to learn more about local turtle species, including the threatened loggerheads. Take a Turtle Walk with them at night, led by local naturalists, or a Nest Walk during hatching season. It’ll give you a whole new appreciation for these amazing creatures.

St. Simons Land Trust

Forget about the beach for a moment and take a turn through the stunning canopies of this nature preserve. With more than 1,000 acres to explore, you’ll find endless trails to hike, paths to bike, and birds to watch. And if you tire of getting around on two feet (or two tires), you can take to the ocean in a kayak and explore the shoreline.

Jekyll Island Boat Tours

This 90-minute tour features a breakout star: the bottlenose dolphin. Fully narrated by local experts, you’ll get to learn all about these playful, intelligent creatures, explore their habitat, and see them up close and personal. You’ll also get a glimpse of other local wildlife, including manatees, sea turtles, egrets, osprey, and more.

Wanderer Memory Trail

Learn about America’s last known slave ship, the Wanderer. This trail follows the Jekyll River, where, 160 years ago, the Wanderer illegally carried 500 slaves to shore. Visitors follow the harrowing journey to freedom on this interactive experience.

Horseback Riding

Several islands in the area offer horseback riding on the beach, including Sea Island, Jekyll Island, and St. Simons Island. These typically run around 1.5 hours long or more and give participants an opportunity to take in the local sights and wildlife.

St. Simons Lighthouse Museum

This lighthouse is one of only five surviving lighthouses in the state, rebuilt after it was destroyed in the Civil War. Its light can be seen for 23 miles. Climb the 129 steps to get one of the best views in the region, including the coastlines of several nearby islands. The museum houses a collection of historic items.

For more ideas on what to visit on Georgia’s barrier islands, check out their Visitors Guide.

Looking for more fun things to do in and around Savannah, Georgia? Check out the Olympus Fenwick blog.

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