A Museum and a Walk

Yesterday, on the way to St. Marys, we stopped to see this submarine on land. It’s a full-sized Navy submarine at the gates to the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base.


USS George Bancroft

When we got to St. Marys we visited St. Marys Submarine Museum. From the periscope we could see out to the marina where people were waiting to board the ferry out to Cumberland Island.


Up Periscope!

Lunch was at one of the nice restaurants, then a walk around the pretty little town. When we got back to the campground we went for a hike on one of the trails there. This boardwalk did have some damage in some areas when some trees fell on it during the Hurricane Matthew last month, but we were very careful and enjoyed it anyway.


Bay Boardwalk Trail

About half way along the 1.25 mile trail is this observation tower. Great for bird watchers.


Observation Tower

Today we drove over to St. Simons Island. There was a big arts & crafts show happening there. We enjoyed that and then took one of the narrated trolly tours that took us to various historic spots on the island.


Arts/Crafts Show

And then we spent some time walking around the Pier Village area and Neptune Park. The St. Simon Lighthouse is an operational lighthouse still.


St. Simons Lighthouse

While we were there we saw the big ship leave. This is the one we saw before that was docked at the Georgia Port Authority. Probably unloading new car imports. It is the Asteria Leader, a vehicles carrier currently flying under the flag of Japan.


Asteria Leader

  • Admission:  $10
  • Parking:  free
  • Trolly Tour:  $40
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Cumberland Island

Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia’s largest, southern most barrier island. This island national park is 18 miles long, beautiful undeveloped beaches, and includes a large wilderness area.  There are no bridges to the island, so the only way to get there is by boat. A ferry departs St. Mary’s GA twice a day, 9:00 and 11:45. You can stay for a few hours or you can bring your tent and stay in one of the primitive campgrounds.


The Cumberland Queen II

We had four hours to explore before the ferry returned to St. Mary’s. We were dropped off at the Visitor Center/Campground Registration building. Bicycles can be rented as well, but we wanted to walk. There are several miles of trails.


Cumberland Island National Seashore Visitor Center

About 150 wild horses inhabit the island, descendants from modern domestic breeds. This is the only heard of feral horses on the Atlantic coast that is not managed. They are on their own here just as any native wildlife.


Feral Horses

Horses have the right of way, and no petting or feeding them. We saw lots of them, they were everywhere.


Feral Horse

We spotted this fella getting a drink from a fresh water pipe by the remains of this old duck pond.


The Duck Pond

Thomas Carnegie, the brother of Andrew Carnegie, began building a mansion here with his wife, Lucy, in 1884. At one time the Carnegie family owned 90% of the island and had built other estates here, a few of which are still standing. The Dungeness mansion was destroyed by fire, possibly arson, in 1959. Now it is preserved by the National Park Service.


Dungeness Ruins

A road turns into a trail and onto a boardwalk on the way to the beach.


Boardwalk to the Beach

Finally, to the Atlantic Ocean. The tide was out and the beach was huge!


Cumberland Island National Seashore


Cumberland Island National Seashore

It was not packed with people, maybe because it was only 65 degrees and cloudy. A few drops of rain fell, but that was it.  After walking the beach for about a mile another boardwalk brought us over the dunes and back into the forest on the way back to the ferry.



The trees here are incredible!



There were armadillos everywhere. They’re so cute!

When we got back to the visitor center we sat in on a presentation about Cumberland Island’s sea turtle monitoring program. This is one of the most important loggerhead sea turtle nesting areas in Georgia.


Cumberland Queen II

Just before we arrived back at St. Mary’s we saw this docked tall ship all in sails. We had seen it earlier, but the sails weren’t up.


Tall Ship

Next to the marina St. Mary’s has one of the most beautiful city parks we have seen.


St. Marys Waterfront Park

  • Ferry: $55.64
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Crooked River & Jekyll Island

We left Skidaway Island State Park by Savannah GA yesterday and moved south to Crooked River State Park. This is another lovely park with large and level spaces for a reasonable price. We’ll be here for a week.


Crooked River State Park, #57

The campground is on the (you guessed it) Crooked River which leads to the Atlantic Ocean. It’s not on a beach, but on a steep cliff.


Crooked River State Park

However, there is a trail that will bring you to the water level. We got there just as the sun was setting for a nice sunset picture.


Crooked River State Park

Hello big fella! He was about the size of a basketball.



Today, on the way to Jekyll Island, we passed a Georgia Ports Authority deepwater seaport. There were two ships docked here, and lots and lots of new cars and several auto transport vehicles coming and going with and without cars.


Georgia Ports Authority

So tempting to just drive up there!


So Tempting!

Jekyll Island, a barrier Island on the Atlantic Ocean, is a popular tourist destination. It has great beaches frequented by vacationers, bike trails, a Landmark Historic District, and more.

The north end of of the island is slowly eroding away and has left a tree graveyard. Here are a few of the pictures I took:

Included in the Historic District is the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This is where we had our lunch today.


Jekyll Island Club Hotel

Further down the road from the Historic District is the remains of the Horton House, built from tabby in 1742, and one of the oldest surviving buildings in the state of Georgia. The house was occupied by Major William Horton during the British colonial period.


The Horton House Ruins

  • Admission:  free
  • Parking: $6
  • Lodging:  $184.20 (7 days)
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More Savannah Walking

Saturday morning we went to the Farmers Market at Forsyth Park in Savannah. There were lots of vegetables, oranges, honey, pecans, mushrooms, cheese, and baked goods, jams and pickles.


Farmers Market

We also stopped at the Visitor Center again. This time there Christmas Carolers there. Very nice.


Christmas Carolers

From there we walked back down to River Street and had lunch in one of the restaurants down there. Then we climbed back up one of the sets of old steps (use at your own risk). There is an elevator somewhere for those who would prefer that.


Historic Old Steps

Not far from River Street is The Old Pirates House. Not to be missed when visiting Savannah, this is associated with Savannah’s maritime history and Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island”. Built in 1754. This is now a nice restaurant, and if you are lucky you just might see a pirate while you enjoy your meal.


The Pirate’s House

Today we hiked one of the trails at Skidaway State Park.


Skidaway Island State Park, The Big Ferry Trail

Hurricane Matthew did some damage here the first week in October. The boardwalk to an observation tower was damaged so we could not go there.


Observation Deck

Several trees had been toppled but park workers have cleared the hiking trail.


Hurricane Matthew Damage

The remains of an old still can be seen deep into the woods. In the early 20th century this remote area was a good hideout for moonshiners.


Old Liquor Still

The trail also took us to some old earthworks–mounds built by slaves during the Civil War as part of the defense system against Union Troops.


Civil War Earthworks

This was an interesting old tree, I liked it.


Cool Tree

Tomorrow morning we leave this area and move a bit further south.


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A Savannah Walk

It’s Black Friday. A good day for us to stay away from the shopping centers. We did drive into Savannah just to walk around the parks. We began our walk at Forsyth Park, one of the largest parks in Historic Savannah. Here are some pictures from our walk:


Forsyth Fountain


Confederate Soldier Monument

There are several ways to tour the historic district:


Trolley Tours


Guided Walking Tours


Segway Tours


Carriage Tours

But we walked. After a while we were ready for a break so we found a little coffee shop, named Art’s, for a snack. Inside the shop is this double decker European bus converted to a kitchen and with seating up top. Cool 🙂



Continuing towards downtown we saw the big Christmas tree set up and waiting for tonight’s big lighting ceremony.


Savannah GA

A visit to Leopold’s Ice Cream is a must when visiting Savannah. Their ice cream is homemade in the store, using the original, secret recipes handed down since 1919. And it is delicious! 🙂


Leopold’s Ice Cream

And then we walked back to the car that we had parked by Forsyth Park. Here are a few pictures of the sights along our walk:


Savannah GA


Savannah GA


Savannah GA

It was 80 degrees and humid so we had enough walking for the day and went home.

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Pulaski & Tybee

On our way out to visit Tybee Island we stopped to visit Fort Pulaski National Monument. It was designed and constructed after the War of 1812 to protect the river approaches to Savannah and was used during the Civil War. A small visitor center presents all its history.

Hurricane Matthew caused significant damage to the fort the first week in October and it was closed to the public for 28 days while they worked very hard to clean everything up and make repairs. It reopened only one week ago.

See a passing container ship behind the fort.


Fort Pulaski National Monument

Here are some more pictures:



Spiral Stair Well

Next we went to see the Tybee Island Lighthouse.


Tybee Island Lighthouse

And then to the Atlantic Ocean. Clouds have arrived and the temperature has cooled a bit but there were still people on the beach.


Atlantic Ocean


Hurricane Surge Elevations


Tybee Island Pavilion and Fishing Pier

The fishing pier was closed; looks like it had some damage that hasn’t been repaired yet.


Tybee Island Fishing Pier

It’s pretty quiet here today, not many people around.


Some Tybee Island Shops

We’re in luck! There was a reservation cancellation at Skidaway Island State Park and I was able to snatch it up. So now we do not have to leave on Thanksgiving Day morning. We will be here until Monday morning. It did mean that we had to move to a different spot, but that was okay with us!


Skidaway Island State Park

  • Admission to Fort Pulaski:  Free with National Senior Pass
  • Parking at Tybee Island:  $4
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Wormsloe State Historic Site

A couple of miles from Skidaway Island State Park is the Wormsloe State Historic Site. This is what remains of the home of Noble Jones, one of the first settlers and a leading official in Georgia. The entrance arch has two dates engraved on it, 1733 to represent the year Noble Jones arrived in Savannah and 1913 the year the arch was erected.


Wormsloe Entrance Gate

The road from the arch to the ruins is lined with more than 400 live oak trees. These were planted by one of Noble’s decedents in the early 1890’s.


Live Oak Avenue

There is a parking area and a visitor center at the end of the tree lined avenue. We watched a 15 minute video of the history of the land and about who Noble Jones was. Then a short hike to the ruins and some other sites.


Tabby Ruins

The original family burial site is near by. Jones was buried here in 1775, as was his family. Their remains have since been removed to a cemetery in Savannah.


Gravesite Monument

The return trail to the visitor center leads to a Colonial Life area and living history camp.


Colonial Life Living History

The trail back was was pretty cool too.


Walking Trail


Cool Tree

  • Admission:  $18
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