Courtesy Visit Tybee
Published May 01, 2014
When you think of coastal Georgia, Savannah inevitably pops up. From riverside galleries to waterfront golfing to riverboat dinner cruises, Georgia’s fourth-largest city knows how to work its coastal position.
In centuries past, the waterfront of the Savannah River functioned more as a warehouse and transport district than the center of the city’s nightlife, but a series of renovations and reopenings have turned the area into an epicenter of art and culture. Equally historic, though primarily maintained in its original form, Savannah’s 20-square-block mansion- and museum-filled historic district is the largest National Historic Landmark District in the United States.
For groups arriving by bus, Savannah’s layout necessitates dropoff and pickup, as the narrow historic one-way streets are not convenient to long-term bus parking. The historic center and River Street area are flat, compact and easy to explore on foot.
Aside from the more direct ways to enjoy Savannah’s coastal position, groups can indirectly reap the benefits of one of the East Coast’s largest ports through the excellent shopping its shipping lane position provides. Home goods, whether imported 18th and 19th century antiques or the latest modern styles from around the country, as well as homegrown designers schooled at the Savannah College of Art and Design, are a major draw.
Brunswick is often known as the gateway to the Golden Isles, and the coast’s second-largest city has a lot to offer visitors, whether as a prelude to a visit to one of the islands or as part of an itinerary sticking to the shoreline.
Dating back to 1738 when the city was founded on the frontier between British and Spanish territories, Brunswick’s historic downtown, known best for its Victorian homes, focuses on gracious squares that pulse throughout the warmer months with hybrid indoor-outdoor activities like First Friday art walks. Groups visiting in the spring and summer should plan an evening around the Rhythm on the River concert series, and fall visitors can take in the Brunswick Rockin’ Stewbilee.
Though it is a major urban area, natural attractions are an intrinsic part of Brunswick’s appeal. The Colonial Coast Birding Trail, where visitors can spot 300 different species of birds, runs right through the historic Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation, a rice plantation dating back to the early 1800s.
Getting out on the water is a key part of any visit to Brunswick, often called the shrimp capital of the world. Groups can book trips with the Lady Jane Shrimp Boat to see where and how Georgia shrimp are caught while learning about other local fish.