The Georgia coast extends for 150 miles, starting with Tybee Island outside historic Savannah and extending down to the border of Florida. Most of the beachfront on that coast is found in the Golden Isles, but the area also has the aforementioned Tybee and Cumberland Island, the latter part of a National Seashore. As a result, a George beach hotel's location can have just as much of an impact on a vacation experience as the hotel's amenities.
Cumberland Island in the southeastern-most corner of Georgia is now part of the National Park System, so most of the accommodations advertised for "Cumberland Island" are in reality on the mainland in the town of St. Mary's, and therefore not on the beach. St. Simons Island is the most upscale of Georgia's coastal island destinations, while neighboring Little St. Simon has become a private resort all its own. Jekyll Island and Tybee Island are the most mid-range of the Georgia beach areas, with Tybee's coast located 18 miles east of Savannah.
Occupying a large house built by the Carnegie family in 1900, the Greyfield Inn represents the sole lodgings found on Cumberland Island. Guestrooms come decorated with period antiques, including some family heirlooms. Although some modern touches such as televisions are absent, that only contributes to the historic atmosphere of the place. Furthermore, it is hard to beat the Greyfield Inn as the destination for a secluded beach getaway, for the inn is on a 1,000-acre private parcel on an island protected by the National Park Service. The room rate is a de facto all-inclusive vacation package, as it includes all meals, transportation and pluses like bike rentals and guided tours.
Lodge on Little St. Simons Island
Based on a retreat dating to 1917, the Lodge owns all 10,000 acres of Little St. Simons Island. Accommodations at this eco-friendly destination are akin to an upscale summer camp, consisting as they do of guest rooms in the island's lodge buildings and rental cottages, all of which have rustic furnishings such as wrought iron or log bed frames. Among the features of this resort are three full-time naturalists, who lead nature walks, fishing trips and kayaking outings.
Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club
Described by Fodor's as "one of the top golf and spa destinations in the country," the Lodge at Sea Island is a small 42-room resort by the sea with Forbes Travel five-star and AAA five-diamond ratings. The public spaces and guestrooms of this St. Simons Island hotel come decorated in a luxurious fashion, patterned on the decor of an English country estate. Golfers in particular should note that the lodge doubles as the clubhouse of the Sea Island Golf Club, so guests enjoy immediate access to three 18-hole golf courses. Should the Lodge prove full, visitors in search of upscale accommodations can look to the Cloisters, a separate 175-room hotel in the same resort.
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