On this week's episode of Georgia Traveler, we're "Coasting Along the Atlantic", exploring U.S. 17 from Savannah to Darien. The team gets great travel advice at the Visitors' Information Center just outside Savannah and sets off. Phil finds fantastic food at the famous Lady and Sons while David discovers local legends and haunting fun on Savannah’s Ghosts and Gravestones tour. Keely tries a new outdoor activity on Tybee Island with the help of the High Tide Surf Shop and later joins Phil on a getaway to the community of Hog Hammock on Sapelo Island. Our last stop: family fun at the Blessing of the Fleet Festival in Darien.
Food Find: The Lady & Sons (Savannah) – Watch This Segment Online
What can you say about a down home Southern place that has become a legend in its own time? The Lady is the one and only Paula Deen and the Sons are her sons, Jamie and Bobby. You can read all about the family on The Lady and Sons website. True to their excellent upbringing, the Sons were the consummate hosts for our co-host, Phil Proctor. And the crew was treated like family too – we just can’t say enough about our new friends at The Lady and Sons. Lunch or dinner – it’s outstanding fare, but be prepared to be out standing in line until Jellyroll rings the triangle announcing meal time. The line for lunch forms at 9:30 in the morning! The restaurant doesn’t take reservations except on certain dates. Check out their website to be sure.
Local Legend: Ghosts & Gravestones Tour (Savannah) – Watch This Segment Online
If you enjoy ghost stories, try riding the "trolley of the doomed" in Savannah. Billed as a "frightseeing" experience, the Ghosts and Gravestones Tour is offered after dark in America’s most haunted city. Operated by Old Town Trolley Tours of Savannah, the tour usually starts at 7pm, but be sure and check their website, or call for details. The tales told by the "gravediggers" are drawn from nearly 300 years of Savannah's history. Although travelers of all ages are welcome, the tour is not recommended for young children. It’s scary!
Outdoor Activity: Paddle Surfing (Tybee Island) – Watch This Segment Online
Paddle surfing, or stand-up paddle boarding, may be new to Georgia, but it is an ancient Hawaiian sport. Co-host Keely Muse got a lesson from Tim Malins of the High Tide Surf Shop on Tybee Island. Tim also gave us a fantastic kite surfing demonstration. Less than 30 miles from US 17, Tybee is known as "Savannah's Beach." It’s a great public beach and welcoming island – be sure and check out the black and white lighthouse, and the breakfast can’t be beat at the locally famous Breakfast Club. The restaurant, located at the corner of Butler Street (US 80) and 15th is only open from 6:30am to 12:30pm, so get there early!
Getaway: Sapelo Island - Watch This Segment Online
Sapelo Island is a beautiful and well-conserved example of a barrier island. But most important for the traveler, reservations are required for a visit to the island itself. Every trip to Sapelo begins and ends the same way – on a ferry. The Sapelo ferry and visitor center, operated by Georgia’s State Parks and Historic Sites, are located in Meridian, eight miles northeast of Darien. The Reynolds Mansion, home of R.J. Reynolds, the last private owner of the island, is available for group retreats. Check out the website for details. Accommodations are also available in the last intact Geechee community on the Georgia coast, Hog Hammock.
Family Fun: Blessing of the Fleet (Darien) – Watch This Segment Online
Darien sits halfway down the Georgia coast on the Darien River. This close to the ocean, you can’t help but crave seafood, and Darien’s long and rich history includes generations of shrimpers. Each year, Darien’s fleet of shrimpers bring their boats to the Darien River Bridge seeking favorable conditions for a bountiful harvest. The event is called The Blessing of the Fleet and it is definitely an occasion for family fun. While our team was in town, we were "blessed" to stay on a nearby private island, Eagle Island, named for the pair of nesting bald eagles that call the island home. If that sounds like an experience that might interest you, check out the Private Islands of Georgia website and say hello to our new friend, Andy Hill.