Hidden amid the golden marshes of Georgia, there’s small seaside hideaway full of unexpected beauty and outdoor adventure. Just 50 miles north of the Florida state line, Sea Island is located on a narrow, oak-lined beach hemmed in by the Atlantic Ocean. The island centers around two Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotels, The Cloister and The Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club, but the sister resorts offer an outdoor play land filled with championship golf courses, historical charm and an array of family-friendly activities — plenty to make the most of your two-day trip to the Georgia coast.
For those traveling with kids, we recommend staying at The Cloister. In the morning, settle into your private cottage, or one of the hotel’s 175 rooms and suites. After a 2003 renovation of this 85-year-old pillar in hospitality, the rooms were updated with wood furnishings, exposed beam ceilings and Turkish rugs that leave it with an elegant yet homey feel. Then spend your day exploring the ocean. Take the family crabbing off The Cloister dock. If you’re feeling a little more daring (and aren’t afraid of seasickness), head out on a nearshore or offshore fishing adventure, or try your hand at catching barracuda or sailfish.
Next, enjoy a dip in one of the pools (two are kid-friendly; one is adults only) or the ocean at The Cloister Beach Club. Or simply stroll along the expansive five miles of sandy seclusion and let the tide crash in on your feet. For lunch, order the grilled fish tacos from your lounge chair or walk up to the resort’s practically-on-the-beach food truck, the Flip Flop Bistro. This casual option is known for its Mexican-fusion delights, such as the crowd favorite Cubano sandwich.
Later, take the family on a sunset-kayaking trip onto the Atlantic. From the ocean, you’ll spy the beautiful homes down the coast that add to Sea Island’s architectural charm. After a day on the water, you’ll need to head back to your room to dry off and freshen up before dinner. Make reservations at Colt & Alison, a dark and cozy fine-dining establishment at The Lodge, overlooking the Plantation Course’s 18th hole. Order an appetizer of local shrimp, followed by one of the steakhouse’s decadent surf or turf options (broiled Maine lobster tails, Colorado lamb chops, New York strip and more) paired with some great wines.
Devote day two to adventures on land. First, lace up your golf shoes and hit the links at one of the resort’s three championship golf courses, including Seaside, the site of the PGA Tour’s annual McGladrey Classic. Or, if your swing needs a tune-up, schedule a private lesson with the Sea Island Golf Learning Center, to be matched with a renowned instructor who can help improve your game.
After a round, enjoy an easy and casual lunch (such as the short rib sandwich, braised short rib, pickled red onion, arugula and Swiss cheese on sourdough) at the Davis Love Grill, named for the PGA pro who lives on nearby St. Simons Island. And speaking of which, take a 15-minute drive after lunch to Sea Island’s more casual neighboring island for shopping in Redfern Village (featuring art, clothing, bath wares and more) or to see the famous 200-year-old St. Simons Lighthouse.
Finally, head back to Sea Island to round out your second day with a final, well-earned treatment at The Spa at Sea Island. Whether you choose a salt scrub, detoxifying body wrap or a therapeutic massage, the experts at this excellent Five-Star spa will leave you feeling relaxed after two incredibly active days. As for your final meal on the island, don’t miss the Five-Star Georgian Room. Appointed with lush fabrics, a carved stone mantel, and ornate gold and crystal details, this upscale Southern restaurant is a sight for the eyes as well as a treat for the tongue. Menus change seasonally, but they are always full of decadent choices — such as lamb ribeye with strawberry, smashed peas, Vidalia onions and pistachios with a warm red velvet cake doughnut with cream cheese icing foam for dessert — just like the island itself.
Photos Courtesy of Sea Island Co.