USA: Georgia's islands

Stretching along the Atlantic Coast from Savannah to the border of Florida, some of Georgia's islands are developed, others remote.

Wild horses are free to roam on Georgia's largely undeveloped Cumberland Island. Photo / Thinkstock
Wild horses are free to roam on Georgia's largely undeveloped Cumberland Island. Photo / Thinkstock

Sapelo Island

You have to take a ferry or plane to state-protected Sapelo Island, once home to a plantation worked by slaves. This island has lots of undeveloped beaches and wildlife. Visitors must be in organised tours or guests of the 200 or so residents.

St Simons Island

Much more developed is St Simons Island, one of the Golden Isles chain. At 46sq km, it was home to rice and cotton plantations but now tourism is a big earner with beachside hotels, golf courses, tennis courts, cycle paths, fishing charters and restaurants. Historic sites include St Simons Lighthouse, Fort Frederica National Monument and the Bloody Marsh battle site.

Little St Simons Island

Only 15 minutes by boat from St Simons, Little St Simons Island is a privately-owned resort. The 4040ha of forests and marshlands with 11km of beaches allows no more than 32 overnight guests at a time. Activities include fishing from the dock, swimming and dragging nets for shrimps and crabs.

Jekyll Island

Once a destination for the wealthy, Jekyll Island's focus is now on affordable accommodation. Activities include a water park, camping grounds, tennis, fishing, cycling and jogging. One side of the island has beaches, the other salt marshes. It's a good place to spot birdlife.

Cumberland Island

This is the largest of Georgia's barrier islands. Much of its attraction is that it is largely undeveloped and wild horses roam free. Take a ferry from St Marys. Accommodation is at Greyfield Inn or at National Park Service campsites.

Further information: See DiscoverAmerica.com for more on visiting Georgia.

- NZ Herald

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