From spoonbills to Spanish moss, Georgia’s Southern charms come alive on this walking tour through Savannah and its lovely Golden Isles.

Outside your window, the Georgia dawn caresses live oak branches draped in Spanish moss, and the birds’ morning chorus hits a crescendo. A flotilla of spoonbills flies by, glowing bright pink. It’s daybreak on Little St. Simons Island, and you’re among the lucky few who get to wake up here. Roll over and contemplate the day’s options presented by this walking tour of Savannah and the Golden Isles. Your naturalist guide knows the island’s every nook and cranny, miles of paths and boardwalks leading to untouched beaches where waves roll endlessly off the open Atlantic. Who knows what undiscovered treasures she’ll lead you to. Later, you may grab a kayak and explore the estuaries looping lazily through the marsh grasses. Or go fishing. Or bird-watching. But first, there’s breakfast. And if it’s anything like last night’s locally sourced Southern feast, you’re ready to dig in.

Highlights

  • Venture into Georgia’s renowned Golden Isles to hike marine forests, delicate estuaries, and the white-sand dunes of Cumberland Island National Seashore.
  • Spend two nights on a private island exploring 11,000 acres of protected beach, wilderness, and bird sanctuaries by foot, kayak, boat, and bicycle.
  • Embark on a captivating walking tour of Savannah – a city so beautiful that Abraham Lincoln decreed that it be spared during the Civil War.
On all Guided-Full Adventures you can count on...
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Expert local guides to introduce you to the best of your destination.
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Off-the-beaten-path places you’d never find on your own.
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Delicious, authentic multi-course meals — virtually all are included.
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A maximum of 18 fun-loving fellow travelers to share the journey.
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Gracious accommodations that are a clean, comfortable home away from home.
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Experts to handle all the details.

Itinerary

Sat, Jan 16 to Thu, Jan 21 - 2021

Show Itinerary:

2-3 miles, easy. Wormsloe Plantation; 1-2 miles, easy

Pre-tour Extension Guests: After an included breakfast your guide(s) will meet you at the Andaz Savannah at 9:00 a.m. in the lobby. Your guide(s) will be wearing a Country Walkers shirt. Please be dressed for walking.*

Tour Only Guests: Your guide(s) will meet you at the Andaz Savannah at 9:00 a.m. in the lobby. Your guides will be wearing a Country Walkers shirt. Please be dressed for walking.*

Savannah is a gracious and atmospheric cultural center with a small-town feel. Its National Historical Landmark District is an open-air museum of colonial and Victorian buildings rich in antebellum charm. After meeting your fellow travel companions and guides, you set off to explore on foot with a local city guide. Laid out in 1733, this was the first planned city in the nation. Of the 24 single-acre squares integral to British General James Oglethorpe’s designs, 21 remain. The city, set on the Savannah River, was considered so beautiful that during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln demanded that General William Sherman spare it from flames during his famed march to the sea. You are sure to be grateful for Lincoln’s discretion as you stroll with your guide.

After lunch at Savannah’s famed Olde Pink House, a historical 1771 building, transfer to Wormsloe Plantation, the preserved ruins of a homestead built and owned by one of Georgia’s colonial founders, Noble Jones. In this picturesque setting, admire the house’s remains and enjoy walking with a guide or on your own as you explore the forest’s edge on trails that afford breathtaking views of the Isle of Hope.

Back in Savannah, freshen up at your hotel before dinner at Vic’s on the River, set in an old cotton warehouse on the city’s renowned River Street. In this historical building, savor a sophisticated twist on traditional Southern cuisine, from bisque and fried green tomatoes to French-influenced bouillabaise and Louisiana-style po’boys.

*Please be sure to bring long-sleeved shirts and pants for protection from biting insects, particularly while on Little St. Simons Island. Insect repellent will be provided.

Accommodation: Andaz Savannah, Savannah
Included Meals: Lunch, Dinner

1 mile, easy. Jekyll Island Driftwood Beach; 2 miles, easy

After breakfast, leave on foot to stroll Savannah’s Riverwalk, a pedestrian walkway along the Savannah River, paved with 200-year-old cobblestones. Now home to art galleries, restaurants and shops, this path was once lined with bustling warehouses, many holding valuable cotton. Still a working harbor, you may catch views of the tugboats guiding huge cargo ships through the water. Stop to admire the sculptures and historical buildings along the way.

Mid-morning, leave the bustle of Savannah and transfer two hours to Jekyll Island, one of Georgia’s Golden Isles.

Long a seasonal source of food for indigenous people, a portion of the island came under private ownership during colonial days. Among the vacation homes built here by wealthy businessmen at the turn of the 20th century are structures made of tabby concrete, a material made from crushed oyster shells. After lunch, you stroll a bike path to the island’s scenic Driftwood Beach. Located on the northern tip of Jekyll Island, its sands are dotted with starkly beautiful barren trees and exposed roots left behind by beach erosion. Enjoy time taking in this scene and wandering among the scarred, wind-sculpted arboreal beachscape before continuing to your hotel. Upon arrival at your hotel, a complex of restored vacation homes, you may take a dip in the heated swimming pool, relax on the porch, or take a complimentary shuttle to the beach. Its long stretch of white sand is a pleasure to stroll. This evening, you will enjoy dinner in the dining room at your hotel.

Accommodation: Jekyll Island Club Hotel, Jekyll Island
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

3-5 miles, easy

After an early breakfast, you shuttle to St. Marys and take a ferry to Cumberland Island, the largest and perhaps most spellbinding of the Golden Isles. Once home to steel baron Thomas Carnegie, today, this 35-square-mile haven is home to plentiful wildlife and diverse landscapes. Wild horses, sea turtles, and more than 300 bird species thrive among the island’s pristine maritime forests, unspoiled beaches, sweeping dunes, and vast marshes. More than 90 percent of its land is protected, making it a paradise for walkers. Upon arrival, you trace the island’s footpaths through coastal woodlands to the Carnegie ruins and Dungeness Estate, a once-grand house boasting a history tied to James Oglethorpe (founder of the colony of Georgia), the family of Robert E. Lee, and the youngest of the Carnegie brothers, Thomas.

All that remains of Dungeness is a majestic and eerie skeleton of a sprawling mansion. Exploring these ruins, it’s easy to imagine the resplendent house that once stood here as the epitome of Southern glory. Its chimneys stand like bookends, propping up the still formidable two-story structure of the once-stately Queen Anne-style building. After time to explore, follow a trail to the nearby beach before returning to the ferry landing. This evening, you may dine at your choice of venues: the hotel’s formal restaurant, a more casual setting on the pier featuring fresh seafood, or a restaurant along the beach to which you can reach by shuttle.

Accommodation: Jekyll Island Club Hotel, Jekyll Island
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

2-3 miles, easy

This morning, you will take a short transfer to St. Simons Island. Here, board a small ferry for a 10-minute ride to Little St. Simons Island, a scenic, privately owned barrier island among Georgia’s picturesque Golden Isles. These five islands were named as much for the light that bathes their shores and coffee-colored dunes as for the wealth brought to them by the 19th-century titans of industry, such as the Astors and the Vanderbilts. Little St. Simons, spreading for 11,000 acres, is one of the least developed of the Golden Isles and is only accessible by boat. This unspoiled paradise is home to nearly 20 miles of walking trails and seven miles of beach. You arrive at your accommodation mid-day, in time to enjoy a delicious family-style lunch in the main lodge. After checking into your room, join the naturalist guides for an afternoon activity of your choice, perhaps following a quiet dirt road through dense forest hanging with Spanish moss to the beach. Watch for armadillos, deer, and birds as you walk through a thickly wooded area before the trail narrows and emerges onto an estuary. Here, pause to observe some of the wildlife that makes this area their home such as great blue herons and turtles. As you approach the beach, the dirt road turns to a sandy trail and then a boardwalk. Amid the shore’s tranquility, a bustle of activity unfolds on the sands and in the water—you’ll learn about this very active ecosystem from your naturalist guide. Armies of shorebirds and a carpet of seashells accompany you during your stroll as the gentle waves lap at your feet.

Prior to dinner, join your fellow guests for a wine and cheese reception before a true southern-style dinner around a communal table. Low Country cuisine, after all, is best shared, whether fried chicken, peppery stews, or red rice with beans. The lodge’s trained chef uses produce, herbs, and flowers from the island’s organic garden. Your meal may also include locally sourced vegetables, cheeses, meats, and seafood that come from farms and fish markets on the mainland. After an unforgettable gastronomic experience, the resident naturalist may offer an optional night-time walk in search of owls or turtles.

Accommodation: The Lodge on Little St. Simons Island, Little St. Simons Island
Included Meals: Breakfas, Lunch, Dinner

2-4 miles, easy. Optional kayaking biking, skiff-exploration, or fishing*

Today you’ll explore Little St. Simons Island, perhaps beginning with a pre-breakfast birding walk. Recognized by the American Bird Conservancy as an Important Birding Area, the island is on the Atlantic Migratory Flyway. It hosts some 330 full- and part-time species, from bald eagles to roseate spoonbills. The unspoiled woodland and undeveloped beaches also lure a number of endangered species. Your naturalist will point out winged residents as you walk beneath a lush canopy infused with birdsong.
After breakfast, depending on the tides and weather, perhaps join a guided kayak paddle through the peaceful tidal waterways that thread their way through the island. As you explore, your naturalist guide reveals the secrets of this vibrant ecosystem. Alternately, take a short ride in the open-back trucks to the northern part of the island for a walk in search of alligators, herons, and other native wildlife; elevated platforms provide views over the ponds and marshes.

Return to the lodge for a family-style meal of salads, soup, and perhaps crab cakes made fresh by the chef. After lunch, you spend the afternoon as you wish. Join a naturalist for a fishing expedition or head out on a truck safari to one of the island’s estuaries, marshes, or rivers. Or, take a bicycle along the beach or on one of the many island trails. After a quick orientation, you may choose to take out a skiff or kayak to explore the tidal waterways. Or perhaps you’ll follow more of the island’s footpaths with your guide. The lodge also offers cozy outdoor and indoor sitting areas, perfect for relaxing with a good book. This evening, share stories of your rewarding day at a wine and cheese reception and over your final dinner at the lodge.

*A fishing license can be obtained at the lodge at your own expense

Accommodation: The Lodge on Little St. Simons Island, Little St. Simons Island
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, you transfer back to Savannah’s International Airport, arriving at approximately 12:30 p.m., bidding farewell to your new friends. Begin your journey home or stay on to explore more of Georgia on your own.

For those that parked their car at the beginning of the tour, you will transfer back to the Andaz Savannah to arrive at approximately 1:00 p.m.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Accommodations

Linger Longer with a Tour Extension

Georgia: Savannah & The Golden Isles 2
Pre-Tour
2021

2021 Pre-Tour Extension - Savannah

  • 1 night at the Andaz Savannah Breakfast

Make your own arrangements for travel to Georgia. Take a taxi to your Pre-tour hotel, the Andaz Savannah. The rest of the day is at your leisure (no meals included).

Country Walkers provides you with City Information including recommendations on what to see and do in Savannah during your stay.

Heralded as “America’s best walking city,” Savannah displays a welcoming grace and culture with the appealing ambiance of a small town. In the historical district, wander 30-acre Forsyth Park, and photograph its famed 1858 fountain. Get a taste of savory southern cuisine in the four-block, open-air City Market. And for the daring, Savannah has plenty of beautiful, colonial cemeteries (said to be haunted) to explore.

What's Included

Tour Only
Exceptional boutique accommodations Check
All on-tour meals except 1 dinner Check
Local guides with you throughout tour Check
Local wine and/or beer with dinner Check
Entrance fees and special events as noted in the itinerary Check
Travel assistance available 24/7 provided by Allianz Check
Morocco: Marrakesh, Foothills of the High Atlas & Essaouira

Dates & Prices

Tour Only

6 days. Includes your tour only.

Single Supplement: From $1,048

Sat, Jan 16 - Thu, Jan 21, 2021

$3,248

Reserve Online

Sat, Feb 13 - Thu, Feb 18, 2021

$3,348

Reserve Online

Sun, Mar 7 - Fri, Mar 12, 2021

$3,598

Reserve Online

Sun, Oct 31 - Fri, Nov 5, 2021

$3,598

Reserve Online

Sat, Nov 27 - Thu, Dec 2, 2021

$3,348

Reserve Online
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