The barrier islands off the coast of the state of Georgia were originally formed by geologic activity and sea level shift approximately 5,000 years ago, following the end of the last Ice Age. Whether you’re looking to explore historic sites from the Gilded Age, entertain families with summer resort activities, or enjoy outdoor recreational activities in unspoiled nature preserves, Georgia’s barrier islands are the perfect site for day trips and overnight excursions. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Little Tybee Island
7.Lake Lanier Islands
8.Little St. Simons Island
15 Best Georgia Islands
- Little Tybee Island, Photo: Courtesy of Tomov - Fotolia.com
- Blackbeard Island, Photo: Courtesy of science photo - Fotolia.com
- Cockspur Island, Photo: Courtesy of Daniel L Grantham Jr - Fotolia.com
- Cumberland Island, Photo: Courtesy of stockstudios - Fotolia.com
- Hutchinson Island, Photo: Courtesy of HJ - Fotolia.com
- Jekyll Island, Photo: Courtesy of Stanford - Fotolia.com
- Lake Lanier Islands, Photo: Courtesy of Gabriel - Fotolia.com
- Little St. Simons Island, Photo: Courtesy of Little St. Simons Island
- Ossabaw Island, Photo: Courtesy of Naj - Fotolia.com
- Sapelo Island, Photo: Courtesy of Alicia - Fotolia.com
- Sea Island, Photo: Courtesy of Flat Nine Photo - Fotolia.com
- Skidaway Island, Photo: Courtesy of NADEZHDA - Fotolia.com
- Wassaw Island, Photo: Courtesy of Ovidiu - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of squirlgirl - Fotolia.com
More Ideas in GA: The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee
Although the Ritz-Carlton is a well-known chain, the hotel at Lake Oconee, Georgia maintains a lodge-like charm while still offering the same luxury amenities that guests have come to expect. Guests can choose from staying in the central hotel in either a guest room or a suite, or off-site in one of the cottages. There are six different dining options, a full-service spa, and a five attached golf courses for guests to enjoy during their stay as well. The hotel is located seventy-five miles outside of Atlanta, Georgia.
Cottages, Rooms, and Suites
The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds at Lake Oconee provides a wide variety of different places for guests to stay during their visit. These accommodations are available as cottages, suites, and guest rooms.
The largest of the available accommodations are the cottages, located right on Lake Oconee. There are only three cottages - the Lake House (which has four bedrooms), the two-bedroom cottage, and the three-bedroom cottage. The cabins vary in square footage from 1798 square feet to 5404 square feet. Each cottage is private and allows guests the ability to have a quiet stay on the lake with a home-like environment. There are fireplaces in all three cottages, as well as significant outside space including stone verandas and wrap around porches with seating. Each cottage has different bedroom options, including king size beds and double beds. There is also a butler’s kitchen in the two- and three-bedroom cottages, with a miniature refrigerator, sink, dishwasher, toaster oven, microwave, and coffeemaker. The Lake House cottage has a full modern chef’s kitchen and wet bar. The cabins accommodate up to eight adults but are not eligible to update to Club Level access as they are off-site.
For a less private but still luxurious experience at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, the main hotel building offers three suites as accommodations - the Club Suite, the Executive Suite, and the Ritz-Carlton Suite. Each suite is large in size (the Club and Executive are 894 square feet while the Ritz-Carlton comes in at 2390 square feet). Both the Ritz-Carlton and the Club Suites also provide access to the private Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge. Every three suites have lake views through large, glass windows and offer separate sitting and living areas for guests. The Ritz-Carlton Suite also has a fully equipped kitchenette and dining area. The suites can accommodate up to four adults.
Guests seeking a more traditional hotel experience can choose from one of two different guest room types - the Resort View or the Lake View. Each guest room has panoramic views and private balconies. The rooms are both 463 square feet in size and allow hotel guests the option to upgrade to access the Club Level/Club Lounge. Guests can choose from either a king size or two queen size beds, and each guest room can accommodate up to four adults.
Each cottage, suite, and guest room offer amenities to guests. Guests are provided with complimentary coffee, tea, or bottled water. There are also in-room safes for security. Flat screen televisions are located in each room as well and offer cable/satellite channel options including movie channels, ESPN, HBO, and CNN. Pay per view movies can also be purchased. Televisions also have internet access, allowing guests to also access Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, and Crackle. Complimentary turndown and housekeeping services are provided as well.
Each spacious marble bathrooms offers both a shower (with a “rainforest” shower head) and a bathtub, and have luxury bathroom amenities provided by Asprey, as well as terry cloth bathrobes and slippers for guests to use during their stay. There are double sinks with lighted shaving/makeup mirrors in the bathroom as well.
Beds in each accommodation are fitted with top quality linens, featherbeds, and comfortable, plush duvet covers. Suite rooms and cottages also offer an additional sofa bed.
Suite level guests have an honor bar and refrigerator, as well as an additional flat screen television. Some suite rooms also have extra half bathrooms/powder rooms.
Cottages also provide additional amenities, including personalized check-in experiences, an honor bar with local snacks and beers, a basket containing blankets and coffee mugs to use fireside, and two to five additional flat screen televisions. There is also a selection of lake themed movies to watch, and board games like Checkers, Chess, and Jenga. The two-bedroom cottage also has a whirlpool tub, while the Lake House cottage has an outdoor pool. The Lake House cottage also offers guests grocery shopping services.
High-speed wireless internet access can be added at an additional fee (except Club Level access guests, who are provided complimentary wireless internet access).
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Club Level and Club Lounge
For hotel guests who are staying in any of the suites or have upgraded to allow access, visiting at The Ritz-Carlton Club Level provides a variety of high-end amenities. Club Level access provides for two garment pressings complimentary per day, complimentary wireless internet access, a dedicated concierge staff, and a computer station that gives guests the ability to copy and fax.
The Lounge area is often described as being a “hotel within a hotel.” The lounge is located on the hotel’s fifth floor. It provides guests with complimentary cocktails and beverages, breakfast, hors-d'oeuvres, light fare lunches, and dessert with local produce and products. There are also exclusive experiences offered only at the Club Lounge like a house made pickle and bloody Mary bar, a bourbon tasting workshop, and seasonal spa customizable classes. They also provide kid-friendly options like board games.
Guest rooms and suites at The Ritz-Carlton are given 24 hours in-room dining access.
Guests who want to venture into the hotel can enjoy one of the many in-house dining experiences, all managed by the in-house culinary staff.
Georgia’s provides a relaxed atmosphere with food created from local and regional products. They are open for breakfast and dinner and provide a vegetarian menu as well as handcrafted cocktails and desserts. The food is southern influenced but contemporary in flavor. The dress is resort casual.
Linger Longer Steakhouse is a traditional steakhouse that is open for lunch and dinner. Reservations are strongly encouraged, and the dress code is resort casual. The steakhouse also has a variety of signature dessert souffles and an open kitchen format.
Gaby’s By the Lake is poolside and provides a casual menu with a relaxed, casual dress code. The menu is also casual, with pizza, sandwiches, salads, and grilled items. They also offer a cigar menu.
Chiminea Dining is a private option for guests to enjoy. Dinner is created just for two and served in front of a bonfire lakeside. Each meal is three courses and includes a bottle of either white or red wine as well as dessert.
The Barrel Room is an evening only experience staffed by Bourbon Stewards that are certified and ready to help guests choose the right cocktail. There are also appetizers available, and live music on Friday and Saturday evenings.
The Coffee Shop is also available for a takeout cup of Starbucks coffee, a pastry, or a cup of Honeysuckle brand gelato (offering six flavors - bourbon pecan, vanilla bean, raspberry sorbet, s’mores, dark chocolate, and sea salt caramel).
For hotel guests staying in the cottages, The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds offers a BBQ Butler with a variety of menu options. The butler will come to the cottage and prepare a full menu on-site, including side dishes, desserts, and beverages.
The full-service spa in The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds focuses on using local, Georgia products in their many spa treatment options, which include facials, massage, wraps, manicures/pedicures, and haircuts. There are also multiple relaxation lounges, a 24-hour fitness center (offered complimentary to all hotel guests), and an indoor pool. The spa also features a “Gent’s Den,” with a variety of whiskey inspired spa treatments, flat screen televisions broadcasting sports games, and a traditional barbershop. The spa is over 27,000 square feet in size and regular offers spa specials and featured treatments. A spa reservation agent is available to help each guest choose their perfect treatment.
The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds has five attached golf courses for guest use. Four are 18 holes (The Landing, The Preserve, The Oconee, and Great Waters), while one is 27 holes (The National). The courses were all designed by some of the most well-known architects of golf courses out there - Bob Cupp, Jack Nicklaus, Rees Jones, and Tom Fazio - and all are par 72. Golf packages and caddie services are available, and hotel guests should contact the Guest Relations Team or the dedicated golf advisor to schedule a tee time.
1 Lake Oconee Trail, Greensboro, GA, 30642, Phone: 706-467-0600
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More Ideas in GA: Lake Winnepesaukah
Located in Rossville, Georgia within the greater Chattanooga, Tennessee region, Lake Winnepesaukah is an 80-acre amusement park offering a variety of high, mild, and family thrill rides, along with a full water park facility offering family water rides.
Lake Winnepesaukah, commonly referred to as Lake Winnie, was opened by Carl and Minette Dixon in the summer of 1925. The park was named in honor of its nine-acre lake, which was known by the indigenous Abenaki word “winnipesaukee,” which is believed to translate as “beautiful water in a high place” or “beautiful lake of the highlands.” More than 5,000 visitors attended the park during its opening season, which offered boating, fishing, and picnicking activities. A 22,000-square-foot swimming pool was opened at the facility for the 1926 season, which was the largest pool of its kind in the southeastern United States at the time of its debut. In 1927, the park’s first ride attraction, the Boat Chute, was designed by Carl Dixon and opened to the public. The ride is believed today to be the oldest operating mill chute log ride of its kind in the United States. More rides were added to the park in the 1940s and 1950s, with the park’s first roller coasters added in 1960. Modern midway attractions were added throughout the end of the 20th century, and in 2003, a five-acre water park was added to the facility. In 2005, several attractions were transferred to the park from Panama City Beach in honor of the park’s 80th anniversary celebration.
Rides and Attractions
Today, Lake Winnepesaukah encompasses more than 80 acres, including a five-acre water park facility, and offers 38 high, mild, and family thrill rides for visitors of all ages. The park is modeled as a classic American fair park, offering a ride midway section, fair food vendors, and classic amusement games. The park is the home of several nationally-recognized rides, including the National Amusement Park Historical Association-recognized Boat Chute, the oldest mill chute water ride in the country, and the only known operating Eyerly Fly-O-Plane ride in the United States.
Thrill rides offered at the park include the Cannonball wooden roller coaster, constructed by the historic Philadelphia Toboggan Company and installed in 1967. The 2,272-foot coaster offers a vertical drop of 70 feet at its first hill and reaches maximum speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. Other coasters at the park include a Wild Lightnin’ wild mouse coaster, which takes visitors through a track of twists, hairpin turns, and sudden drops, and a Fire Ball single loop roller coaster. An Oh-Zone! drop tower ride offers a 14-story freefall at a velocity of 4.6Gs and a speed of 50 miles per hour. Other high thrill rides include a Conestoga magic carpet ride, a Twister inverted barrel ride, a Pirate Ship, and a Genie gravity floor-drop ride.
A large variety of midway rides are offered at the park, offering classic amusement thrills for visitors of all ages. An Alpine Way sky lift ride provides bird’s eye views of the park, while a traditional Ferris Wheel offers panoramic views and a Tour Train circles the park on a classic railroad track. Classic midway rides include an Antique Carrousel constructed by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1916, along with Scrambler, Paratrooper, Tilt-A-Whirl, Wave Swinger, Matterhorn, and Balloon rides. A Wacky Factory indoor dark ride is offered, along with Antique and Bumper Cars, a Sea Warrior monster-style ride, and a Super Slide classic park slide. Paddle boats may also be rented for use on the park’s lake.
Children’s rides at the park include the Wacky Worm family roller coaster, which offers mild thrills for first-time coaster riders. A Frog Hopper bounce drop ride, Parachute drop rides, and a Free Whale ride also offer mild thrills for young visitors. Children’s midway rides include Bumble Bees and Jumbo Elephants circular flying rides, Motorcycle and Silly Saucer spinning rides, and miniature Kiddie Boats, Kiddie Swings, and Sports Cars. A Stay and Play Hideaway interactive play area is also offered within the park’s Jukebox Junction performance venue.
At the SOKAYa Water Park, opened in 2013, seven ride and attraction areas are offered, including a Crazy River lazy river ride attraction and a Water Works interactive water play area with bucket drops and climbing areas. Water slides include the Splish-N-Splash body slides, the Twist-N-Shout tube slides, the Winnie 500 racing slides, and a Zoom Flume. A Soak-N-Slide children’s play area and a Coke Float Cove water obstacle course are also offered.
Refreshment stands and restaurants throughout the park serve standard American and fair food and include the Ferris Wheel Cafe, the Carrousel Cafe, and Scooter’s Pizza. A variety of traditional skill games are located throughout the park’s midway, offering chances to win prizes. Guest amenities at the park include stroller, locker, and cabana rentals, and a gift shop sells park souvenirs.
Ongoing Programs and Events
Group admission rates are offered for small groups of 25 or more, with catering options available with advance notice. Young visitors wishing to celebrate their birthdays at the park may rent the park’s Cake House picnic venue for two-hour party blocks with advance reservations. Several educational days are offered throughout the park’s operating season, incorporating curriculum activities into park attractions for school groups. Discount days are offered throughout the season for military members, families, and visitors bringing food donations for local charities. Annual special events include Mother’s and Father’s Day Carload Special days and a fireworks display on the Fourth of July.
1730 Lakeview Dr, Rossville, GA 30741, Phone: 706-866-5681
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