Beach Vacation Question

I see here that the state set aside $3.5 million to preserve some land on St. Simons Island.

That leads me to a question. Georgia seems to have a good bit of coast along the Atlantic though, admittedly, a good bit is marsh. But, when I go to the beach, I go to Hilton Head or Amelia Island or Gulf Shores.

Is there actually a real beach vacation spot in Georgia? Seriously? One in which I can stay someplace reasonably priced that is not a roach motel and is actually on the actual beach?

We were in Gulf Shores last week. Five of us split a total of $1500.00 for seven nights in a three bedroom three bathroom condo on the 14th floor of a very nice building right on the beach. There was an indoor-outdoor pool, hot tub, fitness center, and of course the beach. We had a nice balcony, a full kitchen and living room, broadband internet, a laundry room in our condo, etc.

It was great.

Does such a thing exist in Georgia? I’ve lived here for almost 15 years and every person I know who goes to the beach goes out of state, unless they actually can afford the King & Prince or own a house at Tybee or St. Simons.

Oh, and if you have a place on the beach don’t you want Christy, Evelyn, and me to come visit?

18 comments

  1. Mike-El says:

    We always go to Tybee because there are great rates available after Labor Day and you know how long it stays warm here. Maybe not enough night life and go-cart/putt-putt courses for some folks but that’s what we like about it. There’s nothing to do in Tybee but relax.

  2. drjay says:

    when i was growing up we always made fun of tybee, called the local poor white trash, usually took a boat to daufuskie to “go to the beach” i have been back in savannah for 3 years now and am amazed at how much the beach down there has changed–there are several decent restaurants, the pier has food and a tiki bar and often has entertainment during the summer, and at least a couple of decent lodging options from renting a house or condo for the week to spending a weekend at the ocean plaza (its not the ritz but it is not a “roach motel” either)

    http://www.oceanplaza.com/

    for many years tybee stayed hidden b/c the access is not great and frankly i think the locals liked it that way–it will never be jeckyl or hilton head or anything but it is not a bad option for a quick getaway–and you can always spend the day at the beach and the nite in sav’h if you wish

  3. jm says:

    We’ve vacationed in Savannah and then hit the beach at Tybee, its a great way to diversify a vacation so its not just beach all the time.

    I went to a science teacher’s convention on Jekyll a few years back and brought my wife. Our hotel room faced the beach. Of course, its just not the same in February.

  4. SpaceyG says:

    My mom has a place on a SC beach, Erick, and you’re more than welcome to visit, but the island’s so overrun with rich, boorish Yankees and their hideous monster homes now it’s just not the same salty, shabby, affordable, lowkey, unpretentious, local flavor anymore.

    And since they raised the drinking age and shut down the Charleston Naval Base, there aren’t even any more great drunken bar brawls at the infamous Windjammer between Citadel cadets, the “knobs”, and the Navy enlisted men, the “squids.” And a shark bit two people this summer too. I say stick with Florida.
    http://www.the-windjammer.com/

  5. Doug Deal says:

    I was in Savannah labor day weeend, and Tybee had hotels advertising $99 rates, that were right on the beach.

    Instead, we stayed on Bay street in Savannah at the Hampton Inn and got a very nice room for 130 a night.

  6. JRM2016 says:

    Erick,

    Did you stay at one of the Phoenix properties?

    Gulf Shores is pretty fantastic and actually has some interesting history vis-a-vis Alabama politics. But another story for another day.

  7. Skeptical says:

    I’m glad that Gulf Shores has recovered well after Ivan. It really did a number on the beach there. The poor Florabama…

  8. John Walraven says:

    The aforementioned Hurricane is the reason the reasonably-priced, brand new homes are there for the renting at Gulf Shores. I was there in late April and couldn’t believe how many very nice properties were available for rent. The place had little traffic and everything was new. I’m surely going back.

  9. DoubleDawg3 says:

    It’s not in Georgia…but if you’re looking for another option, Pensacola Beach is a wonderful place.

    There’s a new resort, Portifino Resort, located near the end of the Pensacola Beach strip (the road dead ends not far past it)…fantastic place, has the bay on one side, the gulf on the other and it’s bordered on one side by the National Seashore’s Park – so no other hotels nearby and lots of pristine white beaches that are not crowded at all.

  10. Mark Rountree says:

    Folks, like DoubldDawg said: “it’s not Georgia…but…”

    Go to Isle of Palms and/or Wild Dunes Resort.

    Wild Dunes is 20 minutes from downtown Charleston, has beachfront golf, world class tennis, etc.

    Charleston has more good restaurants per capita than anywhere west of Italy.

  11. GAWire says:

    It’s time I give you a tour through the beauty that Georgia’s Old South coastal communities offer.

    If you want to see college dropouts riding mopeds, wearing socks under their birkenstocks and offering Mardis Gras beads to girls hanging out the back of a little Isuzu pickup truck following the Girls Gone Wild bus … then by all means, drive to Gulf Shores (or PC, Destin, etc).

    However, if you prefer to vacation in the same style that the Rockefellers and the Kennedys did at Cumberland Island or the Vanderbilts did on Sea Island or JP Morgan on Jekyll or where the birthplace of the Methodist Church took place at the second oldest church in the country on St Simons, then join us to experience the remaining life of the Old South.

    Spacey is correct about the SC coastal towns.

    Wild Dunes, as Mark points out, is certainly nice and the golf is good. Charleston is actually an awesome place. But again, SC is a slightly different, in that they do have quite a few carpetbaggers. Charleston is an awesome place for business and commerce (or to purchase a good bespoke suit), but vacation town it is not.

    Georgia’s barrier islands do not allow carpetbaggers. Sure, you don’t HAVE to live elsewhere in Georgia to enjoy it, but for those coming from out of the state, it is likely they get the sense that they just don’t fully understand the full beauty and richness in which we take so much pride.

    All that said, forego the King & Prince. It’s nice, but let the legislators have it. I’m going to set you up (offline) with the coolest guy on the coast who owns the nicest inn (which is aside from his real estate and development operations that dominate the non-Sea Island properties) down there, which also just happens to be Sonny’s favorite vacation spot.

  12. Mark Rountree says:

    “but vacation town it is not”

    GA Wire is clearly a well-traveled connoisseur of fine southern travel. Well done.

    But I cannot agree with you on Charleston not being a vacation town.

    Miles of beaches on surrounding barrier islands (Isle of Palms, Kiawah, Seabrook, Folly Isle)

    The Dock Street Theater, which is oldest live playhouse in America, miles of the oldest homes in America (…Sherman didn’t burn Savannah), Ft. Sumpter Tours, boating, Boone Hall Plantation, Spoleto art festival, world class dining, and more History Tours than Granny Clampet can shake a stick at.

    And for those of you who will choose to remember, you will be glad:

    go to Garibaldi’s Restaurant at the Market and order the finest meal I’ve ever had: their signature dish, served for decades, is the apricot-glazed flounder. Order that as your meal, but get the gazpacho soup first.

    If it’s not the finest meal you’ve ever had, send me the bill. 🙂

  13. GAWire says:

    Mark, good points. I like the haunted ghost tours and the old slave market. We recently purchased partial equity in the old Cigar Factory, which will be renovated to be condos, offices and retail. We’ll have to get together sometime when we’redown there.

  14. Mark Rountree says:

    GAWire, Great call. Been to Dunleavys Irish on Sullivans?

    When i was a kid I worked on a temp job in some office of that building — the Cigar Factory. They’re pushing that new condo project hard. Ihear it’ll do well.

    Our place there is on Isle of Palms. I’m down there about once every other week (actually more) since this is an off-election year. Go to our website and email me your contact info- http://www.landmarkcommunications.net

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