St. Simons Island is the largest in the Golden Isles group. It is surrounded by salt water marshes and covered with humongous pin oak trees draped with Spanish Moss. The trees are hard to photograph because they are so big. Their branches reach down almost to the ground, providing welcome shade during warmer months. It's a great spot to site and relax. Lots of geezers moseyed around with their dogs and one was covered with birds which he fed. They even landed on his head.
The touristy downtown is anchored by a newly restored light house. The keeper's home was restored as well and filled with furniture and implements from the time before all coast light houses were automated. When we climbed to the top we could almost see the Driftwood Beach we photographed yesterday on Jekyll Island, but remnants of morning fog obscured the view.
The light house is affiliated with the historic Coast Guard Station museum nearby. During the Great Depression, forty coast guard stations were built along the Atlantic Coast by the WPA using the same blue print. Today only three remain. You have to admire the brave people of the guard whose motto is, "You have to go out, but you don't have to come back." Today the location of the guard station is quite a distance from the beach. Shifting sands have altered the island boundaries. We took advantage of the wide beach and put up our beach chairs and listened to a few podcasts along with the crashing surf.
We toured Fort Frederica which was built by James Oglethorpe, the founder of Georgia colony in the early 1700's. The coast south of Charleston was contested by the Spanish who were based in Florida and Oglethorpe built a good sized town behind the fort. Many of the early settlers were the "honest poor" who might have been imprisoned in the poor house in England, if they had not "volunteered" to come here. Once the Spanish were defeated, the town and fort were abandoned and these days you have to use your imagination as you wander among the foundations of the homes and businesses that were built by early settlers.
We've seen a steady stream of large freighters coming and going from Brunswick, the mainland town in the Golden Isles area. When we peer through the vegetation as we drive around we can see enormous parking lots full of miles of cars. If you are driving a luxury foreign car like a BMW or Volvo, it probably arrived in the US here. The huge lots are well hidden by foliage, but the view on Google Earth reveals how huge this import operation is.