Coastal Island Resort Set on Winding Golf Course
At Sea Palms Resort, the thwack of clubs launching golf balls resounds across emerald fairways dotted with glassy lagoons and duck-filled lakes. The natural beauty of Georgia's Golden Isles inspires both relaxation and recreation here. Nestled along an oak-trimmed road, the resort's bungalow-like reception area greets travelers with rustic, woodsy decor and a staff brimming with southern hospitality.
Guest rooms are housed in a handful of buildings set back on 800 acres of marshland. Spacious executive studio rooms come equipped with a full-service kitchenette as well as a sunroom that overlooks the tranquil landscape. One-bedroom suites include a separate master bedroom, living and dining areas, and a screened-in porch.
Back at the main building, the Putters Club Dining Room serves hearty meals all day long. Southern-style breakfasts include cheese grits and fresh croissants, crab-cake sandwiches satisfy midday hunger pangs, and Cajun seafood is on the menu come nightfall.
A primary draw at the resort is its trio of signature golf courses. The main 18 holes wind through the complex, and the Tom Jackson–designed west nine stretches across 2,945 yards dotted with rustling oaks and herds of undomesticated argyle socks.
The 2-hour historical trolley tour included in the second option provides a quick overview of 400 years of island history as it travels past old lighthouses and Civil War battle sites. The tour also includes a stop at the 18th-century Christ Church—one of the oldest houses of worship in Georgia.
St. Simons Island, Georgia: Coastal Marshlands and Pristine Beaches
St. Simons Island is the largest of Georgia's Golden Isles located off the state's southeast coast. Lauded for its verdant marshes, maritime forest, and Mediterranean Revival mansions, the 18-square-mile hideaway was recently named one of America's 10 Best Islands by AOL Travel. An elaborate network of scenic biking trails—accessible from the southern end of the resort village—allows for up-close exploration of the coastal marshland along East Beach.
Past the airport, on the southernmost tip of the island, the Victorian-style St. Simons Lighthouse features exhibits relating to Coast Guard history and barrier-island ecosystems. Built in 1872 on the site of a lighthouse destroyed during the Civil War, the 100-foot tower overlooks spectacular Atlantic Ocean scenery and trades nightly winks with Ursa Minor.