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The Cloister
Type: Hotels
Location: Sea Island
Address: Sea Island Dr. Sea Island, GA
Phone: 912-638-3611
The Cloister undeniably lives up to its celebrity status as a grand coastal resort. You can get a spacious, comfortably appointed room or suite in the Spanish Mediterranean-style hotel -- designed by Florida architect Addison Mizner -- or in the property's later-built Ocean Houses, which offer 56 dramatic suites connected by lavish house parlors with fireplaces and staffed bars. The state-of-the-art spa at the Cloister is in a beautiful building all its own. You also get access to the nearby Sea Island Golf Course.

Suwanee Canal Recreation Area
Type: Nature Preserves/Parks
Location: Folkston
Address: Rte. 2 Folkston, GA
Phone: 912-496-7156
Suwanee Canal Recreation Area, 8 mi southwest of Folkston via Route 121, is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Stop first at the visitor center, with exhibits on the Okefenokee's flora and fauna. A boardwalk takes you over the water to a 50-ft observation tower. The concession has equipment rentals and daily food service; you may sign up here for one- or two-hour guided boat tours. Hikers, bicyclists, and private motor vehicles are welcome on the Swamp Island Drive; several interpretive walking trails may be taken along the way. Picnicking is allowed. Wilderness canoeing and camping in the Okefenokee's interior are by reserved permit only (for which a fee is charged). Permits are hard to get, especially in cool weather. Call refuge headquarters (912/496-3331) when it opens at 7 AM exactly two months in advance of your desired starting date. Guided overnight canoe trips can be arranged by refuge concessionaire Carl E. Glenn Jr. Other location: Refuge headquarters: Rte. 2, Box 3330, Folkston, 912-496-7836. $5 per car; 1-hr tours $11; 2-hr tours $19. Refuge Mar.-Sept. 10, daily 6:30 AM-7:30 PM; Sept. 11-Feb., daily 8-6.

Summer Waves
Type: Amusement Parks
Location: Jekyll Island
Address: 210 S. Riverview Dr. Jekyll Island, GA
Phone: 912-635-2074
Summer Waves, an 11-acre water park, has an 18,000-square-ft wave pool, water slides, a children's activity pool with two slides, and a circular river for tubing and rafting. You are not permitted to bring your own equipment. $14.95. Late May-early Sept. (and some additional weekends in early May and late Sept.), Sun.-Fri. 10-6, Sat. 10-8 (hrs vary at beginning and end of season).

Stephen C. Foster State Park
Type: Nature Preserves/Parks
Location: Fargo
Address: Fargo, GA
Phone: 912-637-5274
Stephen C. Foster State Park, 18 mi northeast of Fargo via Route 177, is an 80-acre island park within the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. The park encompasses a large cypress-and-black-gum forest, a majestic backdrop for one of the thickest growths of vegetation in the southeastern United States. Park naturalists leading boat tours will spill out a wealth of Okefenokee lore while you observe alligators, birds, and native trees and plants. You may also take a self-guided excursion in rental canoes and a motorized flat-bottom boat. Campsites and cabins are available. $5 per vehicle to National Wildlife Refuge.

St. Simons Lighthouse
Type: Museums/Galleries/Nautical Sites
Location: St. Simons Island
Address: 101 12th St. St. Simons Island, GA
Phone: 912-638-4666
St. Simons Lighthouse, a beacon since 1872, is virtually the symbol of St. Simons. The Museum of Coastal History, in the lightkeeper's cottage, has a permanent exhibit of coastal history. $4, including lighthouse. Mon.-Sat. 10-5, Sun. 1:30-5.

Neptune Park
Type: Amusement Parks
Location: St. Simons Island
Address: 550 Beachview Dr. St. Simons Island, GA
Phone: 912-638-2393
Neptune Park, on the island's south end, has picnic tables, a children's play park, miniature golf, and beach access. A swimming pool ($3 per person), with showers and rest rooms, is open each summer in the Neptune Park Casino.

Little St. Simons Island
Type: Islands
Location: Little St. Simons Island
Six miles long, 2-3 mi wide, and skirted by Atlantic beaches and salt marshes teeming with birds and wildlife, this privately owned resort is custom-made for Robinson Crusoe-style getaways. The island's only development is a rustic but comfortable guest compound. Guided tours, horseback rides, canoe trips, fly-fishing lessons, and other extras can be arranged, some for no additional charge. Inquire about the advisability of bringing children, as there are some limitations. In summer day tours can be arranged.

The island's forests and marshes are inhabited by deer, armadillos, horses, raccoons, gators, otters, and more than 200 species of birds. As a guest you're free to walk the 6 mi of undisturbed beaches, swim in the mild surf, fish from the dock, and seine (you and others take a net, walk into the ocean, and drag the net back to shore) for shrimp and crabs in the marshes. There are also horses to ride, nature walks with experts, and other island explorations via boat or the back of the hotel's pickup truck. From June through September up to 10 nonguests per day may visit the island by reservation; the $75 cost includes the ferry to the island, an island tour by truck, lunch at the lodge, and a beach walk. Contact the Lodge on Little St. Simons Island (912/638-7472) for more information.

Jekyll Island Beaches
Type: Beaches
Location: Jekyll Island
Jekyll's clean, mostly uncommercialized public beaches are free and open year-round. Bathhouses with rest rooms, changing areas, and showers are open at regular intervals along the beach.

Fort King George State Historic Site
Type: Military Sites
Location: Darien
Address: Fort King George Dr. Darien, GA
Phone: 912-437-4770
Georgia's oldest fort was named for England's George I. The cypress blockhouse, earthen fort, and barracks were built in 1721 as the British Empire's southernmost outpost. $5. Tues.-Sat. 9-5, Sun. 2-5:30.

Fort Frederica National Monument
Type: Military Sites
Location: St. Simons Island
Address: Frederica Rd. St. Simons Island, GA
Phone: 912-638-3639
At the burgeoning north end of the island there's a marina, a golf club, and a housing development, as well as Fort Frederica National Monument, the ruins of a fort built by English troops in the mid-1730s as a bulwark against a Spanish invasion from Florida. Around the fort are the foundations of homes and shops. Start at the National Park Service Visitors Center, which has a film and displays. $4 per car. Daily 8-5.

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Type: Nature Preserves
Location: Cumberland Island
Address: Box 806 Cumberland Island National Seashore, GA
Phone: 912-882-4335
In the early 1970s the federal government established the Cumberland Island National Seashore and opened this natural treasure to the public. There is no transportation on the island itself, and the only public access to the island is via the Cumberland Queen, a reservations-only, 146-passenger ferry based near the National Park Service Information Center at St. Marys. Ferry bookings are heavy in summer, but cancellations and no-shows often make last-minute space available. Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance.

From the park-service docks at the island's south end, you can follow wooded nature trails, swim and sun on 18 mi of undeveloped beaches, go fishing and bird-watching, and view the ruins of Thomas Carnegie's great estate, Dungeness. You can also join history and nature walks led by park-service rangers. Bear in mind that summers are hot and humid and that you must bring everything you need, including your own food, soft drinks, sunscreen, and a reliable insect repellent. Round-trip ferry $12, day pass $4, annual pass $20. Mid-May-Sept., ferry departure from St. Marys daily at 9 and 11:45, from Cumberland Mar.-Nov., Wed.-Sat. at 10:15, 2:45, and 4:45, Sun.-Tues. at 10:15 and 4:45. No ferry service Dec.-Feb. Tues.-Wed.

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