When people think of Georgia’s coast, they usually think of sun and sandy beaches, not history, but the coast has a rich past. Georgia was the last of the thirteen original colonies to be founded. James Oglethorpe envisioned it as a refuge for debtors, but the English Crown saw it as a buffer for Spanish controlled Florida. Later it was the plantation economy that defined Georgia prosperity. Make history come alive with a visit to one of these three places along the Georgia coast. You can defend a fort, walk through a Colonial town, and see for yourself what it was like to live on an authentic Southern plantation.
Fort King Georgia. Photo courtesy of http://edrowley.net/
Fort King George: Fort King George is located in Darien. The pre-revolutionary fort has been completely rebuilt, and includes a three-story blockhouse, and bunkhouse, as well as out buildings and a small museum. The best part of our visit to Fort King George was the wooden guns we borrowed from the museum to play army throughout the grounds.
Fort Frederica. Photo courtesy of Georgia Encyclopedia.
Fort Frederica: Fort Frederica is located on St. Simons Island. In pre-colonial days, soldiers at the fort guarded the coast from the Spanish who occupied nearby St. Augustine. Although the buildings are only ruins now, Fort Frederica engages kids (and adults) with a small, but interactive museum and one of the best Junior Ranger programs I’ve seen. Kids borrow a haversack of materials and use a booklet to hunt through the town of Frederica to find Mr. Demere and give him an important letter from General Oglethorpe. Along the way they learn about interpreters, tavern keepers, candle makers, soldiers and being a kid in colonial times.
Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation. Photo courtesy of SoutheasternPhotography.com
Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation: A real life Tara, Hofwyl-Broadfield was a typical antebellum rice plantation. After the Civil War, rice was a difficult crop. Even so, plantation owners grew the crop until the early 1900s before turning to dairy cows to make ends meet. A museum and tour chronicle the plantations heyday through modern times. When you go, bring a picnic from nearly award winning Southern Soul BBQ and enjoy it under the magnificent magnolia trees.
Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation and Fort King George are part of the Georgia State Park system. To visit for free, check out a Georgia State Parks pass from any Georgia Public Library.
Sue Rodman is Georgia’s official Smart Travel Explorer and the editor and publisher of the award-winning family travel blog Field Trips with Sue. Click here for more Smart Travel content from Sue.
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