With the Southern Grown Festival right around the corner, I thought that I’d highlight my all-time favorite resort, Sea Island. This five-mile long island off the coast of Georgia is truly a piece of paradise. It’s tough to put into words everything that makes this five star resort so special. It would take multiple posts to rave about the gracious staff, lowcountry landscape, award-winning food, vast array of activities, top-notch amenities and everything else that sets the resort apart. Therefore, I created a mini guide on this southern getaway for those of you planning a weekend retreat at Sea Island. If you’ve never been to Sea Island before, then reading about all they have to offer will have you dreaming of vacationing there. And don’t forget that you can still buy tickets to the Southern Grown Festival this weekend if you’re looking for plans!
As you may know, this resort is right in my backyard, literally. My neighborhood backs up to the Blank Banks River, which separates St. Simons Island from Sea Island. My husband also works at the resort — so it’s safe to say that this mini guide is tried and true. If you’ve been to Sea Island before, please share your recommendations and experiences below. We’d love to hear them!
Grab Lunch at the River Bar.
After checking in at the Cloister on Sea Island, head to the River Bar to relax and take a moment to enjoy the resort’s incredible atmosphere. Once you know what time you’re arriving, make a reservation for an outside table that overlooks the Black Banks River. You can start your vacation by enjoying a glass of rosé with mussels while soaking in the views of the lowcountry. Be sure to ask the staff about their other signature drinks, as this restaurant is also Sea Island’s flagship bar.
Explore the Cloister.
After lunch, explore the pristine grounds of the Cloister. Make sure to check out the Cloister Chapel next to the garden, the G-8 Summit room, light-filled atrium, and historic Spanish Lounge. Take a stroll along the Presidential Oaks, which is a time-honored tradition for Presidents and dignitaries, such as Clinton, Ford, Eisenhower, Carter and Lady Thatcher, to plant a live oak tree during their stay at Sea Island.
Soak In Sun at the Beach Club.
Relax at the adult pool over at Sea Island’s Beach Club. Just across the street from the Cloister is the Beach Club, where you can enjoy the afternoon by the pool with gorgeous ocean views, or head on out to the the beach. You can either dive in or lay out by the pool while the friendly staff brings you an adult beverage. On your way to the pool, stop by the cutest little sweet shop, Wonderland, for an ice cream cone or coffee.
Listen to the Sounds of the Bagpiper at Sunset.
One of my favorite things to do is head over to the Lodge on St. Simon’s Island. This hotel is part of Sea Island and you can easily get there on the resort’s complimentary shuttle. On your way, you will pass by the Avenue of the Oaks, which showcases Sea Island’s unparalleled southern charm. Grab a glass of wine from the Oak Room and head out to the lawn, where you can enjoy the sounds of the Bagpiper and ocean views while relaxing on an adirondack chair. Make sure to get their early to secure a good spot since listening to the bagpiper “put the golf course to rest” is an extremely popular tradition.
Enjoy Dinner at Colt and Allison.
For dinner, walk over to Colt and Allison, the Lodge’s steakhouse. Definitely try their fresh seafood and dry aged steaks. I’m a big fan of the caesar salad that’s prepared table side, the creamed corn, steak au poivre, and you have to order their souffle!
Grab a Late Night Cocktail at the Georgian Room Lounge.
Order a handcrafted 1920’s inspired cocktail from one of the talented bartenders at the Georgian Room Lounge. It’s located at the Cloister, making it the perfect spot for a nightcap before you head to bed. If you’re in the mood for a late night bite, the Shoshito Peppers are a must-try.
Enjoy the Sea Island Spa.
I love when my husband gifts me with a spa service for special occasions. The facilities are top notch and the services are even better. Try a facial or a stone massage and relax in the mineral tubs, sauna or steam room afterwards.
Take In the View of the Water with a Fishing Trip.
If you want to go fishing off the Georgia coast, you can walk past the Black Banks Terrace and head to the Cloister Dock, which sits on the Black Banks River. There you will see Sea Island’s fishing boats and Captains that are ready to take you out to the marsh or open water, where you can reel in your catch. They will also clean your fish for you so you can have it cooked for you for dinner that night! Don’t worry if you’re not an experienced fisherman, the Captain will walk you through the entire process!
Enjoy Lunch at Southern Tide.
Not only does this restaurant have beautiful views of the Atlantic ocean, but Southern Tide also has fresh seafood options. This is a great afternoon lunch spot at the Beach Club and you’ll stay cool thanks to the ocean breezes. I’d highly recommend the sautéed Grouper and Basil Smash cocktail.
Explore Sea Island by Bike.
After lunch, stop by the bike shop, Pedal, right next to the Beach Club. Hop on a bike and explore the majestic homes that add charm and character to Sea Island.
Sip On Pre-Dinner Cocktails on the Black Banks Terrace.
Before heading to dinner, check out to the Black Banks Terrace. You can play a game of Bocce Ball right on the water while thinking about what you’re going to order for dinner at Tavola.
Eat Fresh Pasta at Tavola.
Oh my, Tavola is probably my favorite restaurant at Sea Island because I love pasta and pizza. You can’t go wrong with anything on their menu! If I had to name some of my favorite dishes they would be the classic Tagliatelle alla Bolognese, Meat Lasagna, Margherita Pizza and Chicken Parmesan…although they are all incredible!
Trust me when I say you can’t visit Sea Island without playing Bingo–it’s certainly not your average game of bingo. This is a dressy affair in the ballroom where jackets are required. Hundreds of people participate in this over 40 year old beloved tradition.
Eat Breakfast at the Georgian Room.
The stately fireplace with a carved stone mantel, gold and crystal chandeliers, and impeccable tableside service conspire together to create a magical breakfast setting.
Practice Skeet Shooting at Sea Island’s Shooting School.
Located on Sea Island, stop by one of the oldest standing buildings to experience clay shooting over the marsh. The Sea Island Shooting School is ranked among the nation’s best and was one of the first Skeet clubs in the country.
Set Sail with the Sea Island Sailing School.
The Sea Island Sailing School is a three-hour experience for beginners. The school begins at the Rainbow Island Dock with basic sailing instruction on a Sunfish sailboat in Black Banks River. Then, the school moves to the open ocean for instruction on a Hobie Cat Wave.
There are so many other incredible options that Sea Island offers its guests like kayaking, tennis, squash, Broadfield Hunting Preserve, horse back riding on the beach and much more. If you visit Sea Island, be sure to document it on Instagram and use the hashtag #seaisland.