SEA ISLAND, GEORGIA
WRITTEN BY BLAKE MILLER
OPENING SPREAD: Located in Georgia’s barrier islands, The Sea Island Resort is one of the South’s preeminent luxury beach resorts. BELOW: Bike paths and walkways are shaded by centuries-old towering oak trees. OPPOSITE FROM LEFT: Guests can partake in falconry lessons and more. The Cloister at Sea Island was built in 1928. The Sea Island Resort works with local farmers and purveyors to bring guests the freshest ingredients.
There’s something so calming about the water gently lapping on the shore and a cool breeze brushing the tall oak trees strewn with Spanish moss. Maybe that’s why the moment you set foot on Sea Island, Georgia you feel a calm come over you. That’s what has drawn generations of families and couples alike to the resort for decades. Encompassing two private islands, the Forbes Five-Star Resort features The Cloister and The Lodge at Sea Island.
While The Cloister has been the mainstay property since its opening in 1928, it was the addition of The Lodge that elevated Sea Island to another level of excellence. Reminiscent of an English manor, The Lodge is classic Southern elegance. When it was built in 2001, it became a hub for both golfers and huntsman. Prior to that, touring pro Davis Love III moved his family to Sea Island where he taught golf, which served as the impetus for what is now the Gold Performance Center. This 17,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility features industry-leading golf technology, a full-service golf club workshop, gym with locker rooms, six instruction and club fitting bays, and a putting studio designed by world-renowned instructor Phil Kenyon.
The Lodge has even more to offer today. A $25 million renovation resulted in the addition of six luxury cottages, an 18-hole putting course, an oceanfront pool and pool house, an expanded driving range, and a new putting green and short-game area. Whether you want to hit the links or escape the busyness of daily life, there are plenty of options on the property.
The resort is known for its golf, of course. But you’d be remiss if you didn’t start your morning by renting a bike and riding through the quiet, secluded streets. Stately homes line your path as you wind around Sea Island.
Head to the Shooting School where you can choose from skeet, trap, or 5-stand sessions led by a trained instructor who will guide you through the process. Kids can partake, too, with archery and air rifle options. Prefer the water? Set up a chair on the beach or opt for a sunset kayak tour, which guides you through beautiful, sun-kissed marshes.
When it’s time to unwind, there’s no better place to do so than The Spa at Sea Island. It has a slew of award-winning services, but the true standout is the indoor garden atrium with a running stream.
If your favorite part of a vacation is the food, you won’t be disappointed. The chef’s table at the Georgian Room is a remarkable experience as you’re immersed in the kitchen, watching closely as the chefs prepare dinner. The Lodge features the critically acclaimed Colt & Allison. The classic American steakhouse is situated on the Plantation Course’s 18th hole, providing stunning panoramic views of the green and beyond.
If you can, stay in one of the brand-new cottages at The Lodge. The interiors of each cottage are warm and inviting with luxurious traditional furnishings, working fireplaces, and perfectly framed ocean views. However you visit Sea Island, you’ll come to know it as a resort where reunions take place, marriages are sealed, kids learn to swim, and traditions are made.
When to Go: With nearly year-round temperate weather, there truly isn’t a bad time to visit Sea Island. Spring and fall are ideal if you’re looking to beat the hot and humid summer months. But with so many water and beach activities, summer is a fan favorite.
How to Get There: Fly into either Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), which is one hour away or fly into Savannah International Airport (SAV), which is a one-hour-and-fifteen-minute drive. It’s also a twenty-minute drive from Brunswick Golden Isles Airport (BQK) serviced by ASA/The Delta Connection.
What to Pack: Depending on the time of year, shorts and a t-shirt are your best options. Don’t forget cocktail attire for dinner at the Georgian Room or Colt & Allison. Winter months can have a slight chill, so bring a coat too.