As short, chilly days enveloped the UK we jetted off for two weeks of sunshine and fun on a family trip through Florida and Georgia. It was the perfect time of year to visit without the crowds of summer but still lots of warmth.
We started our travels in Orlando, flying in for four days of fun at Universal and all the fast pace and happy times of the theme parks. It was the perfect sunny blast to start our trip off and we had the best time here.
After four days we headed off, snaking north up through Interstate 95, watching the Floridian houses with swimming pools in large resorts give way to open countryside, bathed in the sunshine. We passed through Jacksonville with its small cluster of skyscrapers huddled together, gleaming and bouncing sun beams between itself and then suddenly crossed over the St. Marys River in to Georgia.
The change of the landscape as we headed in to Georgia was remarkable, wide plains stretching out as far as the eye could see, bridges crossing huge fast-flowing rivers with reeds tall and proud, bending in the wind and cushioning the banks of the river.
It was beautiful and I loved Georgia from the moment we arrived.
An hour in to Georgia we entered the island of Jekyll.
As soon as I heard of Jekyll Island I wanted to visit, its name is so evocative and full of intrigue. We drove down the main road, trees heavy with Spanish Sea moss and the light fading sending brilliant orange pangs across the sky. It was truly beautiful.
As the Jekyll Island Club suddenly appeared in front of us it felt as though we’d arrived two hundred years earlier. Every corner and wooden board looked as though it belonged in another era, it was fairytale like.
We spent a few days on Jekyll Island, relaxing, catching our breath and enjoying family time together. The Jekyll Island Club and Resort was beautiful and we relaxed within it, wandering the huge grounds, climbing trees and rocking in the chairs set all over canopied porches.
We hired bikes and cycled miles across the island, through paths dark from the overhanging Spanish Sea Moss which we reached up to grab handfuls of as we whizzed past.
Over tiny wooden bridges with copper coloured creeks below, the warm air on our faces, legs pedalling and us all shouting happy ponderings to each other.
We cycled to Driftwood Beach, now one of my favourite stretches of beach. Huge limbs of bleached out trees lay across the white sand. Branches gnarled and twisted they were perfect to clamber across.
We spent so long here, returning twice more as we just fell in love with it, watching the sun set here where the branches created eery shadows.
Then we were off to our next Georgian Island of St Simon’s which was just as beautiful but very different. Bigger than Jekyll it had all the amenities you would need and lots to see. We loved the main little harbour area where the playground stretched down on to the sand.
We spent our time here at The King & Prince Resort, enjoying good food, swims in the warm pool and morning walks on the beach.
We also got to spend Halloween on the island and found the most amazing housing development to go Trick or Treating at where the welcome was so unbelievably warm and family friendly and people spilled out of homes on to the streets to create a fun, party atmosphere. It was the perfect Halloween and we came back laden with candy.
We didn’t want to spend too much sleepy island time though and headed in to Savannah for a day of fun and exploration there. I couldn’t get over the beauty of Savannah, colourful buildings full of character that I longed to delve in to and a pretty waterfront area full of characterful shops.
We ran through Forsyth park, played in the children’s museum and jumped on old steam train engines. It was a jam-packed day of fun and has definitely left us all wanting more.
Then it was out of Georgia, back in to Florida for one last blast of relaxation at another of the country’s islands, this time Amelia Island, a couple of hours north of Orlando. We wanted to explore and find out everything about this large but beautiful island but staying at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort it just begged us to stay and relax. So we did.
We swam in the pool, walked on the beach, built sandcastles, jumped waves and bathed in the beautiful sunshine. We didn’t want to leave.
Our family trip through Florida and Georgia really was filled with old southern charm. We loved the contrast between the fast paced Orlando theme parks and the beautiful, calm of Georgia and it’s definitely a state we want to return to and spend longer in.
Have you been to Georgia? What is your favourite thing to do there?