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Golden Isles History

The area contains many historically significant sites including Fort Frederica established by James Oglethorpe in 1736, the St. Simons Island lighthouse originally built in 1810, and the Brunswick waterfront where Liberty Ships were constructed during WWII—and a story accompanies each location. Many Plantation-era structures remain and the beautiful Jekyll Island Historic District is rich with period architecture. The area is filled with historic structures and sites, many accompanied by detailed historic markers that make self-exploration and adventure.


With two towns competing as the creator of the popular Southern stew, its exact origin is still under debate. But around here, Brunswick, Georgia certainly holds the title of first and best Brunswick Stew over Brunswick County, Virginia.

Recipes for Brunswick Stew vary, but it is typically a tomato-based stew with local vegetables including lima beans, corn and okra along with meat. Some include potatoes, but its signature feature is its consistency—true Brunswick Stew must be thick. Brunswick Stew is typically made in large pots, simmering for long lengths of time.

Each October, Brunswick, Georgia celebrates its signature dish with the Brunswick Rockin’ Stewbille. Attendees taste and vote for the annual title of Best Brunswick Stew.

Golden Isles Brunswick Stew

World Famous Brunswick Stew

Southern Soul’s Brunswick Stew


    Thirty-three of the original winter homes of the wealthiest families in this country still stand, with many mansion-sized cottages now open to the public. Numerous service buildings have been converted to specialty shops or restaurants. The original Clubhouse has been restored and is currently in use as a resort hotel. The Historic District is located on the west side of Jekyll Island near the entrance to the Jekyll Island Causeway.


    The tabby ruins of Georgia’s first brewery are located on Riverview Drive. Built by Major Horton, an aide to General Oglethorpe, Georgia’s founder, the brewery supplied ale to troops and settlers at Fort Frederica on St. Simons Island.


    Located on Riverview Drive, this two-story ruin, dating from 1742, is one of the oldest standing tabby structures in the state. Tabby is a building material native to coastal Georgia having crushed oyster shells as its principal ingredient. Located nearby is the old du Bignon family cemetery.


    A scenic drive through moss-draped oaks and along the wide marshlands bounding Clam Creek leads to this popular picnicking spot that includes a large, covered fishing pier.


    Tucked serenely away in a quiet corner of the Historic District is picturesque Faith Chapel. This small, wooden church, complete with gargoyles guarding its entrance, has an unusual warmth and charm. Built in 1904 for interdenominational worship, Faith Chapel was attended by the wealthy and powerful members of the Jekyll Island Club.