In Cumberland Island, Georgia, the horses run free and you can only get there by ferry.
Wherever you end up, we think these wild Southern beaches may just be heaven on earth.
The South is home to many popular coastal getaways; from the Florida Keys to Galveston, Texas, to North Carolina’s Outer Banks, plenty of big-name islands dot the Southern coasts. But in between those brightly glowing beach towns, small, hidden islands preserve the true magic of old Southern beaches: wild horses, sandy dirt roads, and friendly locals who know their way around some seafood. These secluded Southern islands are a world their own: Cumberland Island, Georgia, Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, and Cedar Key, Florida.
Cumberland Island’s wild horses grazing at the ruins of Dungeness, a Carnegie family mansion destroyed by fire.
Greyfield Inn—the only lodging on Cumberland Island. (Unless you’re into camping!)
Head to Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, where Gullah-Geechee culture is preserved and local legends cook up traditional recipes daily. Pictured is the Melrose Resort.
Fried chicken and deviled crab the Old Daufuskie Crab Co., a locale where you can still get a taste of Gullah cooking.
The Iron Fish Gallery (Artist: Chase Allen) on Daufuskie Island.
In Cedar Key, a quiet gulf coast barrier island 135 miles north of Tampa, Florida, you can rent a kayak and check out the neighboring keys or go bird watching in the 800-acre Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge on this nature-loving island.
Kayaking in Cedar Key and neighboring Atsena Otie.
Harvesting Clams; Southern Sea Cross Farms; Cedar Key, Florida