Georgia's coast is the ultimate vaycay spot for us locals of the state and it is just beautiful. There are multiple islands, marshes and wildlife refuges that you can explore and spend your weekend. Just off the coast of Savannah, you will find the best animal refuge in Georgia has more to offer than just the swamp.

The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge is the largest of its kind on the coast of Georgia. Sitting on 30,000 acres, there is a freshwater marsh, cypress swamps, and hardwood forest. This location is split between Georgia and South Carolina.

There is also a visitor center that has an interpretive trail bordering a cypress swamp and bird gardens that you can explore. You will also see historic rice fields, hiking and biking trails and a scenic drive through the marsh. Try to visit in September so you can go to the Shrimp & Grits Festival that will be happening right down the road. 


You are going to want to stop by the visitor's center before you begin exploring this large destination. It will give you a little background of what the refuge has to offer and what it does for the coast of Georgia. 

The grounds has a few trails that you can choose from. They range from a one-mile loop to four miles, depending on which one you end up on. Biking is also permittable here, so feel free to bring some wheels and get your exercise on. 

On your hikes, you will more than likely see one of the 250 species of birds that reside here. Dozens of alligators, salamanders, turtles, and snakes can be seen in the marshy areas that you will walk by, so keep a lookout for them!

If you would rather keep your distance from the wetlands and creatures that live in them, you need to take the scenic drive through it instead. The Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive is four miles and offers a different experience. You can stop at the different parking destinations along the trail and get out to read about the location. 

The refuge also holds events like paddleboarding and guided nature tours. These are great options if you are visiting a group. While you are at this location, you should adventure to Skidaway Island. This location has a smaller park, but great trails. 


Savannah Wildlife Refuge 

Price: Free!

Address: 694 Beech Hill Ln., Hardeeville, SC 29927 

Why You Need To Go: This destination sits on almost 30,000 acres of land with many trails you can explore and wildlife that you can see up close. 

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