Things to Do

Darien: Georgia's Hidden Gem of the Golden Isles 

Here in Georgia's second oldest planned city, many new wonders await year-round attributing to Darien and McIntosh County's unique blend of history and natural beauty. Halfway between Jacksonville and Savannah lies McIntosh County and the town of Darien.  Beyond the historic and naturally scenic atmosphere of Darien are many festive and cultural opportunities to experience the best of Coastal Georgia. Scottish Heritage Days, the Blessing of the Fleet, and the Darien Fall Fest are the most popular events, bringing thousands of visitors to the Waterfront Park and newly revitalized downtown area each year. We boast one of the world's largest estuarine systems swimming with seafood that is harvested locally. While we know you will find your favorite place in history whether it be Fort King George, Ashantilly, or the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation; our best advice is sure to be dining on local seafood at one of our restaurants.

Waterfront Park

Sit back and relax or take a stroll in this historic park located on the banks of the Darien River. There's an activity for everyone from playgrounds for the kids to fishing from the dock. In the 19th Century, Waterfront Park was the busiest seaport along the Southeast coast. Come get a look at the city's history or join the crowds at The Blessing of the Fleet festival held every April.

Sapelo Island

Sapelo Island is a state-protected barrier island located in McIntosh County, Georgia. It's the fourth largest in a chain of coastal islands between the Savannah and St. Mary's rivers. The island is accessible only by aircraft or boat; the primary ferry comes from the Sapelo Island Visitors Center in McIntosh County, Georgia, a seven-mile, twenty-minute trip.


If you want the full beachside village experience, then St. Simons Island, GA is the place for you. You can do what you please with golf, beaches, high end spa, shopping and delicious restaurants. Saint Simons is a short 25 minute drive from Darien.


Saint Cyprians Church is one of the few African-American Episcopal churches in the state of Georgia and is part of the Episcopal community of Mcintosh County. Take in a Sunday worship service while you are visiting if you are so inclined.


Are you up for a beach adventure? Then set out on a journey to discover marshes, live oaks draped in Spanish moss, and wide, sandy beaches. Don't miss the sunset for the best view from Jekyll Island! Jekyll is a 30 minute drive from Darien.


During the antebellum period in the south, rice plantations were a major mainstay of the local economy. The Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation is a beautiful testament to the history and culture of Georgia's rice coast.


Just a short 20 minute drive from Darien is the Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge. It is one of seven refuges administered as part of the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex. This location of refuge is located in McIntosh County, Georgia

Fort King George

Visit the oldest colonial fort still standing on the Georgia coast which was the southern outpost of the British Empire in North America from 1721 to 1736. "The reconstructed Fort King George anchors present-day visitors to a rich history where Native American and European cultures met, colonial empires collided, soldiers toiled and perished, and industry boomed on the shores of the Altamaha River."


Darien is the perfect little town for exploring on bicycles with it's grid-style city blocks and squares. Take a cycling tour on the East Coast Greenway, which is the country's longest biking and walking route and connects 15 states, 450 cities and towns, and 3,000 miles of people-powered trails from Maine to Florida — and it passes right through Darien, Georgia.


Butler Island is located in the coastal marshes formed by the mouth of the Altamaha River and is part of the Altamaha Waterfowl Management Area. Open for tours to the public daily. Come and see plantation ruins, historical markers and walking trails. Well-maintained nature viewing tours and a kayak launch area too.

Ashantilly Center

Stop in for a tour of the mainland home of Thomas Spalding at the Ashantilly Center, known as "Old Tabby." Thomas was an early Georgia planter, legislator, and McIntosh County landowner. The original home, circa 1820, burned in 1937, and the current house was an ongoing project of the Haynes family. Today, the Ashantilly Center is a non-profit educational and cultural historic site, organized and founded by William G. Haynes, Jr.

Altamaha Waterfowl Area

Many sites along the Colonial Coast Birding Trail offer visitors the opportunity to watch birds and visit 18th and 19th Century historic places. Other sites are located on lands and waters from early plantations dedicated to growing rice, indigo and cotton. So whether you want to see a bald eagle or an endangered wood stork, the Colonial Coast Birding Trail has something for you.


Set out on a kayak adventure in one of the most beautiful and remote areas in the southeast. The Altamaha River BioReserve is a world that bottle nosed dolphins, manatee, otters, alligators, deer, mink, eagles, osprey, and thousands of sea-birds make this area home. Paddle through black-water swamps on an adventure in what has been called one of "The World's Last Great Places "
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