Summer is around the corner which means vacations aren’t far behind. Needless to say, Savannah is a destination for visitors from all over the world. Bryan County, however, is well worth checking out and gives tourists from out of state a reason to extend their stays. For those who are lucky enough to call our little corner of the coast home, the county is equipped for some "staycation" fun.
Bryan County’s rich history and accessibility make it a wonderful place to spend a few hours or a few days. Travels have a great selection when it comes to accommodations — we have new hotels and, for the outdoor adventurers, campgrounds are near the county’s southern and eastern borders.
One such campground is at Fort McAllister State Park, a beautiful Georgia State park on the Ogeechee River.
Perhaps the neatest part of the park is a well-preserved earthwork fortification of the Confederacy. The earthen berms were attacked seven times by the Union but did not fall until 1864, ending General William T. Sherman’s "March to the Sea."
Once visitors catch upon the fort’s history, they can enjoy fishing, boating, picnicking, hiking and playgrounds at the park. For those who prefer more indoor entertainment, the Richmond Hill Historic Society and Museum isn’t too far from Fort McAllister. The building that houses the museum was built in 1940 by Richmond Hill’s most famous residents, automobile industrialist Henry Ford and his wife, Clara. The building served as a kindergarten to local children. Also on the museum’s campus is the Bailey Carpenter Barber Shop. It was used by Bailey Carpenter, the local barber, for over 50 years. The barber chair was purchased by Henry Ford for Mr. Carpenter. Ford, during his winter residency in Richmond Hill, used Carpenter as his barber.
And speaking of Ford, his beautiful plantation home is near the museum. It is occasionally open to visitors and plays host to events. Anyone who happens to visit Bryan County on a day when the Ford Plantation is not hosting a 5K need not fret. We hear from runners that logging miles at J.F. Gregory Park is enjoyable, given the beautiful nature trails. Bikers and hikers are welcome. The park boasts a playground, a 25,000-square-foot covered pavilion, a stream for fishing and the Veteran’s Monument. The monument honors all Americans who have served their country. Each slab of granite represents a war fought by the United States in the last 100 years.
If golf is your sport, be sure to head over to Black Creek Golf Course in Ellabell. The course features a country club and restaurant. Families can also to visit Hendrix Park in Ellabell. The 100 plus acre facility features many amenities, including a 1.6-mile walking/running track, gymnasium, football fields, soccer fields, baseball/softball complexes, covered picnic shelters, two tennis courts and a playground area.
After all that sightseeing and exercising, you’ll have worked up an appetite for sure, and Bryan County has no shortage of great restaurants. So, if a long, out-of-state vacation isn’t in the cards due to time or budget restraints, fear not. Plan your family’s memorable "staycation" here in beautiful Bryan County.
Any out-of-towners who do visit will be doing us a favor if TSPLOST passes Tuesday. That means anyone who purchases anything in this county, from a pack of gun to a week’s stay in a motel, will pay a 1-cent sales tax to improve our roads and meeting transportation needs.
So, let’s welcome our visitors and let them know that Bryan County is the place to be.