Day Tripper

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Can’t afford a family vacation over Spring Break?  Used up all your staycay capital with the kids?  Need to break away for some “we” time?  Brianne Halverson and Dan Gilbert hop in the car and give you a personal tour of short drives that can make you feel like you’re a thousand miles away. Photo by Glauber Sampaio. 

Sunbury Crab Company

Midway, Ga.

Why should you go?

If you’ve got any pent up aggression, take a mallet to a steaming hot blue crab plucked right from the waters of Sunbury Harbor.  Sunbury Crab Company is well worth the 45-minute drive. Once you’ve filled up on fresh seafood, drive an additional 30 minutes to Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge. With more than 2,700 acres of marsh, grassland and woods, it’s especially good for birding (egrets and herons in the summer and waterfowl in the winter).  With a hauntingly abandoned airfield and more than 15 miles of paved roads to walk or drive, it’s a great way to soak up the sun.

Drive time: 45 minutes (or 2 hours by boat)

Address: Sunbury Crab Company, 539 Brigantine Dunmore Road

Hostel in the Forest

Brunswick, Ga.

Why should you go?

Most of us never lost that childhood desire to live in a treehouse.  So why fight it?!  Explore your inner granola and ease on down to this haven in the trees. Situated on 133 acres of forest and wetlands, Hostel in the Forest the perfect place to truly get away from it all.  Membership is $5 a year; reservations are only $25 a night.  And if you want to get really crunchy, plan a trip around the full moon for an authentic Native American Sweat Lodge experience.  Just make sure to call ahead; spots fill up quickly.

Drive time: 1 hour 15 minutes each way

Hunter Cattle Company

Brooklet, Ga.

Why should you go?

Make sure you’ve got your boots on for a real working-farm experience at Hunter Cattle Co.  City Slickers this ain’t.  Although great for a day—especially on the well-publicized and family-friendly Farm Day—an overnight visit is really the way to go here.  With the Authentic Farm Experience package, you can act like a farmer for a day—gathering eggs, feeding the pigs—really learning where the food you put on your table comes from.

Drive time: 45 minutes

Address: 934 Driggers Road

Hunting Island State Park

Beaufort, S.C.

Why should you go?

Pristine beaches, lagoons, marshwalks, a lighthouse and a nature center make Hunting Island the ideal day trip to share with kids.  While strolling oceanside, stumble upon the “tree graveyard” for a spare and hauntingly beautiful glimpse of nature’s ebbs and flows.  And if you feel like you might not want to come home after a few hours, bring your tent.  There are plenty of places to pitch.  Morning coffee—or chocolate milk—on the beach?!  Yes, please!

Drive time: 1 hour 17 minutes

Daufuskie Island

South Carolina

Why should you go?

If you want to feel like you’re a world away, but you don’t want to pack an overnight bag, jump on the ferry to Daufuskie Island, just across the state border.  Accessible only by ferry (out of Hilton Head, S.C.), it’s a glimpse into what the sea islands used to be.  You’ll still find dirt roads leading to deserted beaches.  Past the gated communities, 250 full-time residents—many of them descendants of the Gullah—still call Daufuskie home and still speak in a gently lilting patios.  Marshside Mama’s is an authentic beach shack, where fresh seafood and fantastic live music abound.  Bring a bike—or, if you’re feeling frisky, rent a golf cart to tour instead.

Drive time: 45 minutes to Hilton Head, plus a one-hour ferry ride

Jacksonville, FL
Why should you go?

Sure, everyone knows that Charleston has incredible food, live music, lovely ambiance and good shopping (Trader Joe’s, anyone?), but we’re not going to bore you with another love letter to the Holy City. Instead, we think it’s time to explore our other closest city neighbor.

Start your day at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens on the historic riverfront. Then head over to the Ragtime Tavern, a lovely restaurant and microbrewer on Atlantic Beach.  If you’re not too tuckered out, you’ll need to decide between a hillbilly or hipster evening.  For the former, check out Mavericks, which hosts regular events like the “White Trash Bash”—their words, not ours—and quaff some dollar beers.  If you’re feeling more Brooklyn and less honky tonk, Dos Gatos is your place for cocktails made with fresh ingredients be men with ironic mustaches.

Drive time: 2 hours


Cummer Museum, 829 Riverside Ave.

Ragtime, 207 Atlanta Blvd., Atlantic Beach, FL

Dos Gatos, 123 East Forsyth St.

Mavericks, 2 Independent Drive