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“Best wild buss ride ever” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve

Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve
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Attraction details
Owner description: Rich in natural history, this island's human history dates back 4,000 years and is made up of salt marsh, maritime forest, beach and dune areas.
Mexico Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Best wild buss ride ever”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2014

We were fortunate to make reservations for the extended tour which is provided on the last Tuesday of the month. This tour includes both the north and south ends of the island. The normal tour is only in the south end. The tour uses on old school bus that the driver and tour guide handles like it is a sports car diving through the woods with such skill it is worth the trip in itself. The north end is the R. J. Reynolds Wildlife Sanctuary. It in mainly live oak and Spanish moss. The most impressive thing on the north end was the Shell Circle which is a circular oyster shell mound 10-14 feet high, 30-40 feet thick and about 200 feet in diameter. Oyster shell in the mound have been carbon dated back to 4000 BC. On the South end you see the extremes of the society on the island. Hog Hammock is a community that originated with emancipated slaves forming a village. Our tour guides husband is an eight generation resident . On the other end of the spectrum is Reynolds Mansion. This is a fantastic tour. If you are not in the area on the last Tuesday of the month, their is a private tour "Sapelo Sights" that covers the same itinerary . Make sure you do the full tour it is worth it.

Visited July 2014
5 Thank rga48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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45 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Level Contributor
82 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Fun and interesting”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2014

To be honest when I called to sign up for this tour I was not quite sure what to expect. I arrived, paid and was told to go to the right and show your ticket to the park ranger at the dock. Ok cool walked out to the "ferry" got seated and waited. I saw many other folks heading towards the boat,and though are all these people actually on this tour. Well I came to learn from our tour guide once we got on the bus on the island, that this was AM "rush hour". Folks either on the tour or those coming to work on the island. But really rush hour, it was like 80 people, I'm from Atlanta, thats like the number of shoppers in Kroger at 10 am. So we are going on the tour in this old school bus, pretty much packed 2 to a seat, very interesting tour, the island cemetery, research center, gas station, post office, the wilderness, which comprised the bulk of the tour. Oh if you have back issues or kidney issues, I don't suggest this particular bus tour. You are driven on this very narrow dirt roads at a speed that amazed me, the driver is gentle on the bumps and gullies, this made for a fun ride. We also saw the UGA campus, the outside of the Reynolds Mansion and went up the lighthouse. You will also stop at the beach for lunch ( you must provide) All in all this is a fun and interesting 5 hr tour of the island.

Visited June 2014
2 Thank ATL0609
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warner Robins, Georgia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 1, 2014

My family booked a four hour tour of the island and we had a good time. We were able to see a number of attractions on the island and had a knowledgeable tour guide. The tours and tour schedules that are setup for the island are a little strange. A visitor can't see the whole island, except on certain days, you can't visit the Reynolds mansion except on certain days. I'm sure this is designed to have a person come back for several visits...i.e. making more money for the island. However, with this said, we are planning to return eventually for one of the magical days that an entire island tour is on.

Visited May 2014
3 Thank BigDawg6673
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Piney Flats, Tennessee
Level Contributor
339 reviews
85 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“Great tour !”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 14, 2014

Another part of the $15 bus tour after taking boat to island. Climb to top of lighthouse & enjoy great view. The whole island tour is money well spent & VERY fascinating !!

Visited May 2014
1 Thank wabjr705
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irvine, California
Level Contributor
217 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 209 helpful votes
“Step back in time”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2014

If you are interested in experiencing a way of life which no longer exists on the mainland (or on many of the other islands along the South Carolina and Georgia coast), a visit to Sapelo Island should not be overlooked. Most of the island (except for the small community of Hog Hammock) is preserved as part of the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Reserve. There are remnants of the plantation days, including the preserved R.J. Reynolds mansion (which can be rented for overnight stays or special functions). Most residents are descendants of former slaves brought from West Africa. Their Geechee language and culture is evident on the Island. Access to the island is by a 30 minute ferry ride from the mainland. Our visit, arranged through the Reserve, was guided by an Sapelo Island resident, and included a presentation on the Island's history, a bird's eye view from the lighthouse, a visit to Hog Hammock (where we had a home-cooked lunch) and several short walks on trails through the bush for bird watching.

Visited April 2014
1 Thank mountainoutin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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