When you think about the state of Georgia, you most likely won’t think about beaches. Heck, we all go to Florida for that, right? But I have to tell you that there is one hidden jewel located right off the coast of Savannah, Georgia that will take your breath away.
Tybee Island Is a barrier island located 18 miles off the coast of Savannah, GA. Tybee is rich in history and beauty, and hosts great restaurants, accommodations and three full miles of uninterrupted public beach.
If you are interested in checking the island out, we have put together a list of the top 10 things to see and do in Tybee Island!
1. Tybee Island Lighthouse
I’m sure you already know I’m a fan of lighthouses. If I find myself near one, I just have to check it out. Tybee Lighthouse has been guiding mariners safe entrance into the Savannah River for over 270 years.
This beautiful lighthouse is surrounded by all of its historic support buildings, including the Tybee Museum, which was established in 1961.
For a small fee, you can gain entrance to the lighthouse, climb all 178 stairs and see a magnificent view of the surrounding area.
Note: Here and throughout most of the island, parking fees are required. (You can obtain a parking pass from most hotels and campgrounds in the area).
2. The Crab Shack
When we first starting going to the Crab Shack, 20 years ago, it was true to it’s name. It was really a shack. Over the years, this little restaurant has become a major tourist attraction, featuring large screened in dining rooms, outdoor dining under the trees, a gift shop, aviary, and even an alligator enclosure!
The atmosphere at this little restaurant is surely a draw. Heck, even Hollywood noticed!
I’m a little behind on posts. We are currently in St. Petersburg, FL at our current campground job. Over the past month, we’ve traveled south, attended a beautiful wedding, and even had some major RV issues. Lot’s of ground to cover! So I’m going pick where we left off…
This is one of the top awards given out by KOA based on customer satisfaction. We were thrilled to be part of it! And how awesome to be recognized as part of a successful team!
And speaking of great campgrounds, Boston Cape Cod had lots of green space and large shady RV spots. We made ourselves at home and pulled out some maps to check out the area.
We wanted to see the beach and decided to start with Nobska Point Lighthouse. The Nobska Point Light is located at the southwestern tip of Cape Cod, in Massachusetts. It overlooks Martha’s Vineyard and Nonamessett Island.
The light station was established in 1826, and the current tower dates to 1876.
If you don’t know by now, I simply cannot pass up a lighthouse photo.
Or a fun bird photo for that matter. It was rainy that day and the ocean was full of white caps and foam which made for a cool background in this seagull photo.
After a day of perusing the beaches, we stopped at the local diner.
One of the many things I love about the New England area is all the vintage diners. Yummy food served quickly and in a nostalgic atmosphere. This diner, interesting enough is called “Dave’s Diner“. Easy to remember, right?
While it looks like a vintage diner, it was actually built in 1998. The diner colors, layout and decor were carefully chosen to create the fun and colorful look of the 50’s era.
And the food was delicious!
Of course, no trip to Cape Cod would be complete without a visit to Plymouth Rock, right?
Upon entering the town of Plymouth, we saw this impressive structure along the shore. The rock was waiting for us inside! We prepared ourselves to be duly impressed. This rock had seen so much history!
Here is where the pilgrims first stepped onto shore from their ship, the Mayflower!
Well…it must have been a small ship. Or the rock shrunk. Or something. I wasn’t prepared for how small it actually was.
And it turns out after some research that no historical evidence exists to confirm this rock as the Pilgrim’s actual stepping stone to the New World. Plymouth rock is more of a symbol of the courage and faith of the men and women who founded the first colony in New England.
And that is okay with me. Even if it was slightly underwhelming.
According to my research, the rock as it exists today is estimated to be only about 1/3 to 1/2 of it’s original size due to being broken and chipped away at by 18th and 19th century souvenir hunters.
Oh, and notice the scar across it? Apparently sometime in the 1800’s, it was decided to move part of the rock to the center of town where folks could better enjoy it. That part was eventually moved back to join the rest of the rock a few years later, and “frankensteined” back onto the other half.
We might have been a tiny bit disappointed by the rock, but the replica of the Mayflower definitely made up for it. And the beautiful sunset behind it.
Red skies at night means “sailors delight”.
New England was beautiful. Someday, we hope to return and spend a bit more time there. But time was going fast. We had to be in Atlanta by November 1 for my daughter’s wedding and then onto our new job in St. Pete.
So we hit the road again.
The dog’s snagged their favorite spots in the front of the coach, and we set out for our next stop, Lake Hopatcong, NJ.
New Jersey, you say? What the heck is in New Jersey? Well, you just might be surprised…
We are now on our way south, heading to St. Petersburg, FL for our winter destination. I wanted to put together a final post on the beautiful area of the country that we had the pleasure of living in- Bar Harbor, Maine.
One of the questions that I was asked the most while working at the front desk of the campground was, “What are the best things to do in Bar Harbor?”
Well, I have the answers for you, at least from our point of view. These are the things that you should really not miss if you ever get the chance to enjoy the coast of Maine.
Cadillac Mountain is located in the nearby Acadia National Park and at 1,530 feet, it is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard. There are various hiking trails to the summit, some more challenging than others. There is also a paved road to the top.
From the summit, you can see most of Mount Desert Island. On a clear day, it is a beautiful site to see!
At certain times of the year, Cadillac Mountain is the first place in the United States to see the sunrise. Getting up to see a sunrise from the top of the mountain is a common attraction.
Sunsets there are beautiful too.
Schoodic Point is the only part of Acadia National Park that is located on the main land of Maine rather than on Mount Desert Island. For that reason, Schoodic is a much more secluded, less crowded opportunity to actually see some wildlife. Because of the fact that it is located away from barrier islands, you can enjoy the crashing of the waves from an unobstructed Atlantic Ocean.
It is about a 45 minute drive from the tip of Mount Desert Island, but well worth the time. From Schoodic, you can see the peak of Cadillac Mountain and enjoy another beautiful Maine sunset.
Schoodic is where we ran across several huge porcupines. I’d say they were as big as my VW Bug, but I’d be exaggerating just a tad. Suffice it to say, they were huge!
Nearly everyone that checked in at the campground asked me, “Where do the locals go?” As visiting “locals”, we soon discovered our favorites:
Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound– in Maine, any place that sells lobster by the pound is called a Lobster Pound. Imagine that. There are many of them all over Mount Desert Island and the mainland. They all compete with each other, sell similar items and their prices are very similar depending upon the varying prices of lobster. Trenton Bridge has the advantage of a great view and awesome Maine atmosphere.
Chart Room Restaurant– This restaurant is located right along the water on Route 3 headed toward downtown Bar Harbor. Because they are not downtown, they are not usually as crowded as those in Bar Harbor. You can eat right on the water and the food is just amazing. Loved their Stuffed Haddock. They also serve steak for those of us that are a bit tired of seafood, and of course, lobster!
Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium located on Main Street in Bar Harbor has lots of fun flavors in their homemade ice cream selection including Dulce de Leche, Bubblegum, (KGB) Kahlua and Bailey’s Irish Cream base ice cream with a Grand Marnier fudge swirl, Rum Raisin, Root Beer Float, and many more!
Oh, and Lobster icecream! Yes, I tried it. Imagine butter pecan with little chunks of meat in it… yeah, that. I have to say that it wasn’t my favorite, but at least I can say I tried it! Ha!
Blueberry Hill Dairy Bar- If you love soft serve, good prices and lots of ice cream for money, you can’t beat Blueberry Hill Dairy Bar. It is located off of Mount Desert Island in the little town of Ellesworth right on Route 3.
It was one of our most frequent stops when going back and forth to Ellesworth for groceries. While the ice cream is fabulous, the folks that worked there never seemed to like their jobs much. I have to say it was a very surly group of individuals. Cash only. No samples. Make sure you know what you want when you get to the window.
In spite of the help, the ice cream was awesome! And well worth the stop.
Hadley Point is a great place to go if you love mussels. In the state of Maine, you do not need a license to go mussel fishing. Simply wait until low tide. In Maine, the tide drops 10 to 20 feet depending upon where you are. This leaves quite a bit of the seaweed covered rocks exposed. Put on some boots march out there, and start lifting up some of that seaweed. Underneath you will find mussels!
Place them in a bucket of salt water, add about a cup of cornmeal and let them sit overnight, stirring them and adding fresh water every now and then. This will get them to spit out any sand. Rinse them and then either steam or boil them with garlic.
A true Maine experience!
Whale Watching, Lighthouse Cruises
The town of Bar Harbor is the base for many different boat tours including Whale Watching, Lighthouse Cruises, Wildlife cruises, Schooners, Lobster Fishing and more.
Which one is the best?
Well, we think they all have their good points. Pricing can be as much as $50 per person, so be prepared. Decide what you would best enjoy and take advantage of the opportunity to get out on the water. You will love it!
Oh, and take a warm jacket and some anti-motion sickness meds with you just in case. It is at least 20 degrees colder out on the water and windy too!
Acadia Park Loop
Acadia National Park offers much to do including hiking, biking, kayaking, rock climbing, and more. For those of us that love to watch nature in action, it is a fabulous place to go. The Acadia Park Loop is a 27 mile road beginning at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center (near Route 3 on the northern side of the island) and connects the Park’s lakes, mountains, forests, and rocky coast.
Baxter State Park
Want a chance at seeing a moose? Head about 2 hours northwest of Acadia to Baxter State Park in central Maine. It is worth the trip. Miles and miles of wilderness where the opportunity to witness wildlife is at its best.
If you love to hike, you can climb to the top of Mount Katahdin which is Maine’s highest peak at 5,267 feet (1,605 m). This mountain is also the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.
Some things to note: Baxter State Park has restrictions- no pets, no RV’s, no motorcycles, no large trucks. It is remote, so little to no cell phone coverage.
West Quoddy Lighthouse
The little town of Lubec is the home of the beautiful West Quoddy Head Lighthouse. But even more interesting, Lubec is the easternmost town in the contiguous United States. Since we have already been to Key West (the southern most point); it seemed fitting!
A visit to this beautiful lighthouse and the area around it is a must-see!
Located about 2 hours south of Acadia is Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park. And…it is the lighthouse on the Maine State Quarter, making it the first lighthouse to be featured on a piece of US currency!
Coincidentally, this particular lighthouse is a top destination for weddings with its beautiful rocky cliffs and crashing waves. The lighthouse is one of the most photographed on the Maine coast.
So there you have it! Unfortunately, the list leaves out so many things. I could talk on and on about how much there is to see and do in the area. We are currently on our way south, and are already missing it. Who knows? One day we just may return!
It is so hard to accurately describe how beautiful it is here in Bar Harbor, Maine. Over the past five and a half months, I’ve done my best to document some of the sights and sounds of the area. We have made so many wonderful friends here at the Bar Harbor KOA and will miss every one of them.
Here is a compilation of some of the highlights of our time here along with my friends and coworkers who made the time that much more enjoyable.
Every now and then we actually get a day off! LOL! So last week we took the motorcycle out on a beautiful summer day and did the two and a half hour drive up the coast to Lubec, ME.
Well, this particular town interested us for two reasons. One, it is the home of the beautiful West Quoddy Head Lighthouse. But even more interesting, Lubec is the easternmost town in the contiguous United States. Since we have already been to Key West (the southern most point); it seemed fitting!
Lubec is a quaint fishing town. Small, but beautiful, located along the Bay of Fundy at the top most point of the US east coast.
See that land over there? That is Canada! Unfortunately, Dave has allowed his passport to expire, so we did not cross into Canada as much as we would have liked to.
On the other side of that bridge is the island of Campobello. Among other things, it is famous as being the home of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He spent his summers there as a child and used it as a summer retreat until 1939.
At the mouth of the Lubec Narrows, the Mulholland Point Lighthouse is part of Roosevelt International Park. Although the lighthouse is not open to the public, you are allowed to walk around the structure. (That is if you have a passport). LOL!
And then we found West Quoddy Head Lighthouse! So beautiful against the backdrop of the Bay of Fundy.
And speaking of the Bay of Fundy. Did you know that it has the highest tidal range in the world? The upper basins of the Bay of Fundy have peak tidal ranges of around 50 feet- five times higher than typical tides on the rest of the Atlantic coast.
We didn’t get to see this phenomenon. The passport thing. DAVE. 🙂
But we were able to spend lots of time at the lighthouse. West Quoddy Head was originally built in 1808, and automated in 1988. The 50-step iron stair in the tower is still used by the U.S. Coast Guard, which is responsible for maintaining the light.
West Quoddy Head Lighthouse, overlooks Sail Rock, the easternmost point of land in the continental United States. Beautiful.
Back at camp, we have been enjoying days off with our coworkers. Beautiful sunsets and good times. We are so glad we made this life change!
We were hired last week by St. Petersburg KOA in Florida for the winter season! We are excited to be back on the road. We will be leaving Bar Harbor in early October and heading south for the winter.
This is one of my coworkers, Allison. She and her partner, Kate, have become good friends that we hope to continue to keep in touch with when we leave in October. They will also be headed to Florida, but a different part of the state.
When we do leave here, we are going to remember some of the things that you only see here in Maine. Things like Lobstah rolls at McDonalds…
Berries everywhere you look! Soon to be fresh blueberry cheesecake and raspberry pie! I’m putting together recipes in my head as we speak!
Lobster dinners everywhere!
Oh wait. that is just Dave in his “old man” rain gear. He believes in blending in.
Our youngest daughter is getting married in November. Since Dave has to walk her down the aisle, it was necessary this week to take a trip back into civilization and get measured for a tuxedo.
So we made the two hour drive south to Augusta, Maine, where the closest Men’s Wearhouse was. We were not looking forward to the drive and the fact that it would take up a whole day off to accomplish. A two hour drive for a fitting that took all of ten minutes…
Now what to do?
We decided that since we were in the general area, maybe we should check out Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. After all, on the map it was just east of Augusta, and a trip up the coast would be beautiful!
And the lighthouse was beautiful, of course. We arrived after hours, so were not able to tour the inside, but were able to spend plenty of time enjoying the scenery.
Pemaquid Point Lighthouse was originally commissioned in 1827 by John Quincy Adams and built that year. Due to poor workmanship (salt water was used in the mortar mix), the lighthouse began to crumble and was replaced in 1835.
Most lighthouses in the US were converted to the Fresnel Lens in the 1850’s, and Pemaquid Point received it’s lens in1856. The lens is one of only six Fresnel lenses still in service in Maine!
Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park is managed by the Bristol Parks Commission. And…it is the lighthouse on the Maine State Quarter, making it the first lighthouse to be featured on a piece of US currency!
Coincidentally, this particular lighthouse is a top destination for weddings with its beautiful rocky cliffs and crashing waves. The lighthouse is one of the most photographed on the Maine coast.
While taking photos, the whole scene seemed very familiar to me.
And then it occurred to me that I had painted the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse back in 1998 in a series of lighthouse paintings for a calendar! It had hardly changed at all!
Beautiful rocky shores, deep blue waters and a setting sun make this trip totally worth it. We were very glad that we decided to make the stop.
Our boring trip to Augusta turned out to be pretty fabulous.
…and then we had to go back to work. The park at Oceanside is full to capacity and has been so since the beginning of July. The boss says excitedly that this is a record year.
We are just tired. LOL!
Of course, the campground still has it’s beautiful scenery to enjoy. On our days off, we can wander about the rocks at low tide with the dogs and look for shells.
…and rescue tiny crabs from Ralph’s mouth.
The summer here is nearing it’s end and the wild apple trees on the campground are just full of apples. I was told that they make great pie, so I am waiting for them to ripen.
One of our guests had a dog that could have been Ralph’s twin.
Ralph thinks he looks much younger and cooler, though.
Oh…and in our down time, we apparently enjoy taking uncomplimentary photos of each other. This is Dave’s take on my humongous BLT courtesy of one of the local restaurants…
Spring has finally come to our part of Maine! The grass suddenly greened up, the weather has warmed up a bit, and the dandelions are in full bloom!
Back in Georgia, the schools have let out for summer and I’m sure it is very hot and humid there. While we are totally not missing that, it is a bit strange to be celebrating spring weather when it is nearly June.
The park is starting to fill up. We had a big crowd over the Memorial Day weekend and our first taste of how busy it will get as the weather warms up here.
When Dave and I lived and worked in Atlanta, we carpooled every day- an hour and a half each way in heavy traffic.
We still carpool, but this is our new ride! Cute, right? Takes us about 5 whole minutes to get to work and the traffic? Other than an occasional seagull or goose, it is nonexistent!
We get two days off a week and plan to use them to explore the area. The Bar Harbor Oceanside KOA is located on Mount Desert Island. It is a huge island with lots of areas to explore including a Acadia National Park, tons of hiking trails, lots of coastal towns, lobster fishing, beautiful mountains, and even a lighthouse or two!
This past weekend, we took a trip down to Southwest Harbor, Bass Harbor, and the Bass Harbor Lighthouse. Southwest Harbor is the largest town on the southwestern “quiet side” of the island. The town has some great shops, galleries and restaurants worth checking out more thoroughly in the near future.
As we entered Southwest Harbor, we stopped to admire the amazing views. You can see the open ocean here, dotted with various small islands. And just check out the rocks! I had immediate plans of gathering a bunch and creating a whole new batch of Painted Paisley Stones!
…and apparently they knew I was coming. It appears that I may not be the only one who loves a pretty rock.
Our next stop was the lighthouse. My ultimate goal on this trip is to visit every lighthouse in the area, and with nearly 60 lighthouses on the Maine coast, I have my work cut out for me!
Built in 1858, Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse is the only lighthouse located on Mount Desert Island. There are not currently tours available for this lighthouse as it is maintained by a private family, but you can take the walkway right up next to the tower and lighthouse viewing area where you can see a panoramic view of the harbor and the islands in the distance.
To the left side of the lighthouse is a path that leads to the rocks below where you can capture some amazing photos of the cliff and lighthouse. Here I am in my KOA yellow parka checking out the view before I carefully picked my way down.
We sat here for quite some time enjoying the view and keeping an eye out for seals along the shore. I hope to come back here soon around sunset and get some more beautiful photos.
The little town of Bass Harbor is not only picturesque, but is known as one of the most lucrative lobster-producing ports in the state. The town also has terminals for two different ferries which can take you to more of the surrounding islands.
We plan on taking some of the ferries in the near future and will let you know more about them then.
But for now, we have work to do back at the Oceanside KOA. And a few beautiful sunsets to enjoy there!
Driving north from Hershey, we rolled into Aces High Campground in East Lyme, CT. We took a slight departure from KOA and chose this campground based on the fact that it was close to the ocean and boasted lakeside lots.
The weather was beautiful and we managed to get a spot right along side the lake. Well, I have to admit that we were pretty much the only ones there. We shared a campground with geese, ducks, and about 10 RV’s that were being stored there for the winter.
The dogs and I discovered a great walking trail that took us all the way around the lake. Cool shot, right? Of course after taking the photo, I had to spend 20 minutes untangling Faith from tree trunks.
Oh, and it was about a minute after that when my brand new (six day old) iPhone 6 suddenly bit the dust. As a professional blogger with a major dependency on my mobile hot spot, this was a big deal.
So we ended up spending our entire first day in Connecticut looking for someone to replace my iPhone6. You see, AT&T (while they were happy to take my money), do not support the iPhone. They told us we would need to go to Apple.
We ended up having to drive an hour to the Apple Genius Bar in New Haven in order to get my phone replaced. The day actually turned out much better once we got there. The Genius Bar was located right in the center of Yale University. They cheerfully replaced my phone and we were able to see Yale University up close and personal at the same time!
On the way back home, we did a detour to the coast and enjoyed some beautiful sandy beaches. Dave challenged me to a 2 mile hike along this sandy trail.
Ever tried to walk for two miles in loose sand? My daily exercise quota was totally met. In fact, I’m going for another aspirin right now…
The next day, we visited Mystic Seaport. Not doing any research up front, I assumed that Mystic Seaport was just a huge harbor full of ships.
It turns out that Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum. It is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaleship in the world. The museum features a working preservation shipyard, a re-created 19th-century seafaring village, exhibits and even a planetarium.
The town of Mystic was quaint and colorful, and full of art! Totally my kind of town.
You know, my sister has perfected the selfie with her face in the foreground and something awesome behind her.
Us? Not so much.
You can’t tell by the photo, but he is holding the camera (because he has longer arms) and I am pushing the button (because he can’t seem to hold the camera and push the button at the same time). In all the commotion, trying to push the button and get my short squatty head and his super tall head in the same frame, we always seem to lose the cool thing in the background.
For the record, it was a boat.
And I certainly cannot talk about Mystic without mentioning the lighthouses! The New London Harbor Lighthouse was originally built in 1801. The keeper’s dwelling is now a private residence, but the lighthouse is still active. Tours need to be arranged for this lighthouse by appointment only, so we didn’t get to see it up close and personal.
And there is the New London Ledge Lighthouse! This one fascinates me because it has been featured on several ghost hunting shows. I love ghost stories.
This floating lighthouse, originally built in 1901, is famous for the ghost of an early keeper, nicknamed “Ernie,” who allegedly haunts the lighthouse. Lighthouses keepers in the past have reported unexplained knockings, doors opening and closing repeatedly, the television turning on and off by itself and even the unexplained removal of sheets from beds!
Unfortunately, the only way to get to this little lighthouse is by boat, so this is the closest I was able to get to it.
I’m sure Ernie was very disappointed…
RV Camping and Travel