Learn Some History At These Top Attractions Around Brunswick, Georgia

Dripping with Southern charm, Brunswick, Georgia, is also rich in colonial history. Explore four historic sites in the Brunswick area ideal for families and history buffs.

St. Simons Lighthouse

Discover the history of coastal Georgia and learn about the development of lighthouses through photographs, artifacts, and interactive displays at the St. Simons Lighthouse Museum.

The original tower, built in 1810, was destroyed by retreating Confederate troops during the Civil War to keep it out of Union hands.

The current tower and keeper’s dwelling, built in 1872, are beautifully preserved, and the lighthouse continues to guide vessels into St. Simons Sound. Visitors who climb the 129 steps will be rewarded with an expansive view of the stunning Georgia coast.

Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation State Historic Site

Experience the richness of antebellum history and culture at the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation State Historic Site. Built in the early 1800s, it was owned by the same family until 1973 when the last family member left the plantation to the State of Georgia.

The visitor center displays a historical model of the plantation. View a short film and take a guided tour of the well-preserved house. The structure contains original 18th and 19th century furnishings, family heirlooms, and Cantonese china.

The tour includes a stop on the Colonial Coast Birding Trail frequented by herons, egrets, ibis, and painted buntings. A nature trail leads you along the marsh where rice was grown.

Horton-DuBignon House

Explore the ruins of the Horton-DuBignon House in Jekyll Island, built by Maj. William Horton during the English colonial expansion of the 1730s. Constructed of “tabby” — a type of concrete consisting of oyster shells, sand, ash, and water — only the outer walls remain.

In 1742, Spanish troops burned down the house in the Battle of Bloody Marsh. Horton immediately rebuilt the house. The plantation operated until 1888 when the Jekyll Island Club purchased it as a playground for the wealthy. Today, only the tabby walls remain.

Maj. Horton also cut the first road to the estate, which is still in use today. Across the road from the house is the DuBignon Cemetery, which overlooks the Marshes of Glynn made famous by poet Sidney Lanier.

Fort Frederica National Monument

Fort Frederica was established in 1733 to protect the Georgia colony against Spanish attack from Florida. Consisting of a fort and town, the settlement grew to 1,000 people by 1743, individuals mostly from England, Scotland, and Germanic states. The future of Georgia as a British colony was cemented here in the Battle of Bloody Marsh in 1742 when England defeated Spain. As the military threat waned, so did the settlement.

Now an archaeological ruin, you can experience the fort through National Park Service tours, programs, and exhibits at the park’s visitor center.

Brunswick’s mild weather is inviting at any time of year. The best way to explore these historic treasures is to book a Brunswick-area hotel room as your base. If you can’t fill a day or two with these sites, you’ll find more history up the coast.

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