Regarded as a luxury resort that goes to great lengths to cater to families, Sea Island is steeped in tradition. In 1928, shortly after the Cloister opened, President Calvin Coolidge planted the first commemorative live oak tree. Over the years, five more U.S. presidents and other luminaries followed suit, and the trees serve as living reminders of the property’s rich history.
As you enter the resort, the stately decor—ornate chandeliers, heavy drapery and dark wood furnishings—are reminiscent of days gone by.
The diverse accommodations include the Cloister, with five miles of private beach, an acclaimed spa and a dizzying array of resort activities; the Lodge, a golfer’s hideaway resembling an English country manor; and the Cottages, vacation rentals for those who prefer a little extra privacy.
Miles from Palm Beach: 365
Why go: Families with diverse interests have countless options for all ages, including nature tours and every water sport under the sun. Prefer to stay dry? Try archery, stargazing or clay target shooting. Slots fill fast; sign up at least two weeks in advance.
Accolades: The Cloister, the Lodge (below), the Georgian Room restaurant and the Spa at Sea Island earned five-star designations in Forbes Travel Guide’s 2014 list of Star Award Winners.
Try this: Explore Georgia’s coastline with a breathtaking horseback ride on the beach—novice riders are welcome.
For foodies: Wake up and head to the Cloister’s Georgian Room (below) for a masterful Southern breakfast like the chicken and cornbread waffle or the Southern-fried chicken biscuits. The resort’s most-requested recipe? The homemade corn muffins, made with savory bacon.
Ultra indulgence: Guests of the Lodge are assigned a 24-hour butler to cater to their every whim. Now that’s Southern hospitality.
The Colonial Lounge at the Cloister.