Visit historic Darien Georgia - Darien is the second oldest planned town in GA. In 1736 Darien was established on the banks of the Darien River as a military outpost by Scottish Highlanders under the command of General James Edward Oglethorpe.
Fun Places to Visit in Darien Georgia
Ansley-Hodges M.A.R.S.H. Project and Nature Trail - Observation tower overlooking a managed wetland and a 1 mile nature trail. Visitors can watch a variety of wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, and songbirds. Viewing other wildlife is also possible while learning about the importance of managed wetlands and hunting in the conservation of wildlife. Phone: 912-262-3173 - Address: US Hwy. 17 South, Darien Georgia 31305 - Located 1 mile south of Darien on Hwy 17.
Butler Island Plantation - Famous rice Plantation of the 19th century, owned by Pierce Butler of Philadelphia. A system of dikes and canals for the cultivation of rice, installed by engineers from Holland, is still in evidence in the old fields, and has been used as a pattern for similar operations in recent years. Old rice plantations offer refuge to alligators, deer, herons, egrets, ducks and other wading birds and provide recreation to fisherman, hunters and naturalists. Phone: 912-437-6684 - Address: US Hwy. 17, S., Darien Georgia 31305 - Directions: Hwy 17 between Darien and Brunswick. Take exit #49 off of I-95
Christ Chapel - Also known as 'The Smallest Church in America.' This charming 10x15 foot structure, was built in 1949 as a refuge for weary travelers and the land deemed to Jesus Christ. It was built entirely with private funds. It is still open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Location: Intersection of US Hwy 17 and Harris Neck Rd., Darien Georgia
Columbus Square - Trains arrived daily at Columbus Square then turned around for a return trip to Tattnall County. The D&W later became the Georgia Coast & Piedmont and a depot was built in 1914 at the Darien waterfront, when the rail line was extended to Brunswick. Until then, Columbus Square was the transportation hub of Darien."
Vernon Square was built in 1806. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Square follows the concept of early town planning utilized by James Oglethorpe in Savannah in 1733. It is one of several planned squares in the community. Throughout the 19th Century, Vernon Square was the business, cultural, social and religious center of Darien. A number of the surviving historic homes were the residence of the lumber barons and leading merchants during the timber era when Darien was one of the top two ports on the coast. Phone: 912-437-4192 - Located at Washington Street, Darien Georgia 31305 - Directions: I-95, Exit 49
Darien Waterfront Park has a boardwalk, picnic tables and public docks for fishing where the Blessing of the Fleet festival is held annually. Area seafood markets nearby sell fresh shrimp almost year round. Picturesque shrimp boats line the river near the public waterfront park. For information on boat docking opportunities call the McIntosh County Development Authority at Phone: 912-437-6659.
Darien United Methodist Church - John Wesley, founder of Methodism, spent January 2 & 3, 1737, among the Scots in Darien, where he first prayed extempore.
Darien United Methodist Church was partially burned during the Union raid in 1863. That structure was destroyed by a hurricane in 1881. The current building was built in 1883. Phone: (912) 437-4745 - Location: Vernon Square, Darien Georgia 31305 Directions: Exit 49 from I-95 to Historic Downtown Darien.
First Presbyterian Church of Darien - The First Presbyterian Church of Darien is considered to be the first congregation of the Presbyterian denomination to be established in Georgia. The Darien church was founded in January 1736 by Scottish Highlanders from Inverness, Scotland, only three years after the Georgia colony was established at Savannah by James Edward Oglethorpe. Phone: 912-437-3006
Fishing Docks and Boat Ramps - Scenic villages are tucked away throughout the county, take your camera down the roads less traveled and explore communities like Meridian, Shellman Bluff, Pine Harbor and Eulonia.
Fort King George Historic Site is the first English fort in what is now Georgia, built by the British in 1721 to stem French & Spanish expansion. Tour the museum and the palisade earthen fort. Fort structures include the enlisted soldiers barracks, officers quarters, hospital, brewing and baking house and blacksmith's shop. The fort's three-story blockhouse offers a spectacular view of the marshes and rivers of the Altamaha River delta. Living history demonstrations, battle re-enactments and walking tour bring the fort's history to life. Group tours and school field trips are available with reservations. Open year round. Closed Mondays.
Grant Chapel Presbyterian Church - The 112th Anniversary of this church was celebrated in January 2004 in observance of its 1892 founding. The church was organized from the First Presbyterian Church of Darien where white and black members worshipped together.
Grant House - This 1840 frame dwelling was the only residence to survive the destruction of the town in 1863 by Union troops. For many years, it was the home of well-known black educator, James Grant. It is still owned by Grant family descendants. There are no tours, but you can view home from outside. Address: Ga. 99 & Rittenhouse, Darien Georgia 31305
Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge - Enjoy almost 3,000 acres in this wildlife refuge about 20 miles north of Darien off U.S. Hwy 17. Harris Neck Creek offers a boat ramp and fishing pier, sunrise to sunset throughout the week.
McIntosh Old Jail Art Center and Museum - This art center has five art galleries, two calssrooms, agit shop and a county history museum in al jail built in 1888. Amenities: Parking, Public Restrooms and Accessibility for mobility-impaired. Free admission. Hours: Tues - Sat 10am to 4pm. Phone: 912-437-7711 - Address: 404 Northway, Darien Georgia
McIntosh Sugar Mill Ruins - These ruins are believed to have been built in the late 1820's. It is a tabby structure with very thick walls. At the time the sugarhouse was constructed, it is believed that thick-walled buildings such as this tabby one built by McIntosh were essential to insure the warmth needed for Superior production of sugar. Amenities: Parking and Accessibility for mobility-impaired. Open daily sunrise to sunset. Located Spur 40 (Charlie Smith Sr., Hwy.), Downtown St. Marys Directions I-95, Exit 3 to Hwy 40, St. Marys Georgia 31558
Rhett's Island is comprised of 3 managed brackisn wetland impoundments covering 1800 acres situated between the Darien and Champney Rivers. Access is only by boat. This area provides waterfowl hunting, birdwatching, fishing, shrimping, and crabbing opportunities. It is one of Georgia's premier waterfowl hunting areas providing wintering habitat to over 12 species of waterfowl. Fishing, shrimping and crabbing are prohibited from Sept. 15-30 and during the waterfowl hunting season. Phone: 912-262-3173 - Address: US Hwy. 17 South, Darien Georgia 31305 - Located 1 mile south of Darien on Hwy 17.
Sapelo Island - Located midway on the GA coastline on the eastern fringe of McIntosh County, Sapelo Island is defined by the Sapelo River to the north, the waters of Doboy Sound to the south, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Duplin River to the west. The 16,500 acre island is the 4th largest barrier island in the State of Georgia.
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church - At the direction of Bishop Stephen Elliot, a group of planters and other citizens of McIntosh County organized a mission congregation under the name St. Peter's Church, Darien in 1841. Phone: 912 437-4562 - Located at Vernon Square, Darien Georgia 31305
St. Cyprian's Episcopal Church - In December of 1873, the Honorable Rev. James Wentworth Leigh, Dean of Hereford Cathedral in England, held services for former slaves in a small room on Major Pierce Butler's island. The services for the freed slaves continued on Mr. Butler's property, and twenty-two persons were confirmed by Bishop Beckwith in 1874. Phone: 912 437-4562 - Located at Fort King George Drive, Darien Georgia, 31305
Darien Waterways - Darien is surrounded by several tidal rivers and creeks, including the Darien River, Altamaha River, Butler River, Champney River, and Cathead Creek, all part of the Altamaha river system and delta. The river currents run swiftly twice each day as the tide rises and falls to a difference of almost 8 feet.
Darien Historic Plantation Life - In the antebellum plantation days of McIntosh County, many
of the local plantations had fleets of small boats with which communication was made between each other. Prior to the Civil War, crew racing became the most popular sporting event of the region. The plantation owners entered their boats in annual regattas for prices running as high as $10,000.
Darien History - The town of Darien (originally known as New Inverness) was founded in January 1736 by Scottish Highlanders recruited by James Oglethorpe to act as settler-soldiers protecting the frontiers of Georgia from the Spanish in Florida, the French in the Alabama basin and their Indian allies.