This small barrier island is a unique destination along Georgia's famed Colonial Coast. Guests begin their day at the mainland visitor center, where they can learn about Sapelo's cultural history, coastal wildlife, and complex beach and dunes systems. After a 30-minute ferry ride, they arrive at this 12-mile-long island. Guided tours highlight the African-American community of Hog Hammock, Reynolds Mansion, Nanny Goat Beach, University of Georgia Marine Institute and a restored 1820 lighthouse. Learn more about the mansion.
Groups may stay overnight on the island at the historic Reynolds Mansion or Cabretta Campground. The unusual and lovely Reynolds Mansion features marble sculptures, an ornately decorated Circus Room, murals by Athos Menaboni, a bowling lane, billiards, library and more. Cabretta Campground is sheltered by live oaks and is just a short walk to the beach. Pets are not allowed but service animals are welcome.
- 6,110 Acre Reserve
- 16,006 Acre Barrier Island
- Reynolds Mansion — groups of 16–25 only, call site to reserve
- Visitor Center
- Cabretta Pioneer Campground — groups of 15–25 only, call 912-485-2299 to reserve
- Game Room
- 1820s Lighthouse
- Tennis Court
- Wi-Fi — in parts of Mansion
Things To Do & See
- Programs — for overnight guests only
- Fishing and Crabbing
- Hunting (seasonal)
- Golden Isles of Georgia
- Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation State Historic Site
- Fort King George State Historic Site
- Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve
Accommodations & Reservations
The Reynolds Mansion can accommodate up to 25 guests in 10 bedrooms with 10 bathrooms (not all bedrooms have adjoining baths). There is a minimum group size of 16 guests as well as a minimum 2-night stay. If your group size is fewer than 16, we still encourage you to come, however you must pay at the 16-person rate. Room layouts, sizes and locations vary. When making your reservations, our staff will provide all the room options available to your group. A conference coordinator will work with you to plan any tours, programming, audio-visual or meeting needs your group may have.
Prices include room and meals.
- $175–$225 per person, per night
- Lower rates for children 5 and younger available
- A 7% tax applies to all non-exempt reservations
Reservations, Confirmations and Cancellations
To confirm a group reservation, a $1,000.00 non-refundable deposit is due one year in advance of your arrival. An additional $1,000.00 non-refundable deposit is due six months in advance of arrival with the balance due two weeks prior to your arrival date. If the reservation is booked less than six-months in advance, a $2,000.00 deposit must be paid when the reservation is made.
Final payments are to be received prior to your group leaving the Mansion. It is the responsibility of the group leader to collect the funds from individual participants and pay in a lump sum. We accept checks, MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover. If you are a tax-exempt group, we request a tax form at the time of your deposit or final payment. Your group payment must be paid with one check having the account name the same as the tax-exempt group. Personal checks for deposits and final payments cannot be accepted for tax-exempt accounts.
Sub-leasing of the Mansion by any agency to another group is not permitted. Group reservations are booked at the discretion of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. All deposits are non-refundable, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources reserves the right to adjust rates and regulations at any time.
Food & Beverage
Enjoy dining indoors in the dining room or outside on the veranda depending on weather and guest preference. Informal attire is always appropriate for meals at The Reynolds Mansion. Breakfast is normally continental-style with fresh seasonal fruits, pastries, cereals, milk, juices and coffee but a full breakfast is also a popular meal option. Lunch is served for groups at noon, or with advance notice can be prepared for picnics or a low-country boil at the beach pavilion. Dinner is served at the Mansion at 6 p.m.
Menu options are arranged at least one month prior to your stay with your conference coordinator and can be custom-planned to accommodate special requests. All meals are included in the guest room rate. However, specialty menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, social and conference functions can be arranged through the conference coordinator at an additional charge. Local seafood, low-country boils and other wholesome and delicious recipes are prepared and always beautifully presented.
The Reynolds Mansion does not serve alcoholic beverages; however, you may provide your own. Bar set-ups, including mixers, glasses, ice and garnish, are available at an additional charge. The storage and handling of alcoholic beverages is the responsibility of your group.
Step off the ferry onto Sapelo Island and step back in time to The Reynolds Mansion, a place where impeccable service and classic architecture greet every guest. Where squadrons of brown pelicans fly into an endless horizon, and the sand dunes hold stories of pirate treasure long buried.
The original Mansion was designed and built from tabby, a mixture of lime, shells and water, by Thomas Spalding, an architect, statesman and plantation owner who purchased the south end of the island in 1802. The Mansion served as the Spalding Plantation Manor from 1810 until the Civil War. It fell into ruin after being damaged by Union attack during the Civil War and was later purchased and rebuilt by Detroit automotive engineer Howard Coffin in 1912. Tobacco heir Richard Reynolds purchased the property in 1934 and allowed the University of Georgia to use the facilities for marine research. Following Reynolds' death in 1964 the Mansion and most of the island was obtained by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources in 1975. Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve and University of Georgia Marine Research Facilities are still located on the island.
Guests can spend an entire visit to the island just exploring Reynolds Mansion and the expansive grounds, where sculptures entertain and engage visitors in the filtered light beneath massive live oaks. The Mansion's unique architecture creates many interesting and memorable spaces, as well as private spots to read or reflect. The library is a bibliophile's dream, complete with the original nameplates in many volumes from Mr. Reynolds' private collection. The Game Room's billiards and table tennis are available for our guests enjoyment. The Mansion’s grounds are linked by pathways to the Atlantic Ocean where a beachfront pavilion await your picnic plans. Swimming, fishing, hiking and birding on miles of unspoiled beach offer endless possibilities for relaxation and reflection. For group information and reservations, call 912-485-2299.
Sapelo Island is steeped in the history that parallels its ownership. Early Guale Indian Native American settlements are scattered across the island, and Spanish, English and French occupation each succeeded one another until Thomas Spalding purchased a portion of the island and built what is now Reynolds Mansion. Tales of pirate treasure and Civil War battles, of the glorious old South and the industrial magnates that came to find seclusion and serenity are woven into the story of Sapelo Island. Charles Lindbergh took off from its shores, and American presidents from Coolidge to Carter have walked the Sapelo beaches.
Today, it's a place where guests can explore Georgia’s fourth largest barrier island on foot, bicycle or rented ocean kayaks. The lush forest surrounds guests in a sea of green almost year round, and exploring the island's 12-mile length and four-mile width is certain to produce sightings of whitetail deer, raccoon, opossum, wild turkey armadillo and other animals. The rare Guatemalan Chacalaca, imported as a gamebird, now runs wild in the forest, as do wild hogs and cattle, descendants escaped from the farms of Sapelo's early settlers. Sapelo is a birders paradise, with many different shorebird and indigenous species calling the island home permanently or seasonally.
The only private parcel of land is the tiny island community of Hog Hammock, populated primarily by descendant workers from the Spalding plantation. A small general store, snack bar and curio shop comprise the business community of Hog Hammock and the local residents will be glad to see you during your visit. Scattered across the island, visitors will see evidence of the island's settlement, including Reynolds Chocolate House cottage, a landing strip, old post office and the ruins of several tabby-constructed structures dating back to the plantation days.
Beaches stretching as far as the eye can see define the Sapelo experience. The Atlantic surf constantly changes and redesigns the undeveloped shoreline, and the salt marshes around Sapelo's undisturbed sand dunes represent a unique ecosystem found only along the barrier islands.
On the extreme southern tip of the island, Sapelo Lighthouse stands as the remaining sentinel of a bygone era, watching over Doboy Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. Once crowded with commercial vessels, the sea-lanes are now plied primarily by pleasure craft, and the restored 80-foot lighthouse serves a mostly symbolic role, after a steel tower outfitted with modern navigation aids was erected nearby as a replacement.
The original lighthouse was first erected in 1820 for $14,500. Damaged several times by hurricanes over the years, it was eventually replaced and then deactivated in 1933. It was renovated in 1998 including a new spiral staircase, new lantern glass and light, and the striped exterior identical to the structure's original paint scheme. The five-acre lighthouse tract was sold to the federal government for $1.00 in 1808 by Thomas Spalding, and the original 65-foot structure was topped by a 15-foot whale-oil lantern.
- Don't forget your bug spray, sunscreen, and proper outdoor clothing!
- Programs are weather dependent.
- Payment required upon booking and is non-refundable.
- To book your program, please call 912-485-2299.
Sapelo South End Kayak Tour
Kayak through the tidal creeks around the island and enjoy its natural beauty. $50.00 per person tandem and $65.00 per person single. Two weeks notice is required for booking this trip. Our kayak instructors will prepare you for this awesome experience and provide all necessary equipment.
An Evening on the Beach
Our Activities Director will guide the group on a beach walk at night to look for nesting sea turtles. In addition we will have the opportunity to encounter other creatures that roam our beaches at night and we will learn about these interesting marine reptiles and hope to discover some. $10 per person. Limited to 25 people. Only available May-August.
Exploring the Ocean
Explore the Beach
Join our Activities Director during the day and learn about the unique creatures that live in Georgia’s coastal inshore waters. We will explore with seine nets, cast nets, dip nets, and surf fishing. Please come prepared to get in the water. Surf fishing and cast net workshops also available. Fishing license is required for adults. $10.00 per person.
Enjoy a Walk
Enjoy a hike that starts among the large live oak trees and ends on the beach. The Activities Director will identify trees, birds, and other interesting features of the island. We will also discuss the unique history of the barrier island. Binoculars will be available upon request. $10.00 per person.
Join a park ranger for a leisurely walk along the beach and enjoy watching the setting sun. We will look for birds and other beach life. Binoculars will be available upon request. $10.00 per person.
Bike Tour of the South End
2 hours. Join the Staff on a leisurely bike ride to Nanny Goat beach, the lighthouse and Gator pond. $25 per person (includes bike rental for the whole day).
South End Bus Tour
2 hours. Tour the south end of Sapelo Island via bus. Sites include: Long Tabby, Hog Hammock Community, RJ Reynolds Manion, UGA Marine Institute, climbing the Lighthouse and Nanny Goat Beach. $10 per person.
North End Bus Tour
3-4 hours. Tour the north end of Sapelo Island via bus. Sites include: tabby ruins of Chocolate Plantation, Sears Roebuck House and the mysterious Native American Shell Ring. $20 per person.
Catch of the Day
Island Fishing Trip
3 hours. A guided fishing around the island from creek to creek or go surf fishing at the beach. All the fishing gear and bait is included. Fishing license is required for adults. $45 per person.
3 hours. Go crabbing on the island and then get to enjoy your catch with a crab boil at dinner. $25 per person.