On my way to see Cumberland Island National Seashore, I was able to stop off and see the Hofwyl Broadfield State Historic Site on the Georgia coast. I stayed for about an hour, but wish I’d had the entire day.
The Site Is Out of Central Casting
Ok, the site is an plantation on the Georgia coast. I figured it would be beautiful, but wow did I underestimate this place. Live oaks, marshes, wildlife, open lawns, insanely good birding, magnolias, two story old, preserved house.
I don’t know if this place has appeared in any films, but I wouldn’t but surprised if it was. The whole place is serene and beautiful.
This Era Of Georgia Lasted Longer Than Expected
This plantation spanned nearly the entire history of the State of Georgia. It was established soon after the Revolution. It was at its peak political influence before the Civil War. It went into rapid decline after the War when the owners refused to grant property to the enslaved people who built the place, trade patterns shifted West, and technology overwhelmed the products the plantation could produce.
But here’s the thing. The place muddled onwards for more than 100 years after the Civil War. I’m always amazed at how long the era of slow, agrarian, rural, (and yeah, really racist) Georgia lasted before industry showed up the in the 1960s.
But that long slow, muddling along is why the place was preserved. The property stayed in the family until the last generation decided to donate the property to the State of Georgia (to Jimmy Carter in particular…who shows up in seemingly everywhere in modern Georgia history).
More Hiking Trails Than Expected
The Site is a Historic Site, not a State Park. It doesn’t have playgrounds, etc. But it does have some excellent hiking trails. I don’t think they would be fun in the summer. But, during every other season, they are A++.
Excellent Visitor Center & Nearby Site Tie-in
The Visitor Center was nice, tidy, and every well-done. I don’t think it’s ever crowded. They also tie the site in with all the other historic sites up and down the Georgia Coast (which sort of all blend together IMO).
Very Convenient off I-95
The Site is very close off I-95 Exit 42. It is absolutely worth a stop instead of a usual Interstate exit. Sure, there’s a fee that goes towards maintenance & protection, but the place is absolutely worth it, if only to stretch your legs and calm the brain after driving on the Interstate.
Extremely Sittable & Serene
This Site is one of those places that automatically creates the feeling of “I should really sit down and just chill”. Totally worth a visit.