Eagle Island: Georgia Private Island Eco-Lodge with Its Own Sea Monster

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    Eagle Island: Private Island Villa & Nature Retreat off the Georgia Coast

    Eagle Island private villa in Geirgia
    Eagle Lodge on Eagle Island was hand-built by Captain Andy Hill and a Georgia crew. © Private Islands of Georgia

    Why Eagle Island in Georgia Is So Well-Known

    Eagle Island is well known to the private island crowd. It is a 10-acre private island lodge and nature retreat accessible only by boat. 

    There is one structure on Eagle Island, Eagle Lodge. This rambling, airy home is over 3,000 square feet and sleeps up to 12 comfortably. Eagle Lodge can be rented year-round for stays of one night through one month.

    Sea Monster: By Popular Demand!

    Eagle Island hosts nesting bald eagles that thrill birdwatchers and numerous species of fish that tempt fishermen. Eagle Island is not only strong on all things natural, it's got supernatural appeal, too.

    Locals have long maintained that the island's surrounding marshy waters conceal Altamahaha, a sea monster who resembles a brontosaurus with a fishtail. According to About's Paranormal Expert, "It has been spotted many times by fishermen." (Can't wait to see it? Skip to the next silde for a glimpse of Altamahaha!)

    What Is Eagle Island Like?

    Eagle Lodge was built by hand of gleaming local wood. The lodge is three floors, the main floor being the second floor, up a set of stairs on either side.

    Eagle Island's look is rustic deluxe, with wraparound decks, leather couches and chairs, wall-to-wall windows, and a huge wood-burning brick fireplace. Eagle Island's views are of all cypress trees, the Darien River, and the Intracoastal, a natural Georgia waterway.

    Eagle Lodge is a year-round destination, with a four-season climate: green springs, hot, humid summers, crisp falls and mild winters. The lodge is air-conditioned and heated, and the fireplace becomes a cool-weather focal point.

    Eagle Island is owned and managed hands-on by "Captain" Andy Hill, a native Georgian who took early retirement from owning Wendy’s franchises. Captain Andy greets guests on the mainland and ferries them to Eagle Island, and he is readily available for any guest needs.

    Smoking is permitted on Eagle Island. Pets are welcome, and no clashes have been reported between companion animals and the rarely-seen crocodiles who live in the island's pond. ("The crocs don't bother you if you don't bother them," says Captain Andy.)

    Eagle Island is professionally sprayed for mosquitoes and gnats. They are still known to bite, but the usual bug spray will protect you.

    Who Goes to Eagle Island, Georgia

    A variety of luxury travelers are drawn to Eagle Island. They include:
    • Couples (including honeymoon duos) seeking a secluded getaway amidst nature
    • Families (and pairs of families) seeking an alternative to commercial resorts
    • Intimate groups such as family reunions
    • Girlfriends' getaways
    • Guys seeking a Georgia fishing trip

    Location of Eagle Island off Georgia and How to Get There

    Eagle Island is set on southern Georgia's Atlantic coast, in the Barrier Islands, with a distinctive Georgia salt marsh ecosystem. Captain Andy picks up passengers at the town dock in Darien, Georgia, and brings them by boat to Eagle Island.

    Driving distances to Darien, Georgia and Eagle Island:
    • An hour and 15 minutes north of Jacksonville, Florida
    • An hour south of Savannah, Georgia
    • Three hours north of Orlando, Florida
    • Five hours south of Atlanta, GA

    Airports near Eagle Island:
    • Savannah International Airport, an hour and 15 minutes' drive
    • Jacksonville International Airport, also an hour and 15 minutes
    • Brunswick Golden Isles Airport, 20 minutes' drive (all flights connect at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport)

    Sneak peek of Eagle Island's very own sea monster >>

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  • 02 of 06

    "Altmahaha," Georgia Sea Monster on Eagle Island

    Do sea monsters exist? They do in Georgia
    Altamahaha the Sea Monster is a tourism star in coastal Georgia. For interview requests, please contact the Chamber of Commerce!. ©Darien and McIntosh Counties

    Here's Eagle Island's Sea Monster, Altamahaha

    This curious creature is affectionately called Altie by locals and Cuz by Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster.

    As you can see by the source of the picture, residents of Eagle Island and its Darien County environs are extremely proud of their aquatic mascot.

    Curious about the name? Altamaha is a local river, which in turn was named for a chief of the region's Yamasee Native American tribe. And fishermen reported seeing the sea monster both in the river and in the brackish water where the Altamaha empties into the Atlantic.

    Next page: the rooms, kitchen, fireplace, & hot tub at Eagle Lodge in Georgia >>

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  • 03 of 06

    Staying at Eagle Lodge on Eagle Island, Georgia Private Island Retreat

    Eagle Island Lodge's cozy fireplace
    A stone fireplace is the hearth and hub of Eagle Lodge on Eagle Island in Georgia. © Anne M. Raso

    Eagle Island Accommodations and Amenities

    Eagle Lodge is set amidst nature, and feels like it belongs in its verdant surroundings.

    Eagle Lodge was hand-built on a high level of workmanship and artistry. The design is airy, gracious, and spacious. Floors, made from local cypress of all different natural hues, are beautiful to behold and a pleasure to walk barefoot on.

    Eagle Lodge's interior focal point is a huge, wood-burning stone fireplace, with a teak Medusa head mounted above it, as on a tall-masted ship.

    Eagle Lodge's Bedrooms Galore

    Two private bedrooms on the main (second) floor have queen beds, 100% cotton sheets, and down comforters. They have their own bathrooms that are pleasant, but not lavish. Showers have two shower heads for a spa effect. Toiletries run beyond the usual shampoo-conditioner-body lotion, including necessities like toothpaste and lens solution.

    The outdoor (yet private) shower is a treat for guests; its inspired design involves glittering rays of sunlight, sculpted steel fish and reclaimed metal beams.

    A large, semi-private third-floor loft bedroom, reached by a sinuous spiral staircase, has a king bed. Between the two main bedrooms and the loft, three couples can lodge very comfortably at Eagle Lodge.

    Several more beds are in the club-room-like ground floor. (When families rent Eagle Lodge, the kids like to "camp out" here.) The ground floor has an additional bathroom as well as a laundry room.

    There are no real closets in Eagle Lodge, but armoires in the bedrooms have hanging rods, and all bedroom and bathroom doors offer clothing hooks. Nevertheless, visitors who pack bushels of clothes that need to be hung up will find that they've overpacked not just for Eagle Lodge but for the casual routine of Eagle Island.

    Eagle Lodge Is Built for Lounging

    The open-design chef's kitchen at Eagle Lodge is made for sociable vacation cooking. It has yards of custom cabinetry, limestone countertops, stainless steel appliances, and an island for prep. A handcrafted wooden dining table nearby seats eight. Eagle Lodge's well water is quite drinkable, and the lodge comes amply equipped with bottled water.

    Eagle Lodge is built for lounging. Its wraparound deck has benches, a hammock, and a classic Southern porch swing. The property features a barbecue patio and a dining table by the private dock. A concealed nook off the deck is enjoyed at meals and cocktails. A redwood hot tub on the deck holds about six revelers.

    Eagle Lodge's inspired design touches the outdoor shower, hand-wrought steel tiki torches softly illuminating outdoor paths, and collections of antique blue and green glass jars that Captain Andy salvages from surrounding waters.

    Eagle Island is well equipped media-wise, with wi-fi, a big plasma TV, a CD player and CDs, a DVD player (but no DVDs), an iPod connector, books, DirecTV television and music channels, and SurroundSound in the lodge and on the porch.

    Next page: the amazing things to do (nature & not) on Eagle Island in Georgia >>

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  • 04 of 06

    Recreation, Dining, Nature, Sailing, & other Things to Do on Eagle Island

    Outdoors at Eagle Island in Georgia
    Pathways around Eagle Lodge burst with nature -- and with art. © Anne M. Raso

    The Amazing Outdoor Recreation on Eagle Island, Georgia

    The truly unique aspect of Eagle Island is its naturally breathtaking setting, at one with vibrant nature. Of course, some guests come to Eagle Island to laze, to gaze at the views, and soak in the hot tub. But many guests come to experience Eagle Island's wondrous outdoor activities. Guests can indulge in:

    • Kayaking: four on-property kayaks are for guest use, and guided kayak tours are available
    • Swimming: guests jump off the front dock, sometimes skinny-dipping, thanks to the privacy of Eagle Island
    • Hiking: a marked hiking path of about two miles encircles Eagle Island
    • Fishing: you can try for flounder and croaker (spotted sea trout) in the mixed saltwater fishing and fresh water of the nearby Darien River; for red drum (spottail bass) and other saltwater fish in the nearby Intercoastal; for smaller freshwater fish like croppies and sunfish in Eagle Lodge's stocked man-made pond. Basic tackle is provided, and bait is provided gratis in the basement freezer
    • Crabbing: a large crab trap off the front dock often has a half-dozen or more crabs in it
    • Birdwatching: for a bald eagle family (sometimes two) who nest in a tall oak tree near Eagle Lodge, plus pileated woodpeckers (the largest in North America) and six species of gulls; there are binocs in the lodge
    • Boating: guests can rent a pontoon boat that Captain Andy delivers to Eagle Island' some guests sail their own boat to the dock at the house
    • Altamahaha sea-monster sightings: Georgia's own Loch Ness Monster, Altamahaha (seen back on Page 2) has been sighted in the waters in the Eagle Island vicinity. Be on the lookout!

    Things to Do Off Eagle Island

    Guests who have rented a pontoon boat, or have their own craft, also have the option of leaving Eagle Island and visiting nearby attractions:​
    • The town of Darien, founded in 1736, has restaurants and points of interest in Civil War and African-American history
    • Sapelo Island, featuring tours of the R.J. Reynolds mansion, which the tobacco magnate donated to the University Of Georgia (tours are available), and also the little-known Nanny Goat Beach, a perfect Atlantic beach, with powdery sand and blue water beach

    Dining at Eagle Lodge on Eagle Island, Georgia

    Dining at Eagle Island is approached a variety of ways:​​
    DIY: you can cook to your heart's content in Eagle Island's big, modern kitchen; Captain Andy and his staff stock your kitchen with food and liquor for no service charge

    Feast dinners: Captain Andy's staff will prepare an Oyster Roast (with oysters done in at least three styles) or a Low Country Boil (a local tradition featuring crabs, corn, onions, potatoes and more). Feasts are cooked and served outdoors (weather permitting) in the well-equipped barbecue patio, and for a very reasonable fee}

    Dining in town: Eagle Lodge guests can sail 10 minutes into the town of Darien for dinner. Options include seafood shanty Skipper's Fish Camp and a down-home Southern buffet, B&J's Steaks & Seafood, a local institution with fried chicken, fried seafood, and steaks

    Take the quiz: Will you enjoy a private island vacation at Eagle Lodge in Georgia? >>

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  • 05 of 06

    Will You Like Eagle Island, Georgia Private Island Vacation and Nature Retreat?

    Eagle Lodge on Eagle Island in Georgia
    Hangout deck on Eagle Lodge. © Anne M. Raso

    Is Eagle Island, Georgia Right for You?

    The answer is probably yes if you:
    • Love being outdoors, whether hiking, fishing, crabbing, kayaking, or taking in some rays
    • Like islands and just being near the water
    • Don't want to travel too far or too long to your destination, and a U.S. coastal spot is perfect
    • Could get into a modern but welcoming lodge with cozy corners, a shady deck, and quirky touches like seashell art and driftwood sculpture
    • Love vacation digs where you can cook
    • Crave the scent and warmth of oak logs in a fireplace
    • Want privacy, a place with no neighbors, where you can do as you please
    • Seek a relaxed destination that everyone in your family (pets too) will be happy
    • Would welcome a sea-monster sighting!

    The answer if probably no if you:
    • Are not exactly a child of nature, and prefer a vacation destination with shopping, restaurants, nightlife, etc.
    • Prefer hotels, and the services they provide, to vacation villa rentals
    • Absolutely do not want to cook for yourself on vacation
    • Want a sunny beach a few steps away (Eagle Island has a swimming dock, but no beach)
    • Enjoy meeting new people on vacation
    • Want a lot of closet space, especially hanging room
    • Must have a gym where you stay
    • And a swimming pool 
    • Hope to never, ever see a crocodile in the wild 

    If the Answer is Yes, Things to Pack for Eagle Island

    • Casual walking shoes or sneakers (Eagle Island is not stiletto territory)
    • Swimsuits (the more the better)
    • SPF, sunglasses, sun hat
    •​ Insect repellent
    • Windsurfing booties, Teva sandals, or other stay-on, waterproof footwear
    • A nylon windbreaker for kayaking
    • Your own music

    See how you can arrange renting Eagle Island in Georgia from Captain Andy >>

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  • 06 of 06

    Find out More about Eagle Island & Reserve this Private Island in Georgia

    What happens on vacation stays here
    A reassuring sign at Eagle Lodge on Eagle Island, Georgia. © Anne M. Raso

    Find Out More About Eagle Island, Georgia​

    • Visit Eagle Island's website
    • On Facebook
    Flickr photostream
    ​​• Info by phone: 912.222.0801
    • Reservations: 912.638.0306
    • By email

     

    As is common in the travel industry, the Guest Author was provided with a complimentary visit for the purpose of describing Eagle Island. For more info, see our site's Ethics Policy.