May 23, 2023 It rained lightly all night long, but when we got up at 8:00, it had stopped. It rained more during breakfast, but Bob was finally able to squeeze in a walk with Auggie. We got our act together about 11:00 and drove to the town of Brunswick. Brunswick is surrounded by 4 rivers and the ICW. It was a colonial port of entry and is still one of the most productive ports on the East Coast. Brunswick is one of the largest ports for shrimpers, cargo ships, fishing boats, and pleasure boats dating back to George Washington’s time. We drove towards the city’s downtown area which has the largest historic district in Georgia. Driving down Albany St. took us back in time with many homes in the Victorian style and those lovely wraparound porches I love.
Our first stop was to find the Lovers Oak. Historians say that it was the trysting place for North American braves and maidens.
It’s trunk measures 13 ft. in diameter and branches into 10 limbs which are 12-30 inches in diameter. It is estimated to be 900 years old. The plaque stated that the International Society of Arboriculture recognized the tree as having lived there at the time of the signing of our constitution. Impressive!
This was just the first of many enormous live oaks that we saw in the city. Some were so old that they built the road to go around it to preserve the tree. They were everywhere!
From there, we drove to Old Town Brunswick which has 14 Signature Squares laid out among a neat grid of streets providing green, grassy spaces brimming with flowers and shrubs, benches to sit on and rest awhile, fountains, and brick walkways. The squares are named for the City founders, like Queen Square.
Venturing out on Newcastle Street took us to the main downtown area filled with shops, stores, a rum distillery, a brewery, and many restaurants.
The historic Ritz Theater sat among the other buildings on Newcastle Street. The Ritz Theater built in 1899 has been fully restored and still serves as a theater and arts center.
The Old City Hall sat towering above the rest of the buildings in historic Old Town. Built in 1889, it was restored in 2004. This striking structures is a part-time courthouse and venue for large group celebrations.
Nearby was the historic Courthouse which took up one whole city block.
The grounds around it were shaded by HUGE live oaks–one bigger than the next.
To give you an idea of how big they are, I went to stand next to one. AMAZING!
We left Old Town and drove to the waterfront and Brunswick Landing Marina.
It is the largest in the area with 15 long piers containing many slips along the waterfront and includes the Brunswick Yacht Club. There were more single docks stretching farther down along the waterfront.
We had stayed at this marina on our boat in 2011 when we were on our way to Chesapeake Bay. We wanted to see how much it had grown and changed . . . and it had! We have never seen so many huge catamarans in one place. We’d have to say the town of Brunswick and the surrounding area is underrated as a place to visit. It has a lot to see and offer the casual visitor. From there, it was a short drive to Mary Ross Waterfront Park.
We found the scale model of the WWII era Liberty Ship, like the 99+ vessels built in Brunswick shipyards between 1943-45. The steel vessels were used as cargo and troop carriers for the U.S. Merchant Marines.
The park also boasts of a farmer’s market on Tuesdays, but the rain might have put a damper on things and we were a little late in arriving, so everyone was gone. From there, we took a drive to the outskirts of town for a stop at Walmart for some groceries and propane cylinders for the grill. We had just started to shop when we were alerted that all the computers went down when the lights blacked out in the store shortly before we got there. There was no way to check anyone out with their purchases. Oh my! I kept shopping and Bob went to check a few minutes later. They had gotten things up and running, but it would take a few minutes to get all the computers rebooted. By the time we were ready to check out, everything was running smoothly. What a nightmare for the Walmart staff!
We were lucky! It never really rained on us today while we were out touring around. Just a short sprinkle here and there, but only for a few minutes. Back at the campground, we prepared some things for our departure tomorrow to Charleston. We stowed all our outside things so that if it rained overnight, we wouldn’t have to deal with any wet things tomorrow. It didn’t rain at all after we got back to the campground and we were able to walk Auggie without any threat of rain. Even though we’ve had quite a bit of rain during our stay here, the temperature has really been enjoyable in the 70’s without any humidity. We’ve really enjoyed our extended stay in Georgia!