Staycations: Skidaway Island State Park

By Tim Guidera - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Even though it's across a drawbridge, down a shaded road and behind a curtain of pines and live oaks, Skidaway Island State Park was never designed as a secret location.

It just seems like one sometimes.

"There's plenty of people who come to the park and say they've lived in Savannah 10 or 20 years and they've never been to the park," said park manager Holly Holdsworth.

And maybe there's never been a better time to discover this 500-acre oasis that's just outside the city limits that feels a world away.

With many families looking for more affordable, less distant vacation alternatives this year, Skidaway Island State Park stands out as much for its price as its proximity.

"Staying closer to home is a better deal with gas prices going up again,'' said Sue Vaughn, who was spending a few nights camping at the park. "You definitely get a lot of bang for the buck.''

Or for $3. That buys access to five and a half miles of walking trails, an interpretive nature center, wildlife exhibits, bird-watching stands, observation towers, playgrounds and picnic areas.

There are also 87 campsites for those who want to make more than a day of it in the woods.

"It's so nice because you're real close to the city if you want to do something,'' said Holdsworth. "But you're enough away that you don't feel like you're anywhere near Savannah. You're in a real nice, natural, pristine environment.''

And where you aren't when you're at the park is a big part of the experience. And why you really can feel like you're going on vacation just by going around the corner.

"It is really great,'' said Kayla Winn of Savannah. "I love The nature of it. And then having a little park in the secluded woods, it's really peaceful and serene.''

"If you go back on the trails, you can't see anything except nature,'' added Laura Frost, a downtown resident who often travels to the park on Skidaway. "I always tell my kids it's like being in dinosaur land back there.''

"You don't have all the hustle and bustle disturbing you from relaxing and enjoying time with the family and friends and enjoying nature in its truest form,'' said Holdsworth. "So it's just a nice getaway.''

Made even better by not being far away.

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