What: Fort King George Historic Site
Where: 302 McIntosh Rd SE, Darien, GA 31305 | 912-437-5479
When: Tuesday- Saturday 9 – 5 pm, Sunday 2 – 5:30 pm
Closed Monday except federal holidays
Over the Christmas break we visited with my in-laws in St. Simon’s Island, Ga. It was too cold to go swimming, but a perfect time of year to visit the many historic sites around the area. My kids had so much fun at Fort Frederica in St. Simon’s, we decided to head north to the pre-Revolutionary War Fort King George in nearby Darien. If we’d had more time, we would have gone south to the Castillo de San Marco to complete the tri-fecta of military strongholds in the area, especially since they all have an intertwined story. Here’s why my nephew called our visit to Fort King George “The best day of my life!”
History of Fort King George
From its construction in 1721 until it was abandoned in 1732, Fort King George was the southernmost outpost of the British Empire in North America. Named for King George I of Britain, the fort was a typical small triangular-shaped European field fortification. Surrounded by a moat on two sides and the north branch of the Altamaha River on the third, the fort’s main defense was a 26-foot-square blockhouse – which was also the main stronghold of the Battle of Christmas Break.
Our visit began with a tour of the small museum with 18th and 19th century artifacts and a short film about the history of the fort. The best part however, were the wooden guns set in a row for kids to borrow as they walk through the fort. Thankfully it was a slow day, because the battle that ensued was all consuming. The kids had a blast running around the entire complex shooting each other and even learned a little along the way. I had to laugh at the older gentlemen who clearly wanted to join in. We offered him a spare weapon, but he preferred his finger.
When to visit Fort King George
Since Fort King George is located along the marshes of the Golden Isles of Georgia, you can bet that it get’s hot and buggy in the summer. Really buggy. I advise going in the cooler months. We had a gorgeous December day completely bug free with the sun shining, but not beating down on us. If you go in the summer, bring bug spray, sun screen and bounce sheets (we learned on another trip bounce sheets keep the no-see‘ums (gnats) away).
Revolutionary War Re-Enactors at Fort King George
We had so much fun at Fort King George over the Christmas holidays, we returned for the Fourth of July when they had re-enactors at the fort. We watched them dip candles, forge iron, prepare to shoot a gun (they even let my son hold it!), and fire the canon. Afterwards, the boys used the toy wooden guns to imitate what they learned. It was another fantastic day at Fort King George and a reason we’ll return again to Darien, Ga.