The Best Poorly Kept Secret
by: Davis Yancy Clegg
The body loves to travel and the mind loves to wander. At least for me, this has always been the case. Even standing in a corner of a room where you’ve never stood, you a different perspective – seeing things before you might not have noticed in years living in that space. It satisfies the mind and soul to experience and to see new things. So, whenever we travel, doesn’t it make sense to serve our senses to the fullest? Sure, you can take a trip to Cancun, Mexico. Or maybe a big city is more your style. Whatever endeavors you seek out, chances are you’ve dreamed about them before embarking.
Sitting and enjoying a perfectly poured Guiness chatting with an old friend in the hospitality industry, we discussed such a place of a paradisaical nature. My friend worked 9 days straight on the nearby island at said destination. I couldn’t help but reflect on the sacrifices that virtually all of my closest friends make on a daily basis. There is no professional pursuit more respectable than to dedicate your professional life to serving others. Hat’s off to all of you my friends. As our discussion ensued, we posed a question: “What makes a place appeal to all the senses?” Some island goers who prefer to live a simple life might answer, “The opportunity to meet great people and take in the culture differences from our own.” Some of the more brochure driven crowd may reply, “The historic value and accommodations.” Then there are those who would candidly remark, “We are just stoked about getting out of town, getting hammered drunk every day, checking out some live music, hanging on the beach and trying our best act-a-fool every night. We will never see those people again!” Personally, I’m inclined to hop on the bus with the latter group! However, no matter how many tours you take, the people you meet, or the number of Patron Silver shots you can manage to get down before last call…there isn’t one of us who doesn’t enjoy seeing a marvel off the grid such as the Greyfield Inn on Cumberland Island.
The Greyfield Inn is nothing short of breath-taking. It sits majestic set back a seamless landscape, as a true colonial-style structure should! It was once a preserve for very well-to-do industrialists such as the Carnegies. Though in 1972, it became a protected national seashore. Built in 1900 for Margaret Ricketson, the daughter of Lucy and Thomas Carnegie and niece of Andrew Carnegie, Greyfield opened to guests in 1962. If the Inn didn’t need the support and money coming in (a result of allowing guests to visit the inn), it might still be off limits to the public. While much history remains, there have been some renovations to protect the Inn. The most impressive accommodations are the 200 acres of wildlife and nature – virtually undisturbed. My single favorite thing about the property is that guest traffic has been carefully monitored since the National Park Service took over much of it. It’s all too often that we see the government’s role in a private affairs lend itself to a negative connotation. However, the Park Service does a wonderful job of monitoring the guest traffic. This allows every guest to have the chance to wander the grounds without other human presence around. What better way is there to experience generation after generation of wild horses and preserved landscape than solo on your very own island walk-about? The proper response is “None!”
While we at Amelia River Cruises urge you to experience Amelia entirely, you may be looking for something just a tiny bit secluded for a special weekend getaway. Keeping that in mind, the American Inn Association would love for you to know that the Greyfield Inn is listed amongst the top 10 Most Romantic Inns in the entire country. You could do much worse by your lady gentlemen! One thing I feel I should add in closing is that the Greyfield Inn & Cumberland Island were the first two places I visited when I came to Florida for the first time visiting family. One month later, I moved here and have never been happier anywhere! The sights and amazing food and events certainly didn’t hurt chances, but it truly is simply the outlandish characters and unwavering friendships I have been fortunate enough to make that keep me here!
Until next week, Stay salty my friends!