McIntosh County is rich in history, cultural, and environmental resources. The live oak canopies, expansive marshland vistas, and barrier islands create a distinctive atmosphere that defines McIntosh County as a coastal area of unmatched natural beauty.
Surrounded by marshlands, maritime forests, and the mighty Altamaha River, McIntosh County is the most distinctive ecological, historical, cultural, ethnic, and archaeological area on the Eastern Seaboard. Nearly one-third of the county’s land area is owned by the state and federal governments, and is thus protected from development.
Upscale neighborhoods such as Belvedere Island Plantation and Sutherland Bluff Plantation in Townsend/Shellman Bluff offer remote, private living amid breathtaking beauty; access to the Intracoastal Waterway, Atlantic Ocean, and private beaches of Georgia’s barrier islands; and one of the most beautiful golf courses on Georgia’s Coast. Yet the cost of living in McIntosh County is significantly less than the U.S. average, more than 15% less, and 10% less than the statewide cost of living.Check out our county map!
As a coastal community, McIntosh County provides opportunities for an array of water sports. The waters of McIntosh County are known as the Fisherman’s Paradise. Crabbing and shrimping are seasonal, but many take their chances with crab traps, or even a piece of bait on the end of a string; shrimp nets are used off backyard docks and off beaches. There are boat ramps, kayak launches, and marinas located throughout the county.
McIntosh County waterways provide an excellent opportunity for kayak and boating tours. Miles of tributaries flow through undeveloped sections of the county, allowing glimpses of rare tidal forest containing bald cypress, sweet black gum, and water tupelo, not to mention the abundance of wildlife, fish, and birds. Darien has been a destination for “Paddle America” on the Altamaha River.
For cyclists, part of the East Coast Greenway runs along Georgia Highway 99, and U.S. Bike Route 1 follows along U.S. Highway 17.
Bird watchers enjoy a plethora of local and migratory avians at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge. On any given day, osprey, bald eagles, great blue herons, red tailed hawks, and owls may be seen. Research estimates that nearly three quarters of all migratory waterfowl in the Western Hemisphere spend time in the Altamaha River delta every year.
Golf is another favorite activity, with the 18-hole course at Sapelo Hammock Golf Club providing an excellent golf experience featuring our scenic coastal landscape. Sapelo Hammock Golf Club offers corporate and personal memberships and has a very active social environment, with dinner and events for those with a social membership. Businesses and charities utilize the facility to host tournaments for their specific entity, and the course is also open to the public.
McIntosh County residents also find that they are a short, 30-minute drive to the Atlantic Ocean beaches of The Golden Isles.
McIntosh County has extraordinary and unsurpassed historic and cultural resources including the Geechee Gullah Community of Hog Hammock on Sapelo Island who are descendants of formerly enslaved plantation workers. Accessible only by boat, Sapelo Island is also home to the University of Georgia’s Marine Institute and the state-owned Reynolds Mansion, and pristine, lonely beaches.
In Darien, the reconstructed Fort King George allows visitors to imagine life there in the early 1700s when the fort was the southern outpost of the British Empire in North America. A museum and film cover the Guale Indians, the Santo Domingo de Talaje mission, Fort King George, the Scots of Darien, and 19th century sawmilling when Darien became a major seaport.
In fine arts, the local McIntosh Theatrical Arts Association has periodic stage productions in the theater at McIntosh County Academy. The McIntosh Arts Association maintains a gallery in the “Old Jail Art Center and Museum,” where artifacts and photos depicting much of Darien and McIntosh County history are on display along with varying mediums of art by local artists.
This space is where artists of all ages can cultivate an appreciation for art while crafting their own masterpieces. The building was the jail in Darien for many years and several cells are part of the history displayed.
Experience the vibrant spirit of late April in Darien during the annual Blessing of the Fleet – a bustling three-day event celebrating the town's treasured shrimping industry. Enjoy art and craft vendors, delectable cuisine, a YMCA 5k race, children's activities, classic car show, nightly live entertainment, and a hometown parade.
The pinnacle of this memorable weekend culminates on Sunday as the local clergy bestow blessings upon the shrimp boats, captains, and crews, ushering in a safe and prosperous season. Darien's Blessing of the Fleet is the largest of its kind on the East Coast, drawing crowds of more than 30,000 throughout the delightful weekend.
The McIntosh County School System is the first step in a child’s future success in Darien and McIntosh County, Georgia. Our K-12 schools educate just over 1,200 students and are Cognia accredited.
Businesses searching for an area where prospective employees can gain valuable skills at nearby higher educational facilities high-quality institutions within a 30-minute drive, in Brunswick, as well as an hour away at Savannah. Details are found here.
Healthcare services are available through Southeast Georgia Health System (SGHS) at the main medical center facility in Brunswick. There are several local physicians, as well as chiropractic care, local dentistry, and physical therapy.
Coastal Community Health also provides a wide variety of healthcare services, such as family medicine, pharmacy, behavioral health, women’s health, and occupational health at three McIntosh County locations, Darien, Townsend/Eulonia and Shellman Bluff.