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DO IT: Hiking - Historic Darien

Historic Darien -

Darien is the second-oldest planned town in Georgia. Prior to the Civil War, Darien served as the leading seaport for shipping lumber and cotton. Today, the town is known for its interesting history, celebrated seafood, Southern hospitality and the Annual Blessing of Fleet festival, which is an event that takes place on a spring weekend on the waterfront and is full of music, food, and fun.

Darien is off I-95 in McIntosh County, and is a great place to learn about the history of Coastal Georgia. Avoid the crowds of Savannah and the cost of a guided tour with a visit to Darien.

Visit to find an online brochure of the tour and other key points of interest in McIntosh County.  Or pick up a map from the Darien & McIntosh County Chamber & Visitor Center at 1111 Magnolia Bluff Way, #410 in Darien, and take a self-guided walking tour filled with local heritage and history.

Historic Darien Walking Tour

Recommended Route and Stops:

Stop by the Visitor Center to pick-up a Walking Tour brochure or view it online via Next, drive to downtown Darien and park. All walking tour stops are in this area, other than the Visitor Center.

Following the numerical order works well if you have plenty of time and are interested in visiting all the suggested stops. If you want to mix it up, the map on the brochure makes it easy to create your own version of the Historic Darien Walking Tour.

The Darien Walking Tour includes churches, tabby structures and ruins, historical squares, and more. The tour begins with the First Presbyterian Church of Darien, which is the first congregation of that denomination to be established in Georgia. The church was founded in 1736 – only three years after the colony of Georgia was established by James Oglethorpe.

Another amazing site on the tour is the First African Baptist Church. The structure is a replica of the first church built on this site, which was used as the primary religious center for freed slaves during Reconstruction.

If you don’t have time to visit all 17 stops (16 not including the Visitor Center), swing by Darien’s Historic Waterfront to experience an authentic slice of the Georgia Coast. Shrimp boats line the shore – commercial shrimping has been a staple of the local community since the 1920s. You will also find tabby ruins, the legendary Tabby Oak, and the site of Fort Darien.

The Walking Tour brochure includes other key points of interest of the area if you’d like to expand your tour. These sites are more spread out and will require a car.

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