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 ExploreGeorgia.org 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 exploregeorgia.org. Next, drive to downtown Darien
and park. All walking tour stops are in this area, other than the Visitor
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
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
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
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.