Escape to sunshine and fast action at these South Atlantic saltwater fishing lodges.
Here's a look at some lodges and inns along the South Atlantic Coast from Virginia down to Georgia that offer the chance to enjoy life and wet a hook in the brine. Join us as we see what they have to offer.
Anglers looking for a moderately priced resort that provides good saltwater fishing, along with lots of other activities, will find their needs met at Virginia's Cherrystone Family Camping Resort. Located on the Eastern Shore of the Cavalier State, the resort covers 300 acres situated along a natural shoreline on the Chesapeake Bay
The resort offers a wide range of options for anglers. Cherrystone leases 600 acres of Chesapeake Bay for use by its guests. The property is bounded by Kings Creek, Cherrystone Creek and the bay. The most frequently caught fish are flounder, bluefish, seatrout, croaker and spots.
To accommodate fishing, the resort has four piers situated for maxim um access. Additionally, Cherrystone has a fully-stocked Bait and Tackle Shop on site. The shop also offers rental fishing boats and kayaks for even better access to the angling.
From Memorial Day into the fall season, Capt. Ray Cardone operates the 50-foot charter boat "Miss Jennifer" from the Cherrystone dock. Day trips for drift fishing on the bay are offered, with all tackle and bait provided. Tickets for the "Miss Jennifer" can be purchased in the resort's Bait and Tackle Shop.
The complex boasts 700 campsites that run the gamut from simple to deluxe. Tent sites with or without hook ups, economy RV sites to handle pop-ups or fifth wheels and deluxe sites that can accommodate even the largest RVs are all available.
If those options are too rough for your taste, you can rent a camping cabin that is rustic and sparsely furnished, or a cottage that has a host of amenities.
Cherrystone is truly a full-service resort for the entire family.
Activities offered are rental stand-up paddle boards, free paddle boats on the resort pond, the Wet Zone water park and five swimming pools, one of which is reserved for adults only, and a lazy river tube ride.
For those wanting to stay dry, the resort offers daily activities, including volleyball and an arcade for teens, as well as three playgrounds, jumping pillow and pad for the kids.
All ages can enjoy the craft shop, mini-golf, corn hole and horseshoes.
Other amenities on the resort grounds are a general store, the Farm Stand offering local fresh vegetables and seafood on a seasonal basis, rental golf carts, the Clam Tram that provides shuttles around the resort, and the Cherrystone Express for shuttles to and from the town of Cape Charles. ($)
cherrystone.com, (757) 331-3063
The Captain's Landing Waterfront Inn was opened for business in 2001 by owners George and Betty Chamberlain, but it has links to two centuries of Ocracoke Island history. Betty was born on Ocracoke and both sides of her family trace their roots back to the first island settlers in 1759.
As for the present inn itself, the plans for its construction were based on photos of the Ponzer Hotel that stood nearby, serving visitors from 1885 to 1900. Today, however, the only thing old-fashioned about the inn is its friendly and excellent service, making it a good place to hang your hat while fishing the surrounding waters.
The inn is located on Silver Lake Harbor and has boat slips available at its dock. Those feature shore power and water hook-ups. If you need a charter, there are a dozen inshore, wreck or offshore charter boats and captains that work from the docks along Silver Lake. With the warm waters of the Gulf Stream flowing just 12 miles offshore of Ocracoke, it is possible to make the short run out to tangle with marlin, dolphin, red snapper, amberjacks and yellowfin tuna.
If you prefer to stay firmly afoot on the shore, surf casting along the oceanfront beaches is your ticket. Just drive along State Route 12 till you find a likely spot and set up. You even can get a beach driving permit from the National Park Service office, if you want to cut out the walk to the sand.
Surf casters regularly encounter red and black drum, sharks, bluefish, flounder, Spanish mackerel, pompano, spots, croaker, and sea mullet (whiting) when fishing from the beach.
The inn also is a short way from Tradewinds Tackle, which can handle all your bait and gear needs.
The accommodations at Captain's Landing consist of eight waterfront suites, a penthouse and an adjacent cottage, all of which overlook Silver Lake. All of these facilities feature fully-equipped kitchens, spacious balconies, cable television and wireless internet. The inn also has bicycles and golf carts available, along with a grilling area with picnic tables and a gift shop.
There are two regularly scheduled automobile ferries between Ocracoke and the North Carolina mainland, as well as another to Hatteras Island to the north. The island also has an airport that handles small private planes. ($$)
thecaptainslanding.com, (252) 928-1999
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GEORGIA
The Lodge at Little St. Simons Island hosts up to 32 guests at any one time, so you might have to share its 7 miles of pristine beach and tidal waterways with a few others. But, then again, you could rent the isle's entire 17 square miles for your getaway!
Located just offshore of Brunswick, Georgia, and accessible only by boat, the bulk of the island is a pristine wilderness of moss-draped live oaks, surrounded by tidal creeks and marshes. Accommodations consist of two rooms in the Hunting Lodge built in 1917, plus five cottages ranging from one to four bedrooms each. Though the cottages are rustic in appearance on the outside, the furnishings and service on the island are first-rate.
Along with daily housekeeping service, guests are provided with transportation to and from the island, as well as three meals, hors d'oeuvres and snacks provided by the lodge's chefs in a family-style dining experience.
Unlimited soft drinks and premium beer and wines with dinner also are included in the price of your stay. Those meals feature fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables from the lodge's organic gardens as part of their seeds-to-table program. Additionally, much of the seafood on the menu comes from surrounding waters.
The lodge also provides fishing tackle, and motorized skiffs or kayaks. The estuary areas of the Peach State coast are some of the most fertile on the eastern seaboard and also are some of the least known to anglers. The waters abound with redfish, seatrout, black drum and flounder. The lodge also can arrange fishing guides.
Anglers also have the option of surf casting from the beach. Whiting, redfish and a variety of sharks are the main quarry there.
When you aren't on the water fishing, the Lodge on Little St. Simons offers opportunities to explore the island's ecosystem and wildlife via bicycle, canoes, powerboats or kayaks.
Or you may want to lounge on the beach, take a dip in the surf, beachcomb, go birding, partake of twice daily excursions led by naturalists or swim in the freshwater swimming pool.
Whatever your pleasure, the Lodge on Little St. Simons Island will satisfy your whims and quickly accustom you to island time. ($$$)
$ Edisto Beach State Park Cabins & Campground
Edisto Island, South Carolina
Located halfway between Beaufort and Charleston, this park has 7 one- and three-bedroom cabins on the salt marsh along Scott Creek, 1 1/2 miles inland from the beach. The park has kayak access, a fishing pier and 108 campsites on the beach, with a boat ramp on Big Bay Creek. (843) 869-2758
$ Riverview Hotel
St. Marys, Georgia
Historic building dating from 1916, overlooking the St. Marys River and across the street from the National Park Service's ferry dock for Cumberland Island National Seashore. Twenty guest rooms with private baths, cable TV, wifi and continental breakfast included. Lang Charters (langcharters.com) is across the street, offering inshore and offshore trips (912) 882-3242
$$ Harbourgate Resort & Marina
North Mytle Beach, South Carolina
Located on the Intracoastal Waterway in South Carolina's Grand Strand, Harbourgate Resort & Marina offers 100 wet boat slips and 108 one-, two-, and three-bedroom condominiums. Fishing charters are available on the harbor. Restaurants, a full-service fuel dock, a Ships Store and jet ski rentals are available. (843) 249-8888
$$ The Inn at Tabbs Creek
Port Haywood, Virginia
This historic bed & breakfast has four bedrooms and three suites in two buildings, just off Mobjack Bay. A fishing dock is on the property and kayaks set up for angling are available. Capt. Chris Newsome (bayflyfishing.com) picks up clients at the inn's dock. The Inn also has a den with library and fireplace, waterside breakfast areas, pool and pool deck and screened porch. (804) 725-5136
$$$ The Inn at Bald Head Island
Bald Head Island, North Carolina
The Inn at Bald Head Island is on its namesake isle, 2 miles off the mainland at the mouth of the Cape Fear River. The inn's 10 luxury rooms and suites overlook the harbor where the ferry from Southport provides the only public access to the island. Surf fishing and charter boat pick-ups can be arranged. Golf carts are available for island transportation. 1-888-367-7091