GH Tours Blog

Coastal Georgia on CNN

Ever since moving here in 1986 I find more and more exciting things to see and do.  Sad part I really have to talk allot and for a long time to explain all the things there are to do in Coastal Georgia.  Growing up we didn't hear much about Georgia except in a little Civil War history so this has opened up new vistas to explore for me.   When I first moved here I would go to travel shows and people were amazed that Georgia has a coast.  Georgia's coastline is 90 miles from Savannah to St. Marys and there is allot-packed into the area to see and do.  There area is beautiful and life is wonderful.  I was debating on saying  life is slow, but it really is.  If you come here from a big city you will realize what I mean.  I've been here long enough I can say "we" don't get real excited about anything, but we are glad to have you come. Southerners are very proud to have you come and see where we call home. You have to keep the refrigerator stocked with sweet tea and plenty of Coca-Cola - piece of pound cake is always good too.  It's call southern hospitality.  Go visit someone and they will always offer you something to drink and often times something to eat too.


Needless to say, I have fallen in love with the area.  I was transferred to the South and see no reason to move back North.  I go back to visit about every five years for my class reunion, which is always fun.  Yes, it gets hot here in the summer, but today it's only in the 80's - not bad and we always have an ocean breeze where I live on the coast.  We only have snow every 5-10 years here on the coast and it is usually gone by noon.  Not bad!  You can explore all the history on the coast, enjoy nature, go birding, go fishing, kayaking, watch the dolphins, see the wild horses on the beach, and much, much more.


I was sent this video this morning which gives you some idea where we are and you can see how beautiful it is.  Georgia has the largest salt marsh in the world and you can see part of it in this video "One Tank of Gas Trip" by CNN......check this out


For more information on the Georgia Coast visit


Have a great Independence Day Weekend and travel safely!


Smoke and More Smoke!

The Okefenokee Swamp is on Fire!

This was started on Saturday - This is a great day to stay inside, even though I'm at least 50 miles away from the fires in the Okefenokee Swamp.  The air currents have pushed the smoke and soot to the northeast and we are covered.  to give you some idea of what it's like...Jekyll Island is eight miles from Brunswick.  Driving into town today you could not see the big Sidney Lanier Bridge or any part of town.  I had to go to St. Simons Island and again you couldn;t see the island going across the causeway.

I had to leave home because the smell of the smoke had gotten in the house.  Probably should have taken Chico and Maddie too, but I had errands to run and they couldn't stay in the car.  Hopefully since they are on the floor the smell won't bother them.

The fire started in April in the southwest part of the Okefenokee Swamp in Honey Prairie.  Fires are good for the Swamp as they burn back the underbrush and allow the trees to grow more easily.  It isn't good though when the fire gets out of control an starts to threaten buildings and residences.  We are in serious need of rain - a hurricane, someplace other than the Georgia Coast, spinning off lots of water is what we need.  There have been storms the past few evenings, but still not enough rain, just lots of thunder and lightening.

This past week more fires broke out in the Waycross area, about 50 miles west of Brunswick.  This started in another section of the Okefenokee Swamp.  Just yesterday it was reported to have jumped US 1.  If you were to the South before freeways you know this is a major north-south highway - four lane divided too.

Update today - Sunday, June 19th....Rain arrived in the Okefenokee Swamp last night which kept fires from spreading.  It has been reported that many have been driven from their homes, but so far only one house  and a barn have been destroyed.  The authorities said the only thing that will put the fire out is a major tropical depression dropping massive amounts of water.  We don't need the disaster of a hurricane, just the water.  Smoke is supposed to move out late this afternoon with the sea breezes.   On top of the fires it is in the high 90's here today!

This is just part of the challenges of living in the South in the summer!




Ginny Howell Tours Can Be Found "On Any Given Day"

Ginny and ChicoThis is the first post to our new Blog that you will find on our website, and on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn .  I will be writing about things to see and do off the beaten path of the interstates, many which are featured on our tours and any other topic I think you will be interested in reading about.  This first posting gives you some insight into Ginny Howell and was written a number of years ago by Lynda Dalton-Gallagher.

"On Any Given Day"

"On any given day you can find Ginny Howell of Ginny Howell /tours, researching restaurants, hotels and attractions in the southeastern United States.  she keeps her car well tuned and her cell phone charged.  Ginny Howell lives and breathers her tour business, always thinking of new and exciting ways of intruducing visitors to the many amenities and attractions of North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee.  It's what makes her tick.  You can rest assured that Ginny has experienced the activities and services clients will enjoy on their customized tours  She does the research.

Virginia Rose Howell was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio.  After earning her BS in Business Education from Ohio State University she lived and worked in the Columbus area for the next 20 years.  In 1984, she took a management position with Knights Inn and in 1986 was transferred to Brunswick Georgia, gateway to Georgia's Golden Isles.  It was here what she would fall in love with the South.

According to Ginny, curb appeal was very important to Knights Inn.  They ran an annual national "landscaping contest" and required participation.  Ginny spearheaded the project at her Brunswick property and won the top award.  As part of the prize, the grounds of the winning hotel were photographed and used in that year's Knights Inn national ad campaign.

After the Inn was sold, Ginny accepted a position as Sales Office Manager and Assistant GM at the Glynn Mall Suites owned by Atlanta developer Scott Hudgins.  Her task was to "put heads to pillows in a big hurry" so she began to "court" the motorcoach industry.  She put together packages that were tailored to the Golden Isles - St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island and Sea Island.

When a local receptive balked on an agreement to extend two complimentary packages per coach to a two coach group, Ginny Howell decided to go into business herself. With a typewriter, fax and phone, she set up a part time tour business in her home and began to design and market local sightseeing packages to North Carolina motorcoach operators.

I met Ginny Howell in 1994.  I had just moved back to St. Simons Island after ten years and needed a job.  Since I was an experienced Savannah, Hilton Head and Beaufort tour guide a friend suggested I talk with Ginny about possible employment.  By this time she had an office, two computers, a Fax machine that never stopped and two local guides.  She wanted to expand and I was in the right place at the right time.  I still work for Ginny Howell Tours as a Specialty Tour director and she has become a close friend.

In 1997, Ginny moved her business back into her home on Jekyll Island after he husband passed away.  Deer dine ain her front yard and a Jenny Wren nests in her mailbox (she keeps a basket beineath it for home delivery).  GHT employs ten Tour Directors, each of whom is licensed and / or qualified to tour in multiple cities, belongs to NTA, ABA, Pennsylvania Bus Association, Georgia Motorcoach Association, North Carolina Motorcoach Association.

Ginny Howell believe in "quality at an affordable price."  She has earned and keeps a very long list of satisfied customers.

On any given day, armed with rescued blonde chihuahua named Chico, Ginny rules the road."

Kind words are always wonderful from someone who works for you.  Times have changed, business has changed, but I have to thank each and everyone of you who have been my customer over the years and have continued to support Ginny Howell Tours.  We are looking forward to bringing you more fun and exciting tours......always a quality tour at an affordable price."  You can find  those tours on our website and in our monthly newsletter "Coastal Tales".  If you want to receive a copy of the newsletter you can sign up at

Keep traveling!  We aren't participating in the recession or depression or whatever state we are in at any given minute!  We all have to keep working and living!












Written by tourgal21. Posted in Main - GH Tours Blog

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