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When to Go
Early spring and late fall are ideal for visiting the coastal isles and the Okefenokee. By February, temperatures often reach into the 70s, while nights remain cool and even chilly, which keeps the bugs at bay. Because of the high demand to visit these areas before the bugs arrive and after they depart, you should book ferry reservations to Sapelo Island and Cumberland Island National Seashore months in advance for spring and fall: without a reservation, you risk having to wait days for a cancellation. If you plan to stay in the immediate vicinity of St. Marys or Meridian, the docking points for the Cumberland and Sapelo ferries, or Folkston, the gateway to the Okefenokee, it's advisable to book rooms for these areas well in advance for spring, as accommodations are scarce and the demand is high. The Cumberland Island ferry accepts reservations six months in advance. If you go during the warmer months, always bring water because these areas generally offer minimal services.
By May, deerflies and mosquitoes swarm the coast and islands in abundance. Don't underestimate their impact: during peak times in some areas they are so thick they sound like hail hitting your car. And though many localities spray, it's imperative to have a good repellent handy, especially when traveling to outlying areas. Despite the subtropical heat and humidity, summer is busy and you can count on crowds flocking to the beaches, so you'll want to make reservations at least a couple of months in advance. The season lasts until Labor Day, but you can still expect many travelers making weekend getaways until October or late November, when the weather begins to turn cooler. Hurricane season officially runs from June through the end of November, but August and September are typically the peak months.
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