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“Downhome and original”

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Okefenokee Pastimes
Minneapolis
Level Contributor
135 reviews
132 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
“Downhome and original”
Reviewed 10 January 2012

We stayed here 3 nights and did 2 of the kayak tours, one guided in the swamp and the other a shuttle to/from the St Mary's river.

We stayed in a deluxe cabin. It was small but very well appointed and lacked for nothing, well, except space. The mini little screen porch was nice but temps were too chilly the nights we were there to sit out. Plus side - no bugs. Cabin had a space heater and that worked well with night time temps down in the 40s.

We did the kayak tour our first full day, it was fascinating but temps so chilly that there wasn't a lot going on critter wise. It was a beautiful, sunny morning however and a very enjoyable experience. Next day we did the St Mary River kayak and that was fabulous. Another beautiful, sunny day, chilly morning but warmer then the previous morning. Easy kayaking and with wonderful views along the river. Fish camps and interesting birds and some little creeks running into it that didn't go far but were still fun to check out. Very much enjoyed our stay here.

Be forewarned however, if you like to eat dinner out and don't want fast or dinner food and don't want to drive a long ways your options are limited. We did stumble upon Tuptim Thai our first night however and enjoyed it immensely. We ate 2 dinners there. It is a surprising little gem.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank MspTripper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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30 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 October 2011

We arrived sleep deprived after staying at a hostel and our stay here really helped us recover. We slept so well, it was really quiet at night and the bed was warm and comfortable. We stayed in a Deluxe cabin. Everything was really clean and cozy. The cabin and its kitchen are well equipped. They even provide salt and pepper - and some coffee and tea to get you started. They provide free wifi as well. The mosquito population had exploded before we arrived and we were really grateful for the screened porch. It was our staging area where we sprayed ourselves with Deet before talking a walk in the refuge. The location is great too - it is exactly across the road from the entrance of the Okefenokee refuge.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Cat144
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2011

Conducting research in Okefenokee Swamp was made a ton easier by working with the pros. Both Steve and Jo got us all settled in our cabin and early the next morning we set off for a four-hour private tour of the swamp. As it was early December we were the only ones out there. Steve's knowledge of the ecosystem, the animals and the folklore was amazing. Since he uses a trolling motor we were able to glide along and view the wildlife without spooking them. The cabin was cozy and very well maintained. Sometimes we dined in, sometimes we went up to Folkston for food. Since the weather was unseasonably cold, we didn't hike around as much as we'd liked, but we were warm each night inside the cabin.

If you're making a trip to this part of Georgia, these are the folks to show you the wonders of Okefenokee. I can't praise these guys enough.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank Wordsmith55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richmond, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 July 2010

We just returned from 3 nights at Okefenokee Pastimes. My uncle stayed in one deluxe cabin, and my sister, her teenage daughter and I stayed in another. The other reviews are right-on. The cabins are extremely clean, and had everything we needed. Plenty of towels, comfortable pillows, soap, toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, liquid soap and dishwashing liquid. Everything we needed. The air conditioner kept the cabin so cold we had to turn it down at night. The screened porch was a nice place to spend a bug-free hour after dinner. We brought our own charcoal and cooked out on the little grill provided. We fished in the pond and caught the biggest catfish you've ever seen, plus two largemouth bass! Steve took us on an early morning 4-hour motorboat tour of the swamp, and we saw amazing sights including many, many alligators and all kinds of interesting birds and plants. Three "ladies" in one cabin was not a challenge, except for the lack of space for all of our clothes, toiletries and beauty products! We tended to crowd the kitchen counter with all of our stuff, so that we had very little room to prepare a meal. The shower was very good - lots of hot water and good pressure. There were so many little touches we appreciated, including a makeup mirror by the kitchen sink (which doubles as the wash basin), coffee and filters provided, reading material, a clock radio and a deck of cards. Groceries can be bought in Folkston, about 8 miles away, and we ate at two local restaurants which were pretty good. We would recommend this to anyone who doesn't need room service. Thanks, Jo and Steve!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Annette059
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2010

I took my daughter who is 16 here for a canoe trip in the Okefenokee Swamp. This place is directly across from the entrance at Folkston, GA.

If you want a 5 star hotel and demand room service this is not for you. If you want a quiet and clean place to stay this is it. We got a deluxe cabin and it was awesome. After many journeys together I can say that this trip was the best one ever. We had everything we needed and plenty of food places and a grocery store were about 6 miles away.

Jo and Steve are super nice people and they know the area inside and out. Both are a wealth of information about the swamp.

Bring a fishing rod! They have a stocked pond available to guests. You can catch some serious fish.

  • Stayed July 2010
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Helpful?
3 Thank ElapidOne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2010

Okefenokee Pastimes is a totally different vacation experience that we will remember for years to come.
My wife and I have traveled throughout Georgia and were looking for a different experience, something we had never done before. The Okefenokee swamp seemed perfect. After researching the many tourist opportunities at the swamp, we decided to try Okefenokee Pastimes because of its family business, personal touch appearance on the web site. We were not disappointed.
They have hookup campsites and cabins with different feature levels. We selected a three night deluxe cabin package that included a morning swamp tour. The owners, Steve and Jo, met us at the office the Sunday night we arrived and spoke with us at length about the area, its attractions, and what to expect on our swamp tour.
As a small business, they do have a few sensible rules and will probably ask you to sign a paper indicating that you understand the rules. Most deal with having fires and smoking, understandable since they have been burned (literally) in the past.

Our deluxe cabin was small but extremely clean and my wife thought it was romantic. The beds were comfortable and cozy. Our cabin featured a double and a bunk. The bathroom had no tub, just a shower, but there was a kitchen area with dishes, sink, coffee maker, and microwave. The window air conditioner had no trouble keeping the cabin cool but did make a humming sound (normal for this type of unit). It tended to resonate in spots so we would advise you to carry ear plugs in the summer if you are light sleepers. A ceiling fan and a small oscillating fan really keep the air moving so perhaps you could just turn the AC off at night.

Our morning tour guide was owner Steve who had us assemble at 7AM for our 3 1/2 hour swamp excursion. The motorized boat included a gas and electric motor so that you could quickly get deep into the swam then quietly move about without disturbing the wildlife. It was just the 2 of us and Steve, so the tour was really customized to our interests. They do not give large, commercial-type tours. Many alligators and birds were seen, and there were prairies with acres and acres of blooming flowers. It is more like a floating botanical garden, not as one would expect. It was comfortable and not hot or sweaty. Mosquitoes were not a problem but I'd wear pants and long sleeve shirts on the tour because of the flies.
In summary, we highly recommend Okefenokee Pastimes for those looking for a rocking chair on a screened porch, an escape from TV, telephones, internet and who understand that this is a different, more personal experience. If you make a mess, you clean up after yourself. It is not a commercial hotel with room service and a pool. We loved it and plan to return.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank GaryinStoneMountain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
102 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2010

I never give all 5 stars but on this accomodation, there is no question that they deserve the best rating available, so 5 stars it is!!!

I travelled with my partner and 2 friends to see the Okefenokee Swamp for the first time, after living in GA my entire life. We are usually campers, choosing to stay in our individual hammocks most of the time but this trip we decided to book a package deal with Okefenokee Pastimes. The package was for a cabin and two tours on two different days: one of the swamp and one of the St. Mary's River.

The Deluxe cabin (see pictures) is small but includes a full sized bed, two bunks a small kitchenette & bathroom. The staff tried to caution us over & over about 4 grown adults staying in the small cabin they intended for 2 adults and a kid or two, but we are all used to staying in tight quarters and found that we had NO problem with it at all. We were comfortable and happy as clams, milling about on the picnic table outside or the screened porch at the front of the cabin. We even hung our hammocks outside the cabin and just lazed around one of the days.

The cabin was THE cleanest room we've ever stayed in. The linens were scrumptious and cozy, and everything was so perfectly clean, we were in heaven. There are bathrooms in the bathhouse because Okefenokee Pastimes doubles as a campground and they, too, were spotlessly clean.

The grounds were nice and they have a few walking paths out back. The grounds were neat & clean.

As far as the tours go, we felt we could not have had a better experience than with Steve, our guide. He took us out in his 16 ft. skiff, equipped with bucket seats (thank you!!) and we felt safe and secure. Steve taylored the experience to our special interests, which lean toward wildlife, flora & fauna. Steve could name almost every bird call and regaled us with stories & information about the Swamp. It was in no way a "canned" speech but instead felt personal and individualized to the point where we wouldn't go out again onto the Swamp with anyone else. Steve was personable, knowledgeable, courteous and above all safe while piloting the boat. His wife Jo was extremely accomodating, even having the grill awaiting us because she "thought we might" want it. How nice!!!

They have a small gift shop up front in the office and we spend an hour or so just looking through the local artists work they have there, chatting with Steve & Jo.

Basically, we felt like we stayed with family. We still want to experience the Swamp at night and maybe even get deeper out into the thick of it. Steve & Jo made the trip an awesome experience and we can't wait to go back again!

:D

LBinGA

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank LBinGA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Okefenokee Pastimes

Property: Okefenokee Pastimes
Address: 28244 Highway 121, Folkston, GA 31537-4846
Region: United States > Georgia > Folkston
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Speciality Lodging in Folkston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
Okefenokee Pastimes Folkston, Georgia

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