St. Catherines Island

Located off the coast of Georgia, St. Catherines is an island with white sandy beaches, a variety of wildlife, and dense forests of pines. The island is also filled with history. For 4,000 years it was home to the Guale Indians. In the 16th century, the Spanish built a mission here. In 1680, the mission was abandoned. It was lost for almost 300 years, then rediscovered by archaeologists in 1974.

Size: 10 miles long, 14,640 acres
Geography: tidal marsh, wetlands, ponds, dense forests
Climate: subtropical
Owned by: St. Catherines Island Foundation
Cool fact: After the Civil War, the island served as the capital of a new state that was formed for freed slaves.

Image credits: AMNH, David Hurst Thomas.