With rapid construction overtaking Atlantas already jammed streets, theres no better way to escape than to cruise down to CUMBERLAND ISLAND. Its Georgias biggest barrier island, and it can only be reached by ferry, making it a subtropical oasis for a plethora of animals, including egrets, pelicans and wild horses. Walk along the secluded beach, with its backdrop of smooth, white dunes, and you might catch a glimpse of loggerhead turtles laying eggs. Or venture under the islands canopy of massive live oaks to spot anything from painted buntings to armadillos. Be sure to check out Plum Orchard, the remnants of the Carnegie familys Tara-esque mansion, built in the 1890s. The islands serenity is constantly threatened by politician-led schemes to turn it into a tourist trap. For now, however, it remains the crown jewel of Georgias Golden Isles. If you visit, go between now and April, because the islands wildlife also includes sand gnats and mosquitoes.