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Sea Island

Rainbow Island Supper

Time travel through our traditions.

Ringing the dinner bell for over 50 years.

A spread of local seafood under the stars and accompanying sounds of nature during a break in the music signal that this week’s tradition is a Rainbow Island Supper, which began more than a half-century ago. While the location changed from the north end of the island to Rainbow Island, the menu has remained almost the same. Tried and true Southern favorites include hush puppies, oysters, shrimp and coleslaw with a few healthier options added over the years. While a covered pavilion, playground, and stage have been added, the experience continues to create a simple carefree spirit of a festive outdoor supper under the oaks.

And just as the strike of the dinner bell indicates supper is ready, grab a plate and enjoy the buffet featured below.

Then and Now.

Supper is Served

The paved road down Sea Island Drive ended at 36th Street, where there was a gate giving access to an unpaved road leading to the north end of the island. It was considered a special treat to go beyond the gate to the picnic area among the oaks where the suppers were held. Red-and-white checkered linens adorned each table and folks left formal wear behind in favor of clothing suitable for playing, walking along the beach and, of course, eating. In the early days, entertainers would serenade dining guests by singing old-time folk songs.

Back for Seconds

In the mid-1990’s, the supper moved to today’s location on Rainbow Island. Guests and members continue to enjoy the same unforgettable Georgia sunset views that the diners who came before them gazed upon. And while folk favorites can still be heard on occasion during supper, the live entertainment is more often in the form of musicians on banjos, gourds, and keyboards. Gone are the checkered tablecloths, but the wooden picnic tables and carefree spirit of the suppers remain.

The Jeep Train.

Hop aboard!

For decades, guests and members have hitched a ride on the Jeep Train en route to the Rainbow Island Supper. Consisting of connected open-air cars pulled by a decommissioned Army General Purpose vehicle, the Jeep Train was a fun way to transport guests for these alfresco suppers. Lore holds that one driver, in particular, was adept at maneuvering the train in a snake-line pattern on the beach, offering a thrill for riders in the back cars. Jeep Train Shelling Tours were also a popular activity where guests would hop aboard for a trip to the Southern tip of Sea Island at low tide. A modernized version of the Jeep Train is still used to transport guests to Rainbow Island Suppers.

Virtually join us on Rainbow Island.

We’re serving all the fixins’ for a Rainbow Island Supper. Recipes, music, and a virtual tour of Rainbow Island itself. And if we could send the sea breeze, shipping would be on us.

All the Fixins'

Low Country Boil, Cucumber Onion Salad, and Blue Crab Hushpuppies. Enjoy the recipes for these guest favorites on the Island and crowd pleasers at home.

Rainbow on the Radio

One aspect of a Rainbow Island Supper that makes it unique is the live music. Enjoy classics from back in the day to music heard over today’s meal on our Spotify playlist.

Over the Boardwalk

Take a walk on Rainbow Island and pick out a seat. Or stroll on the Boardwalk over the marsh and take in the view. It’ll be your toughest decision of the day.

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Passing time prior to dinner, many guests find themselves in a friendly game of cornhole, a lawn game in which players take turns throwing 16-ounce bags of corn kernels at a raised platform (board) with a hole in the far end. The game was first described in an 1883 patent and displayed most of the features of the modern game of “cornhole,” but with a square hole instead of a round one. There is something strangely addictive about this game and The American Cornhole League (ACL) was founded in 2015 to promote and develop cornhole as a sport on every level. Get to know the cornhole lingo before you start up your next game.

A look back.

Take a return trip in time as we explore the traditions that make Sea Island so beloved. Historical photos pulled from the archives, magazine articles, nostalgic videos, and more. And create a taste of Sea Island in your home with favorite recipes associated with each tradition.

Learn More

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