Tiny Sea Island—with a full-time population of less than 400—is one of the nation's wealthiest communities. Established by Howard Coffin, the wealthy Detroit auto pioneer who also owned Sapelo Island in the early 20th century, Sea Island has been a getaway for the well-heeled since 1928, when Coffin opened The Cloister hotel, which sits at the heart of this posh island retreat. Today Sea Island is a gated community accessible only to registered guests of the hotel and Sea Island Club members.
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