Renowned for its unspoiled natural habitats and serene beaches, Little St. Simons Island is a private barrier island located just north of St. Simons Island, Georgia. Here you'll find 10,000 acres of natural, undeveloped maritime forests and marshlands, 7 miles of pristine beaches and plenty of natural wonders to explore and discover.
Little St. Simons Island boasts over 7 miles of pristine beaches that feature natural habitats for bird life, turtles and coastal ecosystems. The Atlantic Ocean and tidal waterways that surround Little St. Simons Island are perfect for kayaking, canoeing and exploring by water. Garden walks with the gardener or naturalist are a favorite visitor activity year-round on Little St. Simons Island. Little St. Simons Island remains virtually undeveloped and preserved just as nature intended. No visit to Georgia's Golden Isles would be complete without an adventure to this natural preserve.
Getting to Little St. Simons Island
Accessible by a private boat that departs from Hampton River Marina (912.638.1210) on the north end of St. Simons Island, Little St. Simons Island first opened to the public more than 3 decades ago and has since earned numerous accolades and awards from various travel publications and writers. Day trips depart from St. Simons Island at 10:30am and return by 4:30pm, advance reservations are required. Overnight accommodations are available for up to 32 guests at the Lodge, which includes regional dining and fresh cuisine.
Directions to Little St. Simons Island
Little St. Simons Island is located just off the Georgia coast midway between Savannah, GA (SAV) and Jacksonville, FL (JAX). Daily commercial air service is available to those two cities as well as to Brunswick Golden Isles Airport (BQK) via daily jet service to/from Atlanta in nearby Brunswick, GA.
A private boat departs from Hampton River Marina on the north end of St. Simons Island. By car, St. Simons Island is reached from I-95 via Georgia Exits 29, 36 or 38.
Popular activities on Litte St. Simons Island include Birding, Beaches, Boating and Fishing, Garden Walks, Guided Excursions, and Wildlife Explorations.
Little St. Simons Island is located on the Atlantic Migratory Flyway, and more than 280 species of birds have been recorded here. Little SSI is recognized as an Important Birding Area (IBA) by the American Bird Conservancy as well as a Reserve Site by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN).
Bird sightings change frequently with the seasons, so please visit the Naturalist Notebook to learn which birds are currently observable around the island. For questions, please call the Naturalist Office at 912.638.7472.
Ideal birding locations include:
Main Beach: Pelicans, Terns, Skimmers, Plovers, Gannets Middle Woods Road: Owls and Woodpeckers Myrtle Pond Observation Towers: Waterfowl and Egrets Myrtle Pond Blind: Wood storks and Roseate Spoonbills North End Road, Old House Road, Backbone Trail: Flycatchers, Vireos and Warblers North Pond, Goose Pond, Skimmer Pond: Herons, Egrets, Ibis and Spoonbills Sanco Panza Beach: Shorebirds and Waders South End Road: Osprey, Eagles, Kingfishers
Little St. Simons Island boasts over 7 miles of pristine beaches that feature natural habitats for bird life, turtles and coastal ecosystems. Stroll or pedal along the surf line and explore the local waterfowl and marine life that inhabits this natural marvel. Towels, chairs, umbrellas and floats are available at the nearby pavillion.
Nature is up close and personal on Little St. Simons with frequent sightings of European fallow deer, alligators, armadillos, dolphin and loggerhead sea turtles to name but a few, as well as more than 280 species of birds that make their home on the Island.
Boating and Fishing
The Atlantic Ocean and tidal waterways that surround Little St. Simons Island are perfect for kayaking, canoeing and exploring by water. A local tackle shack is nearby with fishing poles, tackle and bait for the anglers among us.
Located just beyond the Lodge compound on Beach Road, you'll find the Island's USDA certified organic garden that is now a half-acre of raised beds, perennial plantings, native flowers, citrus, blackberries, season herbs, vegetables and crops. Garden walks with the gardener or naturalist are a favorite visitor activity year-round on Little St. Simons Island.
Daily guided excursions with one of the many knowledgeable naturalists provides a great opportunity to learn about the island's ecology, wildlife and natural history. Scheduled outings are posted daily in the main Lodge and include unforgettable explorations of Little St. Simons Island on foot, by kayak or canoe, or in open-air trucks with binoculars in hand.
Accommodations on Little St. Simons Island
The Island's main lodge compound includes six cottages with rooms for 32 overnight guests. Each guest cottage or house is unique in setting and decor and feature full air-conditioning and warm fireplaces.
Local chefs prepare regional cuisine, with three meals daily and each evening before dinner a cocktail reception is held on the Lodge grounds.
A Focus on Natural Conservation
Little St. Simons Island remains virtually undeveloped and preserved just as nature intended. The Island’s owners and staff are dedicated to maintaining the natural ecological state of the Island, and these efforts were recently awarded a Benchmarked Certificate to Little St. Simons Island by Green Globe 21, a global benchmarking, certification and improvement program for sustainable tourism and travel. As one of only two organizations in the United States to have achieved this certification, the Island met or exceeded Green Globe’s Earthcheck™ Accommodation Performance Benchmarks that address nine critical environmental issues.
Examples of Little St. Simons Island's commitment to sustainable-use ecotourism that limits impact on the native environment include: comprehensive recycling, composting for garden uses, no use of plastic water bottles (guests are each given their own personal Camelbak® bottles), the recent removal of the Island’s riding horses and installation of geothermal HVAC systems in three of the Island’s guest houses.
Awards and Accolades
Conde Nast Traveler 2012 Best in the World Readers' Choice Awards
#7, Top 20 Resorts in the South
Conde Nast Traveler 2011 Best in the World Readers' Choice Awards
Top 30 U.S. Mainland Small Resorts
Conde Nast Traveler
World's Best Places to Stay, 2008 Gold List
Best by Service, #1 in U.S.
Best by Rooms, #1 in U.S.
Best by Activities, #3 in U.S.
Resorts & Hotels, #1 in Georgia
Conde Nast Traveler 2007 Best in the World Readers' Choice Awards
#1 U.S. Mainland Resort
Conde Nast Traveler
Gold List: 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013
Travel & Leisure
500 Best Hotels in the World, 2005
Best Adventure Lodges, 2011
The World's Ten Great Escapes
The Fine Living Channel, 2008
One of the Ten Most Romantic Places in the World
St. Simons Land Trust
Home to more than 12,000 full-time residents, St. Simons is known for its stately live oaks, abundant salt and fresh water marshes, meandering creeks and rivers, and rich history. Spotted seatrout, redfish, flounder and tarpon are bountiful in the creeks and near shore waters. And, just offshore is the calving ground for the North Atlantic right whale - one of the world's most endangered large whale species. Not surprisingly, St. Simons is also a favorite destination for vacationers.
Like so many coastal areas, St. Simons experienced a population boom in the 1990s. Recognizing that the uniqueness of this barrier island would continue to attract new residents and thus be heavily impacted by development, the St. Simons Land Trust was born. Recognition is given to the vision of local leaders such as Ben Slade III, Frances McCrary, and Jim and Jeannie Manning who were the Land Trust's founding members, and the organization's first Executive Director, Catherine Main, who operated the Land Trust out of her home until 2001 when an office was opened on Frederica Road.
The St. Simons Land Trust has become a community institution entrusted with an extraordinary responsibility: to protect our scenic and historic treasures and to preserve the beauty and charm of our island for generations to come.
Since those early days, the Land Trust has preserved more than 1,000 acres (and another 200 acres in a nearby county). We also hold over 300 acres in conservation easements. We are guided in our work by our most recent strategic plan for land conservation on the island that has established target areas for our work and priorities for transactions.
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