Top 10 Things to Do on St. Simons Island
St. Simons Island, located on the coast of Georgia, offers a wealth of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy.
For your convenience we've compiled a brief overview of just a few of our favorite things you can see and do on St. Simons Island. These activities offer just a taste of the experiences awaiting you on St. Simons Island. Whether you're interested in history, outdoor adventures, or simply enjoying the island's natural beauty, there's something for everyone to enjoy.
Explore St. Simons Lighthouse Museum
Climb the steps of the historic St. Simons Lighthouse for panoramic views of the island. Inside the museum, you can learn about the area's maritime history and the role of the lighthouse.
The St. Simons Lighthouse has been a beacon of light since 1872. It served as a crucial navigational aid for mariners entering the nearby St. Simons Sound. The museum showcases the history and significance of the lighthouse.
Climb the Lighthouse
: Visitors have the opportunity to climb the 129 steps to the top of the lighthouse tower. From the observation deck, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the island and the surrounding coastline.
: The museum houses exhibits that delve into the maritime history of St. Simons Island and the surrounding area. Discover the island's rich coastal heritage, including stories of shipwrecks, maritime commerce, and the island's relationship with the sea.
: Adjacent to the lighthouse, you'll find the Keeper's Dwelling, a restored historic building that offers a glimpse into the lives of the lighthouse keepers and their families. The dwelling is furnished with period-appropriate items, providing an immersive experience of the past.
: The St. Simons Lighthouse Museum proudly displays a fourth-order Fresnel lens, which was once used to project the lighthouse's light. The lens is a stunning piece of engineering and a significant artifact in the history of lighthouse illumination.
: The museum features a gift shop where visitors can browse and purchase lighthouse-themed merchandise, books, souvenirs, and other maritime-related items. It's a great place to find unique mementos of your visit.
: The museum offers guided tours conducted by knowledgeable staff or volunteers. These tours provide in-depth information about the lighthouse's history, the role of lighthouse keepers, and interesting stories associated with the lighthouse and its surrounding area.
: The St. Simons Lighthouse Museum offers educational programs for both children and adults. These programs cover a wide range of topics, including lighthouse history, maritime heritage, and navigation.
Visiting the St. Simons Lighthouse Museum is an opportunity to explore the island's maritime past, learn about lighthouses and their significance, and enjoy stunning views from atop the lighthouse tower. It's a must-visit destination for history buffs, maritime enthusiasts, and anyone interested in the unique coastal heritage of St. Simons Island.
Visit the World War II Home Front Museum
Discover the island's contribution to the war effort at this fascinating museum. Learn about the impact of World War II on St. Simons Island and the sacrifices made by its residents.
Following Pearl Harbor, the Golden Isles became an important component of that arsenal and contributed profoundly to the war effort. The museum at the Historic Coast Guard Station tells the multi-faceted story of bold initiatives to protect our coast from German submarines, train fighter pilots, build Liberty Ships to supply troops overseas, and much more. State-of-the-art exhibits provide authentic and meaningful activities for visitors of all ages to engage in, as they learn about this critical period in our nation's history.
Divided into six themes, the exhibits are housed in the two historic buildings on the site. Outdoor displays add another dimension to the overall visitor experience. Throughout, personal stories are told using interviews, artifacts, documents, and photographs from the Society's collection. Under the direction of Coastal Georgia Historical Society and with donations from many generous benefactors the Historic Coast Guard Station is now the World War II Home Front Museum interpreting local home front activities to defend the coast and support the war effort overseas.
Relax on the Beach
Spend a day on the beautiful East Beach, known for its wide sandy shoreline and scenic dunes. Enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking with the Atlantic Ocean as your backdrop. Be sure to check out our real-time tides chart
, UV index
and local weather forecast for St. Simons Island
St. Simons Island is renowned for its beautiful beaches, which offer opportunities for relaxation, recreation, and enjoying the island's coastal charm. Here are some of the notable beaches on St. Simons Island:
: East Beach is the most popular and largest public beach on St. Simons Island. It stretches along the Atlantic Ocean and features wide sandy shores, dunes, and beautiful ocean views. It's a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, and beachcombing.
Massengale Park Beach
: Located adjacent to East Beach, Massengale Park Beach offers a more tranquil and family-friendly setting. It provides picnic areas, shaded pavilions, and convenient beach access points. The beach is known for its scenic views and calm waters.
Coast Guard Beach
: Situated on the southern tip of St. Simons Island, Coast Guard Beach offers a peaceful and secluded atmosphere. It's accessible via a short trail through the maritime forest. This beach is less crowded and ideal for those seeking a more serene beach experience.
: Gould's Inlet is a picturesque beach located on the northern end of the island. It's a favorite spot for birdwatching and fishing, and it provides stunning views of the marshes and tidal creeks. The beach is also popular for nature walks and exploring the surrounding natural beauty.
The King and Prince Beach
: Adjacent to The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, this beach offers public access and a peaceful atmosphere. It's known for its clean sand, rolling dunes, and beautiful ocean views.
All of these beaches offer opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, beachcombing, and enjoying the island's natural beauty. It's important to note that beach conditions, such as currents and tides, can vary, so it's advisable to follow any posted signage and take necessary precautions for a safe and enjoyable beach experience.
Bike the St. Simons Island Trail
Rent a bike and explore the St. Simons Island Trail, a scenic pathway that winds through marshes, maritime forests, and charming neighborhoods. It's a fantastic way to take in the island's natural beauty. There are numerous shops around the island for bicycle rentals
and e-bike rentals which make cruising a breeze.
Bike paths wind around the airport, through the village and along the marsh at East Beach as well as the entire length of Frederica Road. Visitors might want to start with an easy ride in the village and then expand their ventures onto other paths. Serious cyclists might consider starting near the northern end of Frederica Road, then following their own pace up Hampton Road, a stretch of some 12 miles offering expansive scenery and wide-open riding. Bicycle rentals, purchases or equipment are available at a number of locations. There are also bicycle tours available from local guides that can provide you with bike equipment rentals and a sightseeing tour of local historical sites
and points of interest.
Visit Fort Frederica National Monument
Immerse yourself in history at Fort Frederica, a colonial-era fort and settlement. Explore the archaeological remains, exhibits, and reconstructed structures that tell the story of Georgia's colonial past.
Fort Frederica was established in 1736 by General James Oglethorpe, the founder of the Georgia colony. The fort served as a military outpost and played a crucial role in the defense of the region during the colonial era.
Today, Fort Frederica National Monument
is an archaeological site that offers insights into the colonial past of Georgia. Visitors can explore the preserved ruins of the fort, including the foundations of buildings, defensive earthworks, and other remnants of the settlement.
The monument features a visitor center where you can learn about the history of Fort Frederica through exhibits, displays, and interactive presentations. The center provides a comprehensive overview of the fort's significance and the daily lives of its inhabitants.
The National Park Service offers guided tours of the site, led by knowledgeable rangers or volunteers. These tours provide in-depth information about the fort's history, architecture, and the interactions between the British colonists and the Native American tribes of the region.
The monument offers a Junior Ranger program
for children, allowing them to engage in educational activities and earn a Junior Ranger badge. It's a fun way for young visitors to learn about the fort and its historical context.
In addition to the fort itself, the monument encompasses surrounding natural areas with trails that wind through marshes and woodlands. These trails provide opportunities for nature walks, birdwatching, and enjoying the island's scenic beauty.
Fort Frederica National Monument hosts special events throughout the year, such as reenactments, living history demonstrations, and educational programs. These events offer a chance to experience colonial-era activities and immerse yourself in the historical setting.
Visiting Fort Frederica National Monument allows you to step back in time and explore the colonial history of Georgia. It's a fascinating destination for history enthusiasts, families, and anyone interested in learning about the early days of British colonization in America.
Book your tee time online
and enjoy a round of golf at one of the many excellent courses on St. Simons Island. The island offers world-class golfing experiences with stunning views and meticulously maintained courses, and is home to renowned golf tournaments including the RSM Classic.
St. Simons Island is known for its exceptional golf courses that offer stunning coastal views and challenging layouts. Here are a few notable golf courses on St. Simons Island:
Sea Island Golf Club
: Sea Island Golf Club is a world-class facility that features three distinct 18-hole championship courses. The Seaside Course, home to the RSM Classic PGA Tour event, offers breathtaking ocean views. The Plantation Course is a challenging layout with beautiful marshland scenery, while the Retreat Course offers a more relaxed and scenic experience.
The King and Prince Golf Course
: The King and Prince Golf Course is a highly regarded 18-hole course located on the northern part of St. Simons Island. This course boasts lush fairways, challenging bunkers, and beautiful views of the surrounding marshland. It offers a great golfing experience for players of all skill levels.
Frederica Golf Club
: Frederica Golf Club is an exclusive private club on St. Simons Island. Designed by Tom Fazio, this 18-hole championship course provides a challenging yet enjoyable golfing experience. The course is known for its beautiful coastal scenery, natural surroundings, and excellent course conditions.
The Retreat Golf Course at Sea Island
: The Retreat Course at Sea Island is a scenic 9-hole course that offers a relaxed and enjoyable golfing experience. It features beautifully manicured fairways, scenic lakes, and an emphasis on shot placement and strategy.
Sea Palms Golf & Tennis Resort
: Sea Palms Golf & Tennis Resort boasts 27 holes of championship golf. The course offers a variety of challenges with its tree-lined fairways, water hazards, and well-placed bunkers. The resort also provides excellent practice facilities and a pro shop.
These are just a few of the exceptional golf courses on St. Simons Island
. Each course offers its own unique characteristics and challenges, ensuring that golf enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities to enjoy their favorite sport while taking in the island's natural beauty.
Discover the Coastal Georgia Historical Society
There are three centers of the Society's activities and programs: the St. Simons Lighthouse Museum
, the World War II Home Front Museum
, and the A.W. Jones Heritage Center
The purpose of Coastal Georgia Historical Society
is to aid in the administration, restoration, and maintenance of those historic facilities and resources entrusted to its care so that they will be preserved as a living part of the historical and cultural foundations of our coastal community.
The mission of the Society is to connect people to Coastal Georgia’s dynamic history through the stories we share and the collections we preserve. The Society presents an array of programs, activities and events year-round designed to engage people of all ages in discovering Coastal Georgia’s history while strengthening their connection to the region’s rich legacy.
Explore Christ Church Frederica
Visit this historic Episcopal church, which dates back to the 18th century. Admire the beautiful architecture and explore the serene grounds surrounding the church.
: Christ Church Frederica has a rich history dating back to the early 18th century. It is one of the oldest churches in Georgia and holds an important place in the island's heritage.
: The church is known for its beautiful architecture. The original structure was built in 1820, and it was later expanded and renovated over the years. It features a classic Gothic Revival style, with elegant stained glass windows, intricate woodwork, and a striking steeple.
: Christ Church Frederica is an active congregation that holds regular worship services. Visitors are welcome to attend services and experience the peaceful and spiritual atmosphere of the church.
Churchyard and Cemetery
: The churchyard surrounding Christ Church Frederica is a serene and well-maintained space. It contains historic gravesites and monuments, including those of prominent figures from the island's past.
: The church offers guided tours, allowing visitors to learn about its history, architecture, and notable individuals associated with the church. Knowledgeable guides provide insights into the church's role in the community and its place in local history.
Events and Concerts
: Christ Church Frederica hosts various events throughout the year, including concerts, lectures, and community gatherings. These events showcase the church's commitment to the arts and its role as a cultural hub on the island.
Outreach and Community Engagement
: The church actively engages in outreach programs and community initiatives. It is involved in charitable activities, supports local organizations, and provides a welcoming space for the community to come together.
Visiting Christ Church Frederica offers a chance to appreciate the beauty of its architecture, delve into the island's history, and experience the spiritual ambiance of this historic place of worship. It is a significant landmark on St. Simons Island and serves as a reminder of the island's deep-rooted cultural and religious heritage.
Take a Nature Eco Tour
Embark on a boat tour to observe playful dolphins, birds and other local wildlife in their natural habitat. Several companies offer guided tours around St. Simons Island, providing an opportunity to see these magnificent creatures up close.
St. Simons Island is known for its diverse natural ecology, featuring a variety of ecosystems and wildlife. Here's an overview of the island's natural ecology:
Marshes and Estuaries
: St. Simons Island is surrounded by expansive marshes and estuaries. These tidal wetlands are teeming with life and serve as crucial habitats for a wide range of plant and animal species. The marshes provide nesting and foraging grounds for birds, including herons, egrets, and marsh hawks, as well as important nursery areas for fish, crabs, and shrimp.
Beaches and Dunes
: St. Simons Island is blessed with beautiful sandy beaches and dune systems. These areas are important nesting grounds for sea turtles, including loggerhead turtles, which come ashore to lay their eggs from May to October. The dunes provide protection for the beach ecosystem and are home to various plant species adapted to the coastal environment.
: St. Simons Island is characterized by maritime forests, which are found along the higher elevations and dune systems. These forests consist of trees such as live oak, slash pine, and magnolia. They provide habitat for a diverse range of bird species, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.
: Coastal hammocks are small pockets of wooded areas found in the higher elevations of the island. These hammocks contain a mix of hardwood trees, including oak, hickory, and palmetto. They provide shade and habitat for various wildlife species, including birds, squirrels, and reptiles.
: St. Simons Island is a haven for birdwatchers, with its diverse range of habitats attracting numerous bird species. Birdwatchers can spot a variety of shorebirds, wading birds, songbirds, and birds of prey throughout the island. Important bird-watching areas include marshes, beaches, and maritime forests.
Wildlife and Marine Life
: St. Simons Island is home to a wide array of wildlife. Along with the sea turtles, you can encounter other marine creatures such as dolphins, manatees, and a variety of fish species. The marshes and forests provide habitat for animals like alligators, raccoons, deer, and various reptiles and amphibians.
: St. Simons Island and its surrounding areas have active conservation efforts to protect and preserve the island's natural ecology. These include habitat restoration projects, sea turtle conservation programs, and initiatives to educate residents and visitors about the importance of preserving the island's delicate ecosystems.
St. Simons Island's natural ecology offers a wealth of opportunities to explore and appreciate the island's diverse wildlife, plant life, and unique ecosystems. Whether it's birdwatching, beachcombing, or simply enjoying the island's natural beauty, visitors can immerse themselves in the island's rich natural environment.
Enjoy Dining and Shopping
St. Simons Island is home to a variety of restaurants
, and shops
. Indulge in fresh seafood, browse local boutiques, and savor the island's culinary delights.
St. Simons is home to a number of favorite eateries among locals and visitors alike, including Sal's Neighborhood Pizzeria
in the Pier Village (the best cheeseburger you've ever tasted), Southern Soul BBQ
, and Iguana's
delicious seafood is not to be missed. A favorite breakfast spot among locals is Cafe Frederica
, voted Best Breakfast by Elegant Island Living
magazine. And don't forget to tell them you heard about them on ExploreStSimonsIsland.com.