St. Simons Island, GA, USA

Georgia's Golden Isles: An area guide

Welcome to the Golden Isles of Georgia.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been here for only a day or an entire lifetime, you’ll wish you could stay just a little while longer.

St. Simons Island

Although the original inhabitants of St. Simons were Guale Indians, it was another Englishman, James Edward Oglethorpe, who permanently settled the island in 1636. The island grew, along with Sea Island, as it became apparent that the isles were ideal for fairytale vacations in a new resort area.
One site still frequently visited on St. Simons is the Fort Frederica National Monument. Fort Frederica, built in 1736, is a popular, historic setting. Named for Frederick, Prince of Wales, it is now a well-preserved national park. A museum, tours, and special presentations bring this settlement back to life for its many local and touring visitors. See a map of St. Simons Island.

Sea Island

Sea Island

Known far and wide for its world famous hotel, The Cloister, Sea Island has long brought visitors to our golden corner. The Cloister was founded in the 1920s by Howard E. Coffin, the distinguished inventor of the Hudson Automobile.

The resort amenities include a golf club, a shooting school, horseback riding, fine dining and numerous other activities. Sea Island can be reached by causeway from St. Simons Island.

Jekyll Island

Because of our rich history, it’s easy to understand how our isles became “golden” and how our mainland is steeped in tradition and artistic works. A step onto Jekyll Island transforms one back into an era of immense wealth and glamour, to a time when the wealthiest citizens in the country – the Morgans, Astors, Pulitzers and Rockefellers – retreated to the island as their own private playground. Their Jekyll Island Club, which operated as their private getaway until 1933, still stands today, a symbol of the grandeur of a past time.



The beauty of downtown Brunswick demonstrates that the town must have been designed by an artisan many years ago. The English flavor of the community is apparent as you stroll along the brick streets lined with historic buildings and stately homes. In fact, the town was designed by John Glynn, an Englishman who befriended the Colonies during the American Revolution. Glynn’s seaport city still retains its orginal grid, as well as 36 of the architecturally significant buildings that have been standing since 1819.


Little St. Simons Island

Little St. Simons Island dates back even further. The island was originally purchased in 1908 by Philip Berolzheimer.

Accessible only by boat, Little St. Simons Island is the northernmost point of the Golden Isles and certainly the most secluded. For many years a privately owned retreat, the Island now offers a limited number of guests the rare opportunity to experience the enchantment and solitude of the isolated beaches and marshlands.


Additional Helpful Resources

Tide Charts 

Kick back, relax, and enjoy the sandy beaches of the Golden Isles. Build sandcastles, take a nap, read a good book, or body surf the occasional waves. Be sure to check the Local Tide Chart before you go. Visiting the beach when the tide is going out will offer tide pools for the little ones to play in.


Bike Rentals

The best way to explore the Golden Isles is by bike. St Simons has over 30 miles of island pathways or bike on the beach! More information about St Simons and Jekyll Island biking opportunities and bike paths visit Golden Isles Biking. Need to rent a bike? St Simons has several bike rentals – 

Bike the Islands

Island Bicycle

Barry’s Beach Service

Baby & Toddler

St Simons is the perfect family beach getaway destination! If you find that you need baby and toddler equipment during your stay, Babys Away Golden Isles can help you rent the items your family needs. In need of an adults only night out? Sitters by the Shore can provide reliable babysitting services. They also provide elder care and pet sitting services.

Golf Cart Rentals

Golf carts are a great way to get around the island. St Simons offers golf cart rentals at High Tide Carts or Island Carts.

Tent and Beach Rentals

There is nothing like St Simons sand between your toes. If you find that you need a beach umbrella,  beach chairs, or boogie boards you can rent them at Barry’s Beach Service located on the beach in front of the King and Prince resort. If you need a tent, chairs, coolers, or beach toys The Tent Guys SSI have you covered!

Christ Church in st Simonns Island

Additional Helpful Resources

Area Guide

Visit the Golden Isles Website for a complete guide to St Simons Island, Sea Island,  Jekyll Island, and Little St Simons Island.

Historic Sites

St Simons Island has a wealth of history. Visit the St Simons Lighthouse Museum near the pier and village. Explore the museum and climb the spiral stairs to the top of the lighthouse for a spectacular view of the island and the ocean.

Travel to the middle of the island walk around the beautiful Christ Church and cemetery grounds. Christ Church is one of St Simons Island’s most treasured landmarks. While out that way take time to explore the remains of Fort Frederica National Monument and step back in time to the early 1700’s.

Just off of Demere Road is the Bloody Marsh Battle Site where British troops ambushed and defeated Spanish troops, halting an attack on Fort Frederica in 1742.

See all of the historic landmarks in one trip with the St Simons Trolley Tour. This is a great opportunity to learn the history and get familiar with where everything is located on St Simons. The trolley tour is about a two-hour trip and will take you to 36 popular destinations along with historic sites and a walking tour of beautiful Christ Church grounds.

The Perfect St Simons Day Itinerary

Fully immerse yourself in coastal living by waking up and enjoying breakfast in the Village. There are several breakfast options in the area, but our favorites include Palmer’s Village Cafe, Three Little Birds, and Palm Coast Coffee. Take a stroll down to the Pier after breakfast and see what the locals are catching. You might catch a glimpse of sea turtles coming up for air, pelicans perching on the rails, or a pod of dolphin swimming past.

Neptune park right next to the pier and village has a playground for the little ones. The large oak trees offer shade as you sit and relax in one of the several benches along the way.

Walk on over to the St Simons Island Lighthouse and Museum. Explore the museum and Keeper’s Dwelling and learn about the history of St Simons Island. You can also travel up the top of this working lighthouse and get a bird’s eye view of the island and the sea.

Take a break from the salt air and eat lunch at Gnat’s Landing, Southern Soul and Sea Salt Healthy Kitchen. Enjoy the friendly island atmosphere and choose to dine inside or sit outside on the porch. The fried dill pickle chips are one of our favorites!

For the afternoon be sure to have your sunscreen on and your kayak tour booked with SouthEast Adventure Outfitters,  Ocean Motion Surf Co., or Turtle Tides. Spend a few hours exploring the waterways of the Golden Isles!

After a day in the sun exploring some of the wonderful experiences the island has to offer, clean up and enjoy dinner at one of the local favorites –  The Crab Trap, Crabdaddy’s, Fiddler’s or The Half Shell. The restaurants are located right next to each other on Ocean Blvd and offer some of the best seafood the coast has to offer!

After dinner don’t forget to take an evening stroll along the beach. Our favorite beach access is the Coast Guard Station Public Beach Access. Breath in the salt air and enjoy the sound of the waves rolling in to meet the sand.

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Things to Do on a Rainy Day

Sometimes the weather just doesn’t cooperate with your plans to relax on the beach all day. We’ve got beautiful vacation rentals at Georgia Coast Realty, but if those four walls get boring here are some ideas to get out and about on a rainy day on St Simons Island.  Going to see a movie is always a great idea on a rainy day. Island Cinemas is the movie theater on the island and movie options and times can be found on their website. 

If the kids need to get some energy out,  Brunswick Adventures on the mainland offers bounce houses at Pinball Palace and a trampoline park. You can also travel one island over to Jekyll Island and visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center to learn about sea turtles and see rehabilitation of the sea turtles in action!

The St Simons Lighthouse and Museum is another great indoor activity. Learn about the island’s history and about the lighthouse. Be aware that the lighthouse tower may be closed to climbers during inclement weather.

If complete relaxation is what you are looking for, a massage at Island Day Spa or Misty’s Element Massage can create that escape. 

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