Family Guide to the Golden Isles, Georgia
St Simons Island is a beach town, one of the Golden Isles, located on the Atlantic Coast of Georgia just north of Florida. Not only does the island have spectacular beaches, but also a deep history, authentic southern food and lots for a family to do. Here are our top 5 St Simons family activities.
Beach & Pool:
We stayed at the St Simons Beach Club located about a mile from town right on the beach with a beautiful pool. Both the pool and the beach were footsteps from the condo. It took us a couple of days for the kids to want to leave the beach and pool to explore other areas of the Golden Isles. They loved just running in the waves, hunting for seashells, building in the sand and splashing in the pools or hot tubs. I really enjoyed my morning beach runs and sunset seashell hunts. St Simons Island is an excellent place to just relax. Make sure to also visit the beach in the evening. Take a walk. The sunsets are spectacular. It is also a good time to see the Sand Pipers. And, if you go out after dark maybe, just maybe, you will be lucky enough to spot a ghost crab. We were!
Visit the St Simons Island Pier:
The quaint downtown area and pier of St Simons Island really has something for everyone. From delicious seafood restaurants, parks, a pier for fishing or sunset viewing, a historical lighthouse, park, miniature golf course and water park, you could spend hours there. Our first day on the island we made our way to the pier where our preschooler was captivated by the people fishing. The kid who never sits still stood as still as a statue for several minutes watching a fisherman carefully reel in a baby stingray on the rocks where he could proceed to release it back into the ocean. After dinner, we often made a regular stop at one of the parks and strolled down the pier.
Climb the St Simons Island Lighthouse:
As we began to bike back to the condo after a morning hunting island spirits, the kids requested that we stop and visit the St Simons lighthouse. We watched a short film on the history of the lighthouse and then excitedly climbed the steps up to the top of the lighthouse to take in an amazing view of the island. A brief visit to the museum in the keepers house on the way out was fun. The second level is set up with the Victorian furniture illustrating how the keeper and his family lived. Well worth the visit!
Explore the island via bikes:
We took tandem bikes out exploring a couple of times. While there are limited bike paths, the slow pace of the island is conducive to bike riding. Our first outing was for an ice cream treat down the road. Then the following day we spent the morning searching for the island tree spirits.
We took along a picnic lunch and stopped at Mallory Park for lunch. The kids were so excited to unexpectedly discover the three-story slides at Mallory Park. Also, keep your eye out for hand painted rocks hidden around the island! We were lucky enough to find one by one of the island tree spirits.
Visit Jekyll Island:
Jekyll Island is about a half hour drive from St Simons Island. We had been told to explore the island via bike. But we went on a morning when we were all tired and got a late start so decided to explore via car and it was perfect. We started at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. It is a fairly small attraction and we didn’t get to see as many turtles as we were expecting but we learned a lot about the challenges facing sea turtles and brought home a few souvenirs including a book that we have read every night since. We proceeded next to Driftwood Beach. It was fun to take a walk there on a very different beach. It was very serene. And, you could see the St Simons Island lighthouse across the water. We then drove through the historic district. The kids wouldn’t have made it through a tour but we would have loved to have seen the old mansions up close. The Victorian Jekyll Island Resort looked like a really fun place to have experienced the island up close. Next time!
Next time we visit we may try out a boat or kayak excursions but there’s not much we would change about our visit to St. Simons Island. We had the most fabulous time! See how our favorite St Simons family activities stack up to others.