This spot in Georgia is the biggest of the Golden Isles along the southern Atlantic Coast. St. Simons Island boasts a temperate climate all year long, so whether you're planning to travel in the summer or the winter, you'll certainly be able to spend tons time enjoying the great outdoors.
The beaches are a big pull here with white, sandy shores warmed by the sun, gentle waters and ample space to spread out that beach towel and relax. The island is also a great place to spend afternoon fishing, either for leisure or to catch the evening's meal. If you prefer to dine out, St. Simons Island offers plenty of restaurants serving up local fare that are great for casual dining or an upscale night on the town. To really ease tension, there are lovely spas and salons where you can receive all the pampering you desire. Or, you can grab a bike and take some time to explore the 18 square miles of island terrain.
Things to Do on St. Simons Island
- Fort Frederica National Monument: History buffs, especially those who like learning about wars, will enjoy a visit to Fort Frederica National Monument. It was established in 1736 to protect the colony of Georgia from Spanish invaders in Florida, and today the land tells the story of a long-rooted conflict between Spain and Britain. The fort was named for Frederick Louis, the Prince of Wales, and used to control ship travel. Now you can explore the fort yourself as you step back in time and learn about life and war in the 18th century.
- Driftwood Education Center: If you enjoy hands-on experiences and would rather touch than look when visiting exhibits, then head to the Driftwood Education Center. Here you can get up close and personal with petting turtles, snakes, crabs and maybe even an alligator. You'll get a chance to really explore the marsh, beach and tidal river by jumping right in, and learn about the ecosystem and wildlife from trained professionals.
- The Island Players: Live performances are always fun during a holiday and if you're a theater enthusiast, you won't want to miss out on a show by The Island Players, who've been performing since 1956. Actors of all ages take the stage to put on four annual productions as well as a Young Peoples Summer Workshop. Previous shows have included Spamalot, Godspell, Busybody and many more.
- St. Simons Island Lighthouse: You won't want to forget the camera when you visit this postcard-like picture-perfect setting. The lighthouse can be found on the south end of the island and you can climb the numerous stairs to the top and check out the breathtaking view as well as the Keeper's Dwelling, which is home to the St. Simons Island Lighthouse Museum. Next door is the A.W. Jones Heritage Center where you'll find a research library, exhibits and and event hall. Also nearby is the Maritime Center, where you can learn the St. Simons Island military history as well as more about the island itself.
Dining on St. Simons Island
- Crabdaddy's: Visitors and locals alike love to frequent Crabdaddy's for delicious local seafood. Whether it's blackened, grilled, steamed or fried, for more than two decades, this has been a favorite eatery on the island. If seafood isn't your pleasure, there are also amazing, hand-selected steaks from local farmers along with vegetables, and the chefs cook up family recipes that will remind you of home. Be sure to save room for "to die for" desserts like mouthwatering bread pudding.
- Southern Soul Barbeque: Fans of down-home, Southern cooking will savor every bite of their meal at Southern Soul Barbeque. Slather the sauce over favorite dishes like ribs, pulled pork, brisket and chicken and pair it with homestyle sides like potato salad, collard greens, hoppin' john, mac and cheese and more. There's a great vibe here, though your mouth will be too full to have a real conversation about it. Wash it all down with a sweet tea and you'll feel nothing but satisfied after dinner.
- Barbara Jean's: Since 1998, eating a meal at Barbara Jean's has felt like dining at a close relative's home. This family-run eatery specializes in seafood as well as made-from-scratch, homestyle cooking, all served up in a relaxed, easy-going atmosphere. Some must-try dishes here include the crab cakes, she crab soup, tuna steaks, meatloaf and more. But don't fill up too fast, dessert is delicious here, so save room for the famous "chocolate stuff," bread pudding, key lime tart or fruit cobbler.