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Ready to slow down a bit and escape the stresses of everyday life? A respite from your hustle-bustle norm to a vacation filled with exciting things to do in St. Simons Island is the perfect sojourn. But where is it? Located in Glynn County, GA, this iconic isle sits on the southeast Georgia Coast – just between Jacksonville, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia.
It is the largest of the four barrier islands that make up the Golden Isles. The other three are Little St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island, and Sea Island.
If you are looking for the best things to do on St. Simons Island, Georgia, and where to lay your head at night, here’s everything you need to know in one ultimate travel guide.
TOP THINGS TO DO
From art and antique shoes, music at the park, farmer’s markets, wine tastings, outdoor adventures, tours, workshops, and more await you on the largest of Georgia’s barrier islands.
RELIVE HISTORY AT FORT FREDERICA
Coastal Georgia teems with stories on the turning point of the Spanish conquest at the Bloody Marsh Battle Site. Exploring Fort Frederica National Monument specifically tells the story of how it served as the border against Spanish invaders.
The park is well-preserved with live oak trees nearing 300 years old! Also, marvel at the unique architecture of Christ Church. It was rebuilt after being partially destroyed during the Civil War.
Insider tip: You can explore the fort on a self-guided tour or join a staff member for a guided walking tour.
REVERE MARITIME HISTORY AT THE LIGHTHOUSE
The St. Simons Island Lighthouse is the oldest brick structure in the area, offering an amazing Georgian panorama and Jekyll Island marina as a reward for a 129-step climb as one of the only five surviving light towers in Georgia.
Insider tip: Make sure to watch the short movie before climbing up the steps. It will help you understand the role and history of the lighthouse.
EXPLORE THE PIER VILLAGE
Fabulous attractions will not be complete without exploring Pier Village. This vibrant district serves as the downtown social hub and is a popular destination for dining, shopping, gathering, and entertainment. There are really many fun things to do in St. Simons Island GA when you explore the Pier Village!
Neptune Park is sandwiched in-between the village St Simons Lighthouse and Museum. Kids will love Neptune Park’s oceanside pool, playground, facilities, fishing pier, theater, and miniature golf course. Parents will love the view while relaxing on benches underneath magnificent oak trees.
MARVEL AT THE UNIQUE CARVINGS OF ST. SIMONS TREE SPIRITS
Your list of things to do in St Simons Island with your family should include a scavenger hunt of the Tree Spirits.
The “spirits” are sculptures within the oak trees. It is one of the most popular St. Simons Island attractions. You can find a free Tree Spirits Map from the visitor’s center.
TRY OUT THE ROMANTIC TROLLEY TOURS OF ST SIMONS ISLAND
If you are looking for romantic things to do in St Simons Island GA, trolley tours would be a wise choice. Board the original vintage green trolley for an exciting Lighthouse Trolley tour, Colonial Island Trolley Tour, or an island Ghost Walk.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE WAR AT WWII MUSEUM
Formerly the Coastal Maritime Center, the Historic Coast Guard Station is home to the New World War II Home Front Museum.
Insider Tip: You can get a combo ticket for this attraction along with the St. Simons Lighthouse and Museum.
BE A BEACH BUM ON PRISTINE SHORES
A Georgia Island vacation is never complete without strolling on the beach.
Can you ride bikes in St Simons Island?
Ask your hotel or the Visitor Center for bike rentals and have them delivered to your accommodation.
Insider Tip: If you are craving solitude, Little St. Simons Island is a nearby seven-mile stretch of private, undeveloped shore for your pleasure as well.
Where to Stay On St. Simons Island?
As the largest island in the Golden Isles, St. Simons has many hotels, inns, and vacation rentals to suit everyone’s perfect accommodation. However, we recently were invited to stay at the most adorable Airbnb vacation home and would highly recommend it!
Why stay in a St. Simons Island vacation rental vs. a hotel?
I’m glad you asked!
We created a video of our beloved Airbnb Bungalow Rental and seven reasons we think you’ll love it too:
Need more space than Robin’s 3 bedroom/2 bath bungalow? “Robin’s Nest,” her jaw-dropping French Country Estate Vacation Rental is sure to have plenty of room and luxury amenities for larger groups.
How to Get to St. Simons Island GA
From Savannah, you can reach St. Simons Island by bus, taxi, rideshare, or your own car. It will only take an hour and a half to drive this 82-mile distance depending on traffic. A taxi ride and rideshare service from Savannah Hilton Airport to St. Simons Island cost $195 to $225.
Where to Eat on St. Simons Island?
There is no shortage of restaurants when you are looking to dine. From local barbeque joints to the freshest seafood, there will always be a seat for you at one of these delicious places to eat!
And if you are looking for the best barbeque to feast on, Southern Soul is an essential stop. It is named one of the best barbeque restaurants in the country with an array of pork, turkey and brisket and homemade sauces and sides.
Other exciting eats to sample are those from Del Sur Artisan Eats, Palmers, Tramici for Italian foods, and The Half Shell.
Where to Shop?
Whether you are on the lookout for souvenirs, crafts, antiques, or island wear, there are many shops to explore.
Stroll down The Village along Mallory Street or Redfern Village for charming boutiques, art galleries, antiques, and fabulous local treats!
St Simons Gears and Travel Accessories for the Perfect Vacation
Don’t forget to protect your skin while you soak up the sun and busy yourself with things to do on Saint Simons Island beaches! My favorite beauty products to carry in my beach bag include Neutrogena Beach Defense Spray SPF 30 and of course, Burt Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes with Tea Tree Extracts!
Traveling with your tots? Don’t forget to bring the BBLuv Nido 2 in 1 Travel Bed and Play Tent for your baby or toddler! It is a convenient pop-up tent that you can fold, carry and store in its carry bag. Traveling with a baby goes from being stressful to divine!
Explore More of Coastal Savannah, Georgia
Before you fly out, you might also want to do a bit of exploring at the historic coastal City of Savannah, Georgia. If you loved Forrest Gump, this is your chance to visit Chippewa Square.
But more than that, Savannah is tagged as the most haunted city in America. So how about some ghostly tours of Moon River – the #1 Top Haunted Site in Savannah?!
Frequently Asked Questions
Things to Do in St. Simons Island When It Rains?
There is a range of indoor activities you can do to pass the time and the rains while you are on an island holiday. There are museums, movie theaters, shops, and galleries. You can also call on your inner muse and create art at the Tinted Tide Pottery and Art Studio or take a cooking class at the Golden Isles Olive Oils.
Free Things to Do In St. Simons Island?
Most of the attractions are open to the public and can be enjoyed for free. You can play all you want on its pristine public beaches, visit Christ Church, or find the “Tree Spirits” which are uniquely carved among the live oak trees.
Romantic Things to Do in St. Simons Island GA?
If you are hoping to find heartwarming spots or things to do on St Simons island, you’d find various spots to be extra romantic. The island is not only a getaway for families, but couples will also love the experience of sunset walks on the beach, oceanfront dining, and dolphin-watching tours.
Is Coastal Georgia safe?
Yes, this island is a safe area. It is very clean, natural, and well-maintained. Establishments are implementing health protocols to ensure the safety of guests and tourists.
Before You Go
I know you are excited, but there are some things you should know about St. Simons Island.
It is a touristy destination area that can become busy for special events and holidays. Therefore, show up early to explore public beaches. You’ll have a better choice of parking spaces at the Coast Guard Station beach access area.
If you have more days to spend in Georgia vacation spots, check out Jekyll Island, Darien, Tybee, and more!
Planning a trip to Georgia, Florida, or the Carolinas? Check out the southern travel guides and FREE travel resources!