St. Simons Island: Explore Georgia's Golden Isles
St. Simons Island, GA
As Jekyll Island’s counterpart in Georgia’s renowned “Golden Isles” off of Brunswick, GA, St. Simons Island is a breathtaking retreat from the mainland. First inhabited by the tribes of the Creek Nation, the island has centuries of rich history and preserved wildlife that draw adventure enthusiasts from across the globe. Although 2020 may not look like years past, summer on St. Simons Island promises thrilling adventures and plenty of authentic opportunities for discovery.
St. Simons accommodates visitors seeking a stay from anywhere between a large golf resort to a quaint inn. King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort offers suites, rooms, villas and residences along with oceanfront views, pools, tennis courts, waterfront dining and world-class golf. Be mindful of current health crisis circumstances and find up-to-date information here. For a more quiet, romantic experience, the Grey Owl Inn bed & breakfast is an idyllic seaside retreat with rustic wood paneling and inviting fireplaces nestled in the island’s forest. Customer service and exquisite dining set the Grey Owl Inn apart. Reopened for summer 2020, find updated accommodation formation here.
Golf is a particularly attractive feature of St. Simons, as the island boasts 7 courses. King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort is a widely popular resort open to public play with holes carved from the marsh islands. King and Prince Golf Resort is taking considerable precautions this summer and operates under reduced hours to maintain a safe environment for their visitors. Play at the Sea Island Club’s Plantation Course, home of the RSM classic. Sea Island is only accessible to Sea Island Club, The Cloister and The Lodge at Sea guests.
Coast Guard Station at East Beach is the perfect access point to St. Simons beautiful sand beaches. There is plenty of space to spread out and maintain distance while relaxing or playing and salt water above 80 degrees for swimming in the summer months. Whether at the beach or back in the marsh, paddleboards and kayaks allow for a more adrenaline filled water excursion.
Get in touch with St. Simons' special history. While museums and tours should be on the backburner, take historical investigation into your own hands by seeking out sites such as Fort Frederica and St. Simons Lighthouse. Fort Frederica National Monument is the preserved ruins of a military fort built by the State of Georgia’s founder, James Oglethorpe, to protect against Spanish raids. The current St. Simons Lighthouse structure replaced the original historic lighthouse after it was destroyed by Confederate soldiers in an effort to hinder Union advances to the island. Both sites offer a glimpse into colonial and Civil War periods, both of which shaped the mold of today’s island.
2020 is the summer of exploration and self-guided discovery. St. Simons is the perfect scenic getaway. With over 30 miles of trail system, even the most active nature seeker will tire whether on foot or by bike.
St. Simons’s soul has been exposed through the work of artist Keith Jennings, who interpreted tree spirits through woodcarvings scattered about the island. Adventure is not only thrilling, but spiritually freeing; activate your spirituality and embark on a tree spirit treasure hunt with a self-guided map.
Cannon's Point Preserve, part of St. Simons Land Trust, is an astonishingly protected, undeveloped 608 acres of island wilderness, and normally an absolute must-do; however, the Preserve is closed until further notice. The webpage suggests alternative outdoor trails such as the John Gilbert Nature Trail and Alice Richards Botanical Trail, which are still open to the public.