Family Adventures in St. Simons Island, GA
Located between Savannah, GA and Jacksonville, FL is a small chain of islands known as the Golden Isles. St. Simons Island is one of those four islands and is a top vacation spot for families in the southeast. Read on to find out why generations continue to flock here year after year.
Things to do in St. Simons Island, GA with Kids
St. Simons Lighthouse
One of only five surviving lighthouses in Georgia, the St. Simons Lighthouse is an excellent place to visit with kids to give them a lesson is history and navigation. The former lighthouse keeper’s quarters have been restored and now house the lighthouse museum where you can learn the history of the lighthouse and glimpse inside life at the lighthouse decades ago.
Climb the 129 steps of the lighthouse to enjoy stunning panoramic views of the ocean and surrounding islands.
Lighthouse Trolley Tours
Take a spin around the island in a variety of trolleys with Cap Fendig’s team of entertaining and knowledgeable drivers. Fancy a boat ride in search of the island’s dolphins? Or maybe a chartered fishing trip? No problem! Cap’s team can accommodate most land and sea adventures.
A quest for the island’s mysterious tree spirits is always a great way to spend an afternoon! There are nine tree spirits encased in trees throughout the island. Grab a map from the Golden Isles Visitor Center (located near the St. Simons Lighthouse) to help you on your quest.
Georgia Sea Turtle Center
Created by the Jekyll Island Authority in 2007, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center is a sanctuary for injured sea turtles and a center of education for the public. Its mission is to empower individuals to act locally, regionally, and globally to protect the environment.
Though it is an advanced sea turtle hospital, it’s open to the general public and offers an interactive Exhibit Gallery and Rehabilitation Pavilion with many sea turtle patients regularly on view for guests. Additionally, indoor and outdoor educational programs are available year-round for visitors of all ages.
Biking Around the Island
Biking is one of the main modes of transportation on the island. More than 30 miles of bike paths encircle the island ensuring a safe and beautiful environment for your family to pedal around the island. Bike rentals are available at Ocean Motion Surf Co.
St. Simons Island Restaurants
Ramshackle island charm, friendly staff and amazing seafood platters make Gnat’s Landing a huge hit with locals and tourists. Favorite dishes include the fried pickle chips (must try!), the sampler platter (shrimp, oysters & scallops plus two sides AND hush puppies) and the giant slaw bowl (my personal favorite!).
Southern Soul BBQ
This former gas station is now a hopping southern BBQ joint that has become a St. Simons institution. Classic BBQ favorites like pulled pork, ribs and biscuits along with to die for mac and cheese make Southern Soul BBQ a must visit when on the island!
Sandcastle Café & Grill
Here you’ll find the best breakfast on the island, hands down. It’s not uncommon to see a line stretching out the door of this local and tourist favorite, but don’t worry, the line moves pretty quickly and the food and service are worth the wait. I’m not even going to name favorites here because you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.
Georgia Sea Grill
If you are looking for nice dinner out, the Georgia Sea Grill is the place to be. Live piano music combined with a sophisticated menu make Georgia Sea Grill a great place for an upscale dining experience on the island. You have to try the friend pimento cheese! The grilled filet and seared scallops are a great choice too.
St. Simons Island Hotel Recommendation
Centrally located next to Red Fern Village and minutes away from Pier Village and the St. Simons Lighthouse, Hampton Inn St. Simons Island offers free breakfast, free wi-fi and stunning views of St. Simons Island’s natural wildlife and ecosystem.
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