As you begin to cross the bridge leading over to St. Simons Island, Georgia you see before you a vista of saltwater marshland and birds galore. Your stress starts to melt away as if by magic. St. Simons has the perfect recipe for relaxation – Southern style, as you begin to discover the natural side of St. Simons Island.
About St. Simons Island, Georgia
St. Simons is one of 15 barrier islands off the Georgia coast. The Golden Isles encompasses Brunswick, and four barrier islands: St. Simons Island, Little St. Simons, Jekyll and Sea Island. Some say the name comes from the spectacular sunrises and sunsets.
Others say its name comes from its rich history. Explorers, with dreams of glittering gold, came ashore in search of riches. Each visitor to this stretch of Georgia coast leaves the Golden Isles with vivid memories, not soon forgotten.
“About the Size of Manhattan” is the way Cap Fendig describes this slice of paradise. Beautiful old graceful live oaks, resplendently draped in mantles of moss line the streets of the island, creating a cool respite on a hot day.
Discover the Beach & Water Fun on St. Simons Island
Grab a towel, a cooler and a book and head down to the beach. Be aware of the tides when you head to the beach. St. Simons has an 8’ to 10’ tidal difference every 6 hours. A sandbar now, will not be a sandbar in 6 hours. Bring the family, and unwind as you play in the ocean.
If you are looking for adventure and activity to relax, head down to Barry’s Beach Service. For the eco-adventurer, Barry’s offers rentals of kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, boogie boards, and sailboats as well as sailing lessons. Grab your gear, and get ready to have a full day of fun as you get in a fun workout and race across the waves with the wind in your hair.
Discover Bike Trails on St. Simons Island
If you prefer a more sedate, relaxing adventure, St. Simons has over 30 miles of bike trails. So, grab a bike rental from Ocean Motion and hit the trails or meander the streets of the village in search of your own adventure.
Discover the Saltmarsh of St. Simons Island
Love to explore and see wildlife in its natural habitat? Perhaps a guided kayak tour will fill your need. The kayak tour is approximately 2 hours long and meanders through the village marsh. You’ll have a chance to see the wildlife up close and personal as you glide soundlessly through the still waters of the marshland.
Discover Natural Southern Charm & History on St. Simons Island
No one can better introduce you to the charm and history that is St. Simons Island than Cap Fendig! Cap is a life-long resident of St. Simons; his family is one of the oldest families on the island. To get your feet wet, and immerse yourself in the culture and history of St. Simons Island, jump aboard one of Cap Fendig’s Lighthouse Trolley Tours. Cap and his crew will show off their island home with pride, and share its history with you.
They’ll share stories about Eugenia Price, and her research and writings about the plantations in the pre-Civil War era. St. Simons played an active role in World War II, and they can fill you in on all the details.
Historical Christ Church played a pivotal role in Methodism, and in the life of St. Simons Island. Cap is from one of the oldest families on the island and knows the history of the island intimately, which he shares with each of his friends aboard the Lighthouse Trolley.
Discover the Waterways of St. Simons Island
There is an abundance of wetlands in Georgia. With over one-third of the marshland on the East Coast, there is a lot of natural wildlife to discover. Why not opt for a dolphin tour of the waterways that meander along the saltmarsh?
You will learn about this incredible ecosystem, and the fish and wildlife they support. Dolphins are the part of the package when you opt for a couple of hours on the water, and there is nothing more amazing than watching 2 or 3 of these majestic mammals cavort around the boat!
For the fisherman, and aspiring fisherman, why not try your hand on a charter fishing trip? Trout, redfish, and flounder are in plentiful supply for fishing inshore. For those who want a bit more excitement, an offshore charter may be your bag. When a shark or tarpon hit your line, it’s “fish on” for an exhilarating tug of war as you reel in your catch.
For a relaxing ending to a glorious day spent discovering the natural side of St. Simons, a sunset cruise fits the bill perfectly. As you meander the local waterways, and mother nature shows off her stunning sunset, you may encounter local shrimp boats returning with the catch of the day, dolphins seeking their evening meal of local fish, and other wildlife. It is the perfect way to cap off your day.
Pack your bags and set your GPS to the Golden Isles and surprising St. Simons Island. Begin creating your perfect recipe for discovering the natural side of St. Simons.
All Photography by Jim Hill
I hope you found this St. Simons Island article of interest. If you’ve been to Georgia or any of the barrier islands, please share your experience in the comments below.
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6 Indispensable Items to Pack for a St. Simons Beach Vacation
- Get the Fodor’s The Carolinas & Georgia Travel Guide.
- Bring a good quality mirrorless camera for getting those beautiful St. Simons beach landscape shots. I use the Sony Alpha a6000 .
- Summers are hot in Austin, so make sure to bring Neutrogena Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum Spf 45
- A great cross body travel bag. Cross body bags prevent theft and are much easier to access.
- Don’t forget sunglasses for the beautiful sunny days in Georgia. A.J. Morgan Unisex Sunglasses are a great choice and very affordable!
- Water shoes are a great item to pack for any beach vacation. They take up little room when packing and great if you end up at a beach that is rocky or with very hot sand.
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A huge thank you to Leigh Cort Publicity, The King and Prince Resort, and ExploreStSimon Island.com for their generous hospitality. As always, all opinions are our own.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.
Betsi and Jim Hill, husband and wife of 28 years, along with their sidekick pup, Bentley, are the traveling team at Betsi’s World. Betsi is a freelance journalist and blogger, and Jim is a freelance photographer.