We recently went on a week long family vacation to Saint Simons Island in Georgia! Saint Simons is a beach town with a cute downtown area, plenty of good restaurants and a really nice beach! Although I would have been content sitting on the beach the whole time, the rest of the group has more of a “get up and do stuff” vibe so we ended up doing plenty of sightseeing in addition to all our beach time! There were plenty of things to do around Saint Simons! In addition to just walking around the little downtown area and looking at shops, here are five things you can do on or near the island.
1. Visit the lighthouse and museum
Climb to the top for a great view of the area! It’s about 100 steps so I decided to skip out, but my husband took some pictures from the top, which provides a nice view! Attached to the lighthouse is a small museum and a nice courtyard to relax in if you aren’t planning to make the climb. More info here!
This is one of the views from the top. You can see the water park/public pool from here.
View of the lighthouse from the pier.
2. Visit Fort Frederica
The ruins of the fort tell the story of life in the 1700’s on the island, and the battle between the British and Spanish for the area. The area is now a national park and an archaeological site with a nice visitors center. The visitors center includes a video and small museum which has plenty of hands on activities for kids to do.
After the museum, take a walk around the grounds up to the actual fort with plenty of information along the way! They also have guided tours, a gift shop and restrooms. More info here.
3. Take a short drive up to Brunswick to see the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation
The plantation dates back to the early 1800s when it was started as a rice growing plantation. It was occupied until the last owner passed away in 1973 and left the house and site to the state of Georgia, which turned it into a state park. You can take a guided tour of the house and see the various farm buildings. There’s also a museum and walking trails.
This may be better suited for slightly older kids, although our 5 year old did fine, too. He really enjoyed ringing the bell and seeing the old kitchen behind the house. There’s plenty of space to run around outside, too! Be sure to bring some water because there is a little bit of a walk from the visitors center to the house! More info here.
4. Visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center
Next to Saint Simons is Jekyll Island, where you’ll find the Georgia Sea Turtle Center! The turtle center is a rehab facility and hospital for rescued turtles. They have a nice museum for kids to learn more about turtles and you can see plenty of different types of turtles in the outside hospital area. There are talks and feeding times throughout the day and if you catch it at the right time you can even view a live surgery through the hospital windows.
This is a really great place to take kids, especially those who love turtles and the ocean! The talk was interactive and she had things the kids could touch and feel. However, it’s not a general aquarium, so all you’ll see is turtles! Check the website for the daily schedule for the feedings and info sessions. More info here.
5. Hit the beach!
Of course you can’t miss out on having some serious beach time when you visit Saint Simons! The beach was not crowded, even on 4th of July week, and the water was warm and fairly calm. My kid spent hours in the ocean riding his float, splashing around and chasing little fish! You can also see plenty of boats, including the shipping containers going in and out of port. There’s bikes and water activity rentals along the beach as well if you wanted to do one of those!
Since I’m pregnant I mostly enjoyed hanging out under the beach umbrella in my new bathing suit! If you can’t get a condo on the beach, there’s plenty of parking lots up and down the shore line, but you should bring your own food and drinks as there isn’t much right on the beach as far as dining is concerned.
Have you ever been to Saint Simons Island? What was your favorite spot there?
Shop this post! Here is my bathing suit and a few other similar seersucker options you may like if your style is slightly different. I also included my sunglasses and some cute cover-ups to check out!