Colonized early to help protect Colonial Georgia from Spanish troops, St. Simons Island is now a bustling residential city. Visitors are always welcome, however, and will have their choice of things to do on St. Simons Island. These are our favorite things to do for adult-only trips as well as family vacations.
1. Hunt for Tree Spirits
We love activities that have a uniquely local flavor. We also love free activities. This scavenger hunt is a great way to explore spots on the island. Artist Keith Jennings and his son Devon have carved faces into over 20 oaks on the island.
Some are on private property, but you can find the public ones on this map or grab a map at the Visitor's Center. Hint: you'll have to stop there at some point in your search!
Whether you prefer fresh or saltwater fishing, you'll have many choices on St. Simons Island. You can fish from the shore in the famous Marshes of Glynn or hop on a kayak or boat to cast from deeper spots. Georgia requires anyone 16 and older to have a fishing license. You'll need a free Saltwater Information Permit if you're fishing saltwater.
Bring your bike or rent one for the over 30 miles of bike paths on St. Simons Island. Having the off-road paths makes this activity friendly for even the youngest of pedalers. A map of the biking trail system is available online.
4. Horseback Riding
Go live your big-screen fantasies of riding a horse on a beach at sunset! If that's not your thing, you can also ride near the historic Musgrove Plantation or among the trees of Frederica Township.
5. Golf of All Kinds
For the purists, there are two highly-rated golf courses near. Access the first course via The Inn at Sea Island and the other at The King and Prince Resort. Golfing with an ocean view or among the forests and salt marshes of the island is an experience you won't want to miss.
For other golf options, there's an 18-hole mini golf course at Neptune Park and a 6-hole disc golf course at Gascoigne Bluff. If you like your golf inside, The Inn at Sea Island has you covered. Head to the Topgolf Swing Suite for simulated golf, baseball pitching, and zombie dodgeball games.
6. Neptune Park
Families can spend an entire day at Neptune Park! The FunZone Water Park is perfect for those not into the beach. Utilize the lap lanes, the zero-entry pool, and the kid's water play area. Concessions are sold onsite to keep kids from getting cranky.
Have you had enough water? The mini-golf course and a playground are on site. When it's time to eat, rest beneath the shade of massive live oaks at nearby picnic tables.
7. Tours of St. Simons Island
If you're the curious type, you've got several tour options. Depending on your interests, you can go with kayaks, trolleys, or ghosts. The entire Georgia coast is worth a road trip if you have the time!
8. Fort Frederica National Monument
This National Park Service site was founded in 1736 to protect Georgia's southern border from the Spanish in Florida. Following a decisive battle in 1742 and the following peace treaty, the fort disbanded, and the surrounding city deserted. Today, only a few buildings are intact. But kids will love their award-winning Junior Ranger program; adults will love the history and beauty of the site.
9. Battle of Bloody Marsh
Kids love the name of this unit of the Fort Frederica site. In reality… it's just a marsh. Interpretive markers stand at the marsh's edge.
10. Simons Lighthouse & Museum
Climb up the 129 steps of this 1872 lighthouse and take in extraordinary views. Make time for the lighthouse museum next door. The museum is in a lovely two-story Victorian that used to be the lighthouse keeper's home.
11. WW II Homefront Museum
Housed in the historic St. Simons Coast Guard Station, the WW II Homefront Museum focuses on the heroic war efforts of American citizens. Visitors will test their enemy plane-spotting skills, learn how to build ships needed in the war effort, and more! The galleries are immersive and interactive.
12. East Beach
You knew this had to be in here, right? There are many ways to access East Beach, with the most plentiful parking near the WWII Homefront Museum. You should avoid access near Pier Village and Neptune Park. Depending on the tide, there may be little beach to access!
13. Water Sports on St. Simons Island
Where there's a beach, there's an opportunity for the paddler. Watercraft rental locations are around the island. You can knock out two goals by taking a guided kayak tour!
14. Cannon's Point Preserve
The more serious nature enthusiast can immerse themselves in over 700 acres of pristine maritime forest, salt marsh, and river shoreline. Cannon's Point Preserve is considered wilderness and is maintained mostly by volunteers. Do not expect concession stands, water fountains, or air conditioning.
However, if you enjoy hiking, biking, or non-motorized boating, you'll revel in the beauty of this place. Pause for the interpretive signage pointing out shell middens dating back to 2500 BCE. Also on site are the ruins of John Couper's plantation and the quarters of the enslaved.
15. Christ Church
One of the most photographed spots on St. Simons Island, Christ Church is more than picturesque. Its community has worshipped there continuously since 1736 and has a fascinating history. The Rev. Charles Wesley, brother of John, was once rector here before the brothers founded the Methodist Church in England.
The current building dates back to 1884, rebuilt after Civil War damage. The oldest tombstone in the cemetery, however, dates from 1803. Tours are offered most afternoons, and visitors are welcome to walk the grounds.
16. Hamilton Plantation Cabins
The Cassina Garden Club tabby cabins are the winner of a preservation award from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. The cabins were originally home to the enslaved people of Hamilton Plantation and date back to the early 19th century.
Restoration Work began after the Cassina Garden Club obtained the property in 1932. The gardens represent traditional plantings of the plantation period and include a butterfly garden. Tours are available upon request and are scheduled regularly from June through August.
Your Choice of Things To Do on St Simons Island
Whether you are into history, water sports, or relaxing, you'll find plenty of things to do on St. Simons Island. This year-round destination offers leisure time but with all the convenience of a city. Mix and match from this list to suit your party, and plan a dream coastal vacation!
Amy Albers is a librarian in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta. When she's not getting lost in genealogy and local history, she is finding fun solo and family travel destinations to share with others. With over a dozen years of experience writing about family and travel on her own blog, Amy now enjoys freelance writing. She has three teen and young adult boys who turned her on to all things Marvel and Star Wars and a husband who has nurtured her into a committed SEC football fan. The beach and the great outdoors are her happy places but she's never mad at a luxury hotel. Her book reviews and latest adventures are found on Instagram at Exploring The Amysphere.