St. Simons is the heart and soul of Georgia’s Golden Isles. This quaint, picturesque island is one of my favorite getaways in the Southeast U.S. It’s perfect for girls, mother-daughter, or romantic trips.
The other Golden Isles are Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island, and Jekyll Island, and the mainland city of Brunswick is included in this region. These barrier islands are home to fantastic beaches, historic sites, nature preserves, incredible resorts, mouth-watering food, and amazing activities.
So here’s your travel guide to St. Simons and Georgia’s Golden Isles!
Take a horseback ride on Driftwood Beach.
Rent bikes for a self-guided tour of Ocean Boulevard, Saint Simons Pier, World War II Homefront Museum, Neptune Park, and the St. Simons Lighthouse.
Visit the Fort Frederica National Monument
Where To Eat
Seafood: Crabdaddy’s, Mullet Bay Seafood Restaurant, Georgia Sea Grill, Porch, The Half Shell, The Crab Trap, Catch 228 Oyster Bar & Grill.
Breakfast Places: Palmer’s, Mallery Street Cafe, Sandy Bottom Bagels, Coastal Kitchen.
Coffee & Sweet Shops: Palm Coast Coffee, The Local Brew, Moo Cow Ice Cream, Sunset Slush of St. Simons, St. Simons Sweets.
Other Top Recommendations: Southern Soul BBQ, Tramici (Italian), ECHO (One of the only waterfront restaurants on St. Simons), Barbara Jean’s (Southern comfort food), Barrier Island Brewing.
When To Go
Georgia’s Golden Isles are a year-round destination, but Spring and Fall are the best seasons to visit. March – May and September – November have cool breezes and warm temperatures in the 60s at night and the 70s and 80s in the day without the humidity of the summer months. These are the shoulder seasons, so accommodation prices and tourist numbers won’t be at their highest.
Summer is hot and muggy with temperatures in the 90s, and the humidity will make it feel much hotter. Mosquitos are out in full force during these months, so make sure you always have bug spray with you. Afternoon rain showers are also common. June – August is the peak travel season for the Golden Isles, so everything will be at its most expensive and most crowded. The public beaches will fill up by mid-morning, many restaurants will require reservations, and you’ll need to book tours ahead of time.
Winter is the offseason, but the island’s mild temperatures mean this is still a great time to visit. You can get some great hotel deals in December (excluding the Christmas – New Year holiday week), January, and February. Nighttime temperatures will be in the mid-40s, and daytime temperatures should stay in the 60s. Some businesses and tour companies are closed for the winter season, but most places will still be open.
Best Day Trips
Some of the recommendations in this guide are for the other barrier islands – Jekyll, Sea, and Little St. Simons Islands – but I want to reiterate that the other Golden Isles are worth a visit.
Other great day trips from St. Simons Island are Amelia Island, the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, and Sapelo Island.
Savannah is also only about an hour and a half drive from St. Simons, though I highly recommend visiting this historic, antebellum city as its own trip. If you do spend a day here, highlights of Savannah are Forsyth Park, Old Savannah Trolley Tours, City Market, and Wormsloe Historic Site.
Where To Stay
My favorite accommodation on St. Simons Island is The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort (pictured above). This historic hotel has three pools, a jacuzzi, the ECHO restaurant, beach access, and spacious rooms. If you want a truly luxurious stay, then I recommend Sea Island Resort. The Jekyll Island Club Resort is also a fantastic hotel.
St. Simons is where most of the restaurants, activities, and nightlife are, so make sure you stay on the Golden Isle that will best suit your trip. St. Simons and Jekyll Islands have inns, hotels, vacation rentals, B&Bs, and Airbnbs for any preference and budget.
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