Saint Simons Island Travel Guide

A comprehensive tour guide for Saint Simons Island, including places to visit, things to do, where to stay, and more.

Introduction to Saint Simons Island

Saint Simons Island is located in Coastal Georgia, in the southern United States. It is a popular tourist destination known for its serene beaches, historic landmarks, and outdoor recreational activities.

Its subtropical climate makes the island an ideal vacation destination for most of the year. The historic district of Saint Simons Island is home to many shops, restaurants, and cultural sites, offering a diverse range of experiences for visitors of all ages.

List of Places to Visit in Saint Simons Island

Here are some of the best places to visit on Saint Simons Island:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • St. Simons Island Lighthouse Museum: Offering panoramic views of the surrounding area, the museum houses exhibits that tell the history of Saint Simons Island
  • Fort Frederica National Monument: A 18th-century fort that served as a military base, founded by James Oglethorpe in 1736
  • African American Heritage Trail: A trail featuring historical landmarks and attractions that highlight the African-American history on the island
  • Golden Isles Welcome Center: This center provides visitors with information about the multiple attractions on Saint Simons Island, along with maps and brochures.

Natural Attractions of Saint Simons Island: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Beaches of St. Simons Island: The island has 4 beaches; East Beach being the most popular. Visitors can swim, paddle board, or kayak while enjoying the sunny weather
  • Oglethorpe Oak: A large oak tree with draping Spanish moss in the front of the St. Simons Island Visitors’ Center
  • Neptune Park: The park is located in the heart of the village, offers walking paths, playgrounds, and barbecue spots.
  • The Marshes of Glynn: A scenic area with a breathtaking view of the ocean, marshlands, and barrier islands

Hiking/Biking Routes of Saint Simons Island

Saint Simons Island is almost 18 square miles, with numerous bike trails snaking through the island for the outdoorsy and adventurous tourists.

  • The St. Simons Island Trail System: features over 30 pathways for biking, jogging and hiking. The trails pass through scenic landscapes, and popular tourist destinations like the Island Lighthouse Museum, and the Bloody Marsh Battle Site.

Best Things to Do in Saint Simons Island: Activities and Tours

Some of the best things to do in Saint Simons Island are:

  • Fishing Charters: Visitors can go fishing and Dungeness crabbing.
  • Tours of the View: Visitors can tour through the island on a Sea Island Carriage Company camel tour.
  • Golfing: The island is home to a handful of top-rated golf courses
  • Shrimp Boat Tour: Tour boat passes through marsh and creeks, while giving information about the ecology and history of the island

Week-Long Itinerary for Saint Simons Island

Visitors can plan their itinerary accordingly to make the most of their stay on Saint Simons Island:

  • Day One: Visitors can start by touring the island and visiting the lighthouse museum. They can then rent bicycles and explore the village area in the afternoon.
  • Day Two: Visitors can enjoy the beach and participate in water activities like paddleboarding, surfing, or kayaking.
  • Day Three: Tourists can visit the Fort Frederica National Monument and learn about the history of the Island settlements.
  • Day Four: Fishers can go on a Fishing Charter Tour for a thrill and catch their own crab pickings.
  • Day Five: Rent a Golf Cart for a day and explore Glynn County and witness the scenic landscapes
  • Day Six: Take an evening sunset tour around the island on a boat tour.
  • Day Seven: Visitors can explore new local adventures or simply spend another day on the beach, as they wish.

Food and Drink Scene of Saint Simons Island

Must-Try Dishes

The delicious Georgia culinary style meets the relaxed Southern oceanside culture on St. Simons Island. Here are some must-try dishes:

  • Shrimp and Grits: A popular dish featuring local shrimp served with creamy grits.
  • Brunswick Stew: A classic dish consisting of a rich stew with pork, chicken, and vegetables.
  • Oysters on the Half Shell: Fresh local oysters served chilled.

Local Beverages

After days of adventure, visitors at St. Simons can take a sip of refreshing Southern drinks:

  • Bloody Mary: Reputed to have been created in St. Simons Island, a concoction of local made Bloody Mary mixes is a must-try
  • Sweet Iced Tea: Tea is a way of life in southern America, and visitors can taste it authentic with a generous serving of sugar.
  • Mimosas: A brunch favourite, a sparkling wine made with orange juice, enjoyed with breakfast, and brunch.

Where to Stay in Saint Simons Island: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Saint Simons Island has several accommodation options that range from budget-friendly to luxurious, to suit each traveler’s requirements.

  • The Cloister at Sea Island: A luxury resort with an array of amenities such as golf courses, spa, indoor and outdoor pools, and gourmet dining.
  • Village Inn & Pub: A Victorian inn and pub offering unique accommodations in the heart of the village district.
  • The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort: An oceanfront resort that features beach access, scenic ocean views, and golfing options.
  • Saint Simons Inn by the Lighthouse: Located near the lighthouse, this Inn features convenient access to the Island Lighthouse Museum.

What to Buy in Saint Simons Island: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Sea Salt: Locally harvested sea salt is a must buy for food lovers!
  • Handcrafted Art: Visit Saint Simons Island Art with various displays of handmade artwork.
  • St. Simons Shirts and Hats: A variety of local shops offer a wide range of clothing options, including t-shirts and hats.
  • Saltwater Taffy: A sweet treat, the saltwater taffy can be found in various flavours.

Local Culture and Customs of Saint Simons Island

Saint Simons Island is a beautiful representation of Georgia’s rich history. The community is known for its hospitality and laid-back vibe, with a casual southern lifestyle.

Best Time to Visit Saint Simons Island

The best time to visit Saint Simons Island is in the summer, from June to August, with the weather being at its warmest. However, tourist traffic may get high during these months.

The island is also a lovely escape during mild coastal Georgia autumns and springs, with the temperature variations, colors, and nature changing quickly.

Do’s and Don’ts of Saint Simons Island


  • Do respect the island’s natural beauty by leaving no trace behind when exploring the outdoors.
  • Do take a leisurely stroll to explore and appreciate the Island’s history.
  • Do book and plan ahead for popular attractions and experiences.


  • Don’t pollute or litter; help maintain the environment.
  • Don’t forget sunscreen, as the sun may be harsh on skin.
  • Don’t swim in the ocean without caution or supervision.

Safety and Health

Safety in Saint Simons Island

Saint Simons Island is generally safe for visitors, with low crime rates. However, it is always essential to ensure personal safety precautions while travelling.

Health in Saint Simons Island

The Island has good healthcare facilities in case of any emergencies. Additionally, visitors should take precautions against heat exhaustion and dehydration in the summer months.

Getting to Saint Simons Island: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Saint Simons Island

  • Jacksonville International Airport (JAX): The nearest International airport, located approximately 74 miles away from the island.

  • Brunswick Golden Isles Airport (BQK): Located just 11 miles north of the city of Brunswick, GA. The airport provides daily direct flights to Atlanta and Charlotte.

Bus Stations Near Saint Simons Island

The nearest bus station to St. Simons Island is in Brunswick, GA.

Other Options

Visitors can take a car rental, or book a taxi or limousine from the airport. Daily ferry services are available to Jekyll Island, which lies approximately 10 miles north of Saint Simons Island.

How to Get Around in Saint Simons Island

Saint Simons Island is small, and visitors can either rent bicycles or use bikes they brought with them. Rental cars, scooters, and golf carts are widely available for those who want to get around more quickly.

Most bike pathways, as well as much of the community, are designed for safe traveler access.

Where to Go Next from Saint Simons Island: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Nearby destinations and excursions from Saint Simons Island include:

  • Jekyll Island: Also a part of the Golden Isles, Jekyll island, provides more nature and adventure opportunities.
  • Cumberland Island: An unblemished island, is perfect for a day trip, where visitors can explore marshes and other wildlife habitats.
  • St. Augustine, Florida: One of the oldest towns in the United States, with historic monuments, Spanish forts, and magnificent beaches.


Saint Simons Island is a unique getaway destination, offering a rich Georgian culture and a relaxed coastal lifestyle. An ideal place to relax, explore history and nature, food, and entertainment, St. Simons Island is a must-visit spot for beach lovers or fans of dynamic outdoor activities.