From time to time, a new perspective in life is key to achieving a sense of revitalization and renewal. When stress begins to build, one of the best ways of finding that new angle on everything is to pack up a suitcase or two and hit the road or skies in pursuit of a well-deserved vacation. Of course, knowing you’re headed somewhere scenic, exciting, and endlessly inviting only makes the moment that much better! That’s exactly what travelers can expect who set their getaway sights on stunning St. Simons Island this summer or fall.
While St. Simons Island is an intriguing year-round destination to enjoy, summer and fall find this island in full bloom both in terms of landscapes, wildlife, and opportunities for outdoor adventure. Between the terrific terrain, versatile options for fun, and savory stops included too—it’s easy to see why first-time travelers to St. Simons Island find their way here time and again when the urge to enjoy a getaway is calling.
St. Simons Island enjoys a prime location just off the coast of Georgia. This locale makes St. Simons Island the perfect place to stay when you’re feeling as if you’d like to be far from the daily grind, but within proximity of mainland options too. The island is not only inviting, it is practically brimming over with the natural beauty that so many travelers seek. This destination is one that’s long been loved for its collection of captivating salt marshes paired perfectly by nature with long stretches of sugar-white sandy shorelines to enjoy. For those that love history, there’s plenty to be learned, discovered, and cherished across St. Simons Island during a stay. Military, fishing, and nautical history saturate the island’s past and there are plenty of remnants that remain to be explored and enjoyed by visitors.
While the outdoor appeal is hard to deny, St. Simons Island is also a place that’s perfectly suited to the summer or fall traveler with a heart for simply taking it all in stride—even if that happens right in town! St. Simons Island has plenty of options for visitors in the way of restaurants, shops, cafes, and cozy locales to hang out, and enjoy life to the fullest at your very own pace.
No matter how you plan on spending your summer or fall getaway to St. Simons Island, it’s a vacation destination that has no shortage of Georgia vacation ideas when it comes to customized adventure. When you’re in the process of putting the finishing touches on your itinerary, the following attractions and activities should definitely be placed somewhere at the top of your list. Happy travels!
Things to Do While You’re Here: From Lighthouses to Trolley Tours
Making your way to St. Simons Island in the summer or fall is a fantastic opportunity to soak up inspiring landscapes, but perhaps one of the most iconic stops you’ll want to make while you’re here is at the St. Simons Island Lighthouse Museum. Located at 610 Beachview Drive, this landmark isn’t hard to miss thanks to its brilliant white façade that stretches 104 feet up into the air! This lighthouse has dominated the St. Simons Island coastline since 1810 and today, still draws in visitors looking to get up close to the architecture and take a wander through the attached museum as well. While it’s a great photo stop, this lighthouse and museum is also the perfect place to brush up on your island history knowledge and facts related specifically to how ships have long been guided safely into port.
Making even more of the view should include a stroll down the St. Simons Island Pier at some point during your trip as well! The St. Simons Island Pier is conveniently located at 100 Mallery Street and is a great place to wander and watch the boats sail by. This pier stretches out over the St. Simons Island Sound and it’s not uncommon to spot a dolphin or two from this particular vantage point. If your schedule only allows you to stop by during the evening, not to worry! The St. Simons Island Pier is open 24 hours a day and enjoys outdoor lighting that runs the length of the pier to illuminate your path once the sun goes down.
For a true insider’s view into all that’s happening on St. Simons Island during your stay, you’ll definitely want to swing by the Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Center. This stop offers up a wealth of information and knowledge specific to upcoming area events, performances, and more Georgia vacation ideas! The on-site staff are particularly helpful when it comes to pointing out areas of interest and may even be able to give you a tip or two on savings opportunities at local stores and stops that are hosting short-lived sales. It’s a great place to ask questions, learn more about the area and pick up a selection of maps or information brochures to help boost your island getaway experience.
A great way to get a comprehensive look at the island when you first arrive without having to walk far at all is to book your place on one of the infamous St. Simons Island Trolley Tours. Tours depart from 117 Mallery Street and guests are sure to enjoy every informative and engaging second of this one-of-a-kind experience! Hop on board an old-fashioned trolley and settle in for an enjoyable and educational ride. Tours leave Monday through Sunday at 11:00 am and include stops and talks at nearly all of the island’s major landmarks! Enjoy the journey and feel free to take notes on places you’d enjoy returning to and checking out in more detail later!
Explore Parks and Nature
The natural beauty of St. Simons Island is undeniable. Half the fun of a trip this way in the Georgia summer or fall is making the most of time in the great outdoors. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to do just that! One of those options you won’t want to overlook is the chance to rent a bike and head out on a tree spirit scavenger hunt. Across the island, visitors will find oak trees with faces carved within the trunks. These purposeful designs are meant to represent the spirits of sailors lost at sea nearby. Because the tree spirits are scattered across the island, biking your way through this scavenger hunt is a good idea. Island Bicycle is a great place to start when you need bike rentals of all types while the island visitor center has tree spirit maps handy if you prefer to follow a set route to finding them all!
For those that love to admire nature from a sandy spot on the shoreline, St. Simons Island is a true oasis of beach hopping potential. Start your sunny adventures at iconic East Beach which has long been a popular stop for those looking to tan, swim, or even snorkel their way through a fun island day. This public beach has a designated dog-friendly area for those who are traveling with a canine companion in tow and also provides access to on-site restrooms and showers as an added convenience.
If you’re more the type of traveler that can’t wait to lace up their boots and hit the trails when you’re on vacation, time on the John Gilbert Nature Trail is sure to please. Start at 2470 Frederica Road and enjoy winding your way at a preferred pace along this interpretive trail. The island’s scenic character and population of wildlife are sure to be on full display as you make your way along a path lined with mossy oaks, lush foliage, and a sense of tranquility that’s hard to top.
For those with a passion for photography headed to St. Simons Island in the summer or fall, a stop at Driftwood Beach is a must! Situated just south of North Wood Trail, Driftwood Beach offers up an experience that’s right in its name. Here, visitors will encounter a one-of-a-kind scene where weathered and gnarled trees have been left firmly in the sandy. The silhouette effect of these features is truly stunning and makes for some amazing photos from a variety of angles.
Find Time for Historical Stops
St. Simons Island is a modern-day gem of a vacation destination, but part of its charm is firmly rooted in the past. While you’re visiting this summer or fall, be sure to take time to check out a few of the historical stops along the way that are as engaging as they are meaningful to the island’s story. Among these historical stops to be visited is Fort Frederica National Monument. Found at 6515 Frederica Road, Fort Frederica National Monument dates back to 1736 when James Oglethorpe built the fort to protect the then, British colony, from potential raids by the Spanish. Once you’ve toured the fort, head over to the Coastal Georgia Historical Society found on Beachview Drive to learn more about Fort Frederica and browse exhibits and displays showcasing the island’s rich heritage and culture through the centuries.
Get Golfing in Island Style
For many travelers who make their way to St. Simons Island, an adventure just isn’t complete without some quality time on the links. If this sounds like you, booking a tee time at the Sea Palms Golf Club and Resort is sure to be an inspiring Georgia summer getaway moment! Located at 515 N. Winward Drive, Sea Palms first opened its greens in 1967 and today offers up a lush and pristine place to play a round or two while taking in the surrounding salt marshes and waves that work as a phenomenal natural backdrop to your game.
Restaurants to Enjoy
Half the fun of any getaway is the chance to savor the flavors offered up in abundance by local restaurants. A trip to St. Simons Island is no exception to the rule! When you’re here and find yourself in the mood for some sensational seafood, head over to Georgia Sea Grill and make the most of fresh-caught fare. Georgia Sea Grill is situated at 407 Mallery Street and offers up an equal parts elegant and rustic-chic atmosphere to enjoy alongside friends and family. Whether you opt for scallops and shrimp or lean towards dishes featuring tuna, crab, or calamari, it’s a dining experience that promises to be palate-pleasing from start to finish.
If you happen to be traveling with the entire family in tow and are looking for a place with a vibrant atmosphere made to match, Iguanas checks every box on the list! Found at 303 Mallery Street, Iguanas provides guests with a whimsical atmosphere to enjoy complete with interior décor finished off with fishing lines and buoys alike! Fresh-caught fare, a colorful ambiance, and a full kids menu make this a great choice no matter what you happen to be in the mood for. While steak and crab legs is an excellent choice, it’s hard to go wrong with fried oysters! For the adults in the group, pairing your plate with one of the many handcrafted cocktails on the menu is bound to put the perfect finishing and savory touch on a day of fun.
Places to Stay on St. Simons Island
For all of the adventure and fun that’s waiting for visitors to St. Simons Island who make summer or fall their preferred travel season, it’s just as important to know that you’ve booked a vacation rental that keeps you close to it all. That’s where Lilmar Vacations comes in.
The property professionals at Lilmar Vacations are passionate about the area served and just as committed to making sure every guest we partner with enjoys a customized island stay no matter when they arrive! Our portfolio of property options across the island is vast and versatile. From elegant beachside abodes to sprawling multi-level residences complete with pools and hot tubs, visitors can make the most of every moment of their stay whether they’re out and about exploring or cozied up indoors enjoying a spectacular waterfront view. Reach out today to learn more about our many options and reserve your place for your next adventure!