Looking for things to do in St. Simons Island, Georgia? With a wide selection of waterfront restaurants, boutique shopping, beautiful beaches, and historical landmarks, the St. Simons Island beach and attractions include something for every type of traveler.
Located in Georgia near Jekyll Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island, and Brunswick, Saint Simons Island is the largest barrier island in the Golden Isles.
St. Simons Island weather is warm year round, making it a great US vacation destination. This is particularly appealing if you love the beach and outdoor activities. Kayaking, fishing, biking, and golfing are just a few of the things to do on St. Simons Island.
Top Things To Do In St. Simons Island
No matter whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, fine dining connaisseur, or history junkie, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. From the East Beach to the Village Pier and beyond, St. Simons Island is the perfect vacation spot for the whole family.
Here are our top five things to do in St. Simons Island.
Enjoy a Day at St. Simons Island Beach
If you’re looking for a laidback day at the beach, East Beach is the perfect place for you. Also known as St. Simons Island Beach, the East Beach stretches along the oceanside of the island. East Beach separated into many smaller beach sections named after their access points.
Popular public beach access points include Gould’s Inlet, the U.S. Coast Guard Station, Massengale Park, and Pier Village, but with over 40 public beach access points there are plenty of options to soak up some surf and sun no matter where you are on the island.
The sand on the beach is hard packed, so make sure to pack a comfy beach chair with your beach gear. Of course, this terrain also makes it perfect for biking during low tide—and perfect for long walks. Other popular activities on St. Simons public beaches include kitesurfing, sand sculpting, and shelling. It’s a great spot to visit if you love collecting shells and making seashell crafts.
Traveler’s Tip: If you’re looking to stay right on the beach, The King and Prince is a classic beachfront hotel steps from the Atlantic Ocean. We stayed in one of the cabana rooms with a patio overlooking the beach (I took the photo above in front of our room). We loved it and definitely plan to go back!
Shopping and Restaurants in Pier Village
Pier Village is the top place for eating and shopping in St. Simons Island. As the downtown core of the island, it offers a wide selection of boutiques, restaurants, events, and attractions. Much of Pier Village overlooks the ocean and you’ll have great views of St. Simons Sound and Jekyll Island as well. Nearby attractions to St. Simons Pier Village include the St. Simons Lighthouse and Neptune Park.
Our suggestion? Dine at one of St. Simons Island restaurants for dinner and then go for an evening walk through the village. There are lots of local boutiques to browse for beach-inspired decor and gifts. I found a fabulous weathered wood and rope pendant lamp for the Carolina room in the village.
Check out Blue Water Cafe for a casual, waterfront dining experience (especially if you love oysters or shrimp), or try Iguana’s for a casual bar and grill, delicious fried shrimp and scallops, and occasional live entertainment.
Learn the History of St. Simons Island
History buffs love visiting the Fort Frederica National Monument. First established in 1736 to protect the British colony from Spanish raids, this fort and town were the sites of the battles of Bloody Marsh and Gully Hole Creek. Today, National Park Service protects its archaeological remnants and it’s open to the public to enjoy for free.
With large oak and pecan trees draped with Spanish moss, the Fort Frederica grounds are filled with southern charm. This family and pet-friendly location also offers ranger-led tours and a variety of educational programs. The visitor center provides a short orientation film and a variety of exhibits to help get you started on your historical adventure.
Climb St. Simons Lighthouse
Another historical point of interest is the St. Simons Lighthouse and Keeper’s Dwelling. It’s easy to access from the south end of Pier Village and is also home to the A.W. Jones Heritage Center and the Coastal Georgia Historical Society Archives.
Built in 1872, St. Simons Lighthouse is one of five surviving towers in Georgia and still acts as an active aid to nearby ships. Visitors can climb the tower to take in the expansive panoramic views of the Georgian coast. The sight-lines of the south end of St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island and Brunswick are spectacular!
And before you go, don’t forget to check out the St. Simon’s Lighthouse Keeper’s Dwelling! This is where you will find the Lighthouse Museum, as well as a variety of artifacts, period-style rooms, and fun interactive exhibits. All are designed to help you learn about what the life of lighthouse keeper really looked like.
Hang Out at Gascoigne Bluff
On the western side of St. Simons Island, you’ll find Gascoigne Bluff. Gascoigne Bluff has been home to a variety of uses throughout history. Access to Gascoigne Bluff is free year round and hosts many public events, including the Georgia Sea Islands Festival. Historic points of interest include the Cassina Garden Club Slave Cabins and the second largest Southern Red Cedar tree in Georgia.
Gascoigne Bluff is also a great place to visit for a fun afternoon at the park. It offers access to a public fishing pier, floating dock, picnic pavilion, grills, a disc golf course, a fitness trail, and restrooms. It’s the perfect location for a family picnic or outdoor BBQ!
Traveler’s Tip: Make sure to check the events calendar when you’re planning your visit. Gascoigne Bluff can get pretty busy during public events!
Planning Your Trip to St. Simons Island
Make sure to check out the Golden Isles Visitors Guide and St. Simons Island Map when planning your vacation. These handy resources will provide you with up-to-date, official information on the things to do and see on St. Simons Island.
More coastal destinations to visit
Did we miss one of your favorite things to do in St. Simons Island? Let us know in the comments below!