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Top 23 Things to Do in St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island

    St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island are the perfect Georgia towns for a quiet family-friendly beach trip. Located 1.5 hours south of Savannah, 1.5 hours north of Jacksonville, FL, and under 5 hours from Atlanta, these islands are a great vacation choice from all directions. Here are our best tips for a fun family beach week in St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island.

    Where to Stay in St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island

    Home Rentals in St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island

    Renting a home through Airbnb or Vrbo is the obvious choice for lodging in St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island. There just aren’t many hotels and nothing says beach vacation quite like a beach house.

    Hotels in St. Simons Island

    If you want to be right in the middle of the action, Sea Gate Inn, Ocean Lodge Resort, The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, and Saint Simons Inn by the Lighthouse are three hotels within walking distance of both ocean and restaurants. Home2 Suites is located on the island as well.

    Hotels in Jekyll Island

    If you want a hotel on Jekyll Island, look at Jekyll Island Club Resort, or The Westin, Residence Inn, or Holiday Inn on the island.

    Camping at Jekyll Island

    Jekyll Island Campground – 179 campsites, most with full hookups, under the beautiful Spanish moss-covered oak trees.

    Note: Entry to Jekyll Island is $8 per car per day. Rates are higher for over-sized vehicles and an annual pass can also be purchased.

    What to Bring on Your Beach Vacation

    Bikes for the whole family – St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island are both really bike-friendly towns. If you need bike seats or kid trailers, you can easily rent those along with full sized bikes.

    Beach tent and beach wagon – We had a bit of a walk both from our house to the beach entrance and from the beach entrance to the water, so you’ll want something to help carry all your gear as well as a tent so you can stay for a while. You can also rent these items during your stay.

    Pool floats or tubes – The water here is so much calmer than many other beaches we’ve been to, so it’s perfect for floating!

    Beach toys – One of the best things about the beaches at St. Simons Island is that the tide doesn’t come up very far, so if you put a bunch of effort into digging a huge hole, it won’t get washed away later that day with the tide.

    Top Things To Do In St. Simons Island

    Bike – St. Simons Island has miles of bike paths, so bring bikes for the whole family or rent them while you’re here.

    St. Simons Trolley Tour – See the island via 90 minute trolley tour. Book ahead of time, because as of this writing they only have one tour each day.

    Tree Spirits – A fun little scavenger hunt, look for faces carved in the beautiful oak trees around the island.

    St Simons Lighthouse and museum – Open for midday tours.

    Neptune Park – Enjoy the playground, play miniature golf, or visit the fun zone pool.

    St. Simons Island Pier – Fish, watch the sunset, or wander with an ice cream cone.

    Christ Church – A treasured piece of St. Simons Island history, located on the north side of the island.

    Fort Frederica – This national park site is free to visit and a great place to learn about the clash of Spanish and British forces at the Battle of Bloody Marsh.

    Gould’s Inlet beach access – This beach access point is a bit quieter than some of the other beaches. We also visited this beach as the tide was coming in and enjoyed hanging out on a sandbar until it slowly slipped away under the water.

    Massengale Park – Picnic tables with grills, a playground, beach access, and showers.

    Golf – Enjoy courses at the King and Prince, Frederica Golf Club, or Sea Palms Resort.

    Frisbee Golf – Play 9 holes of disc golf at Gascoigne Park.

    Shopping – Visit the shops to find sweets, gifts, clothing, tea, jewelry, beachwear, and more.

    Top Things to Do in Jekyll Island

    Driftwood Beach – This beach is something special. Come for sunrise or sunset. Low tide or high. There isn’t really a bad time to wander this beach covered in driftwood. Bring your camera.

    Horton House – Meander around the ruins of a historic 1700s home.

    Mosaic, Jekyll Island Museum – Wander the exhibits to learn about the island’s cultural and natural history.

    Wanderer Memory Trail – Tells the story of the Wanderer, the last known slave ship in America. Located near St. Andrews Beach Picnic Area.

    Jekyll Island Mini Golf – Two course of 18 holes with fun beach and animal theming.

    4-H Tidelands Nature Center – Nature center with live animal exhibits, tidal creek kayak tours, and island nature walks.

    Summer Waves Water Park – Ride the slides, float in the lazy river, or play in the splash zone. There’s something for everyone in this water park.

    Sharktooth Beach – Visit at low tide to hunt for shark teeth in the blanket of oyster shells.

    South Dunes Picnic Area – Covered picnic shelters, public restrooms and showers, and a boardwalk to the beach.

    Golf – Enjoy one of the 5 golf courses on the island.

    Top Restaurants in St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island

    A few restaurant recommendations for where to eat in St. Simons Island:

    Sandcastle Cafe, Southern Soul BBQ, The Crab Trap, Sandy Bottom Bagels, Cafe Frederica, Palmers Village Cafe, Bubba Garcias Mexican Cantina, Gnat’s Landing, Ember, and Porch. Enjoy coffee or treats at Sunset Slush, Moo Cow Ice Cream, Wake Up Coffee Company, St. Simons Sweets, and The Cottage Ice Cream.

    A few restaurant recommendations for where to eat in Jekyll Island:

    Driftwood Bistro, The Anchor, Beach House, Tortuga Jack’s, The Love Shack, Sunrise Grill, and The Shore Restaurant.

    Itineraries for St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island

    4 Day St. Simons Island Itinerary

    Day 1 – Settle into your beach house or hotel room and spend most of the day at the beach.

    Day 2 – Take the 90 minute trolley tour or bike to Fort Frederica and Christ Church. Enjoy an afternoon at the beach.

    Day 3 – Wander the shops downtown while also keeping an eye out for tree spirits. Take a picnic to Neptune Park or the pier or have lunch in town. Make sure to walk past the St. Simons Lighthouse or do a tour in the afternoon. Miniature golf and the fun zone pool would be a great way to round out the afternoon. Stop for a treat at Sunset Slush or Moo Cow Ice Cream.

    Day 4 – Visit Gould’s Inlet beach access around low tide to enjoy the sandbar. Get ice cream at The Cottage.

    1 Week St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island Itinerary

    Turn your 4 day itinerary into a 1 week itinerary with 3 additional days on Jekyll Island:

    Day 5 – Spend the morning at Driftwood Beach with your camera and a picnic lunch. Play mini golf or visit Mosaic, Jekyll Island Museum in the afternoon.

    Day 6 – Visit the Wanderer Memory Trial and the 4-H Tidelands Nature Center. Spend the afternoon on the beach, bike around the island, or take a kayak tour at the nature center.

    Day 7 – Visit Sharktooth Beach and the Summer Waves Water Park.

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