The Golden Isles include St. Simons, Jekyll Island, and Brunswick. The beach is enough of a calling, for sure, but there are tons of additional things to do here. The boys and I went with Expedition Mom last year, and here are the highlights (we’ll add a new one each day this week.) If you’re looking for more ideas, try 15 Things to do with kids in the Golden Isles.
Jekyll Island Museum Tram Tour – I was nervous about the tram tour working for my young kids, but it was great. The guides made an extra effort to engage them and ensure there were things they would enjoy, like the opportunity to try out the car that belonged to Rockefeller’s grandkids (below.)
4th of May – 4th of May is a wonderful location for breakfast or brunch. It is right on Village Pier, so you have easy access to the pier to watch dolphins, a great playground and pool with mini golf, and the light house and trolley tours. Not to mention the shops and goodie shops (like the Popcorn Store – yum.) I highly recommend the pimento cheese and a mimosa. The kids will love the outdoor seating, kids menu, and basket of books at the entrance.
4-H Tidelands Nature Center – This was an off-the-beaten path stop that turned into a lot of fun. There are a few animals inside the Nature Center that the kids can see (even a touch tank.) Take a canoe ride on the small lake, or walk the nature trail. During summer there are several programs like astronomy hikes, animal feedings, and more. It’s affordable, and there is something for all ages!
St Simon’s Island Lighthouse – If you’ve got what it takes to climb the 129 stairs to the top (oh, don’t forget the climb back down,) then you must make the hike to the top of St Simon’s Lighthouse for astronomical views of the water and island. It’s in Pier Village, next to the mini golf, pool, and playground.
Southern Soul Barbeque – This is great, casual BBQ that has been served up on TLC and Food Network. Try the friend green beans for a great appy. The collards are wonderful …the secret ingredient? Pork rub! Inside seating is available, but feasting outside on a picnic table, with a great view of planes coming and going from the airport was ideal for the kids.
Driftwood Beach – My favorite place in all the Golden Isles…play on the beach, watch the boats come and go….see the lighthouse in the distance….and run through huge driftwood trees that have bowed to Mother Earth long ago. It’s on Jekyll…bring your camera….you won’t want to leave.
St Simon’s Island Trolley Tours – The history of St Simon’s is often upstaged by stories of the “new rich” of Jekyll Island, but St Simons possesses a colorful past in its own right. St Simon’s Trolley Tours unravels this history in a fun manner with a ride on a vintage trolley and a humorous (and amazingly informative) driver!
Georgia Sea Turtle Center – Sea turtles have migrated up to 12,000 miles across ocean and land. Luckily, you don’t have to travel that far to get up close with these reptiles; The Georgia Sea Turtle Center at Jekyll Island is open to the public. Families learn about sea turtles through several interactive exhibits, and view sea turtle patients as they recover from various ailments.