Travel: St. Simons Island Secrets Revealed

Published by: Debra Green on Thursday June 8th, 2017

Debra Green

St. Simons Island Secrets Revealed
By Sue Rodman, 365 Atlanta Family


Summer vacation is here and there is no better retreat than a sunny beach where you can put your toes in the sand. There are several beaches close to Atlanta. Tybee Island in Savannah is one. Jekyll Island has a lots of new hotels.  Sea Island offers the best in luxury.

Our go-to beach town is St. Simon’s Island. In addition to the beach, there are miles of bike baths, plus a variety of shopping, and fantastic restaurants. But what are the secrets unique to St. Simons? Here are three of our favorites. 

Tree Spirits: Hidden among housing developments, outside restaurants and other establishments are the tree spirits. Carved into the trunks of old trees, these works of art are fun to find. It’s like a scavenger hunt through town. Each tree spirit is a little different and you can find them all over the island. Visit any of the Golden Isles Welcome Centers for a list of locations.

Fort Frederica: St. Simons wasn’t always a vacation destination. In Colonial times, there was an English settlement on the island that pre-dates the American Revolution by forty years. Fort Frederica was set up to guard the coast from the Spanish. It was the Battle of Bloody Marsh, also on St. Simons that secured the land as an English colony instead of a Spanish one. Fort Frederica has a small, but very engaging museum and a fantastic Junior Ranger program where kids borrow a haversack with a spyglass and compass to complete their mission.  If you have a good time, you might also want to try Fort King George in nearby Darien, Ga.

Mr. Bird: He’s been written about in the New York Times, and countless other publications. He’s an African Grey parrot that lives at the St. Simons Bait & Tackle shop on Mallory Street just off the pier. If he’s in a good mood that day, he might let you put him on your shoulder, if not, it’s best to just admire him up on his perch.


Wondering about other beaches close to Atlanta? Here is a list of drivable beach destinations from Atlanta.