St. Simons Island, like many of Georgia's islands, was long inhabited by Indians. In the 1500s, the Spanish built missions on the island in an attempt to Christianize these native people. During the mid 1700s, the island became part of the Georgia colony. The next defining moment for St. Simons Island arrived in the early 1900s when much of the island was developed to accommodate its growing popularity with vacationers.
Today, visitors will find that St. Simons offers a variety of treasures such as huge moss enveloped oak tress, an astonishing variety of birds, well-aged shrimp boats, and the occasional pod of dolphins. In St. Simons village, visitors will discover quaint shops and eateries, as well as a pier. A trolley tour around the Landmark District is a pleasurable way to get a feel for the history of this special island. Bike rentals are also available, and offer an additional opportunity for exploring. Kids will love the town playground, and nearby miniature golf.
The St. Simons lighthouse is a special feature of the island. Built in 1872, the lighthouse is still functional, and guests may climb the 129 steps to the top. The St. Simons Island Lighthouse Museum offers insight into the intriguing history of the island.
St. Simons Island is home to Christ Church. First built in 1820, the structure was mostly destroyed during the Civil War, and rebuilt in 1884. John Wesley, the man credited with founding the Methodist Church in England, first preached here.
A visit to Fort Frederica is a must-do. James Oglethorpe established the fort in 1736 to guard the southern portion of the new colony of Georgia. Today, visitors will come to understand the importance of the fort through a visit to the museum, and various displays.
St. Simons is located on the southeastern tip of Georgia, off Highway 17, near Brunswick, Georgia. From Brunswick, take the St. Simons Causeway over St. Simons Sound, and you'll arrive on St. Simons Island.