Since being settled in the early 1700s, the 100-mile Georgia coastline was some of the most fought after, sought after real estate in the infancy of the United States.
By the time the Civil War was winding down, the Golden Isles -- St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Jekyll Island, Little St. Simons Island and the port city of Brunswick – emerged as the coastal playground for wealthy industrialists and New World elite, as well as families who appreciated the barrier islands’ natural beauty.
Today the Golden Isles remains a popular destination for visitors and new residents who are attracted by the region’s temperate weather, year-round access to outdoor activities and the same relaxed lifestyle enjoyed by the earliest residents.
Annual average temperatures are just less than 70 degrees.
The weather makes living in the area's exclusive communities a paradise. Venture out of that paradise and you will discover a world of other activities custom-made for loving life in the Golden Isles.
Some of those activities include:
Biking: St. Simons Island is connected by a well-planned and maintained bike trail for those that want to tour the island by bicycle. For avid road cyclists or adventurers, the 450-mile Coastal Georgia Greenway is envisioned to connect Florida to South Carolina. Many parts of this trail are already accessible – including its route that follows US 17. Many parts of this highway have already been modified to include well-marked bicycle paths. Click here to learn more.
Birding: More than 300 species of birds call the Golden Isles home and makes the beaches, marshes and waterways prime sites for eagle-eyed birders. In fact, more than 75 percent of the state’s bird species make an appearance in the Golden Isles. From Wood Storks that reside in Frederica’s Rookery to graceful and powerful bald eagles to the daintiest of songbirds, there’s always a feathered friend waiting to be seen! Click here to learn more.
Day Trips on Little St. Simons Island: To experience the Golden Isles first discovered by its settlers, book a day trip to nearby Little St. Simons Island. This 10,000-acre island is home to pristine maritime forests, deserted beaches and a veritable ark of native wildlife. The site has been identified by the Georgia Audubon Society as one of area’s “must see” sites for spotting birds and waterfowl. Explore the island on your own or join a guided tour. Click here to learn more.
Festivals & Events: There is always something to do in the Golden Isles! The area is rich with the arts – visual and performing arts are showcased with festivals and exhibitions year round. The region’s well-seasoned culinary heritage is celebrated with the annual St. Simons Food & Spirits Festival. Taste the region’s best dishes – and meet local and nationally-known culinary professionals at this festival held in October. Music, art, theatre and the culinary arts are the cultural jewels of the Golden Isles. Click here to learn more.
Fishing Pier: Whether you enjoy the camaraderie of fishing with a group of like-minded enthusiasts or scanning the horizon for a glimpse of feeding dolphins or North Atlantic Right Whales, the St. Simons Island Fishing Pier is always alive with activity. One of only three Atlantic Ocean fishing piers on the Georgia coast, the St. Simons Island pier is convenient to parking, supplies, bait and tackle – and is lighted for evening strolls. Click here to learn more.
Guided Tours: To get an insider’s perspective on the Golden Isles a guided tour is your ticket to the area’s treasures. There are the obvious subjects – nature, history, art and architecture – and a more offbeat peeks into the region’s brush with the supernatural. Tours are the best way to spot elusive Fallow deer or encounter a haunted mansion! Click here to learn more.
Hiking & Walking Trails: There are several marked trails in the area – or venture off the beaten path for a relaxing beach walk or explore an unblemished maritime forest. The trails wind through perfect backdrops in which to view native plants, birds and wildlife – and some trails adjoin historical sites. Click here to learn more.
Horseback Riding: Frederica offers its own trail rides and beach rides in addition to ring rides and lessons for all ages. Get a spectacular perspective of the scenic beauty of our coast with a beach ride or gently clip-clop along during a daytime exploration. For more information on current events with the Stables at Frederica, please visit their Facebook page or call 912.434.4760 to book your own equestrian experience.
Historic Sites: From the hard scrabble days of pre-Colonial America to the Civil War, the Golden Isles is home to telltale icons of those important historic eras – defensive forts, historic cemeteries and tide-turning battlegrounds. The region’s history wasn’t just about conflict. Its unique historic architecture and the elegance of by-gone plantation days are also commemorated in nearby historic sites. Click here to learn more.
Kayak Tours: What’s the best vantage point to get up close to the salt marsh and its birds and aquatic life? The best seat in the house is in a kayak that you gently navigate through tidal creeks and the labyrinth of marshland waterways. From here, you may just brush up against a dolphin, spy young herons emerging from the nest and a wet fishing line is typical of the way waters. Explore on your own or take a guided tour. Click here to learn more.
Paddleboarding: This popular water sport is a great way to stay in shape and the perfect platform from which to explore. Outfit your own board or rent a board - complete with instructions - and get a new perspective on the area's waterways. Enjoy the solitude by paddling alone, go on a guided tour or bring a group for a paddleboard party. Click to learn more about Paddleboarding in the area by visiting St. Simons Island Stand Up Paddleboard at www.ssisup.com or David Love III's Paddle and Put Shop www.paddleandputt.com.
Shopping: Whether you’re on the hunt for art and antiques, designer labels or outdoor gear, you will find it all in the wide variety of boutiques, galleries and shops of the Golden Isles. The region’s powerful economy attracts name brand stores that are typically found in larger cities and fosters a healthy environment for locally-owned stores that cater to your every need. Click here to learn more.
Water Parks: Zoom through a waterslide that ends with a giant splash or lazily float along on an inner tube – adventure or relaxation waits at the area’s two water parks. Both parks provide plenty of thrills and also accommodate smaller children with special fun zones for wet and wild fun. Click here to learn more.