10 Reasons Why Kids Love the Golden Isles (And Why Parents Will, Too!)

When you find a place with sunshine, sand and plenty of natural landscapes to explore, it’s easy to enjoy the destination. So what makes you fall in love with it? Here are the top reasons why kids (and parents!) love Georgia’s Golden Isles:

1. Robust Summer Kids’ Camps

Why Kids Love ‘Em: Summer camps in the Golden Isles are created just for kids with unique interests in mind – and for that reason, they’re an exciting and memorable way to make new friends and support a variety of hobbies. From sports camps to visual and performing arts classes, educational nature excursions to southern cooking camps, there’s something for every child at every age!

Why Parents Love ‘Em: Not only are their kids engaged in something they love, but they are experiencing it in one of Georgia’s most unique settings. Parents can support their children’s hobbies while also partaking in a relaxing escape to paradise. Just picture yourself (alone) sipping your beverage of choice on a sunny shoreline watching the ocean kiss the shore, and you’ll understand why parents fall in love with the destination during summer camp season!

2. Beaches, Beaches, Beaches

Why Kids Love ‘Em: From building sand castles to searching for treasured sea shells, splashing around in the calm surf to basking in the sunshine, there are so many reasons kids love spending the day at Golden Isles beaches! Some of our more family-friendly beaches also feature shady parks, playgrounds and picnic areas for families to enjoy.

Why Parents Love ‘Em: The Golden Isles boasts beach weather year-round. Not to mention the relaxing sounds of the sea and their happy children. Top it all off with tired-out children by the end of the day, and it’s no wonder parents visiting the Golden Isles never forget to pack the sunscreen and beach towels!

3. Exploring on Two Wheels

Why Kids Love It: There are more than 50 miles of bike paths between Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island – our two most family-friendly isles. With so much space for kids to lead their own adventures and exploration, they love riding around our islands!

Why Parents Love It: Rather than driving around and everywhere, it’s nice to have a break to enjoy the scenery at a slower pace. And with two extremely bike-friendly islands in the Golden Isles, it’s a great opportunity to let your kids lead the adventure for a change – which always beats hearing “Are we there yet?” from the back seat. Save yourself the hassle of loading up your family bikes while packing. A variety of bike rental companies have all the equipment you need – from bikes with baby seats or training wheels to helmets, baskets and more.

4. Finding Unique Treasures

Why Kids Love ‘Em: Our St. Simons Island Tree Spirits are our local treasures; If you look closely at certain majestic oak trees, you might find one staring back at you. Kids can go on a one-of-a-kind scavenger hunt, and if they’re lucky, they can even find them all in a day! It’s treasure hunting, pure and simple – need we say more?

Why Parents Love ‘Em: Aside from creating a unique memory with the whole family that only the Golden Isles can offer, these tree spirits are truly incredible local art. In the 1980’s, artist Keith Jennings decided to carve about 20 faces into the island’s famous oak trees. Each carving is entirely unique – the artist says each face is designed for the soul of each unique tree! Stop by the St. Simons Welcome Center to learn more and to discover the most famous tree spirit of all!

5. Unique Southern History

Why Kids Love It: Outside of a traditional classroom, most kids love to learn something new – especially with tangible places to discover and brand-new experiences to be had! Add to that the option to visit the first European settlement on St. Simons Island, Fort Frederica National Monument, and the opportunity for kids age 8-13 to become a Junior Ranger during their visit!

Why Parents Love It: You’re never done learning, no matter what age is on your driver’s license. While parents bring their kids to experience the history for themselves and to see the awe on their faces, it’s likely they’ll learn something, too. And Georgia’s Golden Isles has sites dating back to the 1700s to completely envelop the whole family in Georgia’s Southern American History for a whole weekend or even longer!

6. St. Simons Lighthouse Museum

Why Kids Love It: It’s another quaint museum kids might love for the history, but mostly, they love climbing the traditional spiral staircase all the way to the top! After 129 steps of climbing, there’s a view of the Golden Isles that will stop them in their tracks!

Why Parents Love It: One of the coolest things about the St. Simons Lighthouse Museum is that it is one of only 5 operating lighthouses along the 90 miles of Georgia’s coastline. Originally built in 1810 (and re-built in 1872), it’s a sight to behold!

7. Nature Encounters

Why Kids Love ‘Em: If your child is the type who loves creepy crawlies and other wildlife, there are plenty of opportunities to indulge! A local family-favorite stop is the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, where kids can learn about sea turtle research and rehabilitation; plus, they can meet the patients and check out some of the other Sea Turtle Center residents including snakes, Diamondback Terrapins, and more! Another great opportunity is taking a day trip to Little St. Simons Island where families can tour the island with a knowledgeable naturalist and see everything from bald eagles to armadillos roaming free on this 11,000-acre protected island.

Why Parents Love ‘Em: If parents aren’t the creepy-crawly type, but their kids are – they don’t have to participate! They can look on safely from a distance. If they do love wildlife as much as their children do, there are plenty of opportunities to interact with the unique coastal Georgia wildlife. Not to mention – Little St. Simons Island is an all-inclusive resort. If families choose to stay overnight, it’s quite a pampering experience out in nature!

8. A Variety of Water Sports

Why Kids Love ‘Em: They don’t have to stop at just one! While many vacation destinations stop at swimming or water parks, the Golden Isles offers those, and then some! Families can explore the marshes by kayak or paddleboard; older families can try their hand at scuba diving some shipwrecks; motorized boating or sailing are options depending on which pace your family prefers; and fishing is always a winner with all ages of families. Especially when there’s an opportunity to go out with a local shrimpin’ boat where kids can be as hands-on as they’d like!

Why Parents Love ‘Em: With such a wide variety of activities available in a unique setting like the Golden Isles, your family memories will start flowing. And luckily, there are plenty of local guides to help you plan your trip so you can skip the trial and error and go straight to the smiles and adventure!

9. Relaxed & Easy Days

Why Kids Love ‘Em: There is plenty to do without needing to book an excursion. From playgrounds to mini golf, water parks to local hikes and walks, there are so many places to explore! Not to mention evening activities like bowling, movies, plays and more! Grab some sandwiches from sammies and get ready for a laid back day of adventures! 

Why Parents Love ‘Em: Sometimes (let’s be honest – most times) it’s nice to not have to adhere to a schedule. And it’s possible – and even easy – in the Golden Isles! There are so many ways to stay entertained, get outdoors and enjoy your vacation, just steps from your accommodations.

10. Family-Friendly Events & Entertainment

Why Kids Love ‘Em: It’s exciting to head outdoors during a festival and take in the unique foods, music, kids’ games and more. And there are plenty of regular festivals and events for the whole family in the Golden Isles!

Why Parents Love ‘Em: For the same reasons the kids do! Parents can enjoy the arts booths, Southern food, handcrafted spirits, live music and more!