The Golden Isles is more than just beautiful sandy beaches; it’s a magical seaside retreat with new adventures around every bend, with another waiting each time you return. Explore our top 15 things to do in the Golden Isles in 2023!
1. Horseback Riding on Georgia's Coast
Take a guided horseback riding tour through maritime forests, salt marshes and even along our vast beaches. Brunswick and St. Simons Island are both home to stables and riding academies that can help you saddle up. Or sit back, relax and enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride through Jekyll Island’s historic district.
2. See the Tree Spirits
If you look closely at certain majestic oak trees that cover St. Simons Island, it’s possible to find one staring back at you! Spend a day with your family and friends searching for St. Simons Island’s favorite treasures: Tree Spirits. The hand-carved faces each have a distinct personality and look. Use our St. Simons Island tree spirits map to guide your adventure—a truly unique thing to do in the Golden Isles.
3. Camping in the Golden Isles
From tent and RV camping on Jekyll Island or Brunswick to multi-day kayak and camping excursions, the Golden Isles is the perfect place to get outside and sleep under the stars in a beautiful seaside setting. Pitch a tent or park your RV and get up close and personal with the natural beauty of Georgia's coast.
4. Become a Naturalist
Accessible only by boat, Little St. Simons Island offers the perfect opportunity for a unique getaway, from guided naturalist tours of the undeveloped island to a 7-mile-long beach perfect for escaping the everyday. Spend your time fishing, shelling, bicycling, birding and more.
5. Visit a Tree Graveyard
Venture to the north end of Jekyll Island to see Driftwood Beach for yourself. Bring some coffee, pack a breakfast and enjoy a picnic at sunrise—our favorite way to experience this beautiful and unique setting.
6. Get a Bird’s-Eye View
Climb 129 steps to the top of the St. Simons Island Lighthouse to get a bird’s-eye view of St. Simons Island, Brunswick and Jekyll Island. Around here’s it’s almost a rite of passage, and it’s the perfect family-friendly challenge for 2022! Or, take a tour with High Tide Aviation, and view the golden isles from up in the sky!
7. Catch a Show at a Historic Theatre
The Ritz Theatre is located in Historic Downtown Brunswick, and, although restored in the early ‘80s, it maintains its original elegance from when it was built in 1899. The theatre features year-round live performances, films, exhibits and more. In 2020, the theater will feature a performance of Carmen by the Peach State Opera, a staged reading of Moby Dick, and musical performances by artists including Steel Betty, the United States Navy Concert Band and many more. For the most up to date performance information, visit the Golden Isles Arts & Humanities website.
8. Experience Marsh Madness
Explore the beautiful waterways that wind through our marshes on a stand up paddleboard or on a kayak. Visit in the fall for gold and amber colored grass, or in the spring and summer to paddle through lush greenery.
9. Participate in a Summer Camp
Every year, the Golden Isles offers a variety of daytime and overnight activity camps for kids (2020 dates coming soon) and teens of all ages. Enroll in a summer program that will foster your child’s interest in sports, nature, cuisine and more.
10. Make a New Friend
The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is one of those can’t-miss things to do in the Golden Isles. Learn about sea turtle rehabilitation, research and education; catch a glimpse into the hospital where turtles are treated; and meet the turtle patients on your visit!
11. Golfing in Coastal Georgia
From the mainland to the islands lie 189 holes of golf on some of the country’s most spectacular and widely acclaimed golf courses. Traveling with young kids? Even our two miniature golf courses deliver family-friendly competition.
12. Experience Southern Hospitality
One of the best things to do on Georgia's coast is just sit back and enjoy the culture. Try local dishes like Brunswick stew, fresh oysters, snapper or grouper and our signature Wild Georgia Shrimp at one of our restaurants. They’re always served with generous portions of Southern hospitality, and you’re sure to come back for seconds! Plus, you can grab a sweet treat from St. Simons Crepes after your meal!
13. Get Off the Beaten Path
The Golden Isles offers more than 50 miles of paved bike paths that wind through St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island. Or ditch the sidewalks for our hard-packed sand beaches and nature trails—there’s plenty of opportunity for outdoor adventure on two wheels!
14. Step Back in Time
Visit Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation in Brunswick to experience the history and culture of Georgia’s rice coast. Interactive guided tours take you through life on an early 1800s rice plantation turned dairy farm and a museum on site features silver from the homeowners' collection. The Plantation is also a stop on the Colonial Coast Birding Trail, making this an excellent spot to look for birds native to the area like herons and egrets.
15. Enjoy a Signature Event
From treasure hunts to food festivals, PGA golf tournaments to holiday celebrations, the Golden Isles hosts a variety of annual events all year long. Find your favorite, whenever you visit next!
No matter which activities you choose to check off your bucket list, your visit to the Golden Isles is bound to be a slice of heaven. With so many things to do in the Golden Isles, you'll want to stay all year. See you soon!