The Golden Isles' largest barrier island, St. Simons Island, has a knack for captivating travellers with a variety of  things to do while on vacation, including golf, fishing, beaches, history and family fun. These pursuits of adventure result in an interesting nexus of past and present.

Fill your day with world-class golf or deep-sea fishing, then rent a kayak the next day and embrace the tranquility of the island’s marshlands or take in some of the fascinating history from the area. With a little of this, and a little of that, you will never grow tired of what St. Simons Island has to offer. Here are some of our favorite things to do on St. Simons Island:

1.  Discover Fascinating History 

Start your tour of the area’s history at the St. Simons Lighthouse, which has been in operation since 1872. Whispers of a largely forgotten episode in American history — the defense of the colony by British forces against the Spanish — can be heard at Fort Frederica National Monument (where the old garrison stands amidst marsh grasses) and the Bloody Marsh Battle Site. Meanwhile, the World War II Home Front Museum exhibits the remarkable stories of Coastal Georgia's efforts during World War II. 

2.  Head to the Beach 

After you’ve visited the World Ware II Home Front Museum, follow the sound of the surf to East Beach, the sprawling stretch of golden sand located across the parking lot from the center. Flying a kite or taking to the waves on a kiteboard are popular ways to enjoy East Beach, but locals and visitors alike also enjoy looking for seashells, taking long walks, fishing in the surf and even biking at low tide.

3.  Find Our Tree Spirits 

Hidden in many centuries-old live oak trees around the island are the beautifully weathered faces of our beloved tree spirits. Located in seven spots over St. Simons Island, to find these mysterious faces are worth the search. The legends and stories of these carvings have been attracting visitors for decades. Discover where you can find these mystifying tree spirits by stopping in the Golden Isles Welcome Center

4. Go Fish 

Granted, there is excellent fishing off the coast of all the Golden Isles, namely for cobia, skipjacks and snapper, as well as redfish in the estuaries between islands. But for many, their launching off point for these fishing adventures is from the St. Simons Marina with a fishing charter.

5. Paddle Out

The pure serenity of the Golden Isles is perhaps best experienced from a kayak, and on St. Simons Island, you have several landings to choose from. Of particular note is Village Creek Landing, which accesses tidewater estuaries and marshes. Sneak up on a heron, fly-fish for red drum, or just enjoy the idyllic beauty of the Marshes of Glynn.

Find your own favorite things to do and places to go on St. Simons Island with our full lists of attractions, activities, restaurants and accommodations.