Rethink your traditional New Year’s resolutions and add a couple unique must-do’s to your list. From treasure hunting to participating in a centuries-old tradition, there’s no shortage of things to do in 2017 in the Golden Isles.

1.  Hunt for Treasure on Jekyll Island

Each year, highly-coveted Island Treasures, or intricately designed glass floats, are hidden throughout Jekyll Island. For the first two months of the year, these beautiful handmade glass orbs are meticulously concealed in the nooks and crannies on the island, just waiting for you to find them. Finders, keepers!

2.  Step Back in Time on a Plantation

Before the Golden Isles became a renowned getaway destination, it was once a successful agricultural area dotted with rice and cotton plantations. Brunswick’s Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation produced rice until 1913 and is open to the public today as a historical experience.

Looking for more? Preserved by the St. Simons Land Trust, Cannon’s Point Preserve boasts 19th Century plantation ruins as well as shell middens dating back to 2500 BCE.

3.  Bless the Shrimping Fleet

Participate in the country’s oldest Blessing of the Fleet ceremony in Historic Downtown Brunswick. Each Mother’s Day weekend, the Golden Isles community gathers to celebrate and honor our local shrimpers as they prepare for the upcoming season. Make plans to attend the 79th Annual Blessing of the Fleet this year!

4. Explore a Private Island

One thing you won’t find in the Golden Isles are crowded beaches. On Little St. Simons Island, you could walk the entire, 7-mile-long beach all day and not run into another person. Day trips include round-trip transportation, a guided island tour led by an experienced naturalist, a lunch of low country specialties and an afternoon on the beach.

5. Catch a Live Show

The arts are alive and well in the Golden Isles. Community theatres and troupes, such as Golden Isles Arts & Humanities, ArtDowntown and The Island Players, produce can’t-miss shows throughout the year, and you’re sure to find one to suit your fancy. Check our Festivals & Events Calendar to find a performance while you’re in town.

6. Find the St. Simons Island Tree Spirits

Hidden among the majestic live oak trees on St. Simons Island are several hand-carved tree spirits. Spend an afternoon on an island-wide scavenger hunt searching for the carvings and take pictures along the way. Here’s how we spend the day on our Tree Spirit Treasure Hunt.

7. Eat Your Heart Out

We’re known for more than just our southern hospitality. Food is a way of life in the Golden Isles, and we like to celebrate our culinary traditions as much as possible. Foodies flock to our area each fall to attend the Wild Georgia Shrimp & Grits Festival, Saint Simons Food & Spirits Festival, and Brunswick Rockin’ Stewbilee. You won’t leave hungry!

Whether it’s your first time in the Golden Isles, or it’s your first time trying one of these activities on our list, you are guaranteed to have a great time in 2017!