Located near the St. Simons Pier, the St. Simons Lighthouse is a must-visit destination in the Golden Isles. Lighthouse visitors are invited to climb the 129 steps to the top of the lighthouse for breathtaking panoramic views of the coast including Jekyll Island, Brunswick, and the south end of St. Simons Island.
Although the beautiful scenic views often draw visitors to this historical destination, there’s much more to the lighthouse than what meets the eye. Before you embark on your lighthouse adventure, make sure you’re taking advantage of all the excitement the lighthouse has to offer. Here’s what you need to know.
History of the St. Simons Lighthouse
The St. Simons Lighthouse is a marker of Island history with the original lighthouse, built by the first lighthouse keeper James Gould of Massachusetts, dating back to 1810. After being destroyed by Confederate forces in 1861 to prevent Union troops from using the beacon during the Civil War, the lighthouse was rebuilt in 1872 along with the Keeper’s Dwelling, a two-story Victorian structure that housed the lighthouse keepers until the 1950s. This building is what we know today as the St. Simons Lighthouse Museum. The lighthouse is now one of only five lighthouses in Georgia and casts its beam 23 miles to sea. Today, it still serves as a navigation aid for ships entering the area.
Best Times to Visit
The lighthouse is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon. to 5 p.m., with tickets to the museum sold until 4:30 p.m. each day. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 6-12. The lighthouse is the busiest in the mornings, so to get the most out of your experience we recommend visiting around the lunch hour or during the afternoon.
Learn Something New
Calling all history lovers! The St. Simons Lighthouse Museum is filled with interactive exhibits, rare artifacts and period rooms that reveal the fascinating history of St. Simons Island. Imagine yourself before the times of electricity and indoor plumbing and peek into the life of a lighthouse keeper. From historical photographs to displays featuring the development of lighthouse technology, there is so much to learn and explore traveling through the museum.
Take advantage of the opportunity to learn during your trip to the Golden Isles by also visiting the World War II Home Front Museum, where you can discover Coastal Georgia’s extraordinary contributions to winning World War II. Plus, you can purchase a ticket for both museums for a bundled discount price of $20 a person. Test your skills as a plane spotter, build a Liberty ship, or experience another of the many interactive experiences this museum offers to its visitors. The museum is located in the St. Simon's Coast Guard Station.
Take a Museum Tour
The Coastal Georgia Historical Society owns both the Lighthouse Museum and the World War II Home Front Museum, which both strive to connect people to Coastal Georgia's dynamic history through stories and collections. For those looking for a guided group experience, the Society offers self-guided tours with special discounted rates for larger groups. Find information on booking group tours of the lighthouse with the Coastal Georgia Historical Society.
St. Simons Island Lighthouse Events
In addition to being a venue for weddings and other gatherings, the St. Simons Lighthouse also hosts events for both locals and visitors to enjoy. To see all future events check out our calendar, but here are a few you won’t want to miss.
Little Light Music Concert Series
For over 25 years, the Little Light Music Concert Series has provided residents and visitors the opportunity to gather on the oceanfront lawn beneath the Lighthouse for a special tradition. The live music concerts typically take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $20 from the Museum Store or on the Historical Society’s website.