Winding marsh rivers, sparkling waters brimming with dolphins, birds and marine wildlife, and open seas begging for exploration call to those wishing to truly become immersed in the wild landscapes of the Golden Isles. With so many opportunities to get on the water, where do you start? Here's our ultimate planning guide of the best ways to tour, fish and sightsee along the Georgia coast.

Friends spend an afternoon fishing on the water fishing in the Atlantic Ocean near St. Simons Island, Georgia

Book a Fishing Charter

Cast a line in pursuit of catching one of the many famed sports fish found in our local waters: tarpon, tripletail, cobia, snapper, redfish, speckled trout and jacks, just to name a few. Experienced guides at Lighthouse Fishing Charters know the marshes and ocean like the backs of their own hands. A day spent on the water with a fishing charter is the ultimate experience for anyone seeking the thrill of reeling in "the big one." For equipment rentals and other experiences, check out Unchartered Adventures

A couple enjoys a private boat tour of the Golden Isles marshes with String of Pearls

Set Sail on a Tour

If sitting back and enjoying the ride is more your style, several boat tours provide ample opportunities to take in spectacular sunsets and calm coastal breezes. Hop aboard the String of Pearls, a classic yacht, as it meanders through the scenic marshes around St. Simons Island and Sea Island. Learn about the maritime challenges during the War of 1812 while experiencing first-hand how to sail a historic schooner with the Tall Ship Lynx, which docks in the Golden Isles each year from October-April. Try your luck with Vegas-style casino action on the Emerald Princess Casino as she sails offshore to international waters Thursdays-Sundays.

Kayaking though the marsh

Learn More about the Local Wildlife

Witness marine wildlife in its pristine natural habitat when booking a guided tour via kayaks, paddleboards, motor boats and even a shrimp boat! Learn about local history and ecology from knowledgeable guides, all while enjoying life on the water at a slower pace. Search the shoreline for friendly dolphins, manatees, osprey, roseate spoonbills and bald eagles. Venture into Brunswick to experience what it's like to operate a shrimp boat with Lady Jane Shrimpin' Excursions. Explore the marshes around St. Simons Island or Brunswick with Southeast Adventure Outfitters with their daily kayak tours. Pack light bites and your favorite beverages to make the most of your dolphin cruise with either Lighthouse Trolley Tours or Jekyll Island Boat Tours, which can accommodate groups up to 49 passengers. 

With so many experienced guides and tours, it's easy to get on the water in the Golden Isles regardless of where you choose to stay during your visit. Learn more about boating and fishing and other watersports on St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Jekyll Island, Little St. Simons Island and Brunswick.