With a place as beautiful as the Golden Isles of Georgia, it seems a near crime to be cooped up inside for too long. From historic sites to marine ecosystems, the magic of learning can be found throughout St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island and the Golden Isles. Whether you're a visiting homeschooler or a local resident looking for an excuse to get out and about, here's a list of three excellent field trip ideas in the Golden Isles.
1. 4-H Tidelands Nature Center
Perfect for: Budding Scientists and Marine Biologists
Located on Jekyll Island, this hands-on ecology experience should be at the top of your field trip list! The 4-H Tidelands Nature Center is home to incredible interactive exhibits (including a reptile exhibit and a saltwater touch tank) and an onsite 17-acre saltwater pond where you can rent canoes and even go fishing with your own equipment! You can also choose to embark on a two- or three-hour guided kayak tour through Jekyll Island's marshes while spotting native wildlife and learning new things all along the way.
What's even better, because Tidelands Nature Center is apart of the Georgia 4-H Program, many resources are available for homeschool and traditional school groups!
Hours: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; Closed from noon - 1 p.m. for cleaning | Admission: $5. Toddlers (2 and under) free. Cash or check only.
2. Mosaic, Jekyll Island Museum
Perfect for: Up-and-Coming Historians
Jekyll Island's rich and storied history makes the perfect backdrop for learning experiences that are anything but boring. With tales of famous millionaires, the first-ever transcontinental phone call, and Georgia's oldest brewery dating back to the 1700s, history buffs of all ages will be captivated by the many lessons to learn from Jekyll Island's past. Spend a morning or afternoon at Mosaic, Jekyll Island Museum for a step back to the past. See historic artifacts from the heyday of the iconic Jekyll Island Club, discover who were the first people to inhabit the island, and go for an even more in-depth journey on a 90-minute open-air trolley tour through the Jekyll Island Historic District.
Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Daily | Admission: Adults (13+) $9, Children (4-12) $7, Toddlers (3 and under) free. Trolley tour requires additional admission.
3. Fort Frederica National Monument
Perfect for: Future Archaeologists
Did you know St. Simons Island is one of the oldest towns in coastal Georgia? Head to the north end of St. Simons Island and travel back in time to the island's very first colonial settlement: Fort Frederica National Monument. The fort is part of the National Park Service, meaning young explorers between the ages of 8-13 have the opportunity to become Master Junior Rangers at Fort Frederica! Kids and families will discover what life was like for the first European settlers on St. Simons Island, experience the incredible archaeology projects that have been vital to preserving the original tabby ruins and artifacts found at the fort, and learn about the island's natural characteristics that shaped the culture and life of those first settlers.
Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Daily | Admission: FREE. There are no entrance or parking fees.