The Golden Isles of Georgia is a popular destination for summer beach getaways and outdoor activities. However, there are times when you need a break from the beach and may be seeking other activities for entertainment. A variety of indoor museums and historical sites in the Golden Isles provide fun learning opportunities about the history of Georgia's coast.

St. Simons Lighthouse

St. Simons Island Lighthouse Museum & A.W. Jones Heritage Center

Standing over the St. Simons Island Village at 104 feet, the St. Simons Island Lighthouse was built in 1872 and is the oldest brick building in Glynn County. It, along with the adjacent keeper’s dwelling, comprises the St. Simons Island Lighthouse Museum. Exhibits inside the lighthouse keeper’s dwelling highlight local history and tell the stories of the families who operated the light.

Climb the 129 steps to the top of the Lighthouse for a breathtaking view of St. Simons Sound and of neighboring Jekyll Island, the mainland (Brunswick), and the south end of St. Simons Island. Kids will love counting every stair!

The A.W. Jones Heritage Center offers a large selection of collectibles, keepsakes, and gifts for every member of your family. Carefully selected to enhance your museum experience, local artists and writers are featured. There is also a variety of books, replicas, uniquely branded apparel and a wide variety of gift items that will serve to remind you of your visit to the Golden Isles. Admission to the Museum Store is free.

The St. Simons Lighthouse Museum and A.W. Jones Heritage Center are located at 610 Beachview Drive, St. Simons Island.

HOURS | Monday – Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm, Sunday: 1:30pm – 5:00pm. (During brief periods of heavy rain, the St. Simons Lighthouse tower may be closed to climbers.)

FEES | $12 Adults, $6 Ages 6-11, No admission charge for Georgia Historical Society member and children under age 6.

For more information, call (912) 638-4666 or visit www.saintsimonslighthouse.org.

World War II Home Front Museum

World War II Home Front Museum

Originally a U.S. Coast Guard Station, this building has been completely restored and renovated to reflect the tremendous efforts by Coastal Georgia during World War II.

The museum is filled with interactive exhibits that offer an exciting look at life during wartime in the Golden Isles. Explore galleries featuring a variety of hands-on exhibits and activities such as navigating pilot squadrons, joining the crew and building a Liberty ship, and even plane spotting.

The Maritime Museum and Historic Guard Station is located at 4201 First Street at East Beach, St. Simons Island.

HOURS | Monday – Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm, Sunday: 1:30pm – 5:00pm.

FEES | $12 Adults, $6 Ages 6-11, No admission charge for Georgia Historical Society member and children under age 6.

For more information, call (912) 638-4666 or visit www.saintsimonslighthouse.org.

* Combination tickets, good for admission to the Lighthouse Museum, A.W. Jones Heritage Center and the World War II Home Front Museum, are available now.

Fort Frederica National Monument

Fort Frederica National Monument

When it was built in 1736, Fort Frederica National Monument was the most expensive military installation in British North America. The town and fort established as an outpost by Maj. General Oglethorpe, played a crucial role in establishing England’s claims to the disputed Georgia territory.

Begin your visit with a stop at the park visitor center, where you can see an orientation film, which shows every 30 minutes, and examine exhibits that help tell the story of this vanished town and its former inhabitants.

Fort Frederica National Monument is located at 6515 Frederica Road, St. Simons Island.

HOURS | Sunday – Saturday, 9:00am to 5:00pm. (Closed most holidays.)

FEES | Admission is FREE

For more information, call (912) 638-3639 or visit www.nps.gov/fofr.

Arthur J. Moore Museum

Arthur J. Moore Methodist Museum & Library

The Arthur J. Moore Methodist Museum & Library has grown since the doors first opened. This modern building holds within it a wide array of treasures that range from the history of St. Simons Island to the Wesley family including the Wesley brothers landing here with General Oglethorpe in 1736. The museum also illustrates the start of the Methodist church and the changes it underwent to get where it is today.

The museum features a new interactive kiosk where people of all ages can learn more about the history of the circuit rider and early Methodism in Georgia and also houses a wonderful collection of nativities.

Ride along with a circuit rider to share the experience of bringing faith to the frontier! Fun for all ages.

The museum is located on Arthur Moore Drive in Epworth By the Sea Methodist Center.

HOURS | Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Closed on Sundays, Mondays and holidays.

FEES | Admission is FREE

For information call (912) 638-4050 or visit www.epworthbythesea.org.

Sea Turtle Center

Georgia Sea Turtle Center

Stranded sea turtles are often found along Atlantic coast beaches. While most are dead, a small but increasing number are still alive. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center—Georgia's first sea turtle rehabilitation, research, and education facility—provides state-of-the-art emergency care to sick and injured sea turtles.

Explore the lives of sea turtles and other native animals through daily education programs and gallery exhibits. Glimpse into the hospital where sea turtles are treated, see our turtle patients in the rehabilitation pavilion, and learn how our research is helping sea turtles in Georgia and throughout the world!

The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is located at 214 Stable Road (corner of Hopkins and Stable Road) on Jekyll Island.

HOURS | Monday – Sunday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Closed most holidays.

FEES | $7 Adults (13+ Years), $6 Seniors (62+ Years), $5 Children (4-12 Years), and children 2 and under are FREE. Active duty military personnel, college students and teachers (ID required) are $6 admission. All prices include tax. Admission ticket sales end 30 minutes prior to closing and visitors under 16 years old must be accompanied by someone 18 years or older.

Jekyll Museum

Mosaic, the Jekyll Island Museum

The Jekyll Island Museum is your Gateway to the Gilded Era. Jekyll Island’s exquisite natural beauty has long drawn guests to its barrier shores. From Native American and French settlers to the Jekyll Island Club millionaires and the thousands of guests who arrive today, the island is a haven of history and wonder.

The Jekyll Island Museum features objects and photographs from extensive collections and introduces you to the rich heritage of Jekyll Island, whose social and architectural legacy is reflected in the Jekyll Island Club National Historic Landmark District—a 240-acre, riverfront compound and one of the largest, ongoing restoration projects in the southeastern United States.

The Jekyll Island Museum is located at 100 Stable Road on Jekyll Island.

HOURS | The museum is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

FEES | $9 for adults (13+ years), $7 for children (4 to 12 years), free for children 3 and under.

hofwyl-14

Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation

This beautiful plantation represents the history and culture of Georgia’s rice coast. The enterprising siblings of the fifth generation at Hofwyl-Broadfield resolved to start a dairy rather than sell their family home. The efforts of Gratz, Miriam, and Ophelia Dent led to the preservation of their family legacy. Ophelia was the last heir to the rich traditions of her ancestors, and she left the plantation to the State of Georgia in 1973.

A museum features silver from the family collection and a model of Hofwyl-Broadfield during its heyday. A brief film on the plantation’s history is shown before visitors walk a short trail to the antebellum home. A guided tour allows visitors to see the home as Ophelia kept it—with family heirlooms, 18th and 19th-century furniture and Cantonese china.

The Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation is located at 5556 U.S. Highway 17 North in Brunswick.

HOURS | Wednesday – Sunday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

FEES | $8 for adults, $7 for seniors (62+), $5 for children, children 6 and under are admitted for free.  Group rates are available with advanced notice.

These are but a few of the attractions and activities to be enjoyed in the Golden Isles: St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island. Here, you’ll discover miles of sun-drenched beaches, 198 holes of golf, tennis, fishing and water sports, shrimp boat cruises, dolphin tours, casino/cruise ship and more. Plus, there are accommodations to suit every taste and budget.