Expedia Viewfinder collaborated with the Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) to reveal some of the best summer activities along the Georgia coast.

This summer vacation, experience the island life–without the crowds. Golden Isles, Georgia, is home to serene beaches and peaceful trails, where you won’t have to fight for elbow room. At Expedia Viewfinder, we live for finding summer spot gems, so we teamed up with Golden Isles CVB to get the scoop on some of the best things to do on the barrier islands this sunny season. From kayaking around the marshes to hiking the idyllic nature trails, a getaway in the Golden Isles is the ultimate summer treat.

A group of kayakers paddle through the marsh in Golden Isles, Georgia

Kayak on St. Simons Island

The Golden Isles is surrounded by scenic marshlands and tidal creeks, and paddling through the water is perhaps the best way to experience it. Climb in a kayak and glide through wetlands teeming with wildlife. On St. Simons Island, the largest of the isles, you’ll find several kayaking excursions that leave from Village Creek Landing. Sea kayak to remote beaches for some shelling, cruise along St. Simons Sound to Jekyll Island, or soak up the island views from Gould’s Inlet. And after a long day on the water, relax and shop in St. Simons Island’s unique and charming pier area.

Golf on Sea Island

Perfect your stance and stroke this summer on the greens of Sea Island. Known as a resort region, Sea Island is acclaimed for its three 18-hole championship golf courses. The Seaside Course, which hosts the annual PGA Tour McGladrey Classic, boasts views of the ocean, while the Plantation Course features holes surrounded by forests and tidal creeks. For some challenging terrain with slopes and sand bunkers, take a swing on the Retreat Course.

Bird Watch on Little St. Simons Island

Take a boat from St. Simons to arrive at Little St. Simons Island, and don’t forget your binoculars. Tucked away on the Atlantic Migratory Flyway, this birder’s paradise welcomes 280 species, from bald eagles to woodpeckers. Search for shorebirds and waders at Sancho Panza Beach and spot spoonbills and herons at North Pond. Join the island’s naturalists and head to the beaches and woodlands for a guided tour. 

The weathered trees beckon to all who visit Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, GA

Play in the Sand on Jekyll Island

It’s not officially summer until you hit the beach. Jekyll Island boasts 8 miles of wide beaches, ideal for basking on the shores and taking sunset strolls. Driftwood Beach, located in the northern region of the island, is a particularly scenic stretch, as pieces of driftwood dot the coastline. In the southern end, Glory Beach is a favorite, as it features a boardwalk from the sand dunes to the shore. On a clear day, this serene seaside spot offers views of Little Cumberland Island.

Hike in Brunswick

Venture over to the mainland city of Brunswick for a hiking adventure. The Earth Day Nature Trail is a wooden boardwalk that meanders through tidal ponds and marshes. Take a peek at the osprey and eagle nesting platform and check out the views from the observation decks. For a chance to see the wildlife in action, mosey out during the early morning or late afternoon when the birds are most active.

You don’t have to jet-set to the tropics for a picturesque island retreat. This summer season, head to the Golden Isles for golfing, bird watching, beach basking, and more along the Georgia coast.

Written by Chloe Mulliner.