There are so many reasons why families and couples travel to the Golden Isles each summer. The warm weather, sunny beaches, friendly residents, and endless things to do beckon those who seek a memorable summertime beach vacation to the Georgia coast. 

Less than a five-hour drive or a one-hour flight from Atlanta, St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Jekyll Island, Little St. Simons Island and Brunswick are the perfect setting for your summer trip. Plan the ultimate vacation to the Golden Isles with these can't-miss experiences found only here.

Discover & Protect Endangered Wildlife

Each year during the summer season, hundreds of endangered loggerhead sea turtle mothers come ashore in the Golden Isles to lay their nests. During nesting season and its subsequent hatching season, visitors interested in learning more about these special animals are invited to participate in morning or evening turtle patrols in search of new nests or hatchlings and visit the recuperating patients at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. Guests of Little St. Simons Island and Sea Island have access to each island's resident naturalists who lead interactive programs and excursions daily. 

And on St. Simons Island, the SSI Sea Turtle Project has a team of volunteers who patrol the island's beaches to ensure the safety and vitality of each loggerhead mother and her eggs. The team regularly hosts public events throughout the summer. 

Read more about what it's like to go on a sea turtle dawn patrol.

Pedal Around Town on a Bike Tour

A great way to explore the hidden gems and tucked-away corners of the Golden Isles is on a bike tour. Pedal your way through the beautiful historic neighborhoods in Downtown Brunswick with Brunswick Old Town Tours. Learn about the city's history, stop to admire dozens of Victorian-era homes, and look for the many new murals painted by local artists. 

Take a spin around St. Simons Island on an electric bike from Bike Electric SSI. Whether on a guided tour or at your own pace, you'll enjoy riding under the sprawling live oak trees while sweet, coastal breezes send you on your way. See some of the island's most iconic landmarks and search for the beloved St. Simons Island Tree Spirits

And if you prefer to explore on your own, there are several bike rental companies to choose from, several of which will deliver the bikes directly to your rental or hotel. 

Try A New Restaurant

Several new restaurants have joined the Golden Isles' impressive dining repertoire. On St. Simons Island, you'll find Dulce Dough, a charming bakery serving handmade donuts, cinnamon rolls, quiches, cakes, and more. Dulce Dough has quickly become a favorite among locals and is a great place to grab breakfast or an afternoon pick-me-up. For a classic and tasty meal that the whole family will love, stop into V Pizza, known for authentic pizza made from ingredients imported from Italy. 

Another Golden Isles favorite is Tortuga Jack's, which now has a convenient location open in Brunswick. Stop by for delightful Mexican cuisine that the whole family will love. 

Nestled in the heart of Historic Downtown Brunswick is 1509, a steakhouse serving a delicious variety of steaks, seafood, small plates and more. Fuel up before heading out with Brunswick Old Town Tours, and make sure you end your tour with a drink at Silver Bluff Brewery.

Enjoy an Outdoor Concert on the Waterfront

Each summer, the Golden Isles's live music scene comes alive with three ongoing concert series: A Little Light Music, Rhythm on the River, and Sounds by the Sea. End a perfect beach day on the right note (literally!) as you enjoy the sounds of both local and traveling artists at waterfront venues on St. Simons Island and in Brunswick. Pack a picnic, grab your beach chairs, and enjoy quality time with your friends and family as you watch the sunset together. Find a full list of upcoming concerts and more information here. 

Not in town during these performances? You can always find live music throughout the area with our Weekly Live Music Schedule.

Set Sail on a Boat Tour

Spending time on the water while in the Golden Isles should be at the top of your summer bucket list. Embark on an adventure with the Lady Jane, a retired shrimp boat, for the ultimate water experience. Take in breathtaking views of the marshes while the crew trawls a massive net behind the boat. When it's time to reel it in, you'll learn about dozens of fish and animals that inhabit our waters. 

It's truly hard to beat summertime in the Golden Isles. Whether you're visiting for the first time or for what seems like the hundredth time, be sure to take time to enjoy these one-of-a-kind experiences.