Saint Simons Island Things to Do

  • fort frederica
    fort frederica
    by doug48
  • old coast guard station
    old coast guard station
    by doug48
  • The British are coming - oh no, they have gone.
    The British are coming - oh no, they...
    by rexvaughan

Best Rated Things to Do in Saint Simons Island

  • tpangelinan's Profile Photo

    Go visit!

    by tpangelinan Written Feb 26, 2004

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    Driftwood Beach

    If you stay on St Simons Island you must go to Jekyll Island and see Driftweood Beach. It is a site to see. Go south on route 17 and make a left to go to Jekyll Island, pay the $3.00 toll, make a left onto riverview drive and a few miles up on the left park you car and walk toward the beach, you will not be disappointed, make sure you bring your camera and plently of film!

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    St Simons Island Lighthouse

    by tpangelinan Written Feb 25, 2004

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    St Simons Island Lighthouse

    St. Simon Lighthouse, 1815, replaced many times, 1st one was a harbor light then a coastal light replace it. Located on the southern point of St Simons Island it marked the entrance to St Simons Sound. The lighthouse board raised the status in 1857 by installing a 3rd order lens. Civil war destroyed it. In 1870 work on the new one was started and completed in 1872 and lit in Sept. It can be seen for 16 miles and is still working to date.

    Museum is open Monday - Saturday
    10:00AM - 5:00PM
    Sunday 1:30PM - 5:00PM

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    Georgia's State Marine Mammal

    by tpangelinan Updated Mar 13, 2004

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    A Sculpture never The Village

    This Sculpture was made by Keith Jennings in the fall and winter of 1995. In February of 1984 an expidition was launched from St. Simons Island which discovered the calving grounds of the North Atlantic Right Whale. The mothers give birth in near by coastal waters in the winter months. The calves and their mothers are in great danger and many die from collitions with ocean vessels, other die from unknown reasons, there are fewer than 300 left. The artist fashioned this sculpture to raise awareness, and try to save the few remaining.

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    Fort Federica and village

    by BruceDunning Updated Jun 7, 2011

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    Map layout of the town
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    This is a great exhibition at the north end of the island. It features a nice a small exhibit inside the visitor center, and a short film. The fort remnants have been preserved from the construction of 1742. There is a very nice layout with plaques describing who lived in what house, and parts of the old fort and gate entrances. A great deal of archaeological digging was performed to identify the families living here, and find the sites in the village grid maps. Gen James Oglethorpe was founded and laid out in 1736. The descriptions of the trades performed by each resident was intently informative, and depicts what jobs need to be done each day in order to survive and thrive as a community. There were around 500 residents relocated here to eek out a new life, using trades learned back in Europe. They were granted one of 84 lots to build a house, ,and 50 acres of land to grow crops. Many of the houses foundations have been excavated to show the layouts. The whole town was surrounded by a moat 10 feet deep, that covered one square mile. There were usually 250-300 soldiers in the fort, and there was a lot of trading with Indians located in the area. By around 1760, the town was mostly vacated because the soldiers had left in 1749, and there was little trade to keep townspeople with money to live.
    The visitor center is open 8:30-5 daily, and NPS entry fee is $3 each, or get a parks pass.

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    St. Simons Lighthouse/Museum

    by BruceDunning Updated Jun 7, 2011

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    Lighthouse and home
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    This is a very well preserved lighthouse that was the second built on the site in 1872. It is 104 feet high, and there are 129 steps to the top for the great views of St. Simons. Next to it was the lighthouse keeper's home. The first lighthouse built in 1804 was 75 feet high and there also was a keeper's home next to it. It was destroyed in 1862, so Union soldiers would not occupy it during the Civil War. Today's keeper's home for the lighthouse has a small, but interesting history pictoral. The lighthouse was used until 1960, when it was turned over to Dept of Interior, and in 2004, the state of Georgia got the site.

    Adjacent is a visitor center and gift shop, which is open 10-5 Monday-Saturday, and 1:30-5 Sunday. The lighthouse entry fee is $5

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    Maritme Museum & Coast Guard Station

    by BruceDunning Written Jun 7, 2011

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    Front of the museum
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    We wanted to access this museum since it was described as having a lot of interesting pieces of Coast Guard history in there, and the importance of seafaring days. This was a coast Guard Station before and after WWII. Seven galleries depict to history and has exhibits of old times. Unfortunately it was closed, even though indicates on literature and sign out front it was to be open. Suggestion is call to make sure the trip is worth it. It is to be open Mon-Sat 10-5, and Sunday 1:30-5 -NOT. Admission fee is $5

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    Sea Island

    by BruceDunning Updated Jun 7, 2011

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    View of typical home on the island
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    This is by far the exclusive island on the southeastern coast. Average home prices are $2 million, and there are about 350 total homes besides the Cloister complex that has motel room rates of $500-1,500 a nite. Not for the moderate majority. It is a nice place to drive through and see the homes, while visiting the Cloister, and maybe taking in a lunch, but access to beaches and marsh is not available.

    NOTE-access is only available to members and guests, and need confirmation at the guard gate. We have a former brother in law who has a home for the last 30 years, and his sons have three homes. No we were not invited to stay in any.

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    Cloister on Sea Island

    by BruceDunning Written Jun 7, 2011

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    Topo view of Cloister complex
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    NOTE-access is only available to members and guests, and need confirmation at the guard gate. We have a former brother in law who has a home for the last 30 years, and his sons have three homes. No we were not invited to stay in any.

    The Cloister was built in 1928 for discerning guests who came south to enjoy the winter months, and could afford the steep room rates. The feel of that early 1900's era is still preserved, and the design by architect Addison Mizner is reknowned.

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  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo

    Fort Frederica

    by rexvaughan Written Jun 20, 2005

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    The British are coming - oh no, they have gone.

    This is the site of both a fort and a town. You can see a substantial part of the battlements, the street pattern and the foundations of many buildings. This was sort of the boundary between the British and the Spanish in the 18th C and was even called the debatable land because of the dispute over ownership. The fort was established in 1736 to guard Georgia's southern frontier. The troops were commanded by Gen. Oglethorpe, the founder of Savannah and Georgia. It was only about 5 miles from here that his troops won a decisive battle over the Spanish at Bloody Marsh (so named because of the carnage of the battle). In its heyday Frederica was a substantial town of seventy houses but died when peace came and the garrison was disbanded. There is a lot of helpful information on site and some amusing stories about the inhabitants.

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    Christ Church

    by rexvaughan Written Jun 20, 2005

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    Christ Church

    This is an early (1730s) congregation of Anglicans but is a shrine for Methodists as the church was founded by John and Charles Wesley and before the first church was built they used to hold services on this site under what Methodists call "the Wesley Oak." The tree is no longer standing but there is a garden across the road dedicated to the Wesleys which is a nice area in the woods and worth a walk over, especially in the spring when the azaleas are in bloom. I wonder how the current Episcopalians feel about their church being constantly invaded by Methodists?

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    Saint Simon's Lighthouse

    by grandmaR Updated Dec 10, 2009

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    Top of the lighthouse
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    This second (1872) lighthouse is a round brick tower painted white which was designed by Charles Cluskey and erected near the original 1810 station. Cluskey was a very prominent architect who assisted in the renovation of the U.S. Capitol. The stagnant water in the area caused a severe malaria outbreak in 1871, which claimed the lives of many of the builders, including Cluskey, who never saw the completion of his tower. It is an active lighthouse with the original 3rd order Fresnel lens - the light is at 104 ft with a continuous white light with a more intense flash every 60 seconds. In addition to the Keeper's house, there is a brick oil house (1890) and a Victorian gazebo on the grounds. Photos 2 through 5 show the gazebo in front of the lighthouse.

    This lighthouse replaced a 75 ft early federal octagonal lighthouse built which was destroyed during the Civil War. In 1972, the lighthouse and keeper's house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The tower was restored in 1989-91 and again in 1997-98. On 26 May 2004, ownership of the lighthouse was transferred to the Coastal Georgia Historical Society under NHLPA. St. Simons Lighthouse has total accessibility. Although I didn't climb it, because I wasn't able to do the 129 cast-iron steps of the tower, I understand that at the top there is an exquisite view of the shoreline and horizon. The tower is open for climbing every day except the major holidays.

    Hours of Operation
    Monday thru Saturday 10a.m. - 5p.m.
    Sunday 1:30p.m. - 5p.m.

    The Lighthouse closes at 4:45p.m. every day. The last climb to the top of the tower is at 4:30p.m. Please allow 30-45 minutes for a complete tour of the Museum and Lighthouse.

    Admissions
    St. Simons Island Lighthouse Museum
    $6.00 Adult (over 12 years of age)
    $3.00 Children (6-12 years of age
    Five and Under Free

    There are ghost stories about the lighthouse - from Lighthouse Ratings

    In March 1880, the lighthouse received its most notorious story and legend. John Stevens, an assistant keeper at the lighthouse, got into an argument with the head keeper, Frederick Osborne. The outcome was that Stevens killed Osborne.

    A primary legend states that Stevens' growing affection for Osborne's wife started the argument, as all three lived in the same residence.

    A second legend says the murder resulting from an argument that stemmed from Osborne's criticism of Stevens' efforts cleaning the lighthouse lens.

    With either story, as tempers flared gunshots went off. Stevens was arrested for killing Osborne. He was acquitted for the crime quite quickly, as some say he was aided by an oncoming storm in which a light keeper was very much needed.

    To this day legend has it that Frederick Osborne's footsteps can be heard climbing the tower at night to check on his lens. Several light keepers' wives have heard these footsteps over the years.

    St. Simons Island has become synonymous with author Eugenia Price. In her works, Price features a historic trilogy of literature about St. Simons Island (The Lighthouse, New Moon Rising and The Beloved Invader), which all emphasize the beauty and history of this southern island. Price's first book, The Lighthouse, is said to be based on St. Simons' first lighthouse keeper, James Gould.

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    Shopping at boutique stores

    by BruceDunning Written Jun 7, 2011

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    Row of shops along Mallery St
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    There are a few places that have old time setting of row shops as compared to the new retail strip centers on the island. We went to the Mallery St. shops and enjoyed a stroll along there to the water's edge. It is at the south end of the island, just of Kings Way. Signs are good to direct you there

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    Maps of the area-Layout

    by BruceDunning Updated Jun 8, 2011

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    Layout of the island and lighthouse
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    I always find that maps for initial searching of things to see/do on VT are helpful, so a person can get the "layout" of the terrain and know where to look for items described. So here is one and a description of what is on the island from the St. Simons CAuseway, called F. J. Torras bridge coming off of Hwy 17.

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    fort frederica

    by doug48 Updated Oct 21, 2008

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    fort frederica

    fort frederica is st. simons most visited historic attraction. this fort and fortified town was established by general james oglethorpe in 1736. fort frederica was built to protect the british georgia colony from spanish attack. in 1742 the british defeated the spanish in the battle of bloody marsh at st. simon island. pictured is the last remaining tabby building of the fort.

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    frederica town

    by doug48 Written Oct 21, 2008

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    frederica foundation

    when general oglethorpe built fort frederica he also built a fortified town to supply the fort. the town of frederica was laid out with 84 90X60 ft lots which housed settlers and tradesmen. during the 1740's frederica had a population of over 500 people. after the battle of bloody marsh fort frederica was no longer needed and the town declined. today only the foundations of stores and houses exist. many of these foundations have descriptive plaques that tell about the original buildings.

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Saint Simons Island Things to Do

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