Malcolm McKinnon Airport on the south end of Saint Simons is a small airfield serving small private planes.
Brunswick Golden Isles Airport (BQK, also known as "Glynco Jetport") is the nearest airport with commercial service. Delta Airlines has daily flights from Atlanta.
The nearest major airports are Savannah/Hilton Head International (SAV) to the north, and Jacksonville International (JAX) to south, in Florida. Each is about 1.5 hours away by car.
Although Saint Simons is somewhat interlocked with the other islands and mainland of the Intracoastal Waterway, the only access by road is The F.J. Torras Causeway and a bridge arching high over the channel to allow large ships to pass. Bicyclists and pedestrians with a fear of heights will wish they'd gotten a ride.
Fort Frederica National Monument is on the north end of the island. The fort was established by Gen. James Edward Oglethorpe in 1736, to protect the Georgia border from Spanish invaders to the south. The community life of the settlers at Fort Frederica, and the battles which were waged in the name of Georgia, are fascinating history.
Near Fort Frederica is Christ Church, a beautiful Episcopal church at which Methodism founder John Wesley preached to the Frederica congregation.
At the south end of the island, one can see and tour the St. Simons Island Lighthouse, which also has a museum. The gold color of the marshes of St. Simons Island, and the area that surrounds it, inspired Sidney Lanier to write "The Marshes of Glynn," a notable poem.
A popular activity on St. Simons Island is bicycling, and tourists can use the generous bike paths that line every major street to explore the island. St. Simons is also a pleasant place to run for sport. At the fishing pier on the south end of the island, near the lighthouse, people can be found fishing and crabbing at almost any time of day or night.
Other popular activities include:
sea kayaking (tours led by Southeast Adventure Outfitters)
canoeing (tours led by Southeast Adventure Outfitters)
deep sea fishing
St. Simons Island is home to seven fine golf courses, and is a popular destination for golfers from around the world, and home to professional golfer Davis Love, III.
There are frequently arts, crafts, and antiques festivals on weekends in the Village area of the south end. The annual Sunshine Festival is held at the Village, as well, over the Fourth of July weekend, and the evening fireworks are a popular attraction for locals and visitors alike.
In the spring and summer months, the Jazz in the Park series is held Sundays on the lawn of the St. Simons lighthouse.
In temperate weather, music jam sessions, including bluegrass music (Tuesdays), are held in Neptune Park in the Village.
Easter Sunrise Service, held on the fishing pier on Saint Simons Island, is a popular non-denominational Easter Sunday church service.
St. Simons Pier.
The Pier Village. Just steps from the beach and public park area, this location is rich in shopping and visual attractions. A visitor is able to walk the entire village, check out the unique shops that cater to all age groups, and mingle with residents of the island all at the same time. Amongst these shops, nestled between and behind them, are a mixture of tiny rental apartments and homes. Some are available for rent to vacationers, while others are the homes of residents. The Village also boasts an outdoor, ocean-side, public pool within the park area next to the lighthouse. All of this makes The Village at St. Simons Island a tourist attraction itself, and can give one something to do for an entire day or more.
St. Simons has many unique, fun, and delicious places to eat. All restaurants in Georgia are non-smoking, except those which do not allow patrons under the age of 18 or have a separate room or floor with completely different ventilation.
Beachcomber BBQ Grill, relaxed environment, Great BBQ and burgers, open Sunday.
CJ's. Sicilian-style pizza and salads in a creative atmosphere.
On Saint Simons Island, over-the-counter alcohol sales stop at 11:45PM Monday through Saturday. No alcohol is sold on Sunday, except in restaurants and bars. Liquor must be purchased at a Liquor Store/Package Store. Beer and Wine are sold in grocery and convenience stores. On Sundays restaurants may not sell alcohol until 12:30 p.m.
All bars on St. Simons Island close at 2AM. On Sundays, the bars that are open are only open until 12AM.
Brogen's. A St. Simons Island institution.
Bubba Garcia's, Dos Equis Amber and Sierra Nevada on tap, open Sunday, costume party every Wednesday in summer
Gnat's Landing, laid back, open until 10, dollar PBRs, open Sunday
J Mac's Island Restaurant and Martini Bar live jazz music weekends
Locos of St. Simons, trivia on Tuesdays, Guinness on tap, open Sunday
Marsh Point Bar and Grill NTN trivia network, smoking permitted
Murphy's Tavern, local late-night favorite, Guinness on tap, pool tables
Palm Coast Coffee/The Hideaway Pub. Live Bluegrass, acoustic roots & Americana music, dynamic craft beer and wine selection. At night Pub spills out into Coffee house, comfy couches, fireplace, great bbq served late by The Southern Soul BBQ. Local crowd.
Teazer's Raw Bar and Grill Dance Music, pool tables
Rafter's Blues and Raw Bar. Live music, smoking permitted, happy hour, pool tables.
Village Inn and Pub, trivia on Wednesdays, live bluegrass music weeknights, open Sunday
Holiday Inn Express, 299 Main Street (in Plantation Village), ☎ 912-634-2175, . checkin: 3:00; checkout: 11:00. Great price for the island! Centrally located in Plantation Village and convenient to beaches and shopping. $99-$159.
Best Western Island Inn (The Island Inn), 301 Main Street (in Plantation Village), ☎ 912-638-7805, . checkin: 3:00; checkout: 11:00. Perfect setting for wedding receptions and family gatherings. Hotel boasts conference center and beautiful pool area for lounging. Friendly staff.$89-$149.
The Lodge at Sea Island, 100 Retreat Rd, St. Simons, GA 31522-2491, . AAA Five-Diamond, 24-hr butler service, complimentary town bicycles, Golf Courses, 2 restaurants: Oak Room and Big George's.
The Cloister at Sea Island, 100 Cloister Dr, Sea Island, GA 31561-9701, ☎ 1-877-537-8078, . Forbes Five-Star 2010, 2011, The Cloister Spa, 3 restaurants: Georgian Room, River Bar, 100 Hudson, Fun Camp for kids, tennis clinics, Ice cream bar.
Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals, 520 Ocean Boulevard (I-95 to US-17 to F J Torras Causeway follow to peier village area), ☎ 912-638-4750, . checkin: 4:00 p.m.; checkout: 10:00 a.m.. St Simon Island's premier vacation rental and real estate company, Hodnett Cooper provides impeccable vacation rentals and customer service. Check availability, chat with our specialists and reserve online today.
Cumberland Island National Seashore can be reached by driving 53 miles south on Interstate 95 to St. Marys, Georgia. You must take a ferry to Cumberland Island from St. Marys. There is a fee, and reservations are required to board. No motor vehicles are allowed on the ferry.
Sapelo Island Estuarine Reserve is home to the R.J. Reynolds Mansion, and Hog Hammock, one of the last remaining gullah communities in the U.S. To get there, drive approximately 30 miles south on U.S. Highway 17 to Meridian, and take the ferry. There is a fee to board, at $2 per person, and you must have reservations. No vehicles are allowed on the ferry.