Things to Do in St Simons Island with Kids | Georgia

Located off the coast of Georgia, in the famed Golden Isles, St Simons Island is the perfect place for exploration with or without the kids. Often touted as a honeymoon destination or couples getaway, there’s so much to do in St Simons Island with kids that we say bring them along!

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WWII HOMEFRONT MUSEUM

World War II Homefront Museum St Simons Island

If you’ve been reading for any length of time, you know that we’re HUGE history fans. If there’s a history museum or historical site around, chances are we’ve been to it or are planning to visit soon. As soon as I saw that St Simons Island had a World War II museum, it was the first thing on our to-do list and the very first place we visited when we arrived in town.

Interactive rationing exhibit at WWII Homefront Museum

One of my absolute favorite things about the World War II Homefront Museum is how everything is hands-on. The kids were able to interact with the displays, making it easier to understand and stay engaged. Christopher was shocked at how little you could actually get with 100 ration points during World War II and commented that he would hate to deal with rationing now.

WWII Homefront Museum St Simons Island with kids

Lexie was disappointed to find out that she was too young to actually join the military in World War II and was only old enough to support the war effort from home.

The museum is housed in the old St Simons Coast Guard Station, originally built before WWII, as part of FDR’s Publix Works Administration projects. While the original mission of the Coast Guard was rescuing swimmers and boats in distress, when threats of WWII crossing the Atlantic began, the Coast Guard was temporarily transferred from the Treasury Department to the War Department and began shore patrols to catch enemy activity.

During the war, crew members from this station rescued the survivors from 2 American ships (SS Esso Baton Rouge and SS Oklahoma) that were torpedoed by a German U-boat 13 miles off the coast of the island. We were astounded to learn how many U-boats were actually off the eastern coast of the United States – something that is not really covered in school.

History of Radar St Simons Island

We learned all about how radar works and participated in a simulation determining if aircraft detected by radar were friendly or enemies. This exhibit is where we spent the most time in the museum since it’s set up like a game and each one of the kids wanted a turn to be the fighter officer.

The World War II Homefront Museum is a can’t miss when you’re visiting St Simons Island.

  • Open daily from 10am-5pm (Sundays from 12pm-5pm)
  • Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Day, New Year’s Day, and Easter Sunday
  • Tickets are $12/adult, $6/6-12, FREE/under 6; there’s a $2 military discount
  • Combination tickets are available for the museum +  lighthouse and are the best deal
    • $20/adult, $10/6-12., FREE/under 6; there’s a $2 military discount

ST SIMONS LIGHTHOUSE

Smiling kids at St Simons Lighthouse

Lighthouses are another favorite for our crew. We were very excited to check out the St Simons Lighthouse, built in the 1870s after the original lighthouse was destroyed in the Civil War.

Ready to climb to the top of St Simons Lighthouse

One of only five surviving lighthouses in the state of Georgia, it’s 129 stairs to the top, and the views are gorgeous!

View from the top of St Simons Lighthouse

From the top of the lighthouse, you can see for miles, including the Jekyll Island Bridge, surrounding islands, the mainland (Brunswick), and even the Golden Ray shipwreck half-submerged in the water (which has since been removed).

 

St Simons Lighthouse Keeper's Dwelling

The lighthouse keeper‘s dwelling is a 2-story Victorian and housed the keeper + his family through the 1950s. Now, it’s decorated in early 1900 period pieces allowing you to get a glimpse of what it would be like to be a lighthouse keeper.

Museum at St Simons Lighthouse

There is also a small museum attached to the lighthouse with artifacts and interactive exhibits explaining how the lights work as well as the history of the lighthouse itself.

  • Open daily from 10am-5pm (Sundays from 12pm-5pm)
  • Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Day, New Year’s Day, and Easter Sunday
  • Tickets are $12/adult, $6/6-12, FREE/under 6; there’s a $2 military discount
  • Combination tickets are available for the museum +  lighthouse and are the best deal
    • $20/adult, $10/6-12., FREE/under 6; there’s a $2 military discount

ST SIMONS TROLLEY TOUR

St Simons Trolley Tour white trolley

Trolley tours are another favorite in our house – we’ve done them in Savannah and Key West, too! The Saint Simons Trolley Tour departs daily at 11am from under the big oak tree in Pier Village (near 117 Mallery Street).

Christ Church Frederica

The tour covers over 400 years of history and drives past 36 points of interest, including Bloody Marsh, Fort Frederica, and Retreat Plantation.

Christ Church Frederica St Simons Island Georgia

The first and only stop where you can get off is the Christ Church, Frederica, the 3rd oldest Episcopal Church in the country (and the 2nd oldest in Georgia). John and Charles Wesley preached here before returning to England to help found the Methodist Church.

The St Simons Trolley Tour offers a great overview of the island, and we recommend doing it early on in your trip to St Simons Island. In addition to historical facts, the guides also point out places to eat, shop, and explore, so it’s great information to have at the start of your trip.

  • Trolley Tour Rates: $20/adult, $10/4-12, FREE/under 4

ST SIMONS ISLAND BEACH

St Simons Island Beach Sandbar

Of course, you need to make time for the beach when you’re in Saint Simons; it is an island, after all. At low tide, sandbars are exposed that go way off the coast, allowing you to walk out really far into the water.

St Simons Island with kids sand dollar

Saint Simons Island is the first place that we ever found sand dollars on the beach. Make sure that they are dead – typically bleached white – before you take one.

VISIT NEARBY JEKYLL ISLAND & DRIFTWOOD BEACH

Driftwood Beach Sunset Jekyll Island

A visit to St Simons Island would not be complete without a quick trip to nearby Jekyll Island to explore Driftwood Beach. Often named one of the top beaches in the country, this beach is filled with weathered pine and oak trees and is a climber’s paradise. We visited for sunset, but next time I’ll be sure to visit for sunrise.

WHERE TO STAY IN ST SIMONS ISLAND WITH KIDS

King and Prince Beach Resort pool

The King and Prince Resort is our number one suggestion on where to stay in St Simons Island. This oceanfront resort has everything from regular hotel rooms to two or three-bedroom villa accommodations so it’s perfect for a romantic couples weekend, a getaway with all the kids, or even a multi-generational trip.

sunset at St Simons Island with kids

The resort is chockful of history (it’s where the radar training facility was located during WWII!), located right on the beach, and also boasts the only oceanfront dining on St Simons Island at ECHO.

There’s something for everyone in St Simons Island, making it a great family vacation destination. With an interesting history, fantastic tours, and the beach, it’s easy to find something to do!

Have you been to the Golden Isles before?? Which island is your fave??

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