Skip to Content

Georgia’s Golden Isles: Be Wowed by Brunswick, St. Simons, Jekyll, and Sea Islands

Georgia’s Golden Isles: Be Wowed by Brunswick, St. Simons, Jekyll, and Sea Islands

Crisp ocean breeze, historic landmarks, and untold natural beauty are just some of the things that make Georgia’s Golden Isles an ideal place to explore. This region in the southeastern United States is a collection of picturesque coastal towns including Brunswick, St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island, Sea Island, and Little St. Simons.

Whether you’re planning a road trip or just a quick getaway, there’s plenty to discover here. Each town offers its unique attributes, history, and charm, making it an unforgettable destination worth exploring.


Colonial Brunswick

Brunswick is the gateway to Georgia’s Golden Isles, a perfect entry point for anyone seeking to experience the area. The port town has a rich history, having served as a colonial seaport as early as the 1700s.

Fun Fact: It was one of the five entry ports for the original colonies, christened by none other than George Washington. 


Today, you can marvel at the Colonial-era architecture, all preserved in the historic district of Old Town. Head to the circa 1899 Ritz Theatre, which has been meticulously restored, to catch a movie, play, or concert. Walk in the footsteps of the legendary Brunswick stew pioneers at the annual Brunswick Stewbilee festival, a showcase featuring plenty of food, arts, and crafts each January.

Stop by the historic Glynn County Courthouse, built in the 1790s, and admire the unique architectural features, including the distinctive, cantilevered balcony.


Brunswick is a heavy hitter port town, a coastally rich city with import and domestic cars shipped in by the thousands. Brunswick sits harbor-side with the Atlantic Ocean, but the Intracoastal Waterway separates it from the other barrier islands.

For a tasty meal, consider comfort-food Italian dishes at Fox’s Pizza Downtown Brunswick or home-cooked bbq with delicious sides from Gary Lee’s Market. Fox’s Newcastle Salad, with craisins, mandarin oranges, candied walnuts, and feta, is out of this world!

The Italian Baked Ziti is a perfect main course choice. 


Head to the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation to glimpse Brunswick’s abundant nature trails and scenery. Now a Georgia State Park, it was formerly a rice plantation along the Altamaha River. 

Family-Friendly St. Simons Island

St. Simons Island is a charming and vibrant area that is a must-visit when on the Golden Isles of Georgia. The southernmost of the Golden Isles, St. Simons is small enough to cycle or hike around to enjoy its natural beauty. Take a tour of the island’s historic destinations, including the St. Simons Lighthouse Museum, which offers stunning panoramic views of the area and the coast for a $12 price tag.


No trip to St. Simons can be considered complete without a visit to the stunning Christ Church, built by John and Charles Wesley, which dates back to the 1800s. Check out the Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass window, and take advantage of the excellent photo ops from this beautiful church and property. 


Take a stroll down the shores of East Beach to see the many sea turtles that nest along the beach’s edges, or take a relaxing tour of the salt marshes to expound your knowledge of the unique eco-systems that exist within the golden isles of Georgia.

For the shoppers in the family, be sure to include Redfern Village and Pier Village for retail therapy.


Discover Neptune Park, a fantastic destination for sightseeing and breathtaking waterfront views. This remarkable spot offers more than just scenic beauty. Enjoy a picnic area, a playground for the little ones, and an inviting public swimming pool.


When you’re ready to venture beyond the park, head to the stunning St. Simons Island beaches for exciting activities like shelling, birding, and all your favorite water adventures. For a unique and memorable experience, why not try kayaking through the island’s picturesque marshes?

Every stroke of the paddle will lead you closer to the island’s natural wonders.

If you’re craving delicious southern cuisine, satisfy your taste buds at Porch. Indulge in mouthwatering dishes, such as shrimp, chicken, or catfish, served with perfectly prepared southern side dishes. And for those seeking a truly epic feast, the Motherclucker awaits you.

It’s a massive fried chicken breast topped with pimento cheese and sliced pickles – a true delight for the senses.


Alluring Jekyll Island

If you’re looking for a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city, consider a visit to Jekyll Island, the boujeest of Georgia’s Golden Isles. Known for its natural beauty, Jekyll island offers a quieter experience in comparison to some of the more crowded southern coastal destinations.

It is also home to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, an educational institution where visitors can experience marine life firsthand.

Make sure to visit Jekyll Island’s acclaimed beachfront, known for its spectacular views of the Atlantic. Jekyll Island’s Historic District showcases old structures that maintain their 19th-century architecture style.

Jekyll Island, once a former millionaires’ playground, requires a toll to visit ($8 per car/one-day pass) the exclusive southern landscape. There are a few high-end hotels around the beach or shopping area that leads to a pier and boardwalk.


This is an excellent place to ride if you have your bicycle or want to rent one. The scenery alone is enough to fill your senses and provide a good time, with eight miles of white sand beaches.

Discover the fascinating Jekyll Island cottages of Georgia’s Golden Isles! Take a captivating tour of this 240-acre property and uncover the history behind its 34 historic structures. Whether you choose a self-guided or docent-led tour, you’ll be treated to captivating stories about the families who once called these stunning cottages their home.

Did you know that wealthy elites like William K. Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, and John Jacob Astor once owned these iconic vacation properties?


Don’t forget to visit the beautiful Faith Chapel, an enchanting non-denominational chapel for members of the prestigious Jekyll Island Club. Immerse yourself in the past and explore this remarkable National Historic Landmark District.


If time permits pop in the Jekyll Island Club Resort (A Historic Hotels of America brand) for a glass of wine or cocktail from the beautiful Clubhouse veranda. Someday I hope to stay there.

If you get the chance, check out Driftwood Beach, one of the unique areas of the Golden Isles. It is hauntingly beautiful with its curved and strange-looking driftwood trees. Be mindful of the nesting sea turtles.


Sophisticated Sea Island

Another must-visit is Sea Island, the most luxurious of Georgia’s Golden Isles. Home to a world-class resort of the same name, The Cloister at Sea Island boasts an exquisite golf course, fine dining, and boutique shopping at Shops at Sea Island. Some of my favorites are Indigo & Cotton, G.J. Ford Bookshop, and Cloister Collection.

Visitors can book spa treatments or take a dip in the resort’s meticulously designed pools.

In addition, Sea Island offers miles of uninterrupted pristine sandy beaches, bike trails, and water activities, including kayaking and deep-sea fishing. Golf is part of the Sea Island culture, with three championship golf courses, one being The Plantation Course, partially dating back to 1928. Sea Island is also known for the world’s finest Golf Performance Center.

Photo from Golf Performance Center website.

If you’re looking to go off-resort, make sure to visit the nearby Fort Frederica National Monument, featuring some of the best remaining fortifications from the colonial era. Fort Frederica was built by James Oglethorpe in 1736. Around 630 British troops were stationed here, protecting Georgia from Spanish raids.

This Golden Isle community attracts those who desire a quaint, yet sophisticated destination where they can forget all their troubles and relax.

Fun Fact: Find a considerable percentage of Georgia birds along the Colonial Coast Birding Trail. 


Remote Little St. Simons Island

Unless you are spending big money, chances are you won’t be checking out Little St. Simons Island, an island only accessible by boat. This private island is home to an ecological resort, the Lodge on Little St. Simons Island, an all-inclusive property for 32 guests. This Georgia barrier Island boasts being virtually untouched for centuries. It is 10,000 acres and has seven miles of beaches. 

Naturalists in the area offer guided fishing, biking, hiking, birding, and ecological tours. I don’t know about you, but I would love to see it!


Georgia’s Golden Isles: A Great Way to Relax and Recharge

In conclusion, Georgia’s Golden Isles have a lot to offer, and the four coastal towns of Brunswick, St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island, and Sea Island, provide an array of activities that are sure to tickle your fancy.

Whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, or crave relaxation, you’ll find something to everyone’s liking here.


Check out our other Georgia vacation destinations: 

Ultimate Guide to Thomasville

Fun Things to Do in Savannah

Excellent Restaurants in Helen

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Tuesday 18th of December 2018

This sounds like the perfect place for a relaxing escape! The Tiffany windows at Christ Church Frederic look beautiful. The food in the photos looks delicious, especially the crab cakes and what I think is Chicken and Dumplings (yes?). I’d also love to learn more about the turtle rehabilitation happening at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.


Wednesday 19th of December 2018

Thanks so much for reading. ;)


Thursday 12th of February 2015

My husband and I love visiting the Golden Isles. Have you been to Jekyll Island?


Thursday 12th of February 2015

Yes but only for a day trip.

Reema D'souza

Wednesday 29th of October 2014

A nice, informative post :) Makes me want to visit this place :)


Thursday 30th of October 2014

wonderful! so glad you liked it. ;)


Wednesday 29th of October 2014

Thank you. I just realized I want to revisit as well. ;) Thanks for stopping by.


Wednesday 29th of October 2014

You have really have enticing photos that would make one want to travel to see the places. It also looks like you had good food too. Thanks for the share


Wednesday 29th of October 2014

Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a great day!

Sheri Conaway

Wednesday 29th of October 2014

Nice little travelogue, especially for we left coasters who didn't even know these islands existed. The villas sound delightful for a week of family fun and relaxation.


Wednesday 29th of October 2014

Thanks so much! Don't tell anyone but I like your coast best. ;)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.