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Golden Isles Bucket List

Find all the Tree Spirits on St Simons Island.
The images, created by skilled hands, immortalize the countless sailors who lost their lives at sea aboard the mighty sailing ships that were once made from St. Simons Island oak. Their sad, sorrowful expressions seem to reflect the grieving appearance of the trees themselves with their drooping branches and moss.

Climb the St Simons Island Lighthouse

On October 17, 1804, John Couper, a plantation owner on St. Simons Island, deeded four acres of his land, known as “Couper’s Point,” at the south end of the island
for one dollar to the Federal government for the construction of a lighthouse. James Gould of Massachusetts was hired in 1807 by the Treasury Department to build the lighthouse and a one-story frame residence. Original specifications called for the lighthouse to be built of hard brick; however, for economic purposes, most of the material used in the construction was “tabby,” a mixture of oyster shell, lime, sand, and water. The uppermost part (12 feet) was constructed of the “best northward brick.” The 75-foot tower, exclusive of the lantern, was an octagonal pyramid, 25 feet in diameter at the base, tapering to 10 feet in diameter at the top. The tabby foundation was eight feet thick at the base. An iron lantern ten feet high and eight feet in diameter rested on top of the brick and tabby tower, making the lighthouse 85 feet tall. Oil lamps were suspended on iron chains in the lantern.

Visit the A. W. Jones Heritage Center
The Coastal Georgia Historical Society operates the Lighthouse and Maritime Center. Their new headquarters, the A.W. Jones Heritage Center, officially opened in April 2008. The 10,000 square foot center includes an entrance gallery, the Museum Store and a 1,400 square foot event hall which is available for rent. The second floor includes the Society’s administrative offices, a research library and the Society’s vast collection of objects, artifacts and archival materials from hundreds of years of coastal Georgia history. The Society’s Museum Store offers a large selection of collectibles, keepsakes and gifts for every member of your family. Carefully selected to enhance your museum experience, local artists and writers are featured. There is also a variety of books, replicas, uniquely branded apparel and a wide variety of gift items that will serve to remind you of your visit to the Golden Isles. Admission to the Museum Store is free..

Visit Fort Frederica and view the National Monument

In the early 18th century, the land lying between British South Carolina and Spanish Florida was known as the debatable land. This land (today’s Georgia) was the epicenter of a centuries-old imperial conflict between Spain and Britain. Fort Frederica was established in 1736 by James Oglethorpe to protect the southern boundary of his new colony of Georgia from the Spanish in Florida. Colonists from England, Scotland, and the Germanic states came to Georgia to support this endeavor.

Fish off of the St Simons Island Pier
Located in Pier Village at the end of Mallery Street, the St. Simons Island Pier provides outdoor lighting along the full length of the pier thus making it a greatlocation for an evening stroll after dinner. The pier overlooks St. Simons Sound which is visited annually by North Atlantic Right Whales, usually seen between December and March, as they migrate from northeastern United States to the calving area in southeastern United States. Other months of the year you can spot dolphin feeding along the coast and an occasional massive cargo ship passing by on its way to deliver hundreds of imported automobiles to the Port of Brunswick.
St. Simons Island Pier offers tray tables and water hoses along the railings for those fishing to prepare their bait or clean their catch. Benches along each side of the pier offer those passing by a place to sit and watch the fishermen and crabbers reel in their day’s bounty or simply enjoy the views of Jekyll Island to the south. A short stroll from the local hardware store and bait & tackle shop in Pier Village makes it easy to purchase forgotten gear or bait. St. Simons Island Pier is said to be one of only three ocean piers on the Georgia coast with the others being Jekyll Island Pier and Tybee Island Ocean Pier.

Visit Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island
Located on the north end of Jekyll Island, Driftwood Beach continually amazes guests with its beautiful driftwood and ocean views. This haunting and mesmerizing stretch of beach is often cited as a Gothic tree graveyard.
Driftwood Beach an ideal location for photography, as well as a popular site for gorgeous island weddings. Enjoy a nice picnic or walk on Driftwood Beach and be just a 3 minute drive away when you stay at The Westin Jekyll Island. Just a little over 1 mile away from the hotel, guests can walk to and from Driftwood beach. Driftwood beach extends from the Clam Creek Picnic Area to the Villas By The Sea Resort and Conference Center and is only a short walk away from the Jekyll IslandCampground. From Clam Creek Picnic Area, simply follow signs for the Wildlife Viewing Area and take the paved walkway toward Clam Creek. Walk over the bridge and you will see two beach access points toward the left. Multiple beach access points along North Beachview Drive also provide access to Driftwood beach. You can park at designated parking areas along the road, next to each beach access point..


Visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island
Through sea turtle rehabilitation, research and education programs, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center will increase awareness of habitat and wildlife conservation challenges, promote responsibility for ecosystem health and
empower individuals to act locally, regionally, and globally to protect the environment. The Center is open to the general public and offers an interactive Exhibit Gallery and Rehabilitation Pavilion with a number of view-able sea turtle patients.The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is a hospital for ill and injured sea turtles. It is the only hospital of its kind in the state of Georgia.

Visit the Christ Church Cemetery
Christ Church is set in tall, mossy grass under towering oak trees. The church grounds include a cemetery. Christ Church, one of the oldest churches in Georgia, was founded on St. Simons Island nearly 70 years after the island was first settled by English colonists. Worship has been continuous since 1736 in Christ Church Parish, established by English colonists at Frederica under General James Oglethorpe. In February 1736, James Oglethorpe and the first English settlers arrived on St. Simons Island. Shortly thereafter, in March 1736, Reverend Charles Wesley, who also served as Secretary for Indian Affairs and Chaplain to General James Oglethorpe, entered his ministry at Frederica. From 1736-1766, the first religious services on the island were conducted by John Wesley, George
Whitfield, and other clergy members of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. When the Trustees surrendered their charter to the king in 1752, Georgia became a royal colony. It was after the Revolutionary War, in 1808, that Christ Church was founded. Though inspired by such men as John and Charles Wesley, the small St. Simons Island population was prevented by the Revolutionary War and War of 1812, among other factors, from erecting a church building until 1820. Following a petition for a charter by descendants of early settlers, Christ Church was established by an act of the state legislature in 1808. It is the second oldest Episcopal Church in the diocese of Georgia. Before the actual church was built, people met at their homes. The first church building was constructed in 1820 on the same site where the present church is now located. In 1823,
Christ Church of Savannah and Saint Paul Church of Augusta merged together. The first small church building lasted until Union Troops damaged it so badly that members of the church had to have service at their homes once again. The church was rebuilt in 1884.

Read The Lighthouse Trilogy by Eugenia Price based around many of the graves at Christ Church Cemetery

Visit the Historic District on Jekyll Island
In 1886, Jekyll Island was purchased to become an exclusive winter retreat, known as the Jekyll Island Club. It soon became recognized as “the richest, most inaccessible club in the world.” Club members included such notable figures as J.P. Morgan, Joseph Pulitzer, William K. Vanderbilt, and Marshall Field. Members prized the island for its “sense of splendid isolation,” beautiful landscape, and moderate climate. Jekyll Island, with its cottage colony and clubhouse, was viewed as a little paradise, where members and guests pursued “a life of elegant leisure.” Here, they enjoyed a variety of outdoor pursuits, such as hunting, horseback riding, skeet shooting, golf, tennis, biking, croquet, lawn bowling, picnics, and carriage rides. Today, the former Club grounds comprise a 240-acre site with 34 historic structures. The Jekyll Island Club National Historic Landmark District is one of the largest ongoing restoration projects in the southeastern United States, attracting curious guests from around the world.

View the Avenue of the Oaks
Anne Page King planted the famous “Avenue of Oaks” that highlights the entrance to the Sea Island Golf Club (available to Cloister guests and Sea Island members). Visitors may view the Avenue of Oaks by driving towards the Lodge at the Sea Island Golf Club and circling back.

Visit the Jekyll Island Club Hotel on Jekyll Island
Our iconic Victorian turret beckons you to a rare place of grand surroundings, simple pleasures and enriching experiences shaped by 128 years of history and hospitality. Ranked among the top 500 resorts in the world by Travel & Leisure, the Jekyll Island Club Hotel is situated on an unhurried, unspoiled barrier island along Georgiaʼs spectacular Atlantic coast. Here at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel lies a world of compelling contrasts and perfect balances: Rich history and modern comforts. Romance and laughter. Grand dining and beach picnics. Sunshine and moonlight. Energizing activities and complete relaxation. Business and pleasure. Couples and families. Amid lush grounds at the riverʼs edge, the Jekyll Island Club Hotel is the centerpiece of Jekyll Islandʼs celebrated Historic District. The Hotel is the Islandʼs only Four-Star resort and is a National Historic Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Hotel is also a member of Historic Hotels of America.

Visit the Ed Hose Gallery in the Pier Village on St Simons Island
“The world is your oyster” philosophy convinced me I could be anything I wanted to be. We are all very lucky that I wanted to be an artist and not an accountant or closet organizer. I love drawing and consider myself a torrential brain stormer. I also love the puzzle of designing for other people and bringing their dreams to visual fruition. In 2001 I received a BFA in Illustration and Design from Tyler School Of Art at Temple University and have been freelancing ever since. The style I work in is a combination of hand drawing and digital imaging. The drawing is created with pen and ink and then colored on the computer. The finished product is a print ready high resolution image that can be output onto any substrate from tee-shirts to wallpaper, murals to mugs.

Catch fresh shrimp off The Lady Jane Shrimp Boat

The Lady Jane is a United States Coast Guard certified passenger steel shrimping vessel recently retired after years of loyal service to the shrimping industry. She has been painstakingly refurbished for your cruising pleasure. Take two hours out of the day and spend it aboard Lady Jane. If you like, help the crew sort the catch of Bonnethead , Blacktip, Sand shark, Horseshoe Crab,Puffer Fish, Amberjack, Crocker, Spot, Whiting, Bluecrab and Skate. , If you’re worried about bad weather, relax! Each cruise will be in protected waters of St. Simon Sound. Lady Jane provides an air conditioned cabin, restroom, large open covered deck with ample room for you to walk around and enjoy the view.

Take a Segway Tour of Jekyll Island
The eco-friendly Fun Tour on the Segway® PT allows you to glide along the trails and personally witness this truly unique area. An educated guide will point out the plant and animal life as you stop to observe the sights. Contact 912-635-9704 for pricing and reservations.

Take a day trip to Little St. Simons Island

One of the crown jewels of Georgia’s famed Golden Isles, Little St. Simons Island offers 7 miles of pristine beaches and 10,000 acres of undeveloped wilderness for exploration and relaxation. Privately owned since 1908 and accessible only by boat, Little St. Simons Island has retained the charm and unhurried pace of coastal living. Moss draped live oaks and glistening marshes surround comfortable accommodations for no more than 32 overnight guests.

Rent a bicycle and ride the several miles of path on St Simons Island and Jekyll Island
Discover the charm and history of the Golden Isles via bicycle. Miles of bike paths encircle and cross Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island providing easy and safe access to many historic sites, restaurants, beaches, and shops without the use of a car. Bike paths connect many of the islands’ most popular sites along the St. Simons Island Trail System andJekyll Island Trail System. You can even explore our many hard-packed beaches by bike to catch a glimpse of coastal wildlife and nature. Leave your vehicle at your accommodations or one of the many parking areas and enjoy the slower paced option of biking. You will find multiple bike rental companies available for your convenience throughout the Golden Isles.

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