Family Weekend Getaway Along the Georgia Coast
Follow this guide to three days of family fun on the coast!
With mild year-round temperatures, the Georgia Coast is a great beach getaway any time of year. The hard-packed sand is perfect for bike riding as well as relaxing in a lounge chair. There is a lot to see and do in the Golden Isles beyond just seaside fun. Here are three days worth of activity that will have you exploring the history, nature and delicious tastes of the Georgia coast.
Take in an early morning round of golf. The King and Prince golf course is located on the north side of St. Simons Island, not at the resort, but transportation is provided. The King and Prince course cuts through picturesque marsh, so if you tend to hook the ball, bring a few extras, and let the gators have your lost ones.
Grab lunch at Southern Soul Barbeque, one of golf legend (and coastal Georgia resident) Davis Love III’s favorite BBQ joints.
After lunch, continue the golf theme with the kids at Sea Palms Resort on St. Simons Island. Here you can play foot golf, a version of the game that uses a soccer ball and your foot rather than a golf ball and club. This version of golf is perfect for any age or level of player.
On the way home, stop by Mallery Street and the Pier Village for a Chicken Swiss sandwich and a beer from Brogen's. Play some corn hole while you wait for a seat upstairs on the deck where you can see the St. Simons Island Pier, and the comings and goings of the downtown area.
If you aren't golfed out, walk a few blocks to the Neptune Park Fun Zone for some mini-golf or just to climb on the playground.
Once the sun goes down, take a walk on the beach to find ghost crabs
Once you've had your fill, head to nearby Jekyll Island for some nature exploration. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is a favorite attraction, but don't miss the less flashy Tidelands Nature Center, too. In addition to touch tanks, rent a canoe or take a kayak tour of the marsh ecosystem to see animals in their native habitat.
In season, skip breakfast and get to Jekyll early for a sunrise turtle walk. and you just might see baby sea turtles scurrying toward the water.
In the afternoon, send the kids with dad to splash around at Summer Waves Water Park, while the girls head to the Jekyll Island Historic District for a trolley tour or, for something a little different, a horse-drawn carriage ride.
Have everyone meet up again at the Village Green in Beach Village. This new gathering spot between the Jekyll Island Convention Center and the new Westin Hotel hosts family movie nights, farmers markets and seasonal events. Even when there isn't a special event, browse through the shops or grab a picnic dinner from Club Cafe to enjoy on the green or on the beach.
Day three is all about history. Get some pork pops (bite-sized biscuits with sausage, bacon and cheese) to go, and maybe a cookie for later at Sweet Mama's on St. Simons Island before a trip back in time at the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation. Here you'll learn what it was really like to live and work on a true Southern plantation. Hofwyl-Broadfield is also a stop on the Colonial Coast Birding Trail. Expect to see egrets, herons, ibis and painted buntings along the marsh trail.
Continue up the coast to Darien and Fort King George, the oldest English fort remaining in Georgia. Kids will love playing army in the recreated blockhouse and other fort buildings. Toy guns are available to use in the fort at the visitors center. If you can tear them away from their game, they may also enjoy learning the history of the fort by becoming a junior ranger. The program booklets are free and available at the visitors center.
Rent bikes at Ocean Motion to finish out a perfect three days with an after-dinner ride around the island.