With a rich history spanning from Native Americans to Spanish Missions to the Plantation Era, St. Simons Island has plenty interesting and significant sights to explore.
Established by James Oglethorpe in 1736, Fort Frederica was home to colonists from England, Scotland and Germany. The fort controlled ship travel on the Frederica River during the conflict between Spain and Britain. The remains of the Fort are protected by the National Park Service. Visitors can explore the grounds and the museum featuring artifacts found on site.
Located mid-island, Christ Church was first built in 1820, destroyed by Union troops during the Civil War and was rebuilt in 1884. The cemetery on the church grounds is home to several famous Georgians and Civil War veterans.
Just across from Christ Church is the Wesley Memorial Gardens—native Georgia plans surround an 18-foot Celtic cross that pays tribute to John and Charles Wesley, evangelicals who came to Georgia in 1736.
Lighthouse & Museum
Originally built in 1810, the St. Simons Island lighthouse was destroyed by Confederate forces in 1862 to prevent use by Federal troops. On the site now is the lighthouse and lightkeeper’s quarters rebuilt in 1872 and still in operation today. Visitors can climb to the top for a 360-degree view and wander the original lightkeeper’s dwelling.
This Roosevelt-era Coast Guard Station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. An interactive guide and hands-on exhibits take visitors through the natural setting, military history and the daily life of a “Coastie” stationed on St. Simons Island in the 1940s.
Bloody Marsh Battle Site
On July 18, 1742 the Spanish and British, led by General Oglethorpe, fought for control of the road between Fort St. Simons and Fort Frederica. The Spanish left the island on July 25, finishing their last invasion of Colonial Georgia.
Jekyll Island Club National Historic Landmark District
In the late 1800s, Jekyll Island was purchased as an exclusive winter retreat for the nation’s wealthiest families including the Rockefellers, Morgans and Pulitzers. The Historic District features the Jekyll Island Museum with exhibits, tours and museum store. Nearby is the historic Jekyll Island Club Hotel and cottage district.