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St. Simons Island Winter Activities for FamiliesSt. Simons Island Winter Activities for Families

  1. Bike Riding

With miles of winding bike paths, you can cover most of the island without setting foot in the road. You will enjoy a ride along the marsh as well next to huge oaks covered in Spanish moss. Bike trails run all the way to Mallory Pier and past the airport making it fun and easy to have a nice lunch out before heading back to your oceanfront condo.

  1. Historical Attractions

In the summer, you might opt for a day at the water park, pool, or beach over checking out all the wonderful history St. Simons has to offer. The winter however is the perfect chance to get out and explore the rich history the island offers. Visit Fort Frederica and learn about and how it guarded the coast from the Spanish occupied St. Augustine. Or maybe see what life was like at an authentic rice plantation at Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation.

  1. Jekyll Island Treasure Hunt

Each year Jekyll Island selects artist from across the country to make one-of-a-kind glass floats, similar to what fisherman used in the early 1900’s to mark their nets. These floats are hidden across Jekyll Island for lucky folks to find.

  1. Bring Your Pets to the Beach

Although our beaches are pet friendly year-round, during the winter months pets enjoy unrestricted access on the beach. Take them for a fun walk at any time of day! We know our furry friends are family members too, so be sure to check out our pet friendly rentals so they can enjoy a winter getaway with you!

 

2 St. Simons Island vacation rentals perfect for day trips!

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle on St. Simons Island are two St. Simons Island vacation spots that you won’t want to miss.  Check out two great properties that are perfect for day tripping:

 

1105 Reserve Lane is the definition of classic seaside style and is the ideal choice for an island hopping vacation in the Golden Isles. CentrallySt. Simons island vacation located on the island and just off of Demere Road, this vacation destination is convenient to everything on St. Simons Island.  Five minutes from the beaches, two minutes from the marina, or Island hop over to Jekyll – this town home is minutes away from everything the Island has to offer.

 

 

Island Retreat #2504 is the perfect St. Simons residence for an extended stay in the Golden Isles. This delightfully furnished two bedroom unit is located in the Island Retreat condominiums, just off of Demere St. Simons island vacationRoad.  The community amenities included with your stay in Island Retreat are perfect for living the active Island lifestyle and include a swimming pool, clubhouse, fitness center, and tennis court.

 

St. Simons Island is home to fabulous beaches, golfing, fishing, and a variety of great spots to dine.  The whole family can have fun on St. Simons Island – so instead of staying for a weekend, why not stay for a while?  Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals has the largest selection of St. Simons Island vacation options for you and your family to choose from.

The 11th annual Shrimp & Grits Festival, hosted by Southern Living is taking place this weekend on Jekyll Island.

This festival has gained quite the audience over the years attracting visitors from near and far. The Shrimp & Grits festival holds contests for both professional and individual cooks of the dish each year to decide who is the best in the state. Chefs were chosen to participate in the contest by an online voting system among each region. The defending champion, Blackwater Grill of St. Simons Island, will compete this year against some new challengers including American Catch Seafood Exchange, Deano’s Italian, Goin’ Coastal, The National and West Egg Café among others. This year’s competition is at 11 a.m. Sunday, the final day of the festival that starts Friday afternoon.

One new feature this year is the Jekyll Island Experience Pavilion which features education displays and interaction with wildlife from the Georgia Sea Turtle center as well as some of centers in Georgia. There will also be a Craft Brew Fest for all of the beer fanatics which will feature over 50 beverages to sample. Regional musicians will perform live on three stages, and there will be more than 100 art and craft vendors along the walking paths of the historic district where the festival is held.

All events will be held in the island’s National Landmark Historic District on the western side of the state-owned island.

The festival hours are:

Friday September 16th, 4-9 p.m.

Saturday September 17th, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Sunday September 18th, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

General admission to the festival is free, but tickets for admission to the VIP Lounge, DuBignon and Riverfront Lawn lounge options and Craft Brew Fest are available at

 

 

A little Light Music

A Little Light Music

Friday August 14th from 7:00-9:00 PM Island Garage Band is back and will take you “back in time” with some of your favorite classic rock hits from Steely Dan, Chicago, Allman Brothers, Doobie Brothers, Eric Clapton and many more. Tickets are $12 for adults; children under 12 and Keepers of the Light are admitted free of charge.

 

ocean Sounds by the Sea

August 28th at 7pm Gwen Hughes & The Kats will play at Neptune Park on St. Simons. The concert is $10 at the gate, feel free to bring chairs and blankets.

 

 

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First Friday in Downtown Brunswick

Friday August 5th from 5:00 to 8:00pm visit the shops, galleries, and restaurants in downtown Brunswick. Live music from local musicians will be there as well as art opening, and food and beverage samples

 

 

Sapelo Island Natural Estuarian Research Reserve Art ExhibitSapelo Island Painting

As part of its yearlong celebration of 40 years of research, education, stewardship, and training programs, the SINERR in partnership with McIntosh Art Association presents artwork inspired by the reserve at the Ritz Theatre in Brunswick, Gallery hours at the Ritz are Tuesday-Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, ending August 31st.Visit goldenislesarts.org or call 912.262.6934 for more information.

 

Southern Grown Saturday, August 13th, 2016 – 9:00am to 1:00pm

Support southern vendors at the Southern Grown Farmers Market. Enjoy live music, fresh produce, samples, and southern products at this family-friendly event. This event is open to the public and held at The Market at Sea Island, 351 Sea Island Road, St. Simons Island, GA.

 

Fort FredericaSaturday August 6th from 10am- noon you will be able to travel back in time with the help of clues from archaeology on what cooking must have been like at Fort Frederica. Visiting Fort Frederica is free and the National Monument is open daily from 9am to 5pm

 

shrimp and grits

Maybe you have attended the Shrimp and Grits Festival every year since it first began in 2005, or maybe you have never attended. Regardless, THIS is the year you do not want to miss! Come explore the festival as locals and visitors celebrate one of Georgia’s most famous “crops” and the lowcountry’s signature dish, shrimp & grits.

The 2015 Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival will be the best yet. The 10th anniversary celebration will feature a new Jekyll Island Experience Pavilion, an expanded Southern Living Pavilion, dedicated sponsor area, and double the craft brew vendors. Family-friendly entertainment, professional and amateur cooking competitions, live music across two stages, and more than 100 hand-selected art and craft vendors will be on-hand for this three day event.

This is a FREE event under the oaks in the National Historic Landmark District on Jekyll Island.

  • Friday, September 18: 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 19: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 20: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals is offering 10% off of your stay in September so book NOW! You can book online at using the promo code: SWEET10 or call us at 844-877-0057

For a schedule and list of all the festival activities click here.

Happy New Year! There’s always something happening nearby and we hope you’ll join us on St. Simons Island for some interesting events in the coming months. Whether it’s art, history, comedy or athletics that interests you, America’s Favorite Beach Town has it all! And, of course, the beach is available for enjoyment 365 days a year! Once you’ve found your perfect event, contact one of Hodnett Cooper’s vacation planners for assistance in finding the perfect accommodations. St. Simons Island is waiting!

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FIRST FRIDAY

January 2 and February 6

Historic Downtown Brunswick

From 5-8pm, stroll Newcastle and Gloucester Streets in Historic Downtown Brunswick. Galleries, shops and restaurants are open with live music, food samples, wine & beer tastings, unique art and lots of energy.

 

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CINEMA GOURMET

Thursday, January 8 and Thursday, February 12

The Ritz Theater

Join Golden Isles Arts & Humanities at the Historic Ritz Theater in Downtown Brunswick for food from Chef Kate at Indigo Coastal Shanty, a classic movie screening and discussion.

January 8, 6:30pm, The Bicycle Thief: this 1948 is a landmark neorealist drama

February 12, 6:30pm, Conrack: filmed right here in Brunswick, Georgia, this film is based on the Pat Conroy novel The Water is Wide.

Cinema Gourmet tickets are $18/person and can be purchased online. Click here for more details.

 

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HISTORY TOURS AT CANNON’S POINT

January 16 & 30 and February 13 & 27

Cannon’s Point, St. Simons Island

Through a partnership with the Coastal Georgia Historical Society and the St. Simons Land Trust, small group tours of this former plantation (which was privately held until recently) are being made available. The tours provide an overview of the history of Cannon’s Point with emphasis on life during the plantation period. Tour groups are limited to 16 participants. Groups meet at the A.W. Jones Heritage Center at 9:15am for a short introduction. Groups depart for Cannon’s Point at 10am and return to the Heritage Center at 12:30pm. The cost is $95 per person. For more information and reservations, call 912-634-7090 or click here to visit the website and make reservations online.

 

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COMEDY WEEKEND ON JEKYLL ISLAND

Friday, January 23 and Saturday, January 24

Morgan Center, Jekyll Island

This 3rd-annual event takes place at the Morgan Center on Jekyll Island. Emcee Pat McGann hosts both evenings. The Friday lineup includes Andy Forrester, Andy Woodhull and Nat Bargatze. Saturday, enjoy Emily Galati, Louis Ramey and Don Friesen.

Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the door. Click here for more information and to purchase advance tickets online.

 

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2015 SOUTHEAST GEORGIA HEALTHY SYSTEM BRIDGE RUN

Saturday, February 14

Sidney Lanier Bridge, Brunswick

Get your heart pumping this Valentine’s Day! Certified by the US Track and Field Association as “the toughest 5K in Georgia,” this run spans the length of the Sidney Lanier Bridge in Brunswick. At its center, the bridge rises 480 feet above the Brunswick River, the tallest span in the state.

After the run, there is a fun walk followed by a family-friendly festival with food, drink, entertainment, vendors and activities for kids. For more information and entry form, click here.

 

We hope to see you on St. Simons Island, Georgia soon!

This Saturday, December 6, are two big kickoff events for the holiday season in the Golden Isles.

The Brunswick Christmas Parade

Beginning at 10am, over 100 groups and floats will make their way down Gloucester Street from Howard Coffin Park to Mary Ross Waterfront Park. At the end of the parade route, Santa will be in Mary Ross Waterfront Park along with holiday arts and crafts vendors. Bring a chair, line Gloucester Street and enjoy the holiday cheer!

 

Photo from atlantamagazine.com

Photo from atlantamagazine.com

 

Jingle all the Way 5K and 1-Mile Run on Jekyll Island

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Benefitting CASA Glynn, the 5th Annual Jingle all the Way run makes its way through Jekyll Island and the historic district. Runners dress in festive, holiday gear, making this a can’t-miss run. The 5K is a USATF certified 5K course and chip timed by First Place Sports. Three events make it fun for everyone:

  • 5K Run/Walk – 9am
  • 1 Mile Run/Walk – 10am
  • 1 Mile Run for 13 and older Participants – 10:30am

Click here for registration and entry fee information. There will be a prize awarded for best costume!

In addition to the race, there will be photos with Santa, crafts for kids and free hot chocolate. It’s a family-friendly event you won’t want to miss!

What’s Septober, you ask? It’s that magical time of year when the summer crowds have thinned, it’s still beach and swimsuit weather and there are tons of unique activities and festivals throughout the Golden Isles. A Septober visit to St. Simons Island could include the following…let’s start planning!

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Farmer’s Market – The Market

Saturday, September 13, 9am – 1pm

Artisan foods and products from local farms and vendors. Enjoy samples along with live music.

 

Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival

September 19-21

A celebration of two Georgia favorites: shrimp and grits! On neighboring Jekyll Island, this weekend celebration includes tastings, arts & crafts, a craft brew tasting, cooking competitions, live music and great activities for kids. Food, fun and family…what could be better? Visit the website for a full schedule of events and pricing.

 

Jazz in the Park

Sunday, September 21, 7pm-9pm

Join St. Simons Island residents and visitors alike for an Island favorite. Presented by the Golden Isles Arts and Humanities for more than twenty years, guests bring food, wine and family to wind down the weekend on the oceanfront lawn at Neptune Park. This week’s musical guest  is Michael Hulett with a repertoire of jazz, soul, rock and pop. Bring a blanket or chair. Adult admission is $10; children 6-12 is $5 and kids under six enter free.

 

St. Simons Food & Spirits Festival

October 1-5

This celebration of local food features five days of special events, including a kick off party, tastings, “Blues, Bourbon & BBQ” and a Spiritual Brunch to close out the festival. Visit the website for a complete schedule of events and pricing.

 

CoastFest

Saturday, October 4

The 20th Annual CoastFest features 70+ environmental, educational, research and resource exhibitors from the southeast highlighting Georgia’s unique coastal environment. Kids love the hands-on exhibits featuring plants and animals. It’s a day of fun and learning for all ages.

 

St. Simons Island Antique Show

October 4-5, 9am-5pm

Antique and art exhibitors from all over the southeast gather in Postell Park near the lighthouse. Something for yourself of a St. Simons souvenir to take home, you never know what you’ll discover! Admission and parking is free.

 

“Under the Oaks” Half Marathon, Jekyll Island

October 11, 7am

Including a half marathon, 10K and 5K runs, the courses are USATF certified and all three races are USATF sanctioned. Both competitive and causal runners will enjoy the flat terrain and picturesque views of Jekyll Island. Visit RaceRoster to register.

 

Glynn Art in the Park Fall Festival

Saturday, October 11

More than 70 fine artists and craftsman fill Postell Park with paintings, photography, pottery, woodwork, toys and more. Admission is free.

 

5th Annual St. Simons Island SUP Challenge

October 17-18

Hosted by Davis Love III Paddle & Putt, the event includes a 3-mile short course, 8-mile elite race- 4-person team relay race, 13 and under and a dog on board race.

 

15th Annual Brunswick Rockin’ Stewbilee

October 18, 11am

For 15 years, cooking teams have been facing off for the coveted title of Best Brunswick Stew. Official judges name the Judges’ Award winner. As a participant, you vote for the Peoples’ Choice! The day long event starts with a 5K race and includes a Pooch Parade (with costumes!), live entertainment, Classic and Antique Car Show, Arts & Crafts displays and a kids’ fun zone. And of course, an array of creative Brunswick Stews to enjoy!

Advanced tickets are $3 for kids under 6 years, $6 for adults or $4 and $9 on the day of the event. Visit the website for team registration, schedule of events and pricing.

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Whether it’s your first time to St. Simons Island, or you visit every year, there’s always something new to discover!

HISTORIC DOWNTOWN BRUNSWICK

Once you’ve combed the beaches, found the tree spirits and climbed the lighthouse, you might want to head over the bridge to Historic Downtown Brunswick. Just seven short miles from St. Simons Island is Brunswick, Georgia. Originally settled in 1738, today Brunswick is a thriving town where historic sites provide the backdrop for modern living.

With an interesting history, visitors to downtown Brunswick find bits and pieces from the town’s past, including WWII Liberty Ship production and city squares bearing English names.

Take a look at our Brunswick Area Guide for more on shopping, antiques, arts & theater, events & festivals and significant architectural and historic sights.

DAY TRIPS

For those on an extended stay on St. Simons Island, there’s even more time to explore the cities, towns and islands that are within an easy drive of St. Simons Island.

The nearby cities and towns surrounding St. Simons Island include Jacksonville, Savannah, Darien, St. Mary’s and the Okefenokee Swamp Park in Waycross. Click here for more information on each.

For a different type of exploration, neighboring islands provide amazing scenery, wildlife and an easy pace. From Segue Tours to wild horses, click here to learn more about Jekyll Island, Cumberland Island and Sapelo Island.

Of course, it’s also possible you’ll forgo the exploration and work on your tan. And we understand that too!

IslandTreasure

In January of each year, St. Simons Island’s neighbor, Jekyll Island, starts a two-month-long treasure hunt called “Island Treasures.” The tradition began in 2002 and residents and visitors alike enjoy the search.

The treasures being sought are handcrafted glass floats. Jekyll Island commissions talented glass artisans from all over the country to hand craft the pieces. Each glass float is unique and has the year imprinted on the bottom.

The symbolic glass floats of today do have historical significance in Coastal Georgia and other beachfront communities. In the early 1900s, fisherman used glass floats on their nets. The floats would break loose and wash ashore and beachcombers loved finding the glass floats. With the use of plastic and Styrofoam floats today, the glass treasures are an echo of the past.

If you find an Island Treasure, you can register it at the Jekyll Island Guest Information Center to receive a certificate of authenticity along with a biography of the artist. The Center is open 9am-6pm Monday through Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sundays. The treasure hunt continues now through February, 2014.