Uncover the history of St. Simons Island and learn about the stories, people and legends that make this Golden Isle so magical during your sightseeing tour of St. Simmons Island.
St. Simons Pier Village
Start your time in St. Simons at St. Simons Pier Village. One of the cultural and commercial centers of the island, St. Simons Village is home to shops, restaurants and recreational activities including the St. Simons Island Visitor Center and the St. Simon Island Lighthouse.
St. Simons Island Lighthouse and Keeper’s Cottage
Originally built in 1811, the St. Simons Island Lighthouse was left destroyed by Confederate forces in 1861 during the Civil War and replaced in 1872. Today the St. Simons Lighthouse is both an active lighthouse and a museum. While the lighthouse itself guides ships into St. Simons Sound and warns of the many sandbars in the area, its keeper’s cottage, a two-story Victorian brick structure has been a museum since its conversion by the Historical Society in 1975.
Fort Frederica National Monument
Step into the early colonial period as you make your way past the Fort Frederica National Monument and the nearby site of the Battle of Bloody Marsh. The arrival of General James Edward Oglethorpe and the establishment of Fort Frederica brought friendship with the natives who along with the brave Scot settlers and British “regulars” defeated the Spanish during the Battle of Bloody Marsh.
Historic Christ Church
Set among tall, mossy grass under towering trees, Christ Church, Frederica is one of the oldest churches in Georgia. Founded nearly 70 years after St. Simons Island was first settled by English colonists, worship has been continuous since 1736. Step off the tour bus to hear the story of the “Beloved Invader” and about the churches remarkable reconstruction during the Timber Era.
Gascoigne Bluff was the first possible landing area for a ship entering the island’s harbor. An Indian settlement long before General Oglethorpe landed on the site, Gascoigne Bluff has been the headquarters for a military invasion, a Sea Island cotton plantation, the site of a lumber mill and a shipping point for timber. Live oak timbers milled in historic Gascoigne Bluff were used in building the U.S.S. Constitution in 1794 and the Brooklyn Bridge in 1874.
Former Site of the Hamilton Plantation
The remains of the Hamilton Plantation, two surviving slave cabins built in 1833, can be found in Gascoigne Bluff. Composed of tabby, water and crushed oyster shells, the surviving slave cabins are among the better examples of surviving slave cabins in the South.
Retreat Plantation’s Avenue of Oaks
Located on the southern tip of St. Simons Island, Retreat Plantation was one of the most prosperous plantations from 1760 until the outbreak of the Civil War, known for its outstanding quality of cotton. Anna Page King who inherited the land in 1826 planted the famous Avenue of the Oaks along the entrance to Retreat Plantation. Now the grand entrance to the Sea Island Golf Club, guests can admire the trees as they follow the drive around the magnificent double row of 160 year old live oak trees.