The perfect summer camp for adults would include plenty of outdoor adventures, new friends and — because we are grown-ups, after all — comfortable beds, a glass of wine at the end of the day and some down-time to do absolutely nothing. And how does seven miles of your own private beach sound? Little St. Simons Island isn’t just for grown-ups or summertime — it’s a year-round destination to escape city or suburban drama and simply chill.
Billed as an ideal escape for families, couples, reunions or retreats, Little St. Simons Island is comprised of 11,000 acres, 7 miles of coastline and accommodates only 32 guests at a time. Rent one room or the entire island — it’s up to you. This all-inclusive resort accessible only by boat takes care of everything, so all you need to do is pack a bag and go. Here’s how a long weekend might shake out.
Catch the 10:30 a.m. ferry to LSSI from Hampton Marina on the main St. Simons Island (itself a fun place to explore). The friendly staff at LSSI will take your bags on board the boat, with your suitcase then magically appearing in the hotel room a little later. The 10-minute boat ride will introduce you to the marshy grass, coastal birds and serene setting of Georgia’s Golden Isles. Once on land, the staff will give you a brief overview about life on the island, and you’re free to explore before lunch.
Meals are at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., served family-style in the lodge. Part of the fun here includes getting to know the other visitors, finding out about their lives and what brings them to the coast. It’s OK to order a picnic lunch to-go, also, and throughout the day, the dining room includes snacks and cold drinks or coffee to make life comfortable. The daily menu is posted every day; lunch might include fried chicken, black-eyed pea salad, roasted vegetables and an assortment of cookies. (SB TIP: Special dietary needs can be met.)
Activities are laid-back on the island; you can do as little or as much as you’d like. Bicycles are available to grab-and-go, and an afternoon exploring on bike is time well-spent. A pleasant two-mile ride past live oak trees dripping in Spanish moss will soon have you at the LSSI beach hut, a convenient stop to park your bike, grab some water and even take a chair and umbrella if needed. The beach itself is such a treat … rugged coastline as far as the eye can see, with nobody but a brown pelican (or dozens of them) to keep you company. On the drive back, stop in at Norm’s Pond, where a bird blind along the pond is suspended over the marshes so you can observe egrets and other birds at a rookery. Watch out for alligators!
Happy hour is from 6 p.m. to 7 pm., a chance to grab a drink and chat with guests or explore the nature memorabilia in a side room. After dinner, a naturalist may have a small presentation to sit in on (optional). The island has no TV (but there is pretty good Wi-Fi), so the idea is to unplug and unwind.
After a hearty breakfast, head off with a naturalist on one of the twice-daily excursions: perhaps fishing, maybe a look at bird-life along the ponds, or, depending on the season, there may be turtle activity. Later on, hop on a kayak (all bikes and boats are included in the price) and explore the marshes. All sorts of birds and other critters are found around the outskirts of the island, so you’ll have fun checking off your finds.
Since most people stay a couple nights, you’ll most likely have the same crew at dinner from the night before. Some guests may get to sample fish they caught, but know that the food will be plentiful and delicious.
After another big breakfast, it’s (unfortunately) time to board the boat at 10 a.m. back to the main land. But even with only a 48-hour sojourn on the island, the memories will last forever.
Wanna go? Here’s what you need to know!
Prices start at $425 per night, which includes accommodations and meals for two, along with all activities and transportation. Lodging books up months in advance, so plan accordingly. The LSSI is located about halfway between Savannah and Jacksonville, Florida, which offer the closest two big airports. Learn more at littlestsimonsisland.com.
Photography by Lisa Mowry
Love to travel? We have plenty more destinations where this one came from! Check out our entire travel section to find your next escape!