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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.

Guests arrive and leave the island by boat.

Little St. Simons Island

Imagine being surrounded by 11,000 acres of undeveloped wilderness with only 30 other guests on the island with you … this secluded tree swing epitomizes the get-away-from-it-all joy of a trip to Little St. Simons Island.

Little St. Simons Island

Cabins tucked away on the property have shared porches and decks for observing nature.

Little St. Simons Island

This original lodge on the island is now the HQ for meals and evening programs.

Little St. Simons Island

The Atlantic Ocean is all yours here … no tourists or empty beer cans to avoid.

Little St. Simons Island

To make a trip to the beach more comfortable, an ocean-side hut houses water, chairs, umbrellas, and conveniently placed bins of bug spray and sunscreen.

Little St. Simons Island

The beach is a shell-lovers dream, with a new crop of shells washed up every day.

Friday

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.

Little St. Simons Island

Cuisine is often locally sourced (some from vegetable gardens on the property), and always plentiful.

Little St. Simons Island

Meals are served family-style at one of three tables.

Little St. Simons Island

Strategically located bird blinds offer an elevated place to view wildlife.

Little St. Simons Island

An egret rookery is a popular place to stop at Norm’s Pond.

Little St. Simons Island

Boardwalks on the island allow access to marshy areas.

Little St. Simons Island

Yes, there are alligators found next to ponds, but they’re otherwise unconcerned with people.

Little St. Simons Island

Signs make sure everyone is pointed in the right direction (although there are basically just two roads.)

Little St. Simons Island

A successful mother-son fishing trip will later include a chef-prepared fish dish that night from their catch!

Little St. Simons Island

Not your average lunch: crab cakes, roasted vegetables, and a gourmet greens salad fill up guests on one day we were there.

Saturday

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.

Sunday

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.

Little St. Simons Island

All sorts of biological treasures fill a library in the lodge.

Little St. Simons Island

Bedrooms are lodge-like and simple, with up-to-date bathrooms and coffee stations nearby.

Little St. Simons Island

Coolers of beer, soft drinks, and water are kept stock for easy access during the day.

Little St. Simons Island

The eerily beautiful sight of moss hanging from live oak trees enhances a quick ride to the beach.

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

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