By Jennifer McKee
Known for its marshes, beaches and jaw-dropping natural beauty, Georgia’s Golden Isles are a series of four barrier islands each with its own distinct personality. St. Simons Island, Sea Island and Jekyll Island are all relaxing vacation spots, but for the ultimate in serenity, visit Little St. Simons Island (LSSI)—the privately-owned enclave is accessible only by boat from St. Simon’s Island’s north end.
It’s here you find the perfect socially-distanced vacation: a visit to The Lodge at LSSI. With only six cottages that together can host up to 32 people at a time, contact with humans is minimal—you may only see them at dinnertime, when the island serves up farm- and sea-to-table family-style meals.
Until then, it’s up to you to explore the seven miles of white-sand beaches and 11,000 acres of undeveloped wilderness. Is your passion birding? Three viewing towers and one birding blind afford great views of egrets, great blue herons and roseate spoonbills, among others. Many species are also seen on the lodge’s kayaking excursions. On the lookout for creatures lower to the ground? Discover them on the Reptile Amphibian safari. There are many naturalist-led tours to choose from.
Are you a night owl? If so, an evening program is right for you. Join the Owl Prowl for a chance to view the island’s resident owl species. And who can resist baby turtles? The Sea Turtle Walk (May-August) is your chance to encounter nesting and/or hatching sea turtles.
When it’s time to get the blood pumping, there are plenty of hikes to be had—the island has more than 20 miles of trails for hiking and biking. Visit sand dunes and a live oak habitat on the Backbone Trail, a large marsh hammock on the Wishbone Train, and a diversity of plant and forest communities, in addition to historic island remnants on the Old House Road Trail.
When you return to your cottage in the evening, you’ll find yourself enveloped underneath a canopy of live oaks or along the edge of a nearby river or marsh. Those looking for more interactivity will prefer the Hunting Lodge, the centerpiece social hub. No matter which you choose, a restful break will be yours.
For more information, visit https://www.littlestsimonsisland.com/
Photos courtesy Cassidy Moody and The Lodge at LSSI