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Prized for its unbothered natural beauty, gracious hospitality and secluded worlds-away appeal, Little St. Simons Island is a private barrier island just off the Georgia coast. The natural world presides here across 10,000 intrusion-free acres of maritime forests and marshlands, enjoyed by no more than 32 overnight guests at a time. Seven miles of shell-strewn beaches and energizing outdoor activities beckon guests to explore and discover. Accessible only by boat, this extraordinary natural sanctuary–among the last of its kind anywhere– welcomes your discovery.
On Little St. Simons Island, a profound commitment to conservation and preservation is a way of life, touching every facet of the Island and guiding its daily operation.
These 10,000 acres are yours to explore
With an Island map in hand, or with one of naturalists leading the way, exploration and adventures fill your days on Little St. Simons Island. Stroll or pedal along the surf line where sea shells are many and footprints few. Hike or bike amid miles of hushed, forested trails and sandy roads. Gaze across large ponds where birds feed and gators lurk. Discover intimate perspectives on waterfowl and marine life from a canoe, kayak or motorized skiff along a tidal creek. As one would expect on an island that is the private domain of no more than 32 overnight fellow explorers, there is an abundance of serenity and restorative solitude on Little St. Simons Island.
Our Green Island
Recently, these efforts were recognized when Green Globe 21, a global benchmarking, certification and improvement program for sustainable tourism and travel, awarded its Benchmarked Certificate to Little St. Simons Island. As one of only two organizations in the United States to have achieved this certification, the Island met or exceeded Green Globe’s Earthcheck™ Accommodation Performance Benchmarks that address nine critical environmental issues. This recognition reflects significant progress toward the goals and objectives that Little St. Simons Island has set for itself: To provide the highest level of guest enjoyment and appreciation for the environment while protecting and preserving its resources.
Vastly different from most other barrier islands along the Atlantic seaboard, Little St. Simons Island remains virtually undeveloped. While guests enjoy accommodations and services of the highest caliber, the devotion of the Island’s owners and staff to maintaining the natural ecological state of the Island remains foremost. Daily guest activities are led by naturalists and are designed to encourage an appreciation for and understanding of the island and its ecosystems.
Little St. Simons Island is now keenly focused on the years to come, aggressively engaging in a host of eco-sensitive initiatives aimed at preserving the Island’s primeval setting in perpetuity.
It begins the moment guests set foot on Little St. Simons Island where ornamental plants on the grounds of the Lodge compound have been removed and replaced by strictly indigenous varieties. And it continues with the three daily meals with some of the vegetables and herbs prepared by the kitchen grown and gathered in the Island’s organic garden.
Other examples of the Island’s commitment to sustainable-use ecotourism that limits impact on the Island’s environment include: comprehensive recycling, composting for garden uses, no use of plastic water bottles (guests are each given their own personal Camelbak® bottles), the recent removal of the Island’s riding horses and installation of geothermal HVAC systems in three of the Island’s guest houses.
A Birding and Wildlife Sanctuary
In this astonishing kingdom, encounters with the Island’s natural inhabitants are no less than delightfully constant, including sightings of European fallow deer, alligators, armadillos, dolphin and the occasional loggerhead sea turtle.
And here, on the Atlantic migratory flyway, is a birder’s paradise with more than 280 species of birds recorded on the Island from Bald Eagles and Roseate Spoonbills to Sandpipers and Painted Buntings.
While your own wanderings of Little St. Simons Island are always encouraged, guests invariably remark that it is our guided excursions that were among the most absorbing and memorable facets of their visit. These daily, small-group adventures, led by our team of enthusiastic and gifted naturalists, are relaxed, discovery-rich opportunities to delve into the Island’s fascinating ecology, wildlife and natural history. Posted daily in the main Lodge and described by a naturalist at meals, these scheduled outings change with the season and include early morning birding trips, Island exploration, beachcombing, river kayaking and creek fishing. Evening adventures may include a late night owl prowl, or a beach walk to witness, at a distance, the unforgettable sight of a loggerhead turtle laying her eggs in the darkened dunes. In open-air trucks, with binoculars in hand and our naturalists making frequent stops to view and explain, these adventures are the naturally exciting essence of the Little St. Simons Island experience.
Regional cuisine by our skilled chefs is a highlight of visits to Little St. Simons Island, with three meals daily and all beverages included in all guest rates. Breakfast and dinner are served family-style in the Hunting Lodge dining room. Lunch is served there, too, except on most Saturdays (weather permitting) when it is presented seaside. Picnic lunches are available. Each evening before dinner, a delightful cocktail reception is held, including seasonal Friday evening oyster roasts on the Lodge grounds. All are favored times to recount the day’s adventures with family and new friends.
The Island's Beaches
Our seven miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches are the perfect setting for strolling, sunning and swimming. And for perfect solitude too, as it’s not unusual to spend long hours here and encounter only armies of shorebirds and acres of seashells. Whether you walk, pedal or ride to the beach, travel light. Our beach pavilion has towels, chairs, lotions, umbrellas and floats. Guided excursions to the beach to explore the shoreline's bird life, aquatics and ecosystems are a mainstay of the Island's naturalist programs. And seasonal evening turtle walks with a naturalist are among our most popular adventures!
The gracious charm of our guest accommodations is very much a part of the Little St. Simons Island experience. Six cottages, with rooms for 32 overnight guests, are tucked beneath the oaks in corners of the Island’s main lodge compound. While each guest cottage or guest house is delightfully different in setting, decor and their place in the Island’s history, all rooms are fully air-conditioned and enjoy access to a fireplace. We welcome reservations for a single guest room (for two persons), an entire cottage (ideal for families and small groups up to eight persons), and full-Island visits for up to 32 guests to enjoy the ultimate private island experience.
River Lodge and Cedar House
The River Lodge and Cedar House rise at the river’s edge, just a short stroll from the main Lodge compound. Both offer four spacious bedrooms, with private bath. All rooms feature sliding doors that open onto large, wrap-around decks with beautiful marsh and river vistas. At the center of River Lodge and Cedar House are shared great rooms with soaring tabby fireplace, wet bar, ice maker, fridge and a large screen porch with comfy hammock. Each guest room accommodates two guests. Both the River Lodge or Cedar House can be reserved for small groups or family gatherings of up to eight guests.
Located in the Island’s riverfront compound and built in 1928, this historic tabby house reflects the coast’s architectural history. This three bedroom, two bath guest cottage is perfect for couples with children or small family groups, offering a large living room with fireplace, screen porch and courtyard.
At the edge of the forest near the main Lodge compound, this secluded, classic 1930s bungalow is a favorite with honeymooners and families.
Features of Michael Cottage include:
Two bedrooms (one with queen bed; one with twin beds or one king)
Two bathrooms (including new second bathroom)
Living room with fireplace
Front and rear screen porches • Outdoor shower
Though it is the most recent addition to the Island’s collection of accommodations, this quaint cottage has stood in the main lodge compound for decades. Now graciously restored and wonderfully private, the Tom House offers a living room with gas fireplace, one bedroom, one full bath, outdoor shower and large, screened rear porch.
Built in 1917, the historic Hunting Lodge is the very heart of Island life and is the location for guest meals and social gatherings. Within the Lodge are two guest rooms with private baths, accommodating two guests each. Lodge rooms are ideal for families with children, the solo traveler and seniors.
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