St. Simons Island has an extensive amount of wildlife on its beautiful coast.

It’s not every place that can boast about being laid-back, with a leisurely pace of life that feels nothing like a big city – but also quite lively. That’s a combination that keeps drawing people back to St. Simons Island, though.

If you’re hoping to get a break from urban pressures, this island will seem like a welcome oasis. There’s a slower pace of life here, where no one seems to be in much of a hurry.

But at the same time, there’s never a shortage of things to do on St. Simons Island. There are restaurants and bars open year round, multiple golf courses to choose from, and museums and art galleries worth exploring.

And if you’re staying on St. Simons Island, one of the first things you’re going to notice about the island is how spectacularly beautiful it is.

From the window of your room, chances are you can see the Atlantic Ocean, maybe even the beach strollers out for a morning walk.

St. Simons Island has been attracting people for decades who love the diverse dining options, the shopping in the Pier Village, and the island’s stunningly well preserved historic monuments.

But there’s something else that keeps bringing people back, and that’s nature. If you love being outdoors, it’s hard to imagine a better place to be.

Exploring Nature and Wildlife on St. Simons Island

st simons island wildlife

St. Simons Island is richly blessed with plenty of natural beauty, particularly on the northern end.  So much of it is so well-preserved that you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time, or simply left civilization far behind.

St. Simons Island is the largest barrier island in the Golden Isles and lies across from the Marshes of Glynn. This very pristine stretch of marshland is known for turning a beautiful golden color in the fall.

And visitors love to watch the marshland light up by the setting sun.

There are nearly 400,000 acres of marshland along Georgia’s 100-mile coast – about one third all remaining marshland along the entire East Coast. This area is home to nature trails that continue to attract people who love hiking or biking amidst such spectacular beauty.

And something else brings them here: the fact that they’re not alone.

The vast marshlands of Georgia’s barrier islands are home to an amazing diversity of marine life, particularly the shallow tidal water where the youngest of many marine species rest before heading out to open sea.

It’s a nursery ground, really, for all kinds of fish and shellfish, not to mention oysters, blue crabs, and many other species.

Being able to get a close-up look at the marine life of the salt marsh is a popular pastime here. It’s one reason why the Lady Jane’s Shrimp & Dolphin Cruise Boat draws so many passengers.

A U.S. Coast Guard certified-passenger vessel, it was once used as a commercial shrimping trawler, until it eventually was retired from service, then refurbished to serve a new role: providing visitors with eco-tourism, as well as promoting education and conservation.

Lady Jane offers tours of the abundant sea life off the marshland, as it guides you through the picturesque Marshes of Glynn. It’s a great way to learn about the unique ecosystem of the marshland and the life cycle in the estuary.

The diversity of the species is remarkable to behold, as on any given day you may see kingfish, stingray, bluefish, silver perch, horseshoe crab, dolphins, seagulls, and pelicans.

Even better: you can experience the life of a fisherman up close, and even touch the fish, crabs and other sea life they find. The wildlife of St. Simons Island is endlessly fascinating to learn more about.

Ideal Ways to Explore Wildlife on St. Simons Island

The beauty of the marshes makes it the perfect backdrop for something else that draws people here: outdoor recreational activities.

St. Simons Island has gorgeous weather year-round; in the summer, the breezes off the ocean help cool you down once the heat starts to rise, while in the winter, temperatures stay in the 60s during the day and nobody needs a snow shovel.

The island’s vast acres of marshland are ideal to explore in a variety of ways, including by:

  • Sea kayaking
  • Biking the many trails that lead everywhere on the island
  • Hiking on nature trails
  • Birding
  • and windsurfing

For such a tranquil island, you’ve got the everything you need to explore the outdoors.

And if you don’t want to be out exploring alone, you have some options for that as well.

Exploring St. Simons Island’s Rich Wildlife

st simons island wildlife

A good choice is the History Tours at Cannon’s Point Preserve, an opportunity to see the last intact maritime forest on St. Simons Island, with plantation ruins dating back to the 19th century.

The tours are open on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. The Coastal Georgia Historical Society offers personalized tours that provide an overview of the history of Cannon’s Point, with a focus on the 19th century.

St. Simons Island is also great for exploring by bicycle with bike rentals available at numerous locations on the island.

If you prefer being out on the water, check out Southeast Adventure Outfitters, where experienced local guides can help you discover the island’s marshes, creeks and rivers by kayaking.

It’s a great opportunity to watch the wildlife in the area, and there are 3-hour trips around St. Simons available, as well as full day trips on the Altamaha and Satilla Rivers.

Another option is to go on a dolphin tour courtesy of Lighthouse Trolleys Land and Sea Tours, offering 1-1½ hour tours through the waters of coastal Georgia to find where the dolphins there.

You also have the option of walking along the beaches on St. Simons, which also are a major selling point here, and which help give you yet another appreciation for nature’s beauty.

St. Simons Island has miles of coastline that let you get away from it all, taking in the view of the seashore, sand bars and tidal pools. This is where you’ll find people strolling along, relaxing, or doing activities like kite surfing and sand sculpting.

St. Simons Island features two public beaches: the Massingale Park Beach, which has a picnic area, bathhouse, and on-duty lifeguard in the summer, and the Coast Guard Station Beach.

Of course, beach-going is a way of life here, and these beaches are loved for the activities you can enjoy, such as:

  • Surfing
  • Shelling
  • Jogging
  • Fishing
  • Volleyball
  • Swimming
  • And, of course, sunbathing.

Exploring St. Simons Island’s Wildlife

St. Simons Island is truly a spectacular place for a vacation. So why not plan your trip now, so you won’t miss out on the collecting seashells on the beach, taking nature walks, and biking around St. Simons Island.

Then at night, head over to the Pier Village to enjoy the restaurants and bars available there.

This unbeatable combination keeps attracting people, not only to visit but also to settle down on St. Simons Island.

If you’re also considering becoming a permanent resident of St. Simons Island, contact Palmetto Building Group today.

We have new, move-in ready single-family homes, cottages, condominiums and townhouses available. In many instances, we offer homes with fabulous views of the marshes close by.

We also have homes close to the Pier Village, or right near the beach.

Whatever it is that draws you to living on St. Simons Island, we have a home to match your concept of the ideal setting.

Contact us today at 912-266-8401 or email us at to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you, but most of all, we’re thrilled to know you’re looking for a new home on one of the most spectacularly beautiful and historic parts of South Georgia.