There’s tons of things to do in the winter on St. Simons Island
In January, a lot of families hunker down to get through the coldest month of the year, with their snow shovels and ice scrapers ready for whatever winter brings.
Or maybe they’re thinking about heading someplace warmer, where there are no arctic blasts, no ice storms, and it’s easier to find steady sunshine than snow.
For those who live in or often visit South Georgia, they know exactly where to go.
St. Simons Island, one of the islands in South Georgia’s Golden Isles, is known to attracting plenty of summer visitors because summer is the time when the beaches are spectacularly inviting and few can resist walking along the pier off the coast on the Atlantic Ocean – the cool breeze off the ocean feels so pleasant in July.
But St. Simons Island is not just a vacation spot for the summer months. There are plenty of good reasons to go in the winter as well – in fact, there are some advantages to it.
While St. Simons Island is a great place to visit all year round, no one should assume winter is the wrong time of year to come here. There are a lot of things to do in St. Simons Island during wintertime.
St. Simons Island: Things to do in the Winter and why it’s so Appealing
When a place like St. Simons Island becomes a popular summer destination, with its beaches, golf courses, and fishing and boating opportunities, some folks mistakenly assume there’s no reason to visit in the winter. The truth is, some people find the island even more appealing in the winter.
In the winter months, South Georgia maintains a beautiful tropical climate, with temperatures in the mid-60s in the daytime, and no need at all for thick winter jackets, scarves and hats. So coming here in January means the ultimate winter getaway.
The weather is gorgeous in January – and so is the island itself.
This is a truly picturesque vacation spot – where the beaches, views of the ocean, and nature trails are all ideal to take in. Because of the mild weather, St. Simons Island is a fantastic place for outdoor activities, to be outside exploring, riding a bicycle, going on a historic tour. There’s no reason to stay indoors here when more than a few of the locals and visitors alike will be strolling around in t-shirts. This is the perfect time to be exploring island life.
In fact, a St. Simons Island getaway in January and February was named one of America’s 10 Best Winter Beach Retreats by Yahoo! Travel!
And another good reason to visit in winter is that the island can seem quieter and more serene in the winter months. This is a terrific off-season time to stroll along the quiet beaches or take your pets for long walks on the sand. This is a tranquil place that’s still gorgeous in every way.
At the same time, you’ll have an easier time visiting the antique shops in the Pier Village area or visiting the family-owned restaurants there that are known for their delicious Southern meals and fresh seafood that comes right out of the ocean. There are no crowds to fight in January.
Those restaurants offer a lot of cozy comfort in January and February, a place to enjoy a drink or bite to eat while also appreciating the views of the ocean. The island meals – like crab bisque or shrimp and grits, for example – can’t be beaten.
But you also might be tempted to think a lot more is happening on St. Simons Island in the summer months. That, too, would be incorrect. There’s plenty of activities to keep you busy at the start of the year as well.
Winter is also a good time to discover rare wildlife on the island, watching north Atlantic right whales, bald eagles and ducks journey through the Golden Isles as they look for warmer weather. And definitely try shrimping on the Lady Jane, an authentic shrimp boat.
What Special Events Go On in the Winter Months?
There are more than a few fun things happening on St. Simons Island in January and February, held at just the right time of year for outdoor activities. St. Simons always has a variety of activities going on year-round, many of them outdoor excursions that help remind you of how beautiful the Golden Isles are.
A fine example is Second Sundays, a popular family-friendly music event that takes place at Gascoigne Bluff once a month on Sundays from 1-7 p.m.
It’s done for a good cause: proceeds to this event benefit local charitable organizations. And it’s a very popular event: hundreds of music fans are known to converge on the park with lawn chairs, blankets and coolers, to enjoy listening to live music.
Because St. Simons Island is so appealing in the winter months, another popular event held here is the Eco-Lecture Series at the island’s Village Creek Landing.
Village Creek Landing hosts this series starting at 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month where a new guest speaker discusses eco and environmental topics regarding the preservation of Coastal Georgia. It’s just the right place to sip a cocktail and enjoy the stunning marsh views.
Arts and cultural attractions are also popular this time of year. Several local organizations offer ongoing art classes and workshops, including Glynn Visual Arts, the SoGlo Gallery & Brunswick Actors’ Theatre, and the McIntosh Art Association.
And there are ongoing Wine Tasting events at Waterfront Wine & Gourmet of Darien, tours of Historic Downtown, Children’s Pottery Classes, and Guided Nature Walks with local wildlife and eco experts from the Tidelands Nature Center.
Across the bridge, there’s a Farmer’s Market at Mary Ross Waterfront Park in Brunswick every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8 a.m. until dark. The Brunswick Library also hosts storytime stories and craft projects for younger children.
And another fun event to help get your entire family into appreciating the outdoors: there are Monthly Bike Events hosted by St. Simons Land Trust Ambassadors on the Fourth Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. Routes begin and finish, appropriately enough, at a happy hour destination and go for a leisurely two-mile ride. These rides are free, and no reservations are required.
Are There Upcoming One-Day Events?
Some special one-day events in January include the St. Simons Land Trust’s 19th Annual Oyster Roast on Saturday, Jan. 19 from 5-8 p.m. at Gasgoigne Bluff Park, when oysters, a Low Country Boil and dishes from more than 50 local restaurants will be served, while music is provided by Jamie Renee and The Walkers. This is an amazing community event.
Then on Jan. 27, it’s The Art of Food, when Glynn Visual Arts, Golden Isles Olive Oil Company and Georgia Sea Grill present a progressive dinner for everyone to enjoy. There will be art on display, music and specially prepared food and beverage, including cocktails and appetizers by Golden Isles Olive Oil.
During this event, held at the Glynn Visual Arts Center at 106 Island Drive, guests will explore “The Art of the Cocktail” and learn tips from a mixologist on preparing the “Artful Cocktail.”
Each course will be paired with the perfect complementary wine, and the evening concludes with an auction featuring art.
Then on Feb. 16-18, there’s the St. Simons Island Storytelling Festival at Epworth by The Sea.
St. Simons Island has tons of things to do in the winter!
On St. Simons Island in winter, you don’t need to pack your winter coat, and since the island’s peak season is during the summer months, there are plenty of lodging deals to be had in January.
With a year-round population of 13,000, businesses are open and welcoming customers, while the mild temperatures do the same. A wintertime beach vacation can be just as much fun – and in some ways, even more so – than coming here in the summer.
Why not add it to your list of places to visit in January or February?
And with so much to enjoy here, it’s no wonder a growing number of people want to call St. Simons Island their permanent home.
If you’re looking at becoming a permanent resident of St. Simons Island, Palmetto Building Group has new, move-in ready single-family homes, cottages, condominiums and townhouses available, often 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 life on St. Simon’s Island, we have a home to match your concept of the ideal setting.
Contact us today at 912-266-8401 or email us at Palmettoleads@gmail.com 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.