St. Simons Island trolley tours are just what you need.
In our fast-paced world, people rush to their office, the supermarket, their kids’ schools, etc., then back home — their days fill up quickly.
Often times, we start longing for a chance to step back into a quieter, more leisurely paced environment.
A lot of vacationers have already discovered that on St. Simons Island, which was named one of America’s “Happiest Seaside Towns” in no small part because it’s a place where time seems to stand still, and where it truly feels like the clock stopped ticking a long time ago.
More than a few visitors have said it felt like they were traveling back in time as they explore the island’s well-preserved history, stunning cultural attractions, heritage sites, monuments and parks.
Scattered across this 18-mile island, nestled among the coastal marshes and beautiful beaches, there’s a lot of fascinating history here – and an ideal way to explore it is by the trolley at Saint Simons Colonial Island Tours.
Just sit back, relax, and let your tour guide show and tell you everything about the island’s past.
Along the way, you can also check out the island’s elegant beach cottages and villas and huge live oaks draping the roadways.
What Kind of History Does St. Simons Island Offer?
Part of the Golden Isles on the South Georgia coast, St. Simons Island appeals to visitors who want a break from the big city and an opportunity to explore nature and the beaches.
The island got its name because it was called “San Simone” by 16th century Spanish explorers, indicating how far back its history goes.
But what’s truly impressive is how beautifully preserved so much of that history is, from churches to public buildings to battle sites, dating back to Colonial Days. That’s a key reason why the island allows visitors to feel like they just stepped out of a time machine.
Take, for example, the St. Simons Lighthouse, which stands proudly along the coast as both a monument and a museum. Originally built in 1811, it suffered a sad fate during the Civil War when it got demolished by Confederate Troops.
The Lighthouse was rebuilt in the 1870s, and today the St. Simons Lighthouse is the oldest brick structure in the area, still maintained as an operational light by the U.S. Coast Guard.
If you’re looking for a truly spectacular view, consider climbing all 129 steps to the top, then enjoy what you see.
It isn’t the only attraction you’re going to want to check out if you’re a history buff. Visit the Bloody Marsh Battle Site, still preserved from the fierce battle fought there on July 7, 1742 when Spanish troops landed on the south end of St. Simons Island, only to be pushed back by the British. The British victory ended the possibility of a Spanish conquest of Georgia.
The First African Baptist Church is a remarkable site as well, a two-story frame structure built in 1869 by former slaves of the St. Simons plantations. The congregation had been organized ten years earlier, and the building did not get electricity until the 1950’s.
Fort Frederica National Monument is another key site, established in 1736 to protect the southern boundary of the new colony of Georgia. This national monument has the remnants of a fortress built by the British in the 1730s to block Spanish invaders from Florida. Today, Fort Frederica is a national park where the ruins of the fortifications, barracks and homes mix with a museum, film, and demonstrations of what the settlement was like back then.
There are also nature trails on site, and the knowledgeable staff can answer all your questions.
Close by is Gascoigne Bluff, overlooking the Frederica River, which was a Native American campground a century ago.
The landing at the bluff became Georgia’s first naval base during Colonial days, and live oak timbers milled here were used to build the USS Constitution and the Brooklyn Bridge.
There’s much more – an amazing amount of history for an island of this size. Anyone vacationing on St Simons Island should make a point of checking out the early history of America.
That history has a lot of continued appeal. The causeway connecting St. Simons Island to the mainland was built in 1924, and the island has been a popular vacation spot in South Georgia ever since.
It’s no coincidence that historic cottages constructed of wood and covered with tin roofs were mainly built between 1928 and 1932, as the island’s reputation grew.
And if you want to see and discover all these great sights, St. Simons Island gives you a great option for that.
What Kind Of Tours Are Available on St. Simons Island?
How to discover all that this beautiful island has to offer? Consider taking the St. Simons Colonial Island Trolley Tour, a great introduction to the island.
Once you’ve taken the tour, you can always opt later to get a closer look at the individual attractions by renting a bike in the Pier Village.
You can book tickets online and reserve your seats or get priority boarding. With an air-conditioned trolley that’s also wheelchair accessible, there are tours boarding at 10 a.m. and noon Mondays through Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday.
Think about it for a moment: in the early 1700s, the British were nervous about the Spanish troops stationed in the Florida colony. The Spanish wanted to expand North America, and in 1742 a fleet of Spanish ships sailed along the coast of St. Simons Island. They landed 2,000 men who started marching toward Fort Frederica.
The British confronted them with their own troops, which led to the Battle of Bloody Marsh, which forced the Spaniards back to their ships.
There’s a lot more details about this unique moment in history, and it’s available on that trolley tour, which takes visitors from pre-Revolutionary history through the years of the island’s plantation and the Civil War, to the emancipation of the slaves and how that impacted the future development of the island.
The truth is, this is one island that has plenty of rich history to explore.
Not all of the history dates back by more than a century. Scheduled to open in October is the World War II Home Front Museum, which will chart the island’s role in the second world war.
The Golden Isles played a role in contributing to the war effort, including protecting our coast from German submarines. The island was also used to train fighter pilots and build Liberty Ships. The museum will be divided into six themes, with exhibits housed in the two historic buildings on the site, along with outdoor displays.
St. Simon’s Island is a great place for a vacation, one that offers peace of mind in a tranquil setting, but plenty of modern conveniences close by. Visitors also love exploring the island’s history.
The population of St. Simon’s can grow substantially at the height of the tourist season, although there are about 13,000 people who live there permanently.
If the island sounds like a paradise, perhaps you and your family could be the next ones to discover how serene it is to live there.
If you’re considering becoming a permanent resident of St. Simons Island, contact Palmetto Building Group today.
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 life on St. Simons Island, we have a home to match your concept of the ideal setting.
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.