St. Simons Island Thanksgiving Guide

It’s the most wonderful time of year – especially around here! St. Simons Island offers an array of activities in an ideal setting for a Thanksgiving getaway, where delicious cuisine is worthy of taking center stage! You’ll be thankful for our expansive beaches and outdoor recreation opportunities to keep fit and work off those holiday calories, while the history and culture of the islands perfectly complete the ultimate family holiday. Our island paradise is precisely the kind of destination that will inspire you to count your blessings and give thanks for Mother Nature’s artistry. We’re happy to share a few tips on celebrating Thanksgiving, island-style!

Your Thanksgiving Island Feast

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Are you leaning toward a home-cooked feast, or would you prefer to dine-out and leave the work to the pros? The choice is yours, and the Golden Isles communities have plenty to choose from!

If a Thanksgiving meal out is your option of choice, there are a few reliable standards to consider. Due to ongoing changes in business practices and governmental orders related to COVID-19, some locations may be changing the way they approach holiday services and offerings. Guests are advised to contact their selected restaurant(s) directly to confirm their Thanksgiving plans. Reservations are strongly suggested for any dine-in experience. Some top eateries that typically offer special Thanksgiving dinner menus include Barbara Jeans in St. Simons, ECHO at The King & Prince Beach & Golf Resort (the island’s only oceanfront restaurant), and Jekyll Island Club. You can also find a host of dining options in Sea Island, Georgia, from a traditional spread at The Lodge, to the Thanksgiving buffet at The Cloister, or the luxury of The Georgian Room.

Of course, you may prefer to keep things more traditional at home, and since your vacation rental is equipped with a kitchen and dining room, this is certainly something you can do with ease! Visit a local grocery store or fresh market to grab the ingredients you need to serve up turkey and all the trimmings in the comfort of your island home. Take it a step further and embrace the inspiration of your coastal “home” by adding a distinct local flavor to your Thanksgiving feast in the form of a favorite Golden Isles dish! We suggest a classic Brunswick Stew or the iconic shrimp and grits!

Thanksgiving Week In The Golden Isles

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Check a few items off your holiday shopping list! You may not find the Golden Isles to be the best place for the stereotypical Black Friday chaos, but does anyone really look forward to that? If this isn’t your idea of a good time, do things a little differently! Shop small and support the brilliant and talented members of our community offering up original art and gifts of all kinds in St. Simons Island shops and galleries. Everyone on your list would surely appreciate a unique piece of our coastal paradise for their very own!

The Golden Isles communities celebrate a rich and storied history, and you can explore and pay homage to the whispers of the past at locations like the British-established Fort Frederica which defended against Spanish invaders from Florida, the site of the British defeat of Spanish forces in 1742 – Bloody Marsh, the St. Simons Lighthouse offering a panoramic view of the island and safe passage to ships in the St. Simons Sound, and Christ Church – an SSI icon and the site of the birth of the Methodist religion in America.

The week of Thanksgiving brings epic fall festivities to our barrier islands, including the RSM Classic and the kickoff of Holly Jolly Jekyll. The RSM Classic is an annual PGA golf tournament sponsored by Davis Love III at The Sea Island Golf Club. This year’s event will take place without on-site spectators, televised on the Golf Channel, but in a typical year this event lures leading professional golfers to the Golden Isles in support of various charities. In Jekyll Island, don’t miss the Tree Lighting Festival held on the Friday after Thanksgiving at sunset. This officially marks the start of Holly Jolly Jekyll, a free, family-friendly event which takes place nightly through January 3, featuring fireworks, parades, movies, rides, games, and of course – Santa Claus himself!

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No matter how you choose to spend your Thanksgiving holiday in the Golden Isles of Georgia, there is no wrong way to celebrate the season when you do it on island time!