Into every life a little rain must fall – even on vacation. There’s nothing worse than waking up on the Georgia Coast with plans to go kayaking or to spend the day soaking up the sun on the East Beach only to find out Mother Nature had different plans. Even though it only rains about a third of the year on St. Simons Island, it doesn’t hurt to have a rainy day backup plan to ensure you have plenty of fun things to do in case things go awry. For those that like to stay in and just relax on a rainy day, vacation rentals offer a more inviting environment than standard hotel rooms. Even so, nobody likes to be cooped up while traveling. From gift shops to historic sites, this rainy day travel guide for St. Simons Island has a variety of indoor options to keep your getaway on track, even when the weather tries to intervene.
Let’s Go Shopping
Everybody loves to do a little shopping while on vacation. After all, if you didn’t buy the t-shirt or magnet, can you even say you visited? It doesn’t matter if you prefer touristy gift shops or if you would rather hunt for a special one-of-a-kind treasure from talented local crafters and artists, a St. Simons Island shopping experience is the perfect rainy day activity.
296 Redfern Village, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522
There’s plenty to keep you busy at Redfern Village. You can have a great meal at Bubba Garcia’s, Sammies, or Gnat’s Landing; find unique skin care products at One Love Organics or AloNaturals; give your wardrobe an infusion at Tina Stephens, or splurge on some jewelry at GoGo. Find whatever you are looking for at Redfern Village.
Pier Village at St Simons Pier
100 Mallery Street, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522
Pier Village consists of 15 different shops within “the huts” in the village of St. Simons Island. Considered the hot spot on the island, Pier Village Market offers a variety of eclectic shops that include The Golden Isles Bracelet Company, Island Dog Pet Supplies, Firenza Beads, Designer Pillows and Yard Art, All Things Princess & Fairy, High Tide Carts, and much more.
Shops at Sea Island
600 Sea Island Road, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522
Shops at Sea Island is located on the border of St. Simons Island and Sea Island. The area attracts some of the wealthiest families from around the United States and across the globe. The complex is anchored by Georgia’s only Harris Teeter. If you’re looking for an upscale shopping experience, look no further.
See What’s Playing On The Silver Screen
44 Cinema Lane, Saint Simons Island, GA, 31522
What better rainy day activity could there possibly be than taking in an afternoon at the cinema? Island Cinemas offers new releases as well some classics. So grab a big bucket of popcorn, find the perfect seat, and please silence your cell phone because the movie is about to begin!
Historic Sites – Museums – And More
While spending your vacation in coastal Georgia, it’s sometimes easy to forget that there is more to do than spend your days sunning away at the beach. A rainy day can be the slap in the face you need to remember to take in a little of the local culture and history.
St. Simons Island Lighthouse and Museum
610 Beachview Dr, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522
Lighthouses are hard to miss, but of course they are designed that way. Built between 1868-1872 the St. Simons Lighthouse and Keeper’s Dwelling were built to replace a previous lighthouse destroyed during the Civil War. The St. Simons Lighthouse Museum is located inside the original Keeper’s Dwelling. Exhibits teach you about the fascinating history of Coastal Georgia. Rare artifacts and historical photographs can be found throughout the museum. Also expect to find interactive exhibits designed to entertain the whole family. Period rooms are located on the second floor of the museum. You will find yourself back in 1907 before electricity and indoor plumbing were the norm. This is still an active lighthouse aiding in navigation along the coast.
Arthur J. Moore Methodist Museum
100 Arthur J Moore Drive, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522
This attraction is closed due to COVID-19 and is only available by appointment
Explore the history of the Methodist movement and its founder John Wesley. The museum offers exhibits covering the development and leaders of Methodism in America as well as exhibits on the history of Epworth By The Sea and St. Simons Island. This is just a taste of everything available. Admission is free of charge and includes the following:
- A full-length documentary “St. Simons 360: Historical Video Tour
- “John Wesley on St. Simons” lecture given by Rev. Dave Hanson every Thursday at 2:00 pm.
- An extensive library which includes Methodist history, Christianity, Georgia coastal history, and conference journals.
- A lending library
- Christian Bookstore/Gift Shop
World War II Home Front Museum
4201 1st Street, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522
The Museum is housed at the Historic St. Simons Coast Guard Station. On April 8, 1942, the crew from this station rescued survivors of two American ships that were torpedoed by a German U-boat just off the coast of St. Simons Island. The immersive exhibits allow visitors a get a real feel for what it was like to protect coastal Georgia during World War II.
Mosaic Jekyll Island Museum
100 Stable Road, Jekyll Island, GA 31527
The completely renovated Jekyll Island Museum takes you on a trip through the rich cultural and natural history of one of Georgia’s most intriguing barrier islands. Really get to know this magical island by exploring the in-depth and interactive exhibits.
5556 US-17, Brunswick, GA 31525
This beautiful plantation is a great example of the culture and history of Georgia’s rice coast. William Brailsford of Charleston carved a rice plantation from marshes along the Altamaha River in the early 1800s. The plantation continued producing rice throughout the Civil War up until 1913. At this time the plantation was converted to a dairy farm until it was donated by the family to the state of Georgia in 1973
The museum features silver from the family collection as well as a model of Hofwyl-Broadfield during its prime. A short film about the plantation’s history is shown to visitors before following a short walking trail to the antebellum home. Guided tours are available and self exploration is also encouraged. This plantation preserves a fantastic piece of Georgia history and contains many period appropriate antiques.
Georgia Sea Turtle Center
214 Stable Road, Jekyll Island, GA 31527
The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is located on Jekyll Island, was founded in 2007, and is a prominent rehabilitation center for sea turtles. While caring for injured and sick turtles is the primary function of the center, there is a strong emphasis on education shared with the public. Guided tours, beach walks, and of course a visit with the center’s patients are on the list of fun things to do.
The Sea Turtle Center is housed in a former power plant building and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. What an amazing way to enjoy a rainy day and maybe even help out some our shelled friends!
The Historic Ritz Theatre
1530 Newcastle Street, Brunswick, GA 31520
Built over a century ago in 1899 to house the Grand Opera House, retail stores, and offices for the Brunswick & Birmingham Railroad, this historic building is now managed by the Golden Isles Arts and Humanities Association and offers live performances, films, education programs, exhibits, and much more. Visit their Facebook page to learn more about current exhibits, upcoming events, and show times.
Classic Family Fun
3303 Hopkins Avenue, Brunswick, GA 31520
Voted one of the best pinball arcades in the USA, Pinball Palace is a great way to have fun, and keep dry while doing it. This classic amusement center offers over 100 classic arcade and pinball machines dating from the 1950s through today. When the little ones want to change things up, check out the bounce house room. The best part is all games are free to play, just pay a very reasonable admission fee.
The Golden Isles Strike Zone
380 Millennium Boulevard, Brunswick, GA 31525
The Golden Isles of Georgia has a remarkable hidden gem – the Golden Isles Strike Zone. This full-featured bowling center offers so much to do you may forget all about the rain outside. Strike Zone offers bowling, a classic arcade, billiards, a snack and beverage bar, and a full virtual reality experience. Be sure to check out their website for details on special themed bowling days and to reserve a lane.
There is no question that while visiting coastal Georgia the preferable weather is sunny with a chance of cool breezes, but that doesn’t mean that a little rain has to ruin your whole day. With all the options available, it’s very hard to get bored on your island getaway, even if it does get a little damp outside. Sometimes the rain is just an excuse to check out something new and unique that you may have missed otherwise. If none of these options get you excited, there’s nothing saying you can’t enjoy a short day trip to Atlanta or Savannah for a little change of pace. Both are a fairly easy drive and offer some of the big city options you may be craving. No matter what you decide to do on a rainy day, the most important thing is to make sure you have fun.