World War II Homefront Museum: A Visitor’s Guide

The Golden Isles are known for their historical sites and monuments, and the World War II Homefront Museum on Saint Simons Island is a unique, one-of-a-kind exhibit inviting visitors to go back in time.

Located on the East Beach of St. Simons Island in the historic Coast Guard Station, the Homefront Museum tells the story of an important chapter in Georgia’s history during World War II through immersive galleries and interactive tools. It offers a deeply personal look into this difficult, yet important moment in American history.

Just minutes away from your vacation rental home, a visit to this museum is the perfect rainy day activity.

We’ve compiled a visitor’s guide to plan your next visit and discover all that the World War II Museum has to offer.

The World War II Homefront Museum Origins

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The WWII Museum is housed in what was originally known as the St. Simons Coast Guard station at East Beach. Built in 1936, the building originally acted as a watch station to rescue swimmers and boats in distress off the Atlantic coast. However, in 1941, the Coast Guard became a hub for detecting enemy activity along the Atlantic Ocean as war threatened to expand beyond European borders.

On April 8, 1942, the Station launched a life-saving effort to rescue survivors from a German u-boat attack, which ultimately killed 22 crew members. This is the most significant rescue attempt in the Station’s history and one that is honored throughout the museum.

The St. Simons Coast Guard unit continued to operate under the War Department until the end of WWII.

Following the war, the post returned to its original goal of monitoring coastal activity and ensuring safety. The station operated until 1995 when it was decommissioned. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. The Coastal Georgia Historical Society converted the building into a museum in 2006, which later was named the World War II Homefront Museum.

What to Expect When Visiting

The WWII Homefront Museum beautifully weaves together historical moments, personal experiences, and interactive exhibits to pay homage to Georgia’s legacy in WWII and the brave veterans who protected the coast line and beyond.

Upon entering the museum, you will witness a short introduction video summarizing the building’s history and important war contributions.

In one building, visitors will find various immersive activities at your fingertips. Visitors have the opportunity to build and join the crew of a Liberty ship, spot for enemy crafts in an airship, and direct fighter pilots with cutting-edge technology. Once you’ve immersed yourself in wartime efforts, stroll through the second building of the museum to find incredible exhibits of home front scenes, such as a military recruitment office.

On select Tuesdays from 10 am-noon, volunteers devote their mornings to sharing personal stories of their experience on the home front to WWII Museum visitors. Visitors have the privilege of hearing from war veterans as they recount their first-hand experience in their war efforts.

To learn if volunteers are scheduled during your stay, call the museum at (912) 634-7098.

Finally, guests can head to the museum gift shop to browse specialty items that allow visitors to bring home the spirit of the museum with them as they go.

The World War II Heritage Trail

The state of Georgia played a crucial role in American war efforts during WWII. Founded in February 2021, The World War II Heritage Trail pays respect to Northern, Middle, and Coastal Georgia’s extraordinary contributions to the war efforts.

Along the trail, you will find 10 historic landmarks ranging from air force bases, flight training and aviation museums, and more.

The Coastal Georgia portion of the World War II Heritage Trail includes the:

Photo Credit: Judy Baxter via Flickr CC2.0
  • National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force
  • St. Mary’s Submarine Museum
  • The WWII Flight Training Museum
  • Our very own WWII Homefront Museum

St. Simons Islands visitors can take a day trip to the coastal towns along the Heritage Trail for a weekend tour of the coastal WWII landmarks. You can find more information about the trail and the various historic stops along the way here.

Planning Your Visit

Where is the museum located and when can I visit?

The World War II Home Front Museum is located on the East Beach of Saint Simons Island. You can travel by car, bike, or foot depending on which vacation home you are staying in. Pro tip: We recommend enjoying the St. Simons Island Biking Trail system to explore all that St. Simons has to offer, including the WWII Museum. The biking trail passes along the East Beach right in front of the museum, making it the ideal way to explore.

  • Address: 4201 1st Street, St. Simons Island, Georgia 31522
  • Hours of Operation: Mon-Sat 10am – 5 pm, Sun 12pm – 5pm
  • Last tickets are sold at 4:30 p.m. each day.
  • A typical tour will last anywhere from 1-2 hours.

What is the price of admission?

Admission prices are listed below:

  • $12 for Adults
  • $6 for Ages 6-12
  • $2 Military discount with an ID
  • Children under six are admitted free of charge.

Visitors can also opt to buy a two-in-one ticket, allowing them to explore both the WWII Museum and the St. Simons Island Lighthouse Museum. The Lighthouse Museum is located 1.4 miles away from the WWII Museum.

The museum also offers immersive experiences and a tour of the grounds to learn about the history of the lighthouse and its aid to ships at sea. Visitors can even climb the 129 steps to the top of the lighthouse and catch a glimpse of Jekyll Island, Brunswick, and the other side of Saint Simons Island. Below are the prices for combined tickets:

Combined Ticket Prices:

  • $20 for Adults
  • $10 for Ages 6-12
  • $2 Military discount with an ID
  • Children under six are admitted free of charge.

Is the museum family-friendly?

Absolutely! The WWII Home Front Museum is group-friendly and kid-friendly. Immersive activities offer adults and children alike the chance to experience for themselves the war efforts of the coast guard. It is a fun, interactive way to invite children to learn more about WWII.

Is the museum indoors or outdoors?

The WWII museum is located indoors, making this the perfect activity for rainy or sunny days on the island. Two historic buildings make up the WWII Museum; therefore, guests will briefly walk outside to enter the second building during the tour.

Note: Both buildings are wheelchair accessible. Visitors can call (912) 634-7098 (Home Front Museum) or (912) 634-7099 (Lighthouse Museum) to reserve a wheelchair if needed.

Enjoy Your Visit!

We hope you enjoy your visit to the WWII Home Front Museum while on St. Simons Island. Between the personal stories of those on the front lines, interactive experiences that take you back in time, and vivid exhibits, we know you’ll leave more informed, inspired, and grateful for the war efforts of our veterans.