It’s no secret, Sea Island is one of my favorite places to visit. My family is from St. Simons Island, Georgia, and so I grew up going to these Golden Isle beaches, and have always loved what Sea Island has to offer. It has become an annual summer trip for our family, and we ESPECIALLY love going for the 4th of July.
I wanted to share some of my favorite places to dine, and favorite things to do while we’re there. It’s a great place to visit with kids, since it’s so family friendly, but also a great getaway for parents or a young couple. It really has something for everyone!
First off, there are a few options on where to stay when visiting Sea Island. There is The Cloister, The Lodge, Cottage Rentals & The Inn. The Cloister has a few options. The main building, Beach Club and the Ocean Residences. You can stay at The Lodge, or they also have Lodge Cottages. I think the main building of the Cloister is best if you’re going on a couples trip, or weekend getaway without the kids. Same thing for the Lodge. If traveling with your kids, I’d recommend the Beach Club, Ocean Residences and the Cottages. The past two summers we’ve gone for a week and rented a Cottage with another family. They are typically a 1 week minimum stay, and are perfect with kids. You have the best of both worlds where you are close to the Beach Club pool, restaurants on property, but have a larger space, can cook at home, and often times your own pool. That is KEY for us since our kids LOVE to swim. You can rent a golf cart to easily get back and forth, or if you’re on one of the first few streets you can just walk.
We enjoy going for the 4th of July because the island is so patriotic! There is a big parade the morning of the 4th, where anybody can enter their cars & golf carts and decorate them. It’s fun to watch and people get really into it! The Beach Club does a big July 4th bash at night with a big buffet, live music and fireworks. It’s a ticketed event, so would recommend booking this ahead of time with the concierge. There are typically other things leading up to the 4th. For instance, this past year they had a sparkle party on the beach and a Luau another night. We didn’t attend, but they looked fun! It’s definitely one of the more crowded times on the Island, which is another reason that we really like having our own house for the week. Just so we can escape the crowds for some meals & pool time.
I always get asked about my favorite restaurants when visiting. First off, Colt & Alison. It’s located at The Lodge, and we love to escape for a little date night there when on the island. It’s a great steakhouse and an amazing experience. Definitely get the table side Caesar Salad, it’s delicious! We love Tavola, Italian, located at The Cloister. Great for families as well as Southern Tide at the Beach Club. We usually grab lunch there after the pool and before nap time. The River Bar & Lounge is also at The Cloister and kid friendly. Great option for lunch or dinner.
If you’re interested in traveling off of Sea Island, and not dining at the Resort some, a few local favorites are The Red Barn, Half Shell, Frederica House, Halyards, Delaneys Bistro & Dorothy’s (haven’t been, but it’s on my list for next year). The Red Barn is a SSI staple & has been around since 1954. I’ve grown up going there, and have so many memories. It’s a cool spot to see, and a favorite of the locals too!
Aside from hanging out at the Beach Club pool & beach, we love to escape for a massage. The Spa at Sea Island amenities are amazing, and so relaxing. Golf is a must for the guys (if they are into that). You can rent bikes, go horse back riding, fishing, play tennis, or experience the Riverboat Cruise. There is an entire section on the website that breaks out itineraries based on what you’re looking to do. The pre-dinner cocktail cruise on the Sea Island Explorer Yacht is always a favorite of mine. We’ve also done the beach horseback riding, but didn’t this past time (let’s just say last year’s excursion involved Justin’s horse biting my horse in the you know where, and it was not welcomed..can laugh about it now, lol). Checkout this section for more details. A few other fun things are bowling & bingo. Yes, they even have their own Bowling Alley called Sea Strike & Pub. It’s a ten-pin bowling, with six lanes. Plus a restaurant and pub – great for catching games while visiting. Bingo is a BIG deal there, people get all dressed up, and we’ve yet to do it. Also on the list for next year!
Another popular question is the baby-sitting service we use. This is the second time that I’ve used Sitters by The Shore. Debbie & her staff are amazing. We’ve always loved the girls who have watched the kids, and never had an issue with them. They are always on time, great with the kids, and follow everything we need so well. Her email is: email@example.com, please tell her I sent you! We love mixing in a little adult time and dates while there, so this service is so nice to have. Lastly, Sea Island has an amazing program called Camp Cloister. We haven’t tried it yet. Remy was too young before (it’s 3 and up), and this past year they were already booked (see why booking early is so key, and I thought I was early, lol). So, hopefully we can make that happen next year. It’s a half day, and includes lunch. The Beach Club also has a Toddler Room. We haven’t been, so I don’t have too much information, but I saw it this past time when we were at the pool. Looks like an indoor room with activities for little ones.
When it comes to planning our annual trip, we typically book the cottage about a year out. In fact, we just booked the cottage we plan to stay in next year already! They book up very fast, and especially around the 4th of July. So, if you’re considering going that time of year, I’d start looking into it now. If you’re looking at a different time of year, I’d say start planning about 6-9 months out. When you get to 3 months out, I recommend you start making reservations at restaurants, the spa and lining up a sitter if you need one. I usually pick the restaurants I want to make reservations at first, and secure those, then plan our days/nights around that. So, if we have two date nights, then I’ll make sure we have a night out with the kids, book the Beach Club July 4th event, spa one day, and the cocktail cruise. That allows for some nights at home to make dinner, which again, is nice especially at the Cottage. Then can fill in other fun activities throughout the week from there.
I hope this helps in planning your next vacation to Sea Island, and gives some insight as to what we love about visiting, and all of the things to enjoy while visiting there.
As always, feel free to reach out with any additional questions!
More Vacay looks while on Sea Island
Thank you Lindsey Christian Photography for all of the wonderful images on our trip. If visiting, I highly recommend her for wonderful family photos!
SHOP MY SEA ISLAND LOOKS