Up the Creek Xpeditions. Whether you're a novice or skilled paddler, Up the Creek can guide you on kayak tours through some of Georgia and Florida's most scenic waters. Classes include navigation, tides and currents, and kayak surfing and racing. Trips include Yulee, the St. Marys River, Cumberland Sound, and the Okefenokee Swamp. 111 Osborne St., St. Marys, GA, 31558. 912/882–0911. Mon.–Thurs. 8–5, Sat. 11–6, Sun. 11–5.

Canoeing and Kayaking

Altamaha Coastal Tours. The Altamaha River, the largest undammed river on the East Coast, runs inland from near Darien. You can take expeditions along it with Altamaha Coastal Tours, which rents equipment and conducts guided trips from the waterfront in Darien. With them you can explore tidal swamps, marshlands, and Queen and Sapelo islands. Kayak or canoe rentals start at $15 per day. 229 Fort King George Dr., Darien, GA, 31305. 912/437–6010.


Ocean Motion Surf Co.. St. Simons has an extensive network of bicycle trails, and you can ride on the beach as well. Ocean Motion rents bikes for the entire family, from trail bikes to beach bikes to seats for infants. Rates start at $16 per day. 1300 Ocean Blvd., St. Simons Island, GA, 31522. 912/638–5225. Daily 9–8.

Crabbing and Fishing

St. Simons Island Bait and Tackle. There's no simpler fun for the kids than to grab a crab basket or fishing pole and head to St. Simons Island Pier next to Neptune Park. This bait shop is near the foot of the pier and is open 364½ days a year. Owners Mike and Trish Wooten have everything from crabbing and fishing gear to snacks and cold drinks. They also sell one-day, three-day, and yearly licenses. 121 Mallory St., St. Simons Island, GA, 31522. 912/634–1888. Daily 7–9.


The top-flight golf facilities at the Lodge at Sea Island are available only to members and guests, but St. Simons has two other high-quality courses open to the general public.

The King and Prince Golf Course. At the north end of St. Simons, on the site of the Hampton Plantation—an 18th-century cotton, rice, and indigo plantation—is a Golf Digest "Places to Play" four-star winner. The course, orginally designed by Joe Lee, was restored in 2009, and it lies amid towering oaks, salt marshes, and lagoons. 100 Tabbystone, St. Simons Island, GA, 31522. 912/634–0255; 800/342-0212 toll free. 18 holes. 6,462 yds. Par 72. Green Fee: $79 King and Prince Resort guests, $115 non-guests. Facilities: Driving range, putting green, pitching area, golf carts, rental clubs, pro shop, golf academy/lessons, restaurant, bar.

Sea Palms Resort and Conference Center. On a former cotton and indigo plantation, this resort offers 27 holes of golf on a standard 18-hole course and a 9-hole executive course, plus a driving range. 5445 Frederica Rd., St. Simons Island, GA, 31522. 912/638–9041 or 800/841–6268. 27 holes. 18-hole course: 6,477 yds. Par 71. 9-hole course: 2,460 yds. Par 34. Green Fee: $79/$29. Facilities: Driving range, putting green, pitching area, golf carts, rental clubs, pro shop, golf academy/lessons, restaurant, bar.

Kayaking and Sailing

Ocean Motion. After an instructional clinic, head off to explore the marsh creeks, coastal waters, and beaches with Ocean Motion, which has been giving kayaking tours of St. Simons for more than 30 years. The shop also does bike rentals. 1300 Ocean Blvd., St. Simons Island, GA, 31522. 912/638–5225. Daily 9–8.

Barry's Beach Service. If sailing is your thing, check out this shop in front of the King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort on Arnold Road for its Hobie Cat rentals and sailing lessons. Barry's also rents kayaks, boogie boards, stand-up paddle boards, beach chairs and umbrellas, and beach funcycles (low, reclining bikes), and conducts guided kayak tours. Locally owned and operated, Barry's has served the Golden Isles since 1977. 420 Arnold Rd., St. Simons Island, GA, 31522. 912/638–8053. Daily 9–5.

Scuba Diving

Island Dive Center. Gray's Reef, off Sapelo island, is one of only 14 National Marine Sanctuaries. It's home to loggerhead turtles and part of the northern right whale breeding grounds, all of which makes it an attractive place for diving. Island Dive Center, a 5 Star PADI center, is the place to go for scuba and snorkeling instruction, equipment rental, and charter trips. 101 Marina Dr., in Morningstar Marina on F.J. Torras Causeway, St. Simons Island, GA, 31522. 912/638–6590. Tues.–Fri. noon–5, Sat. noon–4, Sun. and Mon. by appointment.

Canoeing and Camping

Okefenokee Adventures. Guided overnight canoe trips can be arranged by this rental and guiding business. They also do 90-minute interpretive boat tours ($18.50) and have boat, canoe, and kayak rentals. 4159 Suwannee Canal Rd., Folkston, GA, 31537. 912/496–7156. Daily 6:30am–7:30pm.

Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge. Wilderness camping, by canoe or kayak, in the Okefenokee's interior is allowed by permit only (for which there's a $10 fee per person, per night). Availability is limited and can fill up fast, especially in the cooler seasons. During March and April, the most popular months, trips are limited to two nights. Reservations can be made only by phone. Call the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge headquarters weekdays between 7 am and 10 am within two months of your desired starting date to make a reservation. 2700 Suwannee Canal Rd., Folkston, GA, 31537. 912/496-7836. Tues.–Sat. 9–4. Sun.–Mon.

Camping in Stephen C. Foster State Park

Stephen C. Foster State Park. The park has sites for all types of camping as well as basically equipped, two-bedroom cabins that can sleep up to eight. Be aware that the gates of the park are closed between sunset and sunrise—there's no traffic in or out for campers, so you need to stock up on supplies before the sun goes down. You can book sites and cabins up to 13 months in advance. 17515 Hwy. 177, Fargo 800/864–7275


The best way to see Jekyll is by bicycle: a long, paved trail runs right along the beach, and there's an extensive network of paths throughout the island.

Beachside Bike Rentals. Located at Days Inn, this one-stop rental shop offers everything from multispeed bikes to double surreys with Bimini tops that look like antique cars and carry up to six adults and two children. The shop also has beach chairs, umbrellas, stand-up paddle boards, and kayaks. 60 S. Beachview Dr., Jekyll Island, GA, 31527. 912/635–9801. Daily 10–5.

Jekyll Island Mini-Golf and Bike Rentals. Play mini golf or choose from a wide selection of rental bikes (including surrey pedal cars that can hold four people, recumbent bikes, and traditional bikes) at this shop located next to the Red Bug. Rates start at $13 daily for bike rentals and $6.50 for a round of mini golf. N. Beachview Dr. at Shell Rd., Jekyll Island, GA, 31527. 912/635–2648. Sun.–Thurs. 9–8, Fri. and Sat. 9–10.


Coastal Expeditions. With 40 years of experience in local waters, captains Vernon Reynolds and Eric Moody provide half-day and full-day trips in-shore and offshore for fishing, dolphin-watching, and sightseeing. Jekyll Harbor Marina, Jekyll Island, GA, 31527. 912/265–0392.

Jekyll Fishing Center. Larry Crews runs in-shore and offshore fishing trips and dolphin-watching and sightseeing tours on four charter boats. He also offers his services as captain to tie the knot for couples with their sea legs. Jekyll Island Fishing Pier, 10 Clam Creek Rd., Jekyll Island, GA, 31527. 912/635-3556.


Jekyll Island Golf Club. A golf destination for nearly 90 years, today this club has four courses: the original 9-hole course called Oceanside Nine (now known as Great Dunes), built in 1926, and three beautifully designed 18-hole courses, plus a clubhouse. 322 Capt. Wylly Rd., Jekyll Island, GA, 31527. 912/635–2368. 63 holes. 6469–6700 yds. Par 72 (all 18-hole courses). Green Fee: $49 (18 holes), $25 (9 holes) Facilities: Driving range, putting green, pitching area, golf carts, pull carts, rental clubs, pro shop, golf academy/lessons, restaurant, bar.

Horseback Riding

Three Oaks Carriage and Trail Company. See Jekyll by horseback with this well-regarded livery company, in business for more than 30 years. Trail rides include visits to the salt marsh and Driftwood Beach, a boneyard of live oaks and pine trees being reclaimed by the sea; narrated carriage tours explore the sights of the historic district. Rides leave from the Clam Creek picnic area across from the Jekyll Island Campground, and the carriages leave from the Island History Center. Perks for families include a horse camp for children and riding lessons for all ages. Three Oaks is located in a historic building that has been used as a livery for over 100 years. Jekyll Island History Center, 100 Stable Rd., Jekyll Island, GA, 31527. 912/635–9500. Weekdays 10–2. Closed weekends.


Jekyll Island Tennis Center. The center offers 13 clay courts, with 7 lighted for nighttime play, and provides lessons for all ages and summer camps for juniors. Courts cost $6 per person, per session, daily 9 am to 10 pm. Reservations for lighted courts are required and must be made before the shop closes at 6 pm the day of play. 400 Capt. Wylly Rd., Jekyll Island, GA, 31527. 912/635–3154.