1. How big is the island?
Little St. Simons Island is comprised of over 11,000 acres and has seven miles of beach. Of the 11,000 acres, about 3,000 are upland while the remaining 8,000 or so is salt marsh. Aside from the 20 acre Lodge compound that includes the guest cottages and staff housing, the remainder of the island is undeveloped and consequently considered to be among the highest priority coastal conservation areas in all of Georgia.
2. How many people are on the island?
The only people who live on the Island are about a dozen of our staff, and occasionally some visiting researchers. Our sixteen guest rooms accommodate up to 32 overnight guests.
3. How do I get there?
Little St. Simons Island is accessible only by boat. Our ferry departs from the north end of St. Simons Island at the Hampton River Marina. In order to board the ferry, you must have reservations to be a guest of the Lodge. See Getting to the Island for directions to the marina.
4. Can I just come for the day?
The Lodge offers guided day trips. Please see Day Trips under About for more information and upcoming trip dates.
5. I want to just come over and look around. Can I do that?
We’d love to have you visit on a scheduled day trip or spend a few nights with us but you must have a reservation to come on the island.
6. What is included in an overnight stay?
Our nightly rates are all-inclusive and, unless otherwise noted, are priced per couple. Rates include:
7. What is the dining like?
Meals are casual and served family-style. Breakfast is at 9:00am, lunch at 1:00pm, and dinner at 6:30pm. For early risers, continental breakfast is available starting at 7:30am. We serve hors d’oeuvres during social hour at 6:00pm. Don’t miss the meals! Not only is the food delicious, but mealtime is also when you learn about the naturalist-led activities.
8. Do you offer in-room dining?
With the exception of the occasional picnic lunch, all meals are served in the Hunting Lodge. However, if you request a sack lunch the night before, you may pick it up after breakfast the next day, put it in your bicycle basket and enjoy it at the location of your choice.
9. What naturalist-led activities are offered each day? How do I sign up for them?
Typical naturalist-led activities include: fishing, kayaking, hiking, birding, seine netting, beachcombing and truck-based excursions. The activities offered are based on factors such as tides, wind, temperature, season, what the wildlife is doing, as well as our guests’ interests. During breakfast and lunch each day, a naturalist will come into the dining room and to talk about the activities for the day. You can indicate your interest in and ask questions about the particular activities at this time. If you are particularly interested in an activity, please let a naturalist know.
10. What should I pack for an overnight stay?
Everything is casual, even dinner, so you can leave your formal wear at home. There’s a lot to see and do here, and most of it is outside, so consult a weather forecast and pack accordingly. When it’s warm, in addition to your bathing suit and beach clothes, be sure to pack some lightweight, long sleeved clothing with long pants to keep you covered in case flying insects are abundant. Bring footwear for hiking as well as shoes or sandals you don’t mind getting sandy, muddy or wet.
11. How much luggage can I bring?
Please limit luggage to no more than three bags per person, or four per couple.
12. Is the Lodge "family friendly?" The island is a great fun for kids and the Lodge welcomes children of all ages from Memorial Day through Labor Day but recommend they be at least three years of age being the family style dining and outdoor excursions aren't very conducive to those under three. Children over the age of six are welcome year-round.
13. Can I bring my dog?
No pets are allowed on Little St. Simons Island.
14. How do I get around the Island?
As an overnight guest, you have access to our fleet of cruiser-style bicycles, kayaks, motorized skiffs and hiking trails. Our naturalists have trucks with benches built in the bed, and a set of portable steps to help you get in and out. Only LSSI staff may operate the trucks.
15. How far is it to the beach?
All of our cottages are located within a 20-acre compound located on the west side of the Island. It’s just over two miles from the Lodge to the ocean beach. This is about a twenty-minute bike ride or a ten-minute shuttle ride by one of our naturalists in a truck.
16. What is the fishing like?
There’s great fishing on the island, and if you catch something good to eat, our chef can cook it for you! When our naturalists offer fishing as an activity, you’ll be standing on the bank of a tidal creek or the beach. If you’d like to go fishing on your own, you’re welcome to take a bicycle equipped with a rod holder or one of our motorized skiffs. We have spinning reels and rods for fishing in the creek, and larger ones for fishing in the surf. We can also provide gear for fly fishing. If you’d like to be taken on a guided, boat-based fishing trip this can be arranged with a local guide for an additional fee.
17. Do I need a license to fish?
If you are under 16 years old, you may fish without a license. Otherwise, you will need a fishing license from the state of Georgia. You may purchase a three-day or annual fishing license on the island. A driver’s license number and social security number are required to purchase a license.
18. Where can I swim?
With seven miles of private ocean beach you can certainly swim in the ocean. However, if you prefer swimming in a pool, the Lodge has junior Olympic sized swimming pool. It is treated with salt instead of chlorine and is heated only by the sun, so it’s up to you to decide whether or not it’s warm enough.
19. What’s the weather like?
You can learn more about what temperatures to expect on our Weather Dress & Insects page.
20. What do you do when it rains?
Typically, rain showers don’t last all day. Even if they do, our naturalists will still conduct tours, so long as the weather conditions are not hazardous. When the weather pushes us indoors, our staff may offer presentations regarding the island’s wildlife and ecology or a craft activity. We also have several board and table games. It’s also nice to sit by the fire and read, or enjoy the company of those around you. LSSI is a great place to stay busy, or do absolutely nothing!
21. What about the mosquitoes?
In this pristine coastal environment, insects are an integral part of life. During the warmer, wetter months, guests feel most comfortable in light, long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Insect repellents, in a variety of types, are available at all guest houses, the Hunting Lodge and in our Naturalist trucks. To learn more about mosquitoes on Little St. Simons Island visit the Weather, Dress & Insects page on our website.
22. What is the service charge?
All accommodations are subject to an 18% service charge on the total reservation amount. Ninety percent of the service charge includes the following costs and services: parking at the marina, boat transfers to and from the island, wireless internet access (Wi-Fi), sunscreen, bug spray, with 10% of the charge going toward staff gratuities.
23. What about tipping?
Staff receive a small gratuity from the service charge. Additional tipping is always welcome and will be split among the staff.
24. What are the taxes?
Georgia sales tax is 7%. The local lodging tax is an additional 1.67% of our total rate. The State’s Hotel/Motel Fee is $5 per room per night.
25. Can I camp on the Island?
Camping is not allowed on LSSI.
26. How do you get electricity on the island?
Up until 1980, LSSI had its own diesel-powered generator which had been in use since the 1920’s. Now the Island obtains power through submerged cables from St. Simons Island.
27. Where does your water come from?
Our water comes from an artesian well, and tastes great. Whether it comes from one of our coolers, or from the sink in your room, it’s all good to drink.
28. Do you have televisions and telephones on the island?
Up until the 1980’s there was just a ship-to-shore phone system before they ran a submerged line from St. Simons Island. Today, we do have land line phones in our Lodge office. However, there are no televisions or phones in the guest rooms.
29. Will I have cell phone service on the Island?
Most wireless carriers provide at least some service on the island, however, some offer better coverage than others. Verizon seems to work best over most of the island.
30. Do you have Wi-Fi?
All guest buildings do have wireless internet access. However, due to our location, you may find it requires more patience than at home. Our internet connection uses a microwave dish system to send a signal across from Saint Simons Island so it is also more prone to outages than on the mainland.
31. Are your rooms air-conditioned?
Yes. All of our guest buildings are air-conditioned.
32. Can I bring my own boat?
If you have an overnight reservation, it may be possible to bring your own boat. Please inquire when you make your reservation.
33. How many staff do you have and where do they live?
LSSI employs approximately 30 full and part-time staff, about half reside on-Island; the rest of the staff live off-Island and commute to and from the Island daily.
34. Are guests allowed to use drones at Little St. Simons Island? One of our key conservation goals at Little St. Simons Island is to allow our guests the opportunity to experience our intact wildlife populations with minimal impacts or disturbance to the animals. In keeping with this goal, we do not allow guests to fly drones on the island.