Just off the southeastern coast of the United States lie Georgia’s fabled Golden Isles, where pristine beaches, shimmering marshlands, and ancient forests harken back to the era when North America’s earliest settlers came ashore. Little St. Simons is the most secluded of them all; owing to continued private ownership and a fortuitous ecology, the island remained largely undeveloped during the plantation era that transformed much of the landscape throughout the region. Today, just a handful of rustic cottages can be found here, nestled amid the gnarled oak groves and wildlife-rich tidal creeks. Spend your days exploring this wild Southern isle by foot, bike, or boat, or relax seaside on the tranquil beach; then gather with your fellow travelers and swap stories over dinner—a nightly ritual that evokes the joyful, carefree spirit of summer camp down south.
When conservationists Wendy and Hank Paulson first visited Little St. Simons Island in 1982, they were struck by its extraordinarily wild state—and they’ve been committed to keeping it that way since becoming owners of the island in 2003. The lodge’s dedicated ecological management team works with local agencies to protect native flora and fauna, and in 2015, the entire 11,000-acre property was placed in a conservation easement that was donated to The Nature Conservancy. Guests are also encouraged to take part in island-wide ecological initiatives, with opportunities to help experts monitor sea turtles during nesting season, lend a hand at marine debris cleanups, and report wildlife sightings in communal journals.
Each of our lodges has created a special complimentary experience offered exclusively to guests who visit through a National Geographic expedition. At the Lodge on Little St. Simons Island, National Geographic guests are treated to a private tour of the property’s organic gardens with a resident horticulturist. Learn about the many varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers grown in the gardens and hydroponic center, and sample fresh, quality produce during a private lunch in the charming outdoor dining area.
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