Sea Island is a magical place and if you’re lucky enough to go once, chances are you’ll be back. Below, some of our favorite tips and tricks for traveling there as a family of five.
Love this hat and found similar sandals (same brand). Mine are old!
If you’re new to Sea Island, this is a good place to start. The hotel is essentially Sea Island home base, and centrally located on property (across from the Beach Club, it also houses most of the restaurants). Spend time driving down Sea Island Drive to get a feeling for which street you’d want to stay on. You’ll also have access to The Lodge, which is across Saint Simons and home to the Bagpiper, a must see, and Colt & Alison, the fanciest restaurant now that Georgian Room has turned into a more Polo Bar-type atmosphere.
Homeowners rent their cottages out, and this is a great way to go with a big group. I think we’ll go this route once the kids are a bit older as it seems like a hassle to load up to and from the beach club every day when we’ve still got a napper.
Our life hack has been staying at the Beach Club Residences (right outside the gates to the Beach Club) since Elle was 16 months old. We stayed at The Cloister when she was 4 months old (we go every June) and this worked, but had I known better I would have loved the kitchen that the residences offer. In my opinion this is the best location on property! You also get a washer and dryer, which is key.
This will depend on the season, but during the summer we head to the Beach Club (there’s a zero-entry pool, a bigger kid pool with a slide and an adult pool). The Snack Shack is right next door and serves light breakfast if the kids need something and, most importantly, they serve coffee. The best thing to happen to me was when, a few years ago, they started offering oat milk lattes. I usually have at least three a day when we visit, an expensive habit to be sure. For lunch, you can eat at your chairs or in the Snack Shack, which is my go-to usually for a change of scenery. You can also head to the beach which usually has a nice breeze, and they serve food and drinks there too.
If you have young children, or even pre-teens, Wonderland the Ice Cream shop will become your second home. They used to serve coffee and breakfast from 8-11 and switch over to ice cream after 12 but morning service moved to the Snack Shack on our last trip so we visited Wonderland slightly less (not sure this will be the case come June but I will report back). Be forewarned, the beloved Cookie Monster ice cream flavor is very blue but does come out of bathing suits and clothes.
If you’re traveling with family or have a babysitter you may want to book a tennis lesson or spa afternoon. You should also spend one evening playing Bingo (it took us eight years to do this as the schedule varies but finally the timing worked out and it was fun!). If you want to walk, morning is prime time (it gets hot and muggy in the afternoon) and don’t miss sunset at Rainbow Island (we never eat here but it’s pretty to see). A must on your list will be driving over to The Lodge for the Bagpiper (nightly at 7pm) and if you’re a golfer, I’m told the golf is good here too!
Hope this helps, there’s so much to do but as with many places, experiencing it for yourself is key!