Monday, May 18, 2015

Lighthouse Adventure: St Simons Island

St Simon's Lighthouse
St. Simons Island is one of Georgia's barrier islands and home to the St. Simon's Lighthouse.

The island is a short day trip (about 50 miles) from Kings Bay and the Eagle Hammock RV Park at the Navy Submarine Base where we are staying.  It was a lovely drive along salt marsh over bridges and a causeway with great views of waterfront homes and boats on the water.

The St. Simon's Light is one of 5 Georgia lighthouses. It is an active aid to navigation on St. Simon Sound with a beam that can be seen 23 miles out to sea.

The lighthouse tower and keepers dwelling were designed by Great Lakes Chief Engineer Orlando Metcalfe Poe.   He assumed that position after serving as an officer in the United States Army during the Civil War. 

The "Poe Style" tower is a tall brick structure with a gentle taper from bottom to top.  Poe lights are embellished with arch topped windows and masonry corbels. It was his vision that a lighthouse could have the beauty and grandeur of a stately home while maintaining the feel of a government structure.  
View from an arched window in the tower
The St. Simons Lighthouse and it's keepers dwelling have been skillfully restored and are maintained by the Coastal Georgia Historical Society. The keepers home is now a museum that exhibits artifacts of a keepers lifestyle. The Docents working on the day of our visit were friendly and knowledgeable about the lighthouse and its restoration.

We learned that during WW2 when German U-boats prowled the Atlantic Coast the Coast Guard Station and Lighthouse keepers were active in rescuing survivors of the Esso Baton Rouge and the SS Oklahoma after both were torpedoed on April 8, 1942.

The waterfront lighthouse grounds are home to a Gazebo and oceanfront lawn that host a series of music concerts during the Summer months. The beautiful setting was being readied for a wedding ceremony on the day of our visit.

We climbed the towers spiral staircase of 129 steps and enjoyed the panoramic views from the open air observation deck.
129 steps to the observation deck
The climb had us looking for refreshment so we strolled down the beachfront boardwalk to the village and enjoyed a late lunch at the Blue Water Cafe's Rooftop Lounge. We chose the cafe for its water views but were delighted by it's interior design that features signs and sports memorabilia.  It made us laugh to see that hockey sticks and snow shoes were part of the display.

Blue water Café and Rooftop Lounge


  1. Wow! St. Simon's is identical to Little Sable, in Michigan...another Poe lighthouse. Big Sable and New Presque Isle are the same design also. Those tall towers really projected the light a long ways out!

  2. I love the towers also. All lighthouses are fun to explore but there is something grand about climbing that spiral staircase and coming out on the observation deck with the whole area spread out before you.