St. Simons Island or simply "St. Simons" is a barrier island and census-designated place (CDP) located on St. Simons Island in Glynn County, Georgia, United States. The community and the island are interchangeable, known simply as "St. Simons Island", or locally as "The Island". St. Simons is part of the Brunswick, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area, and according to the 2010 census, the CDP had a population of 12,743.
Located on the southeast Georgia coast, midway between Savannah and Jacksonville, St. Simons Island is both a seaside resort and residential community. It is the largest of Georgia's renowned Golden Isles (along with Sea Island, Jekyll Island, and privately owned Little St. Simons Island). Visitors are drawn to the Island for its warm climate, beaches, variety of outdoor activities, shops and restaurants, historical sites, and its natural environment.
In addition to its base of permanent residents, the island enjoys an influx of both visitors and part-time residents throughout the year. The 2010 Census notes that 26.8% of total housing units are for “seasonal, recreational, or occasional use”. The vast majority of commercial and residential development is located on the southern half of the island. Much of the northern half remains marsh or woodland. A large tract of land in the northeast has been converted to a nature preserve containing trails, historical ruins, and undisturbed maritime forest. The tract, Cannon’s Point Preserve, is open to the public on specified days and hours.
Originally inhabited by tribes of the Creek Nation, the area of South Georgia that includes St. Simons Island was contested by the Spaniards, English and French. After securing the Georgia colony, the English cultivated the land for rice and cotton plantations worked by large numbers of African slaves, who created the unique Gullah culture that survives to this day.
The primary mode of travel to the island is by automobile via F.J. Torras Causeway. Malcolm McKinnon Airport (IATA: SSI) serves general aviation on the island.
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