Four-year-old Charlotte Herren enjoying lunch on a tree at Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island

Adventure Awaits! Local Excursions for Your Tiniest Explorers

Plan your kid-friendly outings this summer with these fun favorites

Summer is finally here, which means for many parents in Savannah, school is out and the kids are home for what can feel like an eternity. While there’s no shame in finding moments of peace with Disney+ or the tablet, we all know that those efforts are short-lived as our little balls of energy are charged and ready to play. As a mother of three—ages 20-months, four, and eight—I know all too well the hidden gems in and on the outskirts of Savannah that will help you get out of the house and into an adventure. Here are my personal favorites and kid-approved recommendations for outdoor fun this summer:

1. Shark Tooth Island: Savannah, Near Tybee

Tybee is always on everyone’s list of activities, but if you are looking for something more than just a day at the beach, Shark Tooth Island is a must. It’s perfect for locals who are wanting to avoid the crowds because its "by boat only" accessibility makes it incredibly secluded. Kids can spend hours enthralled in the fun of digging up fossilized shark teeth and other marine artifacts.

2. Driftwood Beach: Jekyll Island

Located at the north end of Jekyll, this beach truly resembles something out of a movie taking place in other worlds. After a quick walk through the woods on a soft-sand trail, you emerge to a beach filled with colossal contorted and weathered trees that have been left behind from years of erosion. It’s often never-crowded due to areas of limited parking and the short-walk, but it’s well worth the hassle. You can put down roots under the shade of a palm tree or hang your hammock on the branches of a tree. My kids love walking along the rocks digging for shells, playing with the clay in the areas where you can access the water and building forts with fallen and dried palm leaves.

3. St. Simons Island: Glynn County

Just outside of Brunswick, St. Simons is my all-time favorite beach for a day of sand and waves. It’s worth the drive because you completely avoid the hit-or-miss delays and traffic getting onto Tybee. Nothing is worse than a good beach trip being spoiled by standstill traffic getting on or off Tybee, especially when you have eager or tired toddlers in the car. You also don’t have to worry about parking, because there is a lot of it and it is completely free at areas like the Coast Guard Station (my go-to spot). When you grow tired of the sand, but your kids still want to have fun, take them into the town for ice cream by the pier and time on the playground.

4. Savannah Children’s Museum: Downtown Savannah

Staying super local is really easy with a place as great as the children’s museum. The play areas are truly unmatched and your kids will have so much fun feeding off the energy of the other families. Keep an eye on the museum’s website, Facebook page and calendar of events because they always have something unique going on. I have never not had a blast.

5. Oatland Island Wildlife Center: Chatham County

A great day is always had at this wildlife center, a zoo-like, 175-acre preserve and environmental education center with dozens of species in their natural habitats. The two-mile stretch trails feel like a jungle adventure as you make your way through forest, salt marsh and pond habitats. The various points of animal observation make for fun discoveries along the way. The fan favorites are the cougar cubs and the small, barnyard area where your kids can pet a cow, donkey, and Ossabaw hogs. Be sure to pack lunch, snacks, bug spray and wear good walking shoes.

While there are many more adventures to be had, these are the top five I keep in my rotation because they are a short drive with minimal cost involved. Check them out for yourself!


Brittany Herren

Brittany Herren is a freelance writer and a passionate supporter of the local art and music scenes. As a musician turned 30-something professional executive, she lives vicariously through her story subjects and usually writes while listening to 60s, French pop or Patsy Cline. Herren has a B.A. in English from...
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