The Golden Isles, Georgia

Little St. Simon's Island, a spectacular family-friendly 10,000 acre island retreat, is in the nineteenth year of its Loggerhead Sea Turtle monitoring and protection program. Accessible only by boat, the island serves as an index nesting beach for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide data on the nesting habits and survival rate of the Loggerhead Sea Turtle. Nesting season begins in May and continues through early August, and baby turtles hatch until mid-October. Typically, the beaches of Little St. Simon's Island are home to approximately 40-60 nests per year.

The privately owned Lodge on Little St. Simons Island is a unique and special hideaway for families who love nature. Guests can enjoy beachcombing along the island's seven miles of pristine, undeveloped beach, and have the option of participating in special programs during turtle nesting season. The programs, which include surveying the beaches for nests, identifying fresh crawls, and monitoring the progress of each nest, provide a rewarding experience for the guest without endangering the sea turtles. On occasion, guests may observe the female Loggerhead emerging from the ocean to lay her eggs, or if the timing is right, happen upon a nest 60 days later as the baby turtles emerge. From mid-May through mid-September, families may accompany the Island naturalists on early morning walks to survey for nests.

This year, The Lodge on Little St. Simons Island is offering a five-night, all inclusive Turtle Tracks Package from May through August. Families and friends will receive a complimentary fifth night's stay with any Sunday-Thursday Full House or Full Island reservations. Accommodations, meals and all activities are included in the Turtle Tracks Package. In addition, special Summer Fun for Families activities are offered. For more information, call 888-733-5774 or visit The Lodge's website at: The Lodge on Little St. Simons Island.

Nearby Sea Island, one of the nation's most popular family resorts, also has a long-standing commitment to conserve the nesting sites for the endangered loggerhead turtle. Annual efforts to locate, mark and monitor the island's turtle nests are led by the resort's very own resident naturalist, Stacia Hendricks. Nesting season on Sea Island is May through September. It is a one-of-a-kind experience as guests learn about these magnificent sea creatures and look for turtle tracks, nesting mothers or hatchlings. The program begins with an informative talk with the naturalist and ends with a guided beach walk at 9 p.m.. Participation is limited to the first 25 people, due to government restrictions and the resort's commitment to responsible environmental education and conservation of the species. For more information on Sea Island, visit the resort's website at Sea Island or call 1-800-SEA-ISLAND.

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