Sea Island is connected by causeway to St. Simons Island and is a privately owned beach resort with hotels and private cottages and residences. Development of Sea Island began in 1926 when Howard Coffin bought five miles of beach front and established the Sea Island Company to develop a first-class resort. The five-star Cloister Hotel opened in October of 1928.
Today the island has five and one-half miles of beach and 2,000 total acres including the marsh. The upland acreage is 1,200 acres. Because of its private ownership, there is no public access to the beach from the mainland.