During the plantation era, Saint Simons became a centre of cotton production, notably Sea Island Cotton. Nearly the entire island was cleared of trees to make way for several cotton plantations. Nowadays the island is better known as a natural seaside island with nature trails, moss-draped oaks, shady lanes, a thriving habitat for birds and a diverse range of other wildlife, from turtles to armadillo and deer. The Pier Village is the Island's historic area. Near the lighthouse and playground, you'll find specialty shops, boutiques and excellent restaurants along Mallery Street.