St.Simon's Island: Georgia's Paradise
by Debra Pamplin
Saturday, October 8, 2016
St.Simon’s Island, Georgia is a beautiful location for a vacation. Whether it is a family vacation, honeymoon or just a relaxing weekend with your closest friends, the island provides an amazing coastal hideaway. It is one of the premiere destinations within the United States.
Where to Stay
While there are several great hotels on St.Simon’s Island, only one is a beachfront resort. The King and Prince is a beautiful and relaxing resort, housing everything needed for a no-hassle vacation. Plenty of lodging options are offered by the King and Prince. Oceanfront suites, premium oceanfront rooms, two and three bedroom villas as well as houses, cottages and town homes are some of the options for guests.
The views from the oceanfront rooms are simply amazing. At night, leave the balcony sliding door opened just a crack to let the breeze and lullaby of the ocean enter the room. The private balcony provides a front seat-view each morning and evening for the suns’s shows. At night, it will be a peaceful retreat. Hearing the waves rolling in and feeling the breeze in the night air is always a relaxing time.
The resort offers several onsite amenities, such as two swimming pools, tennis courts and bicycle rentals. The island is extremely bike friendly, with bike paths virtually from one end of the island to the other.
Additional amenities include the complimentary exercise room, and everyone’s favorite pastime, golf. There is also an on-site spa that provides all the relaxation and pampering imaginable. A few short steps from the resort, visitors to the island can enjoy hours of fun in the surf and sand. The serene setting of the Atlantic Ocean is a breath-taking one, and the waters are always so inviting! Barry’s Beach Service is on hand to rent out beach chairs and umbrellas, sailboats, kayaks and paddle boards. Items can be rented for an hour, half-day or full day.
Echo Restaurant provides mouth-watering dishes morning, noon and night. Whether it is dining in, or room service, the chefs at the King & Prince’s restaurant provide the best in dining options. A brief summary of the menu includes shrimps ‘n grits, charred cedar salmon served with cream corn, and a 12-ounce strip steak with house fries.
Where to Go
While staying at the “royal retreat”, guests at King & Prince should take a day to explore what else the island has to offer. Pier Village is a great place to start. Plenty of unique shops and boutiques line the road leading to the pier. Many have souvenir items on hand, so be sure to grab a tie-dyed St. Simon’s Island t-shirt.
Most evenings, visitors at the pier can hear local musicians playing and most mornings host the return of local artists and painters. From sunup to sunset, the atmosphere in this central hub is always a busy, yet friendly, one. Have a seat at one of the beach-facing benches along the paved sidewalks, and watch the surfers and boats pass by.
Fish Like a Local
Want to jump in on the action? Rent some fishing equipment and bait, and try your hand at pier fishing. Toss over a crabbing net and see what you pull in.
And, Dine Like a Local
Take a break and have a hearty lunch or dinner at one of the handful of local eateries. Del Sur is at the entrance of Pier Village, serving up a variety of Argentinian and Italian favorites. Sandcastle Café’ is open for breakfast and lunch, and serves up a mean Mimosa. Other dining options include classic, American staples from Barbara Jean’s as well as the fast food chain, Dairy Queen.
Play Like a Local
Just a few steps away from the Pier is Neptune Park. Mini-golf, a swimming pool and plenty of picnic tables under the live oaks keep the locals and visitors alike out to play each day. The lighthouse museum borders the far side of Neptune Park, and is open daily for tours to the top of the lighthouse.
Journey Back in Time
There are plenty of interesting locations within the island, and a great way to learn about all of them is to take a trolley ride with the Lighthouse Tours. Cap Fendig will give you the full tour of the island, complete with a stop at the Christ Church. A brief summary of the original church family is revealed, during a short walk through the cemetery behind the historic church.
This stop on the tour is a great one for history buffs, romantics and nature lovers alike, as the scenic spot provides a variety of stories and centuries-old live oak trees complete with hanging Spanish moss.
Cap Fendig has been providing tours on St. Simon’s Island for 35 years, by land and boat. There is even a ghost walking tour for guest participation. His website is http://lighthousetrolleys.com/. Cap is an island native, and explains in great detail these historical locations.
If history is what you seek, the island is chalk-full! Other than the Christ Church, some historical locations include the battle site of Fort Frederica, the bloody marsh, and the Wesley Memorial & Gardens. While some of these places are mentioned in Cap’s tour, all are available for individual touring and exploring.
Enjoy the island
In addition to Cap’s land and sea tours, there are plenty of other ways to see the island! By air, by boat and through an Eco tour, there is a tour for everyone! While exploring, be on the lookout for the many tree spirits that are spread out around the island. Can you find all seven? The welcome center has maps outlining where the tree carvings are located, so it can serve as a fun scavenger hunt for your family.
Want to get back to nature while on the island? Take advantage of the handful of nature and wildlife tours available during your stay. C-Hawk Nature Tours and Charter Fishing is an option, as well as the folks at Saint Simon’s Fishing. Plenty of ways to spend a day outdoors.
Saint Simon’s Island is located in Southeast Georgia, about an hour outside of Savannah. It makes up part of the Golden Isles, and is a great place for romance, family and memories!
by Debra PamplinSaturday, October 8, 2016
Debra Pamplin is a freelance writer specializing in travel and music. She travels each month, providing stories to regional and national magazines as well as filling up her travel blogs. Her byline has appeared on USA Today Travel, Yahoo! and Coldwell Banker. She is always looking for the next great location to explore.Read more at debbiepamplin.com