Archive for July, 2012

A Photographer’s Calling – An Interview with The King and Prince’s Professional Photographer

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

If you’ve ever perused www.kingandprince.com, you’ve seen the beautiful photography of Chris Johnson of Johnson Pictures.  He has been bringing beautiful images of the Resort to the eyes of our future guests for several years now.  In this interview with Tom Ski, Chris talks about his craft:

A Photographer’s Calling

July 28, 2012 Filed under ArtBusinessTravel Posted by 
St Simons Island Photos

A Photographer’s Calling

We all have those cameras in our pockets (of course, most of them are cell phones), that we pull out in order to make sure that absolutely every occasion we wish to remember is documented for a later date. From weddings to prom to the most beautiful scenery of all time – photographs are the one and only thing that remain after the memories fade.

So being a photographer in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, must truly be a ‘grade-A’ career.  Chris Johnson of Johnson Pictures, Inc.is living that career under the stunning glow of the sun as it rises above the Atlantic each spectacular day.

St. Simons Island – the jewel in the Golden Isles crown located off the coast of Georgia, is where Chris Johnson makes his home. Here, he uses his passion for photography to capture moments in time for his clients, that become pieces of true art in the advertising and marketing campaigns for many of the sites located in this serene beauty.

Georgia Beach Resort

Being able to speak with a commercial photographer in such a fascinating place was a real gift – a gift that we are about to share with our readers. The following will show you all different aspects and views of the world of photography from an incredibly gifted and ingenious man who was able to parlay a passion into a full-time career. We begin at the King and Prince Resort. There is no more wondrous place on the map than this incredible location that provides 5-star accommodations, fine dining, sports, five-sparkling pools to simply get lost in as you bask in the Georgia sunshine, and more. The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort truly has it all, and their photographer makes sure that the whole world is allowed to see inside the doors of this magnificent paradise.

_____

Chris, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Now, I’ve been told that you have been doing all the photography – rooms, etc. – around the King and Prince for seven years now?

Yes, at least that.

I would love for our readers to learn about your experiences here; what brought you to the island, and what exactly Johnson Pictures concentrates on?

I am a freelance photographer and Johnson Pictures has been in business for twenty-one years now. I actually began in 1990 in NYC and worked there until 2001 as a commercial photographer and in editorial for magazines, etc. I actually came to St. Simons Island in 2001.

Johnson Pictures offers a variety of photographic services from aerial to architecture and interiors, hotels and resorts, lifestyle photography…mostly commercial work.

Why did you move from New York?

My wife is from NYC and I certainly enjoyed my time there. I was actually a resident from 1986 through 2001. We had a two-year-old daughter and we were planning on moving upstate to the Hudson Valley where we spent a great deal of time. But I knew if we were to move up there, most of my work would still be in the City and that’s a whole lot of commuting.

We were visiting here and one Fall afternoon we had an epiphany. My daughter was dancing up and down on the beach and I suddenly realized – here we are!  This is it!

I came back to do a little research to see if there would be any work on St. Simons, and with all the resorts, restaurants, sites, etc., there was. It was just three months after that when we picked up and moved!  I will never forget it. I mean, it was March and I was swimming in an outdoor swimming pool, which was amazing to me. Being from Cleveland and then living in NYC – outdoor swimming in March is certainly not something one would expect, or be used to. So…it was a truly great experience.

I can imagine. Snow gone, cold gone and into a paradise of sorts.

Exactly.

Do you work with many different resorts?

Yes. Johnson Pictures is 99% commercial work, advertising for several of the resorts as well as their components, such as, meeting rooms, ballrooms, spas, pools, golf courses, etc. There are some jobs that also touch upon the lifestyle component, such as guests or visitors playing sports, hiking, dining, etc.

Do you ever interact with guests?

Sometimes. It can be difficult though, seeing as that they are here for a ‘guest’ experience and not to be harassed by a photographer. But sometimes they do agree to help with the lifestyle photographs. It is difficult because you need to get the proper permissions for their pictures, seeing as that this is all about advertising that goes out over the internet and reaches millions of people.

Have you ever thought about doing artistic photography?

I do, actually. Most photographers have their own personal work. But when you do it for a living, you’re kind of busy earning the dollars necessary to support your family and you don’t have a lot of time to do side work. Even though I have my own personal work, I tend to set it aside and focus on the money earning end of things.

Sort of like being a travel writer. You can’t just sit on the beach and write a novel, you have to get things done!

Exactly. Every ‘artist’ would certainly love to hang a photograph or picture in a gallery, but you always need the money that comes from commercial work.

And, as I said, being that most all of my photographs are for commercial work, there are ownership issues. And you can’t resell, especially here in a small market – a smaller community – where the ‘rights’ issues are a little more difficult than what you would find in, say, New York. People are a little more possessive of their rights here. The uniqueness of the imagery is far more personal as opposed to a place like Miami Beach.

Do you photograph weddings?

I did when I first moved here. In fact, there was one year when we did thirty-five, but we were hit with two things.

First, we were hit with the bad economy, and not many people were purchasing a photographer’s services, or heading to fancy vacation spots like this one for the wedding. The second thing was that digital photography came out and came out big. Everyone has a digital camera, and knows someone who is good with that camera; whether it be an uncle or a cousin, there are many amateurs in the wedding market now. Also there are other commercial guys who saw the changes and jumped into the wedding market, as well. I’ve done about 140 during the last 10 years but it has been scaled back considerably.

And how do you feel about the introduction of digital and the changes to the industry?

Well, you can fix errors with digital, but there are just so many more people who are what you would consider an ‘advanced amateur.’ Everything links to the internet which makes the marketing possibilities so much greater, and the cost is far less than film.

I still have some 50 ASA Fuji slide film in my freezer. 

LOL. I cleared my freezer a little bit ago. We still had a bunch, but I don’t think I’ve shot a roll of film since 2004. Are you happy with digital?

No, I’m not. I still like film. I liked reading the light and setting the picture by feel, and I can’t do that with digital and get the same results. What are your thoughts?

There was a point in time where film was still better but we’ve crossed the threshold. I don’t miss film, the mess or the cost, but now that I work with digital I shoot things completely different. You have to understand that something as simple as a hotel room is not all that simple; you have multiple lights to deal with, and when it comes to something as stunning as the King and Prince, you WANT to capture that view just outside the window.

The contrasts between indoors and outdoors are huge. To capture it in the old days you had to brilliantly light up the room so that it was almost as bright as the outside. But with digital, I can now photograph in layers. Then, in post-production, I can work with those good captures for each individual section/layer, so the picture looks much more like what the naked eye sees.

Do you ever miss working in the darkroom?

Yes, but you still can do that somewhat – when you’re making your captures. With layers you can expose the highlights and create exactly what you want for your client, and your hands stay dry. It’s almost cheating but you get the end results that make your client happy.

There is also an artistic portion to digital. There are still similar ‘darkroom decisions’ when it comes to digital post production, but I feel that I am now making illustrations, not pictures. That’s what the commercial photography market has really become. Using digital-touching, contrast correction, perspective correction, layer work – all of these combine to produce an illustration of the scene.

Did you ever teach the craft?

Yes, actually. I was a photographic instructor at the College of Coastal Georgia, and one of the classes was about personal style. There was a great deal of instruction and debate when it came to digital work, but the one question that still comes up is the difference between a real photograph as opposed to a digital one. People, I believe, wonder how far you can go with digital before it’s no longer a picture. How much is too much altering?

This happened to me recently when I was asked to be a judge for the Coastal Photographers Guild. This is a local organization who was running a contest, and part of the judging criteria was how far the entrants were from the original capture. Within the rules they were allowed a certain amount of leeway, digital retouching, etc. – but the lines are truly blurred now, which is what makes me believe that they are illustrations and not pictures.

So, it’s a personal taste.

Absolutely. In fact, I have a friend who feels that there’s no need to create art anymore because the Renaissance gave us the best there will ever be. He said what was done in the 15th Century can never be improved upon. Of course…he also thinks rock-and-roll stopped after Zeppelin stopped. (LOL)

I kind of have to agree with him on that one. So digital is definitely the most beneficial?

The biggest part is that you get instant results with digital; you can capture it right to the laptop so you can immediately blow it up, look at the various sections, and be able to move a chair in the room to a different angle, or take out a prop you don’t need – that way there are no surprises when you get home.

Is there a great deal of investment that must be made in the newest lenses and/or new technology in the digital world?

With commercial work I don’t need to worry about the latest and greatest technology because most all of the work is placed on the web nowadays. There are no sales offices left who want 3-5 foot images. Most all images required are no bigger than 9” x 12”.

You certainly would need to make top investments when it comes to, say, shooting the Super Bowl, but for the type of work I do, it is unnecessary.

Before we wrap things up, can you tell readers a little about shooting the King and Prince?

A lot of what we do here is weather dependent. We need that fantastic horizon, a great sky…so there is a lot of ‘last minute’ photography involved. It’s not like you can really plan to shoot next Tuesday, so to speak.

But that really is part of the fun of photography. It is a true conundrum to work with everything and solve the problems that need to be solved. When it comes to the King and Prince, just the variety of rooms is amazing! There’s truly a new shot – a new locale – every time I set out. In fact, I believe that someone said you could stay here twenty times and be in a different room each and every time. Which is great – because that also gives the photographer a variety of points of view to show to the world.

_____

It is certainly no surprise to this writer that the King and Prince used the enormity of its beauty, serenity, peace, charm and elegance to draw Johnson Pictures to its island home. And to be able to see all those points of view and all those immaculately stunning scenes on a daily basis must truly be the definition of living the good life.

So for all you struggling artists out there who truly have a passion for the realm of photography, take this new knowledge, information, and outlook and aspire to find your very own Golden Isle experience one day!

To see Chris Johnson’s incredible work, head to:

http://www.johnsonpictures.com/

 

For more information on the King and Prince, head to:

http://www.kingandprince.com/

http://twitter.com/#!/kingandprince

http://www.facebook.com/TheKingandPrince

http://blog.kingandprince.com/

http://www.youtube.com/user/KingandPrince1

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kingandprinceresort/

http://www.kingandprince.com/

The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort

201 Arnold Road
St. Simons Island, Georgia 31522
(912) 638-3631: Phone

(800) 342-0212: Reservations
(912) 638-7699: Fax

St Simons Island Golf Course

 

 

King and Prince Resort Pools

 

 

King and Prince Outdoor Restaurant

 

 

King and Prince Resort Oceanfront Lawn

Atlanta area vacationers, fly Delta and avoid the long drive!

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Did you know that Delta Airlines services Brunswick Golden Isles Airport directly from Atlanta?  A 40-minute flight puts you a 20-minute drive from The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort.  If you’re traveling between August and December, check out this deal!  For more information, visit www.delta.com.  The airport code is BQK.

Glynn County Airport CommissionAIRPORT UPDATE 

July 24, 2012

 

 

Gateway to Georgia’s Golden Isles

BQK

Brunswick Golden Isles Airport

FREE PARKING

www.flygcairports.com

FLY BETWEEN ATLANTA & BRUNSWICK

FOR JUST $173.60!

Plan now for August-December travel

Brunswick Golden Isles Airport to/from Atlanta

Roundtrip just $173.60 including ALL taxes/fees

The fine print:

  • Purchase by July 30
  • Fly Monday-Saturday
  • Travel between August 21 and December 13, 2012
  • Limited availability
  • Blackout Dates: Sept. 3, Nov. 17, 20, 21, & 24 – 26

The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort in St Simon’s Island, Georgia

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort in St Simon’s Island, Georgia

St. Augustine News writers Lee and Laura visited The Resort from June 10th through the 13th.  Read on and share with them in their escape filled with fun, food and relaxation.

 

A month ago when asked if Lee and I wanted to go to The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort on St. Simon’s Island, Georgia I said “where.”  We had no idea that this wonderful resort with the most charming people even existed.

It took some doing to get there though.  Oh no, it is just off a major thoroughfare and the roads are well paved.  It was the torrential downpour of rain that challenged us.  Luckily, Lee was driving at the time.  It was suggested that I bury my head in my latest Nook selection and not to wear out the floor carpet with the imaginary break on the passenger side.  Lee said that we traveled through Jacksonville, however, the entire city was a blur to him.  Not one building seen by his eyes, only the tail lights in front of us with the hazard lights in full use.

Suffice it to say we arrived slightly tense and somewhat cramped and immediately proceeded to our 4:00 appointment at The Royal Treatment Cottage at The King and Prince for a couples massage.  We understand this renovated cottage is a new addition to the resort. We were greeted with warm southern hospitality, comfortable white robes and foot ware, water with lemon slices, and heated aroma therapy neck wraps.  After time to unwind in the relaxation area we were brought into the couples massage room.  The travels thus far left us wanting therapeutic, deep tissue massages to work out our knots and tension.  Our therapists, Bucky and Sonia, were very accommodating and talented. An hour later we were escorted back to the relaxation area and were adorned in neck wraps again and a fresh bottle of water. The tension quickly melted away so that we were able to begin our vacation in the best of body and mind.

Now, time to actually check in.  The entire front desk staff was wonderful.  With all the bellmen busy seeing to other guests, front desk staffer, Clarence went beyond the call of duty to help us to our room before the next cloud burst could drench our luggage.

We entered our room through medieval wood doors to find a beautifully renovated, spacious ocean view room complete with a personal hand written note from the room steward, Antoinette. She was a joy and made every attempt to see to our needs during our three night stay. Internet access was effortless to join. The large flat screen tv was well positioned for viewing in the smartly arranged space of furnishing and finishes.

Sugar Marsh Cottage confections

I must take a moment to mention the two gold foil boxes of heaven from Sugar Marsh Cottage Specialty Confections, Inc. left for us compliments of the resort. The first box we opened contained delicious Chocolate Dipped Signature Gourmet Shortbread Coquilles.  It took everything I had not to hide in the closet and eat them all.  Knowing my long term relationship with Lee would be in jeopardy if I did not leave him some.  The second box contained White Chocolate Orange Angle Wings and Sea Stars.  Both were definitely a special delight.

The meals at the King and Prince are incredible.  The dining areas overlook the western most point on the Atlantic’s eastern seaboard. Cargo ships can be seen coming and going through the channel for Brunswick, GA. For dinner I ate the chef’s signature Low Country Shrimp & Grits.  This being my first venture into grits I was hesitant.  But, they were great.  I am a starch addict and cannot have a meal without pasta, potato or rice.  Now I have another choice, and fix them with cheese and I am in heaven.  Lee had the garlic rubbed rib-eye cooked to perfection with au-gratin potatoes that were the perfect texture with just the right amount of cheese.

The breakfast buffet had more choices than most we have been to, including eggs made to order.  Luckily peaches were is season and we were able to feast on peach strudel until I could not pass another bit through my lips.  Of course our second morning I started with the peach strudel first.  Why pussyfoot around? Read More>>> 

Summer Family Fun at The King and Prince

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

The boss has given you one more deadline, your son is begging to take on one more sport (doubling your chauffeur duties), the grass needs to be cut, you need to go grocery shopping, your little princess has varnished your new couch with a bottle of nail polish, that load of clothes in the dryer has been there for DAYS and now needs to be ironed.  Ready for a break yet?  Come on down to The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort to de-stress and reward yourself.

We think a vacation should be all about fun and relaxation.  Our newly revived pool complex is our summertime hub of activities.  Kelsey Todd, our Activities Director, has a variety of activities planned for the kids.  Our Ocean Terrace Grille offers up delicious cuisine and refreshing libations (for both kids and grown-ups) so you don’t even have to abandon your comfy lounge chair.  Just soak up the sun and enjoy!  Enjoy these photos of our summertime happenings, and call today to book your well-deserved getaway!

Legend surrounds you…

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Legend surrounds you…

When you are embraced by the majesty of the Tower Room, or open your balcony door, you will feel as if you’re on top of the world; you can almost sense the legends and hear the past. By being in the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, you stand in the middle of history. You can imagine those first visitors in 1935 as they came in droves to enjoy the seaside dance club; you will sense the feel the pride and loyalty when, in the 1940s, the King and Prince served as a naval coast-watching and training facility during World War II.

And when you step outside the next day, after an amazing breakfast at The King’s Tavern, you can hop on the St. Simon’s Trolley and head to the historic Lighthouse. You can embark on a tour that will bring you into the intriguing and mystical Christ Church, which traces its origins all the way back to 1776. The magnificent wooded grounds enclose a cemetery of the earliest settlers to St. Simon’s – settlers that have tales to tell of battles, life and love. Then on to Fort Frederica for a history lesson to the extreme, where you will learn the monumental place this island holds in American history. From outdoor activities to the numerous unique shops and art galleries, a tour of St. Simons is an experience you will want for days on end.

Kindness surrounds you…

With a staff of amazing, friendly people who wish nothing more than for you to have the vacation of a lifetime, you will be constantly pampered. From massages in our Royal Treatment Cottage to relaxing with coffee in the elegant atrium lobby before heading out for the Friday Evening Seafood Buffet in the oceanfront Delegal Room - the historic centerpiece of the Resort – featuring original stained glass panoramas depicting scenes from St. Simons rich history and the beautiful Atlantic Ocean…the King and Prince staff offers nothing but warmth and charm.

THIS is Artistry!

Sunrise on St. Simons Island

St Simons Island Sunrise

987zzz321
987zzz321
zp8497586rq

Simon Says: You are a Saint

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Elayne Spencer took a recent trip to The King and Prince for fun, food & relaxation.  She wasn’t disappointed!  Read on…  For more of Elayne’s stories, visit www.homeschoolingparent.com

 

Experiencing the history, beauty, tranquility and the food of St. Simons Island

By Elayne Spencer

Part One: In this installment, I am focusing on the food I found while staying on St. Simons Island. In my next installment, I will share with you the historical highlights of the Island, making it a perfect place for a fall field trip.

 

If the coast of Georgia isn’t on your mind as a destination for a family/educational get-away, you’ll want to add it to your list immediately. If you’re trying to work in
an affordable “field trip” for your homeschooling family, fall or early spring are exceptional times to visit the area. The rates are lower than in the summer months, but the days are warm and the nights are cool… perfect weather for exploring all the island has to offer.

Nestled among the coastline and barrier islands of Georgia, Brunswick and the
Golden Isles welcome you to a truly exhilarating expanse of sea, sun, and fun. There is so much do and see! Yet, just relaxing and taking in the beauty of these fabled shores will give you enough wonderful memories to last for years. After experiencing the hospitality and beauty of St. Simons Island, it’s apparent why Georgia stays in the minds of so many, evoking images of open arms and peaceful dreams.

There’s a peaceful, laid-back feel on St. Simons Island. It’s quiet. It’s established. It has many year-round residents. Yet, you feel at home. When you enter restaurants and shops you are treated not as a guest but as a friend. There’s a lack of pretentiousness that personifies the soul of the South.

YUM YUM YUM

And the food? I’m not sure I could find better food. Anywhere.

There are foods that I have not been particularly drawn to in the past. Before I left for this trip, however, I decided to open up my mind (and my palate) and view every culinary exposure as an adventure. I was not disappointed.

After checking in at The King and Prince Resort, the adventure began! At dinner, I was seated next to Vinny D’Agostino, Food & Beverage Director at The King and Prince. Besides having a contagious and delightful sense of fun and adventure, Vinny has an amazing grasp on the nuances of food preparation, history and creation. Throughout the rest of the trip, I stayed close to Vinny and experienced food I’d never been brave enough to try. The first culinary treat was Apalachiacola Oysters on the half shell with sweet corn, asparagus, tomato and cilantro vinaigrette. I planned to pretend I liked the dish, but as it turned out, no acting skills were necessary. It was delectable! No one was more surprised than I. I think Vinny had a napkin handy … just in case.

We were joined by Chef Jeff Kaplan and Bud St. Pierre, Director of Sales and Marketing. Dinner was prepared before our eyes and I never expected to be so smitten with grits! I’d had grits before, but none that rival the ones served to us that night … Wild Georgia Low Country Shrimp and Grits.

I love shrimp prepared any way. Fried, boiled, grilled … you name it. I have eaten shrimp all over the country, but there is something that distinguishes Wild Georgia shrimp from any other shrimp I’ve ever eaten. They’re unusually sweet. According toWild Georgia Shrimp, they have their own unique flavor. The flesh is firm and the color is fresh. Wild Georgia Shrimp grow naturally. According to Monterey Bay Aquarium, “Southeast Asian wetlands, especially mangrove forests, are being destroyed to create commercial shrimp farms. These ponds build up muck which can cause shrimp to have pollutants or disease.” Yuck. There’s none of that muck in this sweet, succulent shrimp.

Chef Kaplan prepared Shrimp and Grits in a Tasso Cream Sauce. If you’d like to try your hand at it, here’s the recipe. I’m pretty sure the addition of asiago cheese is a nod to Vinny’s Italian roots. I’ve never met an Italian spin I didn’t like.

————

King and Prince Shrimp & Grits in a Tasso Cream Sauce Recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup heaving cream
1/3 cup tasso ham
¼ cup kernel corn
¼ cup diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
½ cup wild Georgia shrimp
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
¼ cup asiago cheese
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Preparation: In a sauce pan, sauté the Georgia shrimp with Cajun seasoning using olive oil. In another pan, sauté tasso ham, corn, tomatoes, and green onions: add heavy cream and asiago cheese: let simmer two minutes. Add shrimp and serve over stone ground grits of your choice.
————

I could go on and on about the food. (Too late … I think I already have!) We visitedSouthern Soul Barbeque, housed in a converted 1940s gas station. All the smoking is done with wood. Prior to our visit,  Guy Fieri from Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives visited. (Watch here…)

Among our group, we tried nearly every kind of smoked meat on the menu – it was all delicious. My mouth is still watering over the fried green beans. Delicious! Take a look at the menu … it’s so affordable. It’s also gone through its share of challenges and hasrisen from the ashes, so to speak, only a month or so after being visited by Guy.

Tom and Leslie DeLaney

Palmer’s Cafe is an Artist Studio as Well as a Restaurant

 

Heading to the downtown area, we visited Palmer’s Cafe to see Palmer Fortune and his beloved team. I can’t think of a breakfast food I like more than Eggs Benedict. Palmer’s puts a distinctive, southern spin on its version. Their version of Eggs Benedict is fondly called “The Southern.” It is two poached eggs, collards and ham served on an open faced biscuit with homemade ‘pot-licker’ gravy. In place of the usual Canadian Bacon, there was a thick, crispy fried green tomato. I have spent nights awake thinking about that scrumptious tomato. I grew up on fried green tomatoes, but they were nothing like the one I had at Palmer’s. (Sorry, Mom.) Check out their breakfast menu.

Chef Dave Snyder of Halyards surpassed all of our expectations with a sampling of what must have been every single item he serves at his restaurant. Every selection on the menu is prepared fresh – seafood, beef, poultry, game, sauces, soups and sweets. And every single thing is made from scratch. How can you not love a place that hangs its hat on using fresh food and making everything from scratch? While my mouth watered while tasting his luscious the seafood, I have to say … the grilled vegetables were some of the best I’ve ever eaten. Probably because they were fresh … And made from scratch.

And Vinny D’Agostino? Are you reading this? I am waiting on my batch of homemade Limoncello to arrive … It’s been a hot summer here! I need a refreshing treat!

Special thanks to my fellow journalists and Leigh Cort. I look forward to perhaps
crossing paths with all of you again. Maybe a reunion?

MORE PHOTOS BELOW

 

Chef Dave Snyder of Halyards

 

 

It's okay ... we sent him back to the sea after we visited

There’s more than shrimp in that net!

 

 

“The Southern” at Palmer’s Cafe

 

 

Shark attack! Follow Will’s travel adventures http://blogs.gonomad.com/wake-and-wander/

 

 

Chef Snyder’s fresh selection of seafood

The Royal Treatment

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Diane Leone enjoyed “The Royal Treatment” on her recent visit to The King and Prince.   For Jacksonville Magazine, she writes about her experiences – from our delicious Eggs Benedict to Shrimpin’ aboard the Lady Jane – all on “island time”!

Southern Cuisine, Ocean Breezes, and History — All at The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort on St. Simons Island
By Diane Leone

It’s almost impossible not to feel a bit like royalty while staying at The King and Prince. It’s not just the sparkling water in the sprawling pool area or the ocean breeze from the blue Atlantic just outside your room — it’s also the history of the resort, having started in 1935 as a private dance club only to become The King and Prince Hotel in 1941. And the royal feel continues as you learn the history of St. Simons and enjoy the Southern hospitality of the local residents and business owners. They are on “island time” and it won’t be long before you are, too. Soon you’ll never want to leave this paradise.

Attending the four-day “Southern Culinary Cuisine” event at The King and Prince is an amazing treat.

With the recent addition of Executive Chef Jeff Kaplan, The King and Prince has succeeded in creating an exceptional Southern Cuisine experience for its guests. Chef Kaplan embraces the “Food to Table Movement.” This was apparent from the first evening, when the menu included inventive drinks from Georgia’s 13th Colony Distillery, an amazing spread of artisan cheeses from Sweet Grass Dairy (Thomasville, GA) paired with local honeys and jams, delicious White Georgia Shrimp & Grits, melt-in-your-mouth crème brûlée with fresh Georgia peaches, and buttery Chardonnay made from the Muscadine grape (compliments of Georgia’s Still Pond Winery).

You will awake to the sound of the ocean waves hitting the beach. Don’t miss a chance to watch the sunrise over the ocean before you make your way to the culinary delight that awaits you for breakfast. One such dish is Chef Kaplan’s take on traditional eggs benedict, a delightful meal with perfectly poached eggs resting on fried green tomatoes, bacon, and goat cheese on top of English muffins.

Although you could simply      spend the day at the edge of the ocean or at the pool, basking in the sun and sampling the Southern fare, there are activities to explore on St. Simons that will help you burn some calories so you can enjoy more Southern Cuisine delights. One such option is The King and Prince Golf Course, designed by architect Joe Lee; the course is famous for a group of four spectacular signature holes delicately situated in the marsh. Watch for the eagle nest and alligators if the grand 300-year-old oaks with moss hanging lazily off their limbs are not enough to capture your attention while experiencing this beautiful golf course. If you want to see the island and hear stories of its history, take a trolley tour with Cap Fendig, whose family has resided on St. Simons since the 1800s.

To really feel the local vibe of the fresh food you are tasting, take the Let’s Go Shrimpin’ tour on the Lady Jane shrimp boat, where you’ll have the chance to touch the bounty hauled up from the water. Experience the thrill of seeing all of the different fish, sharks, shrimp, and stingrays. During our excursion, a sea turtle was caught in the nets (it’s rare for this to happen), great to see but always put back in the water. Everything caught is put back after guests get to touch, hold, and photograph the catch, except for the shrimp, because the trademark white shrimp are boiled up for guests to dine on before departing the Lady Jane.

For a truly local feel, consider Southern Soul Barbeque, a casual place with benches outside where you can smell the ribs, chicken, pulled pork and killer ‘sides’ cooking. The restaurant has nationwide appeal (featured on shows such as Diners, Drive-ins and Dives).

Don’t miss a visit to Palmer’s Village Café where you’ll find delightful locally-sourced dishes with a beautiful backdrop of local artists’ paintings. The art makes the café feel light and airy and it’s for sale if you find a piece you just have to have. Palmer’s offers up creative breakfast dishes such as a mini biscuit with café sausage and pimento cheese — a Southern tradition — or challah French toast and blueberry orange compote with warm, fresh maple syrup.

While on the island, you simply cannot afford to miss a meal at the award-winning Halyards restaurant, where Chef Dave Snyder features a “seafood demo” with 10-15 varieties of local fish. Our menu included grilled whole shrimp with salsa, sautéed flounder with caramelized vidalia crab scampi butter, oysters grilled with garlic oil and chimichurri, and much more. It’s a must-experience local eatery.

The delightful Sugar Marsh Cottage, located just 13 miles from Brunswick, offered an amazing chocolate tasting, complete with information on how to rate chocolate. This was wonderful — and yet there was more! A honey sampling from Savannah Bee Company was truly an inspiring experience. Who knew there were so many delectable types of honey?

To round out your gourmet sampling of the incredible Southern Culinary Cuisine event, find Food and Beverage Director Mr. Vinny D’Agostino to get his recipe for homemade limoncello. Not only does this Italian after-dinner liqueur aid in digestion, it’s smooth and sublime.

 

At the end of the day, The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, along with St. Simons Island, are worth experiencing. You’ll find yourself on island time in no time at all.

If you’d like to purchase this article for your publication, click here to contact the author directly.

Why You Should Visit St. Simons Island

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Claudine Williams visited us last April.  Here’s what she has to say about her getaway on TripWolf.com

I drove through a dozen small towns to get from Atlanta  to the coast of Georgia. At first, I thought the towns were quaint pit-stops along miles and miles of road. Sometimes I’d see horses grazing on land along the two-lane highway. I kept thinking that there had to be a faster route to St. Simons Island. Couldn’t I take I-95 there? I barely saw any cars on the road as I trudged along at 45 miles per hour. I was tempted to go faster, but I knew that Georgia cops were nothing to play with.

I was to stay in the King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort. I had been grinding, putting in 16+ hour days writing, dealing with deadlines. At night, I usually fell asleep with my laptop on my bed, so I was more than ready to see what St. Simons Island and the King and Prince had to offer.

The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort

The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort

A Family-Friendly Island

St. Simons is a laid-back island with a family-friendly vibe. There are no high-rises on the island, just plenty of shopping centers, restaurants, homes, a couple of golf courses, parks, and the beach. Unlike most beach communities, the majority of the people there are year-round residents. When the weather’s warm, residents head to the ocean for little rest and recreation. They meet under the trees in Neptune Park, the public park. The park has a playground, miniature golf, and a  pool. It is one the top hang-out spots in St. Simons. The cute shopping and entertainment district is the other hot-spot.

 

Shopping district on St. Simons Island

Shopping district on St. Simons Island

Lucky for me, island’s popular King and Prince resort is also near the ocean. I knew that I was getting closer to the resort when I saw a  golf cart driving down road. My room was not ready when I arrived at the hotel, but the first desk personnel offered to call my cell phone when it was all set.

King and Prince Resort and Spa

View from an oceanview room at the King and Prince Resort and Spa

A few minutes later, I moved into an oceanfront room with a king-sized bed. I opened the sliding glass doors and looked out at the pool and beyond at the ocean. The view was glorious, and so was the ocean breeze.

Touring St. Simons by Trolley

My car safely parked in the resort’s free lot, I took a trolley tour of the island, a cool way to see what the island is all about. With the windows wide open and a breeze blowing, we drove under massive canopy trees that reminded me of the Old South, ladies with parasols and gloved hands. Actually, people who love history would probably enjoy the trolley tour. The tour takes visitors to points of interest like the maritime center, the old lighthouse, and Bloody Marsh Battle site, the site of a 1700s battle between the British and Spaniards.

Maritime Center on St. Simons Island

We explored the island’s history at the Maritime Center

Seafood lovers would love the plentiful seafood at the island’s many restaurants. Shrimping and fishing are popular pastimes. I rode on the Lady Jane, a shrimping boat, and I felt just like Bubba from Forest Gump. I happen to love shrimp, so I was happy to learn that the shrimping industry is alive and well in Georgia.

A shrimp net from off the Georgia Coast

We went shrimping off of the Georgia coast

 

Before lunch at Haylards Restaurant, Chef Dave Snyder showed off a recent catch.

 

One Visit and You’re Hooked

When I think of the plentiful  seafood and the peaceful living on St. Simons Island, I want to hop in my car and take another trip to the island. The next time I visit, I’ll make sure that I take the Interstate to get there faster.

Fishing on St. Simon's Island

Cap Fendig demonstrates fishing techniques.

 

St. Simons Island

The easy life on St. Simons Island in Georgia