There are only three things that teenage boys are interested in: food, girls and sports. The order may change depending on the kid, but these pretty much sum it up. Incessant video gaming counts as sports. Food will usually take a lesser position in the hierarchy…except when they’re hungry, which is all the time unless there are, well, girls and sports available.
So the ideal vacation for a teen boy will bring all these things together (and where there’s an environment parents can enjoy, too). The simple solution: the beach.
We told our 15-year-old Brandon that we were heading for the beach. He was only so enthused. It seems that hanging around at the local pool and posing for the girls there was a better choice. And how could he play his favorite video games at the beach? Was there anything to do? The suggestion that there were plenty of books to catch up on earned a derisive snort and a roll of the eyes. How could we be so lame? Boring!
So it was with high hopes and one bad attitude in the back seat (“You’re going and that’s that!”) that we set off for the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort on Georgia’s Saint Simon’s Island.
At check-in, the soaring lobby and the relaxed yet elegant ambience assured that this would be no cramped sojourn in a rickety beach motel. Looking straight back through the famed restaurant, the tantalizing view of the ocean (the only oceanfront restaurant on the entire island) teased us with the promise of adventure after our long ride.
We were taken to our villa, a modern, super clean and superbly equipped home away from home. The view through the big glass doors and the terrace was remarkable. A light breeze rippled the ocean. The tide was partly out so the beach was expansive and waves broke over some sandbars right out front. Directly below, an enormous pool glistened bright blue. People were seated on a patio near the water’s edge at a snack bar. There were umbrellas and bikers and people strolling on the beach, swimming in the surf. It was colorful and…happy.
Some boys about Brandon’s age were throwing a football while some bikinied girls looked on. “Hey! I know that kid! He goes to my school! Can I go down to the beach?”
We said yes. There was a pause. “Don’t you have to go with me?”
We said no. It’s about as safe a place as could be. We gave him some money for the snack bar. “You’re giving me money!?”
We watched as he joined the group. A few handshakes, some shy glances at the girls, and the football regained the air, with Brandon in the circle.
We strolled down the beach, feeling the stresses and strains of the everyday work week melt away with every step. After a while, we returned to the hotel. We went up to our villa, expecting Brandon to be buried in his iPad, but he wasn’t there. There was a note: “Gone to the Gym.”
After some texting, we all met at the restaurant. The high ceilings and ceiling high windows looked right over the surf. And the menu was even more impressive. The big, juicy Tavern Burger made Brandon smile, although he could barely pay attention to the food because one of the girls he met at the beach was at an adjoining table.
A signature King & Prince Crab Cake was a perfect appetizer, as were the savory Black Truffle Fries & Aioli. Then there was an amazing Crab Mac‘n Cheese, and a Low Country Shrimp & Grits, the King & Prince haute cuisine version of a perennial coastal favorite. If seafood hadn’t pleased, there were savory choices like Kurobota Pork, a whimsical Chicken and Waffles, a Short Rib Pot Roast and much, much more. The menu is large and creative, and dinner was incredible.
After dinner, Brandon and a few of his new friends from the beach went out to the pool. The entire pool was lit and cast a bright blue glow. We all stood at the patio rail and watched the sea roll in and back. The stars were brilliant. Brandon said his good nights and came upstairs with us to our villa, after making plans to meet the next day. There was a bike ride for us all in the offing; Brandon and his new friends would ride up with us to the historic fort at Frederica, and we’d come back for lunch at the King & Prince, and then on to the beach for the afternoon. There was tennis in the plan for the next few days, along with a ghost tour and a ride on a real shrimp boat, and some fishing off the Village Pier, all planned with the helpful folks at the King & Prince.
Our vacation couldn’t have had a better beginning. Look like we may have found a new family tradition.
Let’s face it. For most of us, spending time with our girlfriends consistently slips to the bottom of our to-do lists. But stealing away for precious time together can do wonders for the spirit – and bring us all back home with a renewed enthusiasm for all that we do. So when my group of my favorite metro Atlanta gal pals floated the idea of a girls’ weekend, we quickly settled on the perfect destination: the legendary King and Prince Resort on St. Simon’s Island. Just a few hours drive, it gave us the chance to let our hair down and reconnect without everyday distractions.
Now before I share a few of our (edited for publication!) antics, I’d like to introduce the motley crew in our posse. Full disclosure: I’ve changed the names to protect the innocent, but I’ll bet you’ll recognize a few of these personalities among the women in your own life.
For starters, I’m a writer in less than perfect physical condition. File me under “Foodie.” Our group also included Evelyn, dynamo who adores crafts and never stops moving (or talking!), Jackie, a health-conscious exercise enthusiast, Pam, former Girl Scout leader and
lover of architecture. The last member was Katie, Scottish by birth, and interested in all things historic and representative of the Old South.
We piled into my mini-van (hip, right?!) and headed down to the King and Prince Resort on a Friday afternoon. With every mile, I could feel the tension slipping away. Our group grew more excited as we traveled. Other than a few arguments over music and where to stop for snacks, we had a peaceful journey.
When we finally arrived at the King and Prince, all of us were inspired by its grand architecture. This was going to be a weekend to remember! We checked in with plenty of time to indulge in the resort’s restaurant for dinner. After hearing about this fantastic repast for more than a decade, it was wonderful to finally sample it for myself. We all enjoyed ourselves – and the luxury of enjoying wine with dinner without having to drive home.
It took me a while to decide, but I finally splurged on an appetizer of mussels and grilled sourdough, followed by the Low Country Shrimp and Grits. You only live once, right? My meal was unbelievable, with fresh shrimp and really creamy grits. I told our waitress I wanted to recreate it back home for my family and turns out the recipe is already posted online. (Low Country Shrimp and Grits Recipe).
The other ladies were also thrilled with dinner. Jackie ordered the Char Cedar Salmon, which came with a fantastic corn bread pudding and a vegetable I had never tried before called broccoli. Landlubber Pam opted for dry rubbed “Kurobuta” pork with candied yams and some kind of a bourbon glaze. Evelyn and Jackie both wanted Chicken and Waffles, which was served with an adorable tiny bottle of tabasco sauce. Instant souvenir! I’m not at liberty to discuss our libations, but believe me, everyone left dinner happy and very mellow.
The resort itself was as spectacular as our meal. With its soaring ceiling and intricate moldings, The King and Prince transports you back in time to gentler age. The vast main lobby lifted our spirits the moment we arrived. It was like the clouds had parted, freeing us to be our true selves and simply enjoy each other’s company.
Our fully appointed two bedroom, two bath Tabby House suite was complete with all the comforts of home (without all the dirty socks, sports equipment and backpacks, of course). You could see immediately how much care had gone into the decoration of every room, from the beautiful brocade draperies to the high thread count sheets. I wish our house back in Norcross was as nice!
After dinner we slipped into bathing suits and cover-ups and strolled over to the pool area (there are three on the property!) to melt in the indoor hot tub and take a dip. Virtuous Jackie insisted on swimming some laps to burn off her dessert. The rest of us just climbed in and let the hot water ease away the stresses of everyday life. It felt so magical, I’m thinking of adding a hot tub to next year’s holiday wish list.
Saturday morning we took a short walking tour of downtown St. Simons. The little shops were full of unusual gifts and specialties like packages of flavored grits and candied nuts. Our crafter, Evelyn, was inspired by seeing so many handmade creations. I think she bought one of everything. Sure, there were plenty of souvenir t-shirts. But I was amazed by the availability of nicer, boutique dresses and beachwear. Those in need of a new swimsuit, summer cocktail dress or resort-worthy earrings won’t be disappointed. For a split second I regretted having ordered dessert the night before.
For lunch, we headed for a heavenly little spot the Concierge recommended: “Iguana’s” which was filled with tourists and locals alike. In minutes, our table was piled high with crispy fried shrimp (dubbed “the island’s best” multiple years running), shrimp po-boys, giant caesar salads with grilled salmon and a tantalizing platter of assorted roasted oysters.
As the grand finale of our afternoon, we took a breathtaking kayak trip with Southeast Adventure Outfitters. We headed out to the marsh led by an experienced tour guide, and spent a blissful couple of hours watching egrets, pelicans, and a glorious sunset that made it seem like we were worlds away instead of on the Georgia coast. The peace wasn’t lost on our usually talkative crew. Everyone grew quiet and enjoyed moving across the water as the tide gently rocked our kayaks.
Our weekend was such a raving success that we went ahead and booked another trip for next year. Somehow, I’m sure that juggling everything on my plate will be easier with another visit to the King and Prince to look forward to!
Contact the King and Prince to set up Your Girls Weekend of Fun!
Throughout Memorial Day Weekend, we will be celebrating the All-American Corn Dog! During daytime at the King’s Tavern and Ocean Terrace Grille, Executive Chef Jason Brumfiel and his staff will prepare the delicious traditional American treat for our guests. A Kosher all-beef frank (third-pound for adults, quarter-pound for kids) will be dipped in golden cornmeal batter and fried. The side item? Tater tots, plain or “loaded” with cheese, bacon and sour cream.
-Adult Corn Dog with Plain Tater Tots – $8, add $4 more for loaded Tots
– Kid Corn Dog with Plain Tater Tots – $6
A born and bred New Yorker, Mosaka Williamson was not sure what to expect on her sojourn through Georgia. She could only spend one night with us, but the quaint charms of our island left her hungry for more! We are honored to be featured on her blog, Socially Superlative.
The vibe of the resort in true Southern fashion is very laid back. Many people go there just for the simple pleasures of walking on the beach or exploring in the Pier Village, where there are several shops, restaurants and a fishing pier. However, the resort is surrounded by many fun and interesting recreational activities, historic sites, and attractions that offer something for everyone.
We’re glad we could host “Mo” and her friends for a dash of southern hospitality and a chance to kick back and relax on their press trip.
Come and join us at The King’s Tavern on St. Simons Island from 5 to 7pm each night and go back in time to the days of Model T’s, silent films, and the birth of jazz. We’re offering great prices on our specialty Pre-Prohibition era cocktails – Bee’s Knees, Old Fashioned, and Moscow Mule, just to name a few! If you prefer beer or wine, we have specials on those as well.
Pre-Prohibition Happy Hour
Featuring Classic Cocktails in the Tavern Bar Daily
5:00pm to 7:00pm
Bee’s Knees – Gin, Lemon Juice, Honey Syrup
Moscow Mule – Vodka, Lime Juice, Ginger Ale
La Paloma – Tequila, Grapefruit Juice, Lime Juice, Soda Water, Fees Brothers Grapefruit Bitters
Mary Pickford – Rum, Pineapple Juice, Cherry Liqueur, Grenadine
Old – Fashioned – Bourbon, Simple Syrup, Orange Segments, Soda, Fees Brothers Cherry Bitters
Champagne Cocktail – Sparkling Wine, Sugar Cube, Angostura Bitters
William Hill Chardonnay
Benvolio Pinot Grigio
Sea Glass Sauvignon Blanc
Canyon Road Pinot Noir
William Hill Cabernet
Red Rock Merlot
Domestic Draft Beer, $4
Vacations packages are a very motivating item when they are the grand prize in a contest. The Marcus Jewish Community Center in Dunwoody, Georgia is offering a trip to yours truly for the winner of their nine-week “Biggest Loser” challenge, which started on New Year’s Day.
The participant who has the highest percentage of pounds lost will receive a two-night stay at The King and Prince Resort on St. Simons Island. The grand prize includes an ocean-front room, breakfast for two and two rounds of golf.
We wish the best of luck to all the participants. We look forward to welcoming the winner for a well-deserved getaway.
DJ Jones and his wife MJ visited us last month. He wrote a beautiful article that highlights our history and naturally beautiful location – as well as a Friday night dinner of steamed crab legs.
The hotel has survived fire, war, and decades of change, yet it still shines amongst an American coastline that’s become dominated by one soulless mega-resort after another. The key to the King and Prince’s success is simple: the resort possesses something which can’t be bought through the latest trends in hotel design and often takes decades to attain… Character.
Which would be the highlight of your weekend? All-you-can-eat crab legs or gazing at the moon reflecting on the ocean from your oceanfront room at The King and Prince?
Read the rest of D.J.’s story on his blog, The World of Deej.
Jeff & Stephanie Sylva recently joined us on a press trip. Their focus was on how families can enjoy a visit to the Golden Isles and The King and Prince. Their article, Southern Charms at The King and Prince Golf Resort, tells us why our community is an excellent place to take the family for a beach vacation – activities, dining and recreational pursuits abound.
During our four-day stay at The King and Prince we were treated like old friends by, not only the attentive resort staff, but by everyone we met throughout the island. We didn’t simply feel like tourists being welcomed for their business; but rather we felt welcomed as guests of the island community, invited to share in the tranquil beauty of this quaint island.
Read the rest of this and more of Jeff and Stephanie’s stories on Family Travel Forum.
Okay, so either you’re not hungry, or you’re a glutton for punishment. Take a look at Christine Garvin’s culinary journey in pictures and words for a “taste” of what awaits your palate on your next Georgia beach vacation! We serve the best of what Southern cuisine has to offer – low country boil, shrimp n’ grits, biscuits, Savannah Bee Honey… If the mere idea of these delightful dishes makes your mouth water, it’s time to call and book your next trip, and bring an empty tummy!