37 National Parks. 37 Junior Ranger badges (bling). Fort Frederica Most Special.
Archive for the ‘St. Simons Island Activities’ Category
There’s no better way to unwind on vacation than on a bike. Just a short walk from The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort on St. Simons Island, Ocean Motion offers a variety of bikes for all riders. Local maps clearly delineate the major bike paths as you embark on your tour, complete with the tangy salt smell of the sea filling the breeze as you glide by. The beaches are a natural avenue of sand, and you can ride from the village at the island’s southernmost tip all the way up to a breathtaking inlet. You might see a mighty cargo ship as it follows the channel out to sea from Brunswick. You’ll ride past pretty beach cottages and stunning modern beach homes alike. Look out to sea and you’ll probably see a small pod of dolphins that likes to play just outside the breakers.
Further up the beach, you can visit the old Coast Guard and Maritime Museum. Built 150 or so years ago, the station sits several hundred yards from the beachfront. Once it was right at water’s edge where the Coast Guard could launch its rescue boats, but the powerful tides and drifting sand have changed the ocean front face of the island. The Maritime Museum features numerous galleries that feature both the history of the island and its ecology. It’s a great place to learn about this island’s beaches, marshes and forests.
Cross the East Beach Causeway – a two lane road across a beautiful section of marsh – to find the site of The Battle of Bloody Marsh. James Oglethorpe led the colonization of Georgia for Great Britain, beginning to fortify St. Simon’s Island in the 1730’s against the Spanish in Florida. Tensions over trade and border disputes between England and Spain were at a boiling point, and the path up the eastern coast north of Georgia was potentially a clear road of conquest for Spain.
A Spanish attack led by Spanish Governor Don Manuel De Montiano from St. Augustine was met by Oglethorpe. Montiano’s vastly outnumbered force was quickly driven off the island, not to return, on July 18, 1742. This decisive victory likely saved Georgia and the early colonies from Spanish rule. The battleground is so named for claims that the marsh ran red with the blood of Spanish soldiers. In truth, only seven were killed. There’s not much there now but a monument and a plaque, a great view across the marsh and a somber atmosphere of history.
Some seven miles or so north is Fort Frederica, with a monument and visitor’s center commemorating the archaeological remnants of a fort and town built by Oglethorpe between 1736 and 1748. About 630 British troops and 500 colonial residents lived in the fort and town. By 1749, however, the Spanish no longer threatened the colony and the government disbanded the garrison. The village soon fell into economic decline, and by 1755 it was mostly abandoned. A fire in 1758 sealed the town’s fate. A charming visitor’s center with film presentations, walking paths, and a number of restorative archaeological digs give a great picture of early colonial life.
Back at the village, the famed St. Simon’s Lighthouse, one of only a few major lighthouses remaining on the southern coast, dominates a waterside park just a walk across the street from restaurants and shops in a tiny, friendly little metropolis.
In its current iteration the lighthouse is a fully automated aid to navigation, but its history goes all the way back to 1804. At that time, the finished structure stood 85 feet tall and was constructed entirely from tabby, a local material comprised largely of oyster shells. It was an 8 sided pyramid, the top of which was an iron lantern ten feet high. Destroyed by the Confederates in 1862 to prevent its use by invading Union forces, it was rebuilt in 1872, including a new Victorian style Keeper’s cottage. The keeper and his assistant shared the dwelling. Tempers flared one Sunday morning in March 1880 between the head keeper and his assistant, leaving the keeper, Frederick Osborne, dead.
In 2004, the lighthouse was deeded to the Coastal Georgia Historical Society under the Lighthouse Preservation Act. Evidently, Fred remained; his footsteps in the tower have been heard by the wives of later keepers … and by lighthouse visitors.
Saint Simon’s Island is rich with history and many other historical sites. Don’t miss Christ Church, for instance, visited frequently by American presidents, and the home of a story of loyalty and love that is pure inspiration. On the very same road, approaching Fort Frederica be sure to visit the first African church in America, built by slaves, for slaves.
To learn more about Saint Simon’s Island, history tours, beaches, marshes and ghosts, contact the King and Prince Resort at www.kingandprince.com.
There are perhaps a few hundred places to stay along the pristine coast of Georgia, but none captures the true essence of Southern coastal living quite like the grand dame: The King and Prince Resort. Its majestic stucco buildings command a stunning ocean front locale on historic St. Simon’s Island. Once you’ve stepped inside, greeted by the friendly staff, it’s as if tensions melt away, taking the worries of frantic, email, text-happy living right along with them. This is truly the kind of loafers-no-socks ease that lets every visitor feel instantly like an honored guest, and for a few days at least, as part of the privileged few. Count on traditional Southern gentility from every staff member, from the wide welcoming smiles of the front desk staff to the attentive wait staff who serve frosty drinks and delicious sandwiches, snacks and drinks poolside.
Originally built as a private dance club in 1935, The King and Prince was established soon after prohibition ended, offering its members and guests a welcoming spot to unwind while perfecting a foxtrot, Charleston or waltz. Its sweeping ballrooms, vast ceilings and the only ocean-front restaurant on the island make the ambiance one of a kind. But happily, nothing about this grand hotel feels stuffy or formal. There’s a kind, easy atmosphere you can’t help but notice. Guests of all ages find something special to appreciate.
For families, it’s the carefree confidence of spending precious moments with little ones building sand castles and dipping their tiny feet into the gentle ocean waves. Poolside, Moms and Dads appreciate the freedom to order drinks, snacks and sandwiches served to their delighted brood at tables surrounding the pool. Kids like not having to stop and dress to eat lunch. Burgers taste best eaten in a swimsuit in the shade. Parents appreciate the simple luxury of having time to spend together without wrestling their water babies into shorts and shoes. Everybody wins!
It’s easy to spend your days simply relishing the luxury of free time, strolling on the beach or baking by the pool. But once your batteries recharge and you’re ready for something more active, St. Simon’s offers plenty to do. Rent bicycles for the day or week from Ocean Motion, a shop so close it’s practically part of the resort. Once you pick out the perfect bike, the island is yours! Head into town to explore the quaint shops, candy store, ice cream shop, and a wonderful pier that extends out from the village far into the ocean. Ambitious cyclists might want to head for Fort Frederica, a spectacular state park built around the ruins of a pre-revolutionary Fort. Picnicking on the grounds at tables under the live oaks will be a highlight of your vacation.
Another fun way to explore St. Simon’s is by kayak. Treat yourself to an excursion with SouthEast Adventure Outfitters. Whether you set out on the marsh or down Cathead Creek, kayaking is an exhilarating way to get close to the water and see the birds and, if you’re lucky, playful dolphins. Paddling is easy and relaxing. And because the guides know a lot about the island’s ecology and history, their commentary makes this family-friendly activity educational as well as fun. Those interested in fishing can rent gear and drop a line off the fishing pier downtown, or join one of the several fishing charters available for an offshore adventure.
Despite all there is to do in St. Simon’s, you just might find yourself drawn to the simple pleasure of doing nothing at all. Many guests report their favorite memories are made during the warm afternoons at the beach, watching crabs scurry or children push shovels in the sand and “dig to China.” As the pelicans dive for fish and the gentle waves lap the shore, the sounds of laughter are all around. Time seems to stand still, just for a moment, as families escape the hurried pace of the everyday back home and fall into a new, more relaxed pattern that connects all ages. Many families visit with multi-generations, from vibrant seniors to infants blinking in the sun and toddlers taking their first tentative steps in sand. Little ones and school age children blossom as they run in and out of the ocean, taking breaks to peer into holes and gather shells and sticks. Groups of teens gather to toss a ball or try one of the low rider bicycles for rent on the beach. Easy pedaling sends riders speeding down the beach, and there’s a smile on every face.
Even a few precious days at the King and Prince Beach Resort on Georgia’s St. Simon’s Island can refuel the spirit and reconnect loved ones. It’s hard to think of anything this gracious seaside retreat doesn’t offer. But in the end, the most important thing most visitors find is a sense of themselves and those they love. Truly, a trip to St. Simon’s will be packed with memories to cherish for a lifetime. Visitors return home feeling they’ve escaped the business of modern life, and connected to the gentle Southern seaside life that will forever endure the test of time.
Captain Larry Credle provides the brains and education to one and all aboard “Lady Jane”. This U.S. Coast Guard certified 49 passenger steel shrimping vessel was recently retired after years of loyal service to the shrimping industry.
The ‘Lady,’ after being refurbished and brought back to life, now offers guests a cruising experience they have never known. While there, you can truly get into the core world of shrimping. Help the knowledgeable and engaging crew of marine biologists sort the shrimp from “Lady Jane’s” catch. Sit back and enjoy the meal of boiled shrimp that First Mate John Tyre prepares just for you.
The cruise remains in the beautifully protected waters of St. Simon Sound. And “Lady Jane” has it all at your disposal; from an air conditioned cabin and restroom to large open decks where you can walk around and enjoy the breathtaking views. This is, quite literally, paradise on earth.
Adventure, fun, education – all mixed with ‘5-star’ services – is what you receive when you speak with Captain Larry as he helms a real Shrimp Trawler and engages you in one of the most historical industries in the world.
The stunning ambiance of St. Simon’s Island has no competition. Captain Larry has many fans on this historical and memorable location. The staff of The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, tell all of their visitors that Captain Larry and the “Lady Jane” can’t be missed.
As it is with so many things on this stunning island, the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort is also part of history. This historic ocean front retreat heralds Captain Larry and his “Lady Jane” because they, too, are all about providing relaxation, inspiration and recreation – all in equal measure – and is a locale that has been beloved since its opening in 1935.
Beautiful beaches, ocean front dining and six sparkling blue pools have helped make the King & Prince the ‘go to’ destination on the Georgia coast.
Enjoy the history. Relax as you set sail on the “Lady Jane” and come ‘home’ to the stunning resort that is the King and Prince.
For more information on these locations, head to:
Annette White has delighted us with many entertaining posts on her blog, Bucket List Journey. One bucket list item that she needed to check off was a climb to the top of a lighthouse. Perfect! St. Simons Island is home to a fully functioning lighthouse, built in 1872. 129 steps up a cast iron spiral stairway led Annette to some glorious views. This magnificent piece of history is located about a mile south of The King and Prince Resort – great stop for a bike ride!
Read more about Annette’s journey in her blog post, Climbing a St. Simons Island Lighthouse.
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.
Annette White visited us recently, and she nixed the idea of R&R on her free time, opting instead for a beach bike ride. She also walked a block away from the resort to the scrumptious Beachcomber BBQ for dinner one night – complete with red wine in a plastic cup!
Read on, and we dare you to not feel the beach breeze and taste the tangy BBQ…
The King and Prince recently had the pleasure of hosting Annette White of Petaluma, California. Annette is a travel blogger who is always on another adventure to add to her bucket list. Readers can live vicariously through her experiences on her Bucket List Journey. From fish pedicures in Spain to duck gizzards in Seattle, Annette has many exciting stories to tell. We are proud to have made her list! Check out her St. Simons adventures:
‘Tis the season for all things spooky and scary right about now. And let’s face it, planning any wedding can sometimes generate a few shades of the macabre. Why not face the demons head on and schedule a “Ghost Walk of St. Simons” tour one enchanted evening with your resort wedding guests? After all, Coastal Living ranks the St. Simons lighthouse as one of the Top Ten Haunted Lighthouses in the US. You’ll walk in the footsteps of the past, learn a little local history……..and it’s dog- and kid-friendly. Your guests will love it – and you for daring to diverge from the beaten path. Then, the next day as you lounge on the beach or in one of the King and Prince’s six swimming pools, you might just feel a little more connected to the sights and sounds of this very special beach wedding resort.
A recent New York Times article by Karen Crouse showcased our island’s presence in the golfing world:
Three of the 12 players on the United States squad (Ryder Cup) live in St. Simons: Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedeker, who is one of Love’s four captain’s picks. It seems crazy to consider that an island with a population under 13,000 has four residents participating in the Ryder Cup, and crazier still to contemplate what might have been.
The Ryder Cup did not turn out in our favor, but life goes on, and St. Simons Island is proud to once again host the McGladrey Classic PGA Tour Golf Tournament this week at the Seaside Golf Course. Davis Love III, Zach Johnson and Chris DiMarco will be joined by 129 other PGA TOUR Professionals. The tournament takes place October 18-21, 2012, with a concert by country music star Gary Allan on Wednesday the 17th. Click here for more information.