37 National Parks. 37 Junior Ranger badges (bling). Fort Frederica Most Special.
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.
The East Beach of Georgia’s Saint Simon’s Island greets the Atlantic with a 5-mile long, wide strip of clean packed sand custom made for a family stroll, or a bike excursion, or an introspective look at
Views of water are everywhere, ready to refresh the minds and spirits of weary travelers.
Even on holidays, the beach bustles with walkers and runners, children and adults tracing sand patterns with recumbent bikes, Frisbee players and kite flyers. There is always a spot for quiet reflection. A place to watch the changing sea and sand.
The tides on Saint Simon’s Island range from 8 to 10 feet, the largest tidal range on the East Coast excluding Maine. Sandbars exposed at the lowest tide teem with sea birds, little crabs and creatures…and vacationers who frequently make their way across the small, deeper channels to land there, latter day explorers on a voyage of discovery.
Right in front of the fabled King and Prince Resort, which has elegantly stood guard over the beach for 78 years, one can see several of these new worlds. Some sandbars are bare sand; some are just barely awash with warm, ankle deep water. They enclose an inland sea of flat, sun heated water that’s just right for kayaks and the beach rented catamaran sailboats that glide almost silently by.
Farther out, too far to walk or wade, but visible from the restaurant’s tall, arched windows, small fishing boats congregate around what the local folk call “Whiting Hole,” a deep indentation in the bottom that is the seasonal home of its namesake. Whiting is a fish that’s deliciously mild and easy to prepare, but just feisty enough not to be too easy to catch on light tackle. Chances are, the pod of dolphins that work the length of East Beach will show up to observe, nature’s oversight on the circle of life that is the sea.
The sea is everywhere. After all, it’s an island. The ship channel between Saint Simon’s and historic Jekyll Island carries some of the world’s largest ships; most of America’s east coast automobiles land at Brunswick, GA. These and other enormous cargo carriers pass right by the Saint Simon’s Village pier, almost close enough to touch. As they leave, they angle slightly northward, easily viewed in their majesty from the poolside veranda of the King and Prince.
On the island’s west side there are beautiful bays and miles and miles of breathtaking marshes that are the breeding grounds for all the creatures that populate these coastal waters, including the renowned Wild Georgia Shrimp. They say these shrimp are unique in all the world because they are bred in a sea grasses that don’t exist anywhere but in the broad marshes of the Georgia coast. Try a dish of local shrimp & grits for yourself and prepare to be amazed!
Frederica River winds in from the inlet past the historic sites of Gascoigne Bluff and historic Fort Frederica into an expansive bay that
was the harbor for slavers and ships of commerce since before America’s independence. There isn’t a place on the island that doesn’t somehow look to the sea. Sightseeing abounds; take a bike to the fort, to Christ Church or to the archaeological digs at Fort Frederica (or a great trolley tour!). The sea, or its stories, are a constant presence.
Not far north along the beach from the King & Prince, there is a low spit of sand that extends way out into the ocean. At low tide, you can walk its length, and a moment just before the tide begins to roll back in. There’s a moment, a single, memorable snapshot in time where you’re totally surrounded by water. Where there is nothing but you and the sea and the sky and the salt-scented breeze. Where you are humbled, and small, and joyous in the realization that there is so much grace and beauty so much larger than yourself.
Find out more about the beaches and sea at Saint Simon’s Island. Go to 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:
My daughter Whitney and I are morning people.
For Spring Break this year, my family took an amazing journey to the King and Prince Hotel on Saint Simons Island. The hotel was our home for 4 days. We rode bikes around the island, swam at the hotel pool, visited Fort Frederica and Cumberland Island National Parks and explored the entire island. It was the best vacation my family has ever experienced.
Barefoot in the sand, and letting the ankle deep waves rush over our feet, my daughter and I explored the beach, following the plovers, terns and various shorebirds.
We found shells. Including the shell of a pre-historic horseshoe crab that at first frightened us, because it looked like a World War I army helmet that had washed ashore.
Then on the second morning the entire sky turned blood orange, the clouds shielding the sun just enough to protect our eyes from looking directly into the sun. We stared at the sun, a fireball, gently rising on the horizon.
And on our last day, a clear crystal blue sky. So clear, you could see the streaks in the sky where airplanes had flown. It was also getting warmer. That refreshing day, we could tell spring was coming.
morning people. We get up early, I start to work, she prepares for school, and my wife gets a few more minutes of sleep. We are back into our routine. But a couple of times, since coming back, Whitney has hugged me in the early morning before daylight, and asked to see the sunrise. We throw on warmer clothes, clasp hands together and journey outside to explore and watch the sun come up.
While we watch the sun come up over our city, we remember our special gift from Saint Simons Island, the sunrise, the place and that special time and memory with my daughter.
Written by Pat Byington, editor of The Green Register
We truly treasure when a guest takes the time to write to us about their experience at The King and Prince. Making our guests happy, even exceeding their expectations, is our goal every day. When we receive feedback, such as the following note from a recent conference participant, we are thrilled that all of our hard work has paid off.
To Whom It May Concern:
I have two reasons to be happy this morning. One: I have a short work week (Thursday & Friday), since I was attending a conference for the last 3 days. Two: My conference was held at your Resort. It was hands down the best conference I’ve ever attended. My coworkers are teasing me about my mini-vacation, as they don’t believe anyone could get any work done at an oceanfront resort. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Maybe it’s the salt air, or the ocean breeze – but mine and my fellow attendees’ senses and minds were sharpened and ready to absorb all the new information we learned. I understand your meeting rooms were recently renovated, and they were spectacular – from the Lanier Room, where we had our general sessions, to the Retreat Room facing the ocean, from where a few of us spotted a group of dolphins jumping in the waves. During our meeting breaks, I’d grab a bite, walk out to the pool and relax on a chaise lounge, hearing the waves crash as I responded to emails from work.
Our beautiful room was in the Oceanfront Building – very close to the lobby and meeting rooms, so quite convenient. We sat outside on our private oceanfront balcony early in the mornings, sipping coffee and reading the paper as the sun rose before us. At night, after our excellent dinners (my personal favorite was the pecan-crusted grouper) we were ready to relax. We fell asleep with our door open, listening to the waves. If everyone could live and work in that environment, the world would be a much better place!
The service was outstanding, from the time the Front Desk staff welcomed us with smiles and genuine enthusiasm. All of the dining staff, including the young men who kept up our meeting breaks, were super-efficient and friendly. I never met the housekeeper who cleaned our room (I was always in the meeting), but I was delighted to find a handwritten note from her (Phyllis), welcoming us to the Resort and where to call if we needed anything.
You truly have a wonderful place. My only complaint is that I am no longer there! I will certainly push for our group to return to The King and Prince next year. We’re even considering bringing the kids there this summer for a longer stay – we’re eager to explore St. Simons Island and spend some time by the pool and on the beach.
Yes, this is why we do what we do. This letter seems as good an advertisement as any – won’t you consider giving your meeting attendees this experience?
Was today the day? Did he choose the most romantic day of the year to tell you he wanted to spend the rest of his life with you? Congratulations! So you’ve called your parents and all your friends, posted pictures on Facebook, and told pretty much everybody who’ll listen: ”I’m getting married!” Now it’s time to plan. Deciding on the perfect place for your happily ever after to begin is certainly a daunting task, with which we are glad to help. We are going to let the pictures tell the story… Then, give Ruth and Scarlett a call at The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort and start planning the destination beach wedding of your dreams!
From more weddings pictures at The King and Prince Resort, visit our wedding gallery!
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.
This Thursday, January 24th, The King and Prince Resort will be the proud venue of Glynn County’s popular monthly networking event – The Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours. Joining The King and Prince as hosts are The American Cancer Society, Coastal Greenery, Elegant Island Living, Nalley Auto, and DJ’s by Island Sound.
It’s awards season, and The King and Prince will roll out its own red carpet for our local stars! Join the paparazzi and watch the red carpet interviews on your way into the newly redesigned Delegal Room with your colleagues in the Brunswick-Golden Isles business community. Enjoy delicious appetizers and cocktails, and be sure to bring your business cards – one for entry into the doorprize drawing, and the others for exchanging with your new connections.