Posts Tagged ‘Fort Frederica’

The Top 5 Reasons to Visit St. Simons Island During the Winter

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Any time of the year is a good time to visit our island paradise but here are our top 5 reasons why St. Simons Island should be on your list this winter.

Beach on St Simons Island5. Quiet Beaches.  Wintertime gives islanders and visitors alike the chance to enjoy our pristine beaches without the crowds of the summer. Whether you are going for a morning walk or reading a book, you may find that while there are others on the beach, it is peaceful and calm. St. Simons Island was also named one of America’s 10 Best Winter Beach Retreats by Yahoo Travel.

4. Coastal Beauty.  Although we are partial to St. Simons, it is by far one of the most special and beautiful places in the U.S.. It is easy to get lost in the beauty of the Golden Isles. From the salt marshes to the maritime forests, pristine beaches, as well as splendid sunrises and sunsets. Nothing compares to the beauty that is all around you-and in the heart of the people on St. Simons Island. When you visit, be sure to take time to learn about the history of the island by visiting the Lighthouse or taking a tour of Fort Frederica. If you are up for an adventure, take a guided kayak tour with Southeast Adventure Outfitters.

3. Moderate Temperatures.  While lows can get into the 40’s, temperatures normally range from the 60’s to 80’s during the winter months in the Golden Isles. While it does rain, skies stay mostly clear and sunny which is great for golfers and those who like to walk on the beach. Who doesn’t love a nice, sunny day? There are plenty of days filled with sunshine on St. Simons Island.

2. Great Prices. If you are looking for a great deal on a hotel room, house or condo, prices will usually be lower during the winter. Nightly, weekly and even monthly rates are often more affordable. Whether you are a family looking for a fun getaway, a couple looking for a romantic weekend away or snowbirds staying for a few weeks or months, you will find lower rates a great way to save some money while having a fantastic trip.

Golf Course St Simons Island

 

1. Golf. With over 200 holes of golf to be played on St. Simons Island and the surrounding areas, the Golden Isles are a golfers paradise! The King and Prince Golf Course on the north end of St. Simons offers some of the best golf around and they often have specials available for resort guests as well as visitors.

Biking Through History

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
St. Simons Bike Trails

St. Simons Island Bike Trails

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.

Coast Guard Station and Maritime Museum

Coast Guard Station and Maritime Museum – photo courtesy of AtlantaMoms.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Battle of the Bloody Marsh

Battle of the Bloody Marsh site

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.

 

Fort Frederica National Monument

Fort Frederica National Monument – photo courtesy of TripAdvisor.com

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.

St Simons Lighthouse

St Simons Island Lighthouse

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.

Escape to a More Gracious Era

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

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!

Resort PoolOcean Terrace Grille

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.

St. Simons Bike Trails

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.

St Simons Island Kayaking

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.

The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, St. Simons Island, GA.

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

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Southern Culinary Traditions

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Southern Culinary Traditions

 

Shrimp and Grits…most northerners might cringe at the thought of eating such a thing, at least I did.  That was until I experienced one of the most exquisite and memorable meals in my life at the King & Prince Beach and Golf Resort.  Shrimp and Grits, from the Kings Tavern have a flavor and aroma that is divine.

 

Shrimp and grits began as a seasonal shrimper’s breakfast.  Low country, shrimp were cooked with bacon grease and poured over creamy grits, where it became known as breakfast shrimp.  Being a travel writer and going on Fam trips to different regions of the country, I have the opportunity to try all types of ethic foods.   I find myself sitting at a table among other writers from all over the U.S., gathered at St. Simons Island, Georgia to experience a true Southern Culinary Tradition

 

The evening began with cocktails by Thirteenth Colony Distillery of Americus, and Artisan Cheeses by Sweet Grass Dairy, brought to us from Thomasville, Georgia.  This special event was presented in the original historical wing of the resort, called the Solarium.  To me this is the most inspirational part of the King and Prince Resort

 

Sous Chef Dwayne Austell chose a volunteer out of our group to participate in creating a delightful meal of Shrimp and Grits.  Together they began by sautéing fresh Wild Georgia Shrimp with a bit of Cajun seasoning, creating an atmosphere of aromatic pleasure.

 

 

This culinary presentation was created by the Executive Chef Jeff Kaplan and his Sous Chef’s Paula Murphy & Dwayne Austell. Together created a sensual experience that sent the taste buds dancing, and the sheer aroma moved the soul.  The presentations were a visual wonder of artistry.

 

 

From there we went on to Oysters on the Half Shell, Sweet Corn, Asparagus, Tomato, Cilantro Vinaigrette  and Chardonnay, Frog Town Cellars, Dahlonega, Ga 2008

 

After the first course, The Intermezzo we were presented with Blackberry Sorbet, Mist of Blackberry Liqueur, which was out of this world.

 

The entrée was Wild Georgia Low Country Shrimp and Grits and Sangiovese, Frog Town Cellars, Dahlonega, Ga 2008 and finished of with Sugar Marsh Cottage Petit Fours.

 

This was an unbelievable and delightful way to start four days of adventure at the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort.  Our host and severs were some of the best I have ever experienced.

 

There are many recipes for shrimp and grits all over the Internet, cooked every way imaginable.  If you would like to try and make it for yourself, here is the recipe from the Chef.

 

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. 

To witness the ‘best of the best’ and make immediate reservations, 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

Source:  http://gignewsonline.com/2012/04/20/southern-culinary-traditions/

 

 

 

 

 

St Simons Island Vacation – Vanderford’s Travels

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Bill Vanderford published this article on Lakeside News after his spring St Simons Island vacation that including historic tours, boating, dining at local restaurants and a stay at The King and Prince.

Vanderford’s Travels

By Bill Vanderford

St. Simons Island is a golden Georgia treasure

Standing on the wall of Fort Frederica scanning the river and the marshes  beyond was serious business around 1740. The British soldiers on guard

Ft Frederica

Canons at Fort Frederica

knew that the Spanish-held Fort St. Simons was only five miles away and were painfully aware that war had been declared with Spain. Eventually these English soldiers realized that they would have to fight for their lives on St. Simons Island.

Even though the British were far outnumbered, good intelligence, a timely ambush, and some skillful maneuvering of ships and men by James

Fort Frederica Monument

Fort Frederica

Edward Oglethorpe made the Spanish believe that the British force was much larger. Therefore, after the historical, but small ambush, known as “The Battle of Bloody Marsh,” the Spanish retreated back to Florida and were never a threat to General Oglethorpe and his fledgling Georgia colony again.

Today, visitors to St. Simons Island can walk the open grounds of Fort Frederica and gaze across the picturesque “Marshes of Glynn” that were made famous by poet, Sidney Lanier (yes, the namesake of Lake Lanier), and never have to worry about being fired upon. This immaculate spot is simply one of many that attracts folks to St. Simons.

For nearly eight decades, families from all over the South have come to this gorgeous barrier island to enjoy the elegant atmosphere, mouthwatering

Ocean front Building

View from Oceanfront Building

food, and antebellum style hospitality at the King and Prince Hotel, which was built because of an insult. It seems that one evening in the early 1930s at the nearby Cloister Hotel on neighboring Sea Island, Frank Horn and Morgan Wynn were tossed out for being drunk and disorderly. Horn was a tall, heavy man, and Wynn was a short, skinny fellow, and when seen together, they were affectionately known as “The King and Prince.” So, because of the insult, the two founded the King and Prince as a seaside dance club to compete with the Cloister Hotel. The main hotel building with its classic Mediterranean architecture was completed and opened to the public just in time for World War II in 1941. During that period, the new hotel was converted into a training facility for coast watchers looking for German submarines.

Following the war, the King and Prince opened to families again in 1947 and has continued to serve as a prime vacation destination in the Golden Isles of Georgia. Renovations and expansions were completed in 1972 and 1983,

St Simons Island sunrise

Sunrise over a dock

and the hotel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996 as the King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort. It still offers a unique resort experience with real Southern flair, fantastic and varied cuisine, and spectacular ocean views from almost every room. For information or reservations, call toll-free at (800)-342-0212.

Marshes of Glynn St Simons Island

Beauty in the Marshes

Many golf lovers come to St. Simons to play the recently restored King and Prince Golf Course, which is the home of the Hampton Club. This 18-hole championship course is both challenging and beautifully interwoven with ancient oak trees, island holes, views of birds and wildlife in the surrounding marshes, and picturesque lagoons.

Fishing, birding, and wildlife viewing are always great outdoor endeavors

Fishing on St Simons Island

Fishing

when visiting St. Simons Island. This huge coastal ecosystem of salt marshes, tidal rivers and creeks is probably the best rearing ground for fish, sharks, and shellfish on the Atlantic seaboard of the USA. This little known fishery is best explored and experienced with an expert local guide like Larry Kennedy III out of Hampton Marina. Larry and his family have been fishing the waters productively as long as I can remember, and have entertained thousands of visitors to St. Simons. For more information or reservations, call 912-222-1687.

St Simons Charter Boats

Charter Boat

Fine dining and local seafood is another highlight of any trip to the Georgia barrier islands, and St. Simons has some of the best! Certainly the chefs at the King and Prince would be in the running in any food and drink contest, but my favorite would have to be Halyards and the culinary artistry of Chef Dave. Being a fisherman himself, Dave loves to have his friends bring by their “Catch of the Day” and allow him to create a succulent meal with his special touch. Both Bill and Cindy Acree told me of magical meals that they have enjoyed with Chef Dave during the Atlanta Braves off season when Bill wasn’t so busy as a Braves executive. For more information, contact Dave at www.halyardsrestaurant.com.

Another interesting, but quite casual eatery, is within easy walking distance

Christ Church St Simons Island

Christ Church

from the King and Prince Hotel. The Saltwater Cowboy is a swinging place with a young, female chef straight out of the Bayou country of Southern Mississippi. She has put together some unique offerings of steak and seafood with a different Cajun rendering. For information or reservations, call 912-634-2102.

Certainly more experiences are available on St. Simons Island including visits to the historic Christ Church, Fort Frederica, Epworth by the

St Simons Island Lighthouse

St. Simons Lighthouse

Sea, and the St. Simons Lighthouse. For me, however, the beaches, marshes, old oak trees, and the slow movement of time and tide take me back to simpler time in my youth when my family would visit this magical island during the summer break from school. Sure there are new businesses and different people, but the natural beauty where sea, sky, and shifting sands meet has a soothing effect that transcends all time.

America’s 10 Best Islands

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

In AOL Travel’s August 2010 article of America’s 10 Best Islands, St. Simons appeared as the number 3 best island.

3. St. Simons Island, Georgia

Saint Simons Island

Fishing on St Simons Island

The largest of Georgia’s four Golden Isles, St. Simons has beckoned bluebloods and birders for a century with marshes, maritime forests, and Mediterranean Revival mansions. The island’s location made it a strategic maritime point: Explore Fort Frederica National Monument, where colonists won a major naval battle during the Revolutionary war and learn more at the WPA-built 1935 Old Coast Guard Station that houses the Maritime Center museum. Golfers can play hundreds of challenging holes between St. Simons and neighboring Sea and Jekyll Islands. Patrol the waters on a working shrimp boat, sail on a dolphin-watching tour, or just bask on pearly sands.

Fun Fact: The 104-foot St. Simons Lighthouse (a working navigational beacon operational since 1872) and its brick Victorian light-keeper’s residence were renovated in 2010.

“The Highwayman: Birdies and Eagles in The Marshes of Glynn”

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

John Plaisant visited The King and Prince in April and wrote his take on St. Simons Island and the King and Prince Golf Course.  His article can be found in the Daily Times.

The Highwayman: Birdies and eagles in The Marshes of Glynn

Published: Monday, June 21, 2010

Affable live oak, leaning low,

Thus — with your favor — soft, with a reverent hand,

(Not lightly touching your person, Lord of the land!)

Bending your beauty aside, with a step I stand

On the firm-packed sand,

Free

By a world of marsh that borders a world of sea.

— The Marshes of Glynn,

Sidney Lanier, 1842-1881

Second of two parts.

Sidney Lanier was a poet, musician and scholar, widely recognized as poet laureate of Georgia. And the Marshes of Glynn refer to coastal Glynn County, Georgia, which includes the port city of Brunswick and those barrier islands known as the “Golden Isles” — St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island.

The winding rivers, unspoiled beaches and vast marshlands of these islands were what Lanier loved and immortalized in “The Marshes of Glynn”, written three years before his death from tuberculosis, which he contracted while a POW during the Civil War. Today, in Brunswick the Sidney Lanier Bridge, a 21st-century suspension bridge spanning the South Brunswick River and the longest bridge in Georgia, is a gleaming sentinel standing watch over his beloved low country.

Although Georgia’s coastline is only a hundred miles long, its half-million acres of salt marshes (also known as tidal marshes) constitute nearly one-third of all the salt marshes on America’s Eastern Seaboard. Salt marshes are coastal wetlands, rich in marine life and plants which grow in protected areas behind barrier islands and in other low-energy areas. They often look like grasslands, as the marsh grasses change with the season with shades of green, gold and brown.

“In the fall, the marshes look like great waving fields of wheat,” noted local historian Mary Burdell.

Some of these enchanting Marshes of Glynn can be found at the northern tip of St. Simons Island, right in the middle of the King and Prince Golf Course, Home of The Hampton Club. In Georgia, where the ghost of Bobby Jones still walks the fairways, golf is more than just a game.

On the back nine, four “signature” holes are situated on “hammocks” — small islands located in the marshes. These beautiful golf holes —12 through 15 — are connected by more than 800 feet of picturesque, elevated wooden cart bridges. The finishing holes then wander through a lush forest of live oak trees. It’s one of those courses that golfers young and old dream about playing.

And it’s all practically brand new with cutting-edge technology.

Originally opened in 1989 and designed by the late Joe Lee, the course got a complete makeover in 2009 from architect Billy Fuller. It’s a restoration of the course’s original design but with the latest surface technology and strategic specifications to challenge both the scratch player and the weekend duffer.

The King and Prince utilizes different grasses for different purposes. All 18 greens have mini-verde, ultra dwarf Bermuda grass, with 60-inch green collars planted with Tifsport Bermuda. All 18 fairways have a new hybrid called Celebration Bermuda grass. All the traps are wrapped in Emerald Zoysia.

There’s also a 6,500-square foot mini-verde putting green, a 3,000-square foot mini-verde chipping green, and five target greens that have been added to the driving range.

“We’re the only course in our region with these types of grass, and our golfers are amazed at the fantastic course transformation,” declared Rick Mattox, the golf club’s general manager.

What most impressed me, however, is the course’s fairness. It is not a particularly long course — 6,462 yards from the back tees — and although challenging, the course is set up to reward the good shot. If you can “manage” your game, keep the ball in play, you can register a good score requisite to the level of your ability. Golf should be fun, and this course bears that in mind.

There are five playing distances for the par 72 course — Old Ironside, Live Oak, Dogwood, Magnolia and Azalea — but the 19th hole is always a relaxing seat on the clubhouse veranda in the shade of trees dripping with Spanish moss. Even a bad round looks pretty good from that vantage point.

If you want to see for yourself, go to www.kingandprince.com on the Web and check out the course’s virtual flyover. Using the latest technology, there’s a computer-generated 3-D animation of each individual hole. You’ve probably seen similar computer generations on television. Most recently, this technology was used on telecasts of the Masters Championship in April.

And the golf course is open to all. Members of The Hampton Club and guests of the King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort are, of course, always welcome, but the course is also open to the public, which means that any island visitor or local resident can get a tee time, too.

Sinuous southward and sinuous northward the shimmering band

Of the sand-beach fastens the fringe of the marsh to the folds of the land.

There are 13 barrier islands lining Georgia’s 100-mile coastline, with Tybee Island at the north and Cumberland the farthest south. But St. Simons Island is the only one that was never privately owned. With its beautiful beaches, rustic rental cottages, lovely bed and breakfasts and wonderful hotels like the King and Prince, St. Simons has always been a favorite vacation destination for Georgians. Even for non-golfers. In fact, vacationers have been coming here since the 1880s, and when the Torras Causeway, connecting the island to the mainland, opened in 1924, tourism became the major player in the island’s economy.

The island stretches about 15 miles from north to south and actually has a year-round population of more than 15,000. In fact, there are two elementary schools on the island, although middle school and high school kids must be bused to the mainland.

The island has a little something for everyone, including a number of significant historical sites, fine dining and great shopping. There’s the friendly little village at the south end in the shadow of the island’s historic lighthouse, which is now the home of the Coastal Georgia Historical Society which operates a museum in the original lighthouse keeper’s residence. And over on East Beach, there’s the Maritime Center at the historic Coast Guard Station.

There’s also horseback riding, swimming, hiking, birding, kayaking, fishing, and cycling among the myriad selection of outdoor activities.

But this part of Georgia is golf country as much as any place in America. Augusta National, home of the Masters, is just 200 miles away. The home of the PGA, fabled TPC Sawgrass with its iconic island green, is only an hour to the south in Ponte Vedra, Fla., and golf mecca Hilton Head, S.C., is not much more than 90 minutes to the north. Just a bit farther north is the Myrtle Beach, S.C., area, perhaps the most popular golfing destination east of the Mississippi.

And the King and Prince isn’t the only golf course on St. Simons. There’s also the Retreat Golf Course, the Sea Island Golf Club, which opened in 1928, and the Sea Palms Golf Club. At the entrance to Sea Island Golf Club, you’ll find the fabulous “Avenue of the Live Oaks,” a breathtaking stretch of beautiful old live oak trees in perfect tandem, planted by Anna Page King, who grew up on what was once the Retreat Plantation. She married a Philadelphia lawyer named Thomas Butler King, who went on to become an important 19th century Georgia politician.

At the north end of the island, near the King and Prince Golf Course, is Fort Frederica National Monument, built by James Oglethorpe, a British general and founder of the colony of Georgia. He chose the site on St. Simons Island to defend the colony’s southern border against encroachment by the Spanish in Florida.

The first and only battle ever fought at Fort Frederica was in 1742, when British forces pushed back the Spanish once and for all, confirming Georgia’s place among the British colonies. And we all know how much those Brits love to play golf.

The Highwayman appears twice monthly in the Sunday Times. Comments and questions are welcome. E-mail The Highwayman at hwm4travel@comcast.net.

Way Stations

While visiting St. Simons Island, plan to have breakfast or lunch at the Sandcastle Cafe in the village, just up the street from the fishing pier. The Sandcastle has become a local legend of sorts, a feel-good story about Tim and Melissa Wellford. Down on his luck, Tim bought the little “hole-in-the-wall” establishment 21 years ago with a few hundred dollars, a promise and a dream. Tim and Melissa turned the cafe into the most popular breakfast spot on the island.

Today, locals arrive early for coffee and stay half the morning. Visitors come in for Tim’s fabulous breakfast buffet. Tim and Melissa enjoy schmoozing with the customers, treating strangers like old friends and family. It’s a fun and tasty experience.

For a casual dinner and some authentic Southern cooking, you might want to try Gnat’s Landing in Redfern Village, a shopping area just off Frederica Road near the island’s midpoint. There’s plenty of live music and good food presented by another of the island’s local entrepreneurial celebrities, “Boz” Bostock.

Upstairs at Gnat’s is Bubba Garcia’s Mexican Cantina — home of the $8,000 margarita. No, it doesn’t cost $8,000 … but it tastes like a million.