The July 2011 issue of Delta’s Sky Magazine had a special section called “Americana Summer” featuring five iconic cities in the U.S. St. Simons Island was one of destinations listed. The King and Prince Resort was listed for accommodations. To see the full special section and photos of The King and Prince and St. Simons click here: Sky Magazine July 2011.
St. Simons Island
This island off the coast of Georgia offers seaside splendor, historical intrigue and many opportunities to sit back and relax.
By Giannina Smith/ Photos By Chris M. Rogers
Just over the F.J. Torras Causeway towards St. Simons Island, a quaint Georgia beach town emerges that is uniquely different from many of the sandy retreats in nearby Florida. The largest of the Golden Isles-which also include Jekyll Island, Little St. Simons Island and Sea Island- St. Simons was settled by English colonists in 1736 and later used for rice and cotton plantations. It became a resort community in the 20th century, and the exodus from urban sprawl continues today, with stressed-out city dwellers looking to enjoy this unhurried, oceanside haven.
One of the island’s most noted historical attractions is Fort Frederica: Built in 1736, it was the center of defense for the English colony of Georgia. Tour the archaeological ruins of the fort before taking a shady drive along The Avenue of the Oaks- once the entrance to an antebellum plantation, this picturesque location now lines the entrance of the exclusive Sea Island Golf Club. For a bit more history, stop at Christ Church, a Gothic style structure hidden among the oaks that was the locale for Georgia author Eugenia Price’s novel The Beloved Invader.
Before heading to the center of activity in St. Simons’ pier village, trek up 129 steps to the top of the 1872 St. Simons Lighthouse to get a panoramic view of the coastline and nearby barrier islands. Stroll along the waterfront to the island’s bustling pier and take a breather while watching chatty locals reel in buckets of crab and fish.
If the sight of fresh seafood gets your stomach grumbling, head to Mallery Stree. For a no-frills, home-cooked breakfast, the 4th of May Deli and Cafe offers everything from seafood omelets with local shrimp and crab to peanut butter-and-apple French toast. Known for its crab cakes, Barbara Jean’s is another good spot for a casual lunch topped off by an indulgent “Chocolate Stuff” dessert. For a more refined repast, book a table at Halyards, where the island cuisine and wine list earns foodie accolades, or at its sister restaurant Tramici, a local favorite for southern Italian cooked in a wood-burning oven.
After lunch, browse through the village shops, tee off at one of the island’s golf clubs or rent a bike from Ocean Motion Surf Co. to pedal along the island’s extensive system of paved trails. To cover lots of ground without breaking a sweat, hop on a St. Simons Island Trolley Tour or rent a golf cart from High Tide Carts. For water-lovers, a Southeast Adventure kayak trip will take you through the wildlife marshes, and a ride aboard the Lady Jane, a retired 49-passenger steel shrimping vessel, can take you farther out to sea.
After a busy day of activities, head back to your ocean-view room at the Ocean Lodge. An elegand, old-world Europe-inspired bed-and-breakfast, this boutique property is nestled on a sleepy street just steps from the Atlantic. Another stellar option: a room at the histroic oceanfront King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, opened in 1935, or at the quaint Village Inn and Pub, veiled under the live oaks between a park and the village center. For impressive lodgings with a storied past, the properties of Sea Island- The Cloister and The Lodge-will not dissapoint.