Although we could write a long list of reasons why everyone should visit our island paradise, we whittled it down to our top five:
5. Spectacular Sunrises & Sunsets. Even if you aren’t a morning person, we recommend waking up early and watching the sunrise. You can view it from the beach, from our pool deck or even from your oceanfront balcony! Although you can sometimes catch a gorgeous sunset from the resort, the best place on the island to catch one is from the pier in the village.
4. 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!
3. Delicious Food. With a variety of options to choose from, you will never leave the island hungry! From Italian at Tramici, to coastal cuisine at Halyards and Crabdaddys, to award winning BBQ at Southern Soul, to oceanfront dining at it’s best at ECHO, you will find delicious food around every corner.
2. Pristine Beaches. Our beaches are relatively undeveloped. You will not find high-rise buildings along our shore. Just seaside cottages and homes. We have small waves which are perfect for young swimmers and our shores littered with footprints…..not trash.
1. Outdoor Activities. There is something for everyone to enjoy on our small island. We have miles of bike paths around the island, golf, fishing, paddleboard lessons and rentals, kayak tours, parks for the little ones to enjoy and even a shrimp boat you can hop on to explore our waterways!
St. Simons Island is a food-lovers paradise. From fresh seafood to restaurants using farm-to-table ingredients, you can dine like royalty at many spots on St. Simons Island. Of course, we love ECHO, our own restaurant located here at the resort which features classic coastal cuisine and handcrafted cocktails (and beautiful ocean views!) but we love all of the dining options on St. Simons Island as well! Here are our top restaurant picks (along with some favorite menu items):
1) Crabdaddy’s Seafood– Located just a block from The King and Prince, this island landmark always serves up delicious seafood and great service! Crabdaddy’s is a favorite among resort guests and locals. Staff Pick: Try the Teriyaki Steak & Scallops for their take on “Surf & Turf.”
2) Brogen’s– If you are looking for a fun, casual place to catch the game and grab a bite to eat, Brogen’s is the place to go. They have a great selection of burgers, salads and sandwiches and their menu will not disappoint. Their prime location in the pier village area makes Brogen’s a great location to grab a bite and then do some shopping or people watching. Staff Pick: The Mushroom-Swiss Burger.
3) Halyards & Tramici– Whether you are in the mood for seafood or rustic Italian cuisine, executive chef and owner Dave Snyder has you covered. Halyards highlights a seasonal dinner menu full of fresh catches that were caught locally earlier that day and farm fresh produce. Tramici serves both lunch and dinner in a fun atmosphere. Enjoy fresh baked bread while you wait for your delectable entrees to arrive and whatever you do, don’t forget dessert! Staff Picks: Halyards- Try a cup of the Creamy Blue Crab Bisque followed by an entrée of Wild Georgia Shrimp with Gayla’s Grits. Tramici- Order a large bowl of P.E.I. Mussels to share and don’t forget about their homemade pizza.
4) Blackwater Grill– Located in Redfern Village on St. Simons Island, Blackwater Grill is a treat for your taste buds with their Cajun and coastal cuisine. Their spicy and savory menu items have kept locals coming back for over 13 years! Staff Pick: Crawfish Etoufee.
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.
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
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
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
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,
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
Dena & Chuck Bingham write about their visit to St. Simons Island in Senior Connection Magazine. Along with the King and Prince accommodations and St. Simons Island attractions, they describe the southern island culture and way of life.
St. Simons Island—A Restful Retreat
BY CHUCK AND DENA BINGHAM
OK. You’ve taken the grandkids to see Mickey and Minnie often enough to know the routine: Stand in line for 45 minutes for a five-minute ride; someone else’s crying grandkid just spilled a sticky concoction on your new izod shirt and the line for a $9 sandwich is twenty people deep. By late afternoon a whole theme park full of cranky three-year-olds are pitching a fit because they’re tired. You take two more Tylenol and head for the exit with your own grandkids in tow. Ah, but wait. You are parked on the other side of a lake that now looks endless and there are three thousand people in front of you waiting for the same ferry boat.
This time do something for you… About an hour north of the Jacksonville airport is a quiet, laid-back hideaway just waiting for you. Take the Saint Simons Island exit off of I-95 and head for the Atlantic Ocean (about ten miles). Once you cross the causeway to St. Simons Island you can feel the stress melting away. You won’t find Ferris wheels, or tea cup rides, or 6-foottall rodents with big ears. What you will find is an upscale residential island that doesn’t mind sharing its seclusion with savvy, well-heeled vacationers.
The grand old oak trees drip with Spanish moss as you make your way to the stately King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort. Upon arrival the attentive staff quickly reacquaints you with Southern hospitality. Built in 1935, the resort was originally a dance club for well-to-do Northerners. It has consistently been upgraded to meet today’s discerning traveler’s tastes. Accommodations range from Oceanside Villas to private cottages to king-bedded rooms. Outstanding cuisine is a hallmark of the resort and is not to be missed.
Venturing into other parts of town reveals an additional bounty of local dining pleasures. Kick back at George Stewart’s Saltwater Cowboy for great pub fare. Or, if you’re in the mood for finer dining, try Halyards where Chef Dave Snyder prepares an exquisite tuna tartare. Lunch at Palmer’s Village Café is a must as Chef John Belechak prepares the best Southern dishes with locally grown produce. For a truly unique experience, take the “Lady Jane” shrimping trawler into the shallows of the Atlantic marshes for a first-hand look at how modern shrimping is accomplished. The tour comes complete with a marine biologist who explains in detail the ecosystem of the region and its importance to the local economy.
To enjoy the laidback pace of the island, why not rent bicycles at Ocean Motion right outside the entrance to King and Prince Resort. A leisurely 10-minute ride gets you to the heart of town. For the truly adventurous, the island boasts 18 miles of paved bicycle paths. If you’d rather let someone else navigate, try the Lighthouse Trolley which takes you (free) from the north end, where you’ll find the championship King and Prince Golf Course, to the south end, where you’ll find—you guessed it—the Lighthouse. Go in the lighthouse museum to hear about the great historical importance of this region.
There is so much, or so little, to do here…the choice is yours. If there is one drawback to this hidden treasure, it’s this: you may not want to leave…