5 h 9 min (340.4 mi)
Slipping away during the hot steamy summer months to embrace the salty sea air and experience the low country island life is the perfect change of scenery. The deep beaches of St. Simons at low tide (seriously, 800 steps from boardwalk to toes in the water) make it the perfect place to sit a spell 50’ away from the closest beach chair.
Made famous by poet Sidney Lanier, (who has laid claim to another body of water near Gwinnett…) the Marshes of Glynn separate the quaint island from the Georgia coastline, making St. Simons Island part of the barrier islands or the Golden Isles. St. Simons is the beloved college stomping grounds for many during GA/FL football weekends, but if you haven’t visited post-college, it’s worth a return trip, as much has changed over the years, and there is plenty to soak up other than the sun.
The Village Inn and Pub is a quaint 28-room hotel centered around a 1930’s restored cottage and enormous live oak trees (seriously, they built the inn around the oak trees and preserved the massive root systems). Or roll out the red carpet and stay at the only beachfront hotel on the island, The King & Prince Beach Resort. What started out as a beachfront dance club in the 1930s has become an iconic standard of southern hospitality. If you are looking for an “adult-only” getaway, stay at Hotel Simone and enjoy their boutique approach to luxury.
[Call out] ** And if you stay at Hotel Simone, which was decorated by the incredibly talented Duchman Designs, you can actually bring home ANY of the furnishings you fancy! We’d suggest you check out their store— just to smell the candles.
TASTE Your Way Around the Island:
Grab a seat outside at Palm Coast Cafe for breakfast with a fresh fruit parfait, or visit Wake Up Coffee for delicious coffee and yummy pastries while you enjoy the super trendy modern decor.
Lunch can be slow-cooked to perfection by the pros at Southern Soul BBQ. They’ve been an island staple and featured across many media outlets for their mac-n-cheese and finger-licking good ribs! Also, check out Sammies sandwich shop for a serious SANDwich you can grab and enjoy on the beach.
Enjoy dinner “Lowcountry style” with fresh oysters and seafood. Half-Shell in the Village serves up something for everyone—cajun oysters, seared tuna tacos and bacon-wrapped green beans. The Porch is a newer establishment and offers a bit of heat with their amazing Nashville hot chicken.
To round out the night, stop by Barrier Island Brewing for a Devil’s Chin Triple IPA (whoa…you only need one) and their Blueberry Wheat beer. Make sure you save room to try the bacon-wrapped dates or the Banana Foster Pudding Brulee, which is worth every calorie!
ST-ROLL: Rent a golf cart from Island Carts and leave your car keys behind. Cruise and enjoy the moss-draped oak trees that line the winding island streets of the Village, as the Visitor Center puts it… “it is a picture-perfect image, worthy of a Faulkner tale”…and we certainly agree!
TOUR: The Lighthouse Museum has the best views on the island, but be prepared for a windy, 128 steps to the top. Other history buffs might like the Fort Frederica National Monument or the “Instagram-worthy” Christ Church, one of the oldest churches in Georgia.