Road Trip: St. Simons Island, GA – 5 h 9 min (340.4 mi)
Slipping away during the hot steamy summer months to embrace the cooler salty sea air and experience the low country island life is the perfect change of scenery you need to break out of the Quarantine Coma. With the “social distancing” advice and the flexibility of many work from home (or anywhere) orders, the deep beaches of St. Simons at low tide (seriously, 800 steps from boardwalk to toes in the water) make it one of the perfect places 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 coast line, 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). Conveniently located in “The Village,” it’s a close walk to everything, but far enough away to enjoy the picturesque and peaceful view from your balcony.
Roll out the red carpet and stay at The King & Prince Beach Resort (the only beachfront hotel on the island). What started out as a beachfront dance club in the 1930’s has become an iconic standard of southern hospitality. Options include three bedroom villas or stay in one of the popular cabana rooms in the historic building complete with an oceanfront balcony.
Looking for an “Adult Only” getaway? Then you can’t go wrong with one of the newest hotels built on the island – Hotel Simone and enjoy their boutique approach at luxury. You’ll be pampered with such offerings as valet beach set-up, cruiser pick-up around town and daily breakfast and cocktails in the lobby.
[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.
Breakfast Grab a seat outside at Palm Coast Cafe with a fresh fruit parfait or visit Wake Up Coffee, with its super trendy modern decor while enjoying coffee and yummy pastries.
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 their finger-licking good ribs! Also, check out Sammies sandwich shop for a serious SANDwich you can “grab and go” to enjoy on the beach.
Dinner has to be done “Lowcountry style” with fresh oysters and seafood. And Half-Shell in the village, serves up something for everyone, cajun oysters, seared tuna tacos (but not what you’re thinking, way better) and bacon-wrapped green beans. The Porch is a new establishment, and offers a bit of spice with their amazing Nashville hot chicken.
Barrier Island Brewing’s Devil’s Chin Triple IPA (whoa…you only need one) and their Blueberry Wheat were on point. Make sure you save room to try the bacon-wrapped dates or the Banana Foster Pudding Brulee, which was worth every added calorie!
STROLL: A must-do is to rent a golf cart from Island Carts and cruise the island for all of your destination needs. Cruise and enjoy the moss-draped oak trees that line the winding island streets, 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 is absolutely the best view 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.