The Stay: St. Simons Island

I first read about St. Simons Island probably three or four years ago when I saw an article about the large number of PGA golfers, including Davis Love III, that keep a residence here. After enjoying ourselves so much in Savannah a couple of years ago, I always kept this in the back of my mind as a possible destination.

While browsing aimlessly through AirBnb over the Christmas holidays as I like to do, I came across a cottage in the heart of St. Simons that seemed to check off all of our boxes and we booked it right away. As much as we liked the area, our accommodation was the star of the trip – not only was the cottage even larger than the photos suggested, the private pool, hot tub and huge backyard made it so there was hardly a reason to leave our place.

Home base

On our first day there we headed straight to the beach, and had the whole place to ourselves. One thing we noticed, and enjoyed very much, was how uncrowded everything was. Despite a beautiful day where I managed to get my first sunburn of the season, we were the only ones on our stretch of beach. Nobody summoned up the courage to go swimming but the kids had a great time playing in the sand and the surf for hours.

East Beach

The next couple of days were unseasonably hot for the area, around 30 degrees Celsius, and we decided that there was really no reason to leave the comfort of our backyard when we could enjoy the pool and the shade of the palm trees. Although I am not always a big fan of sitting still on vacation, these days were fantastic and really relaxing for everybody. In the evenings when it had cooled down we also enjoyed bike rides through some of the beautiful neighbourhoods under the cover of the huge oak trees with the Spanish moss hanging down.

Taking a cruise

Later in the week we ventured a bit further from home, heading about ten miles further down the coast to Jekyll Island. This island was famous for being the Southern retreat and private club of many wealthy American families from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s when they sold it back to the state of Georgia for the princely sum of $600,000. Many of the “cottages” still stand along Millionaire’s Row and the club has been turned into a beautiful hotel. While on the island, we checked out the Georgia Sea Turtle Centre where injured turtles are rehabilitated and they also provide an excellent awareness program. The kids really enjoyed seeing the turtles and we all learned a lot there as well.

Exploring Driftwood Beach

Perhaps my favorite part about the American South is the food! While there we feasted on pork chop sandwiches at Willie’s Wee-Nee Wagon, lowcountry boil at Shucks Seafood Market, and all types of barbecue at Southern Soul which was just down the road from our place. I would drive back for that right now.

Lil’ E with her rack of ribs…which she polished off completely

Other highlights we hit were the St. Simons Lighthouse, the historic downtown of Brunswick, and the Fort Frederica National Monument. One of the things we really enjoyed about our stay on the island was that although there were a few things to keep us busy, we weren’t overwhelmed with things to do and were able to really just take it easy. This is such a great part of the country, with an interesting history and really friendly people so I am sure we will be back soon.

 

 

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