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The Magic Of St. Simons Island

One of my favorite places to visit when I am craving some time at the beach is St. Simons Island.  With only a five hour drive from Atlanta it makes me so happy to spend a few days or more on the beautiful coast of Georgia.  With the gorgeous moss covered oak trees hanging over the streets and beautiful marsh land I think it is one of the most relaxing and picturesque places I have ever been. I think part of the reason I love it so is thanks to the yearly visit for The Southern C.  Once a year we all gather for the best view days of learning, connecting, and celebrating so it I always leave so refreshed and rejuvenated and ready for another year.  I have also visited a few times for vacation and always find it a wonderfully laid back destination to completely unplug and relax.  When we learned that surgery was coming quickly I knew I wanted to take a few days to get away with the kids.  And I chose the perfect location ... St. Simons Island. 

The kids have had a very busy summer.  With all the sports, all the camps and all their day excursions with friends I have not had all the quality time I had hoped for when it began.  As they get older family vacations are harder with all the schedules.  Since we knew surgery was coming this year we put off a family vacation to save up a bunch of it for his surgery recovery.  Family time is family time, you just have to take it when you get it and make the best of it. I did not want the summer to end without some serious time with the youngest so we headed out for a solid Thursday to Sunday in one of our favorite places. Being so close to the coast SSI seems to be the ideal choice for a few days away.  As soon as I drive over the bridge from Brunswick I can feel my blood pressure dropping and the relaxation setting in. St. Simons Island is just magical.

As I knew we would, we had the best time.  We literally spent most of it off our phones riding bikes, walking the beach, collecting shells, running from waves, relaxing, reading, eating, chilling out and just being together.  The laughter was, of course, the best part. Normally we stay in either at the King & Prince or on Sea Island but this time I used hotel points and we stayed in the Hilton next to the private airport.  It was simple, wonderfully large and clean, and just what we wanted for a few days scheduled very last minute.

I think one of my favorite things about St. Simons is how relaxing it is.  The island is truly beautiful and you can discover a different beach every single time you head out.  The terrain and beach area is so different than the beaches in Florida and I love it. There is so much to see and discover and I can promise you with a number of trips I still haven't seen it all. We watched the sunrises on the public beach right next to the King & Prince and the sunsets near our favorite place to eat, Southern Soul BBQ.  I could not have asked for a better few days just being with my children.  Our weather was crazy good with a slight cold front in the area and after coming off the beach we were almost chilly.  I am telling you, it was a magical trip and just what this mama needed.

My favorite person to ask for tips and tricks on the island put together a great list for me to pass on to you.  We shopped at Harris Teeter when we first arrived for snacks and lunches and went out for breakfast and dinner. Our room had an amazing coffee bar so I was thrilled to start my day with a great cup of coffee before taking on the day. Lauren Hopkins is the author of all the tips and tricks below ... and she most definitely knows her island well. I added in a few of my favorite places to stop in, you really can't go wrong with almost any place you eat but, of course, some are just fantastic. I would describe the island as the perfect mix of small town + beach town + coastal getaway.

First and foremost ... where to stay.  I would recommend either the King & Prince or any Sea Island property.  There are a number of vacation rentals to try but I have not stayed in one so I do not have one to suggest to you. If you stay in a Sea Island property you have access to the Beach Club and the Lodge.  The Lodge is the perfect place to watch the sunset, which I can not recommend enough. A cocktail on the patio + a stunning sunset is the best recipe to end the day.   The Lodge has lovely accommodations and The Inn is just as beautiful. You can purchase a day pass for Sea Island with both of these hotels.  If you chose The Cloister you will be treated to five star service and the most beautiful place you have ever seen.  This exquisite five star hotel is described online as luxurious and elegant and I would completely agree. If you have any interest in golf you must stay at one of the Sea Island properties, the courses are divine.

Where to eat ... 
Sandy Bottom Bagels
Sweet Mama’s (breakfast—pork pops, and pick up a few of the BEST dessert bars / cookies. Aunt Dee’s pound cake or Sunny’s Delight will change your life)

Frosty’s Griddle & Shake (Southern Soul’s new burger and ice cream joint)
Southern Soul BBQ
Gnat’s Landing (in Redfern—fried pickles, autumn salad, slaw bowl)
Larry's Giant Subs (great sub sandwiches)

Certified Burgers (great burgers. BEST salad—rough house)
bennie’s red barn—OLD school island joint—spaghetti, fried chicken, incredible steak, seafood. All the things. Classic SSI)
Delaney's Restaurant

Where to shop ... 
Redfern Village -
Two Friends, Face To Face Designs, Book Store and Edwards
Shops at Sea Island - Cloister Collection, J McLaughlin
Tibi Outlet
St. Simons Village (we love the shell shop + the ice cream shop)

What to do ... 
You must visit the lighthouse, the pier and take a day trip to Jekyll Island and Little St. Simons Island.  The dolphin watching from the pier on the boats is amazing and the islands are both so different and filled with adventure and beautiful animals and trees. One of my favorite things to spot is the amazing brown pelicans that gather near the beach and fly in unison over the ocean.  The shelling on the island is unique as well.  I have bowls of the most unique grey oyster shells on our porch and I always come home with a new bucket full.

I highly recommend renting bikes and riding all over the island and down the tree lined streets.  Each of them are so different and so very beautiful.  I also love riding near the bay and taking in all the beauty of the marsh. I love being able to get on a bike and ride from your hotel to breakfast, to and from the beach, to dinner and, of course, for ice cream.

I hope you will visit on of our favorite places on the coast.  It is truly a special place for us and turned out to be just what we needed before the start of school and our Daddy's surgery.  Next time we visit he will be with us and not working like crazy before taking six weeks off.  I can't wait to celebrate so very soon.

Have the best Monday!

Images by Kelli Boyd Photography


  1. The Sandcastle in the village is an absolute must for breakfast.

  2. I have been there to vusit with my dad an it is a beautiful place I would live there if I could

  3. Indeed it is beautiful. I'm from there. Don't forget about rafters...:)

  4. Dont forget to try Del Sur restaurant in the Villiage. Wonderful out of the ordinaty food and a great relaxing yet lively atmosphere

  5. Thanks for all of the positive feed back from our lil slice of heaven on the east coast. We are truly blessed with a quaintness like none other. Come back and visit us again...and should you visit the spa at SI, I would be happy to assist you in a luxurious facial treatment. Thanks again.

  6. We've been going and staying at the King and Prince since the 80s, before they expanded, and we still always get a Cabana room there. Heaven on Earth, IMHO.

  7. My happiest place on earth. Wish I could live there but grateful just to visit. Great golf, great food, peaceful and so pretty. Cafe Frederika for breakfast, Barbara Jeans for lunch, Brogens North for dinner. Great gumbo at the Gnat.

  8. I grew up in Brunswick in the 70's. St.Simons .Jekyll.The best child hood ever.
    Long walks at night, catching crabs,fish every Friday talking to our elders.etc. i could write a book. All love. Indelible.



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