Last April, Steve and I were invited to participate in a press trip to St. Simons Island, a place that was completely new to us. The purpose of the trip was to introduce travel writers and bloggers to a part of the Atlantic Coast which is unknown to many. We absolutely loved it! The setting, the resort, the historical connections, the quirks, the special people and the FOOD were all amazing. If you go — and I hope you will — let me mention 7 things you should not miss.
- King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort. I have written about it extensively here. But, I want to mention it again, specially because of the over-the-top cuisine of Chef James Flack. It helps, of course, that he has abundant seafood literally in his back yard (the Resort IS oceanfront), but his culinary skills and imagination take dishes to new heights. I don’t think I had ever seen such beautiful food, without even considering the incredible taste.
2. Cap Fendig. Whether you want a relaxed trolley tour on land or a boat tour to spot dolphins on your way to Sidney Lanier Bridge, Cap Fendig should be your go-to source. He is a native of St. Simons and knows the place through and through. We got to experience his knowledge in both settings and enjoyed him thoroughly. Such a great personality.
3. Visit Christ Church on Frederica Road. Read about its storied history here. Such names as James Oglethorpe and John Wesley immediately get your attention. You’ll find descriptions of stained glass windows, one of which is an authentic, unsigned Tiffany creation, and of the gorgeous needlework wall hangings. And when you sit in the pews, you will enjoy knowing that former U.S. Presidents Coolidge, Carter and Bush may have sat in the same spot. The adjoining cemetery is also a fascinating place to spend some time. Be sure to find the burial spot of Southern novelist,Euginia Price. The words on her tombstone are: “After her conversion to Jesus Christ, October 2, 1949, she wrote ‘Light … and eternity and love and all are mine at last.” Indeed.
4. Visit Fort Frederica National Monument. Yes, this is the place where the British defeated the Spanish in 1742, which meant that Georgia remained a British colony. But, the National Park Service has expanded the guest experience to include much more. It is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day from 9:00 to 5:00. Plan to spend a couple of hours, and I guarantee you’ll come out feeling smarter than when you went in.
5. Go to the beautiful Visitors Center and see the mermaid tree spirit carved by Keith Jennings beside the building. There are other tree spirits scattered throughout the island. Ask questions in the Visitors Center or read more here. Don’t worry. We were told that these carvings do NOT harm the trees. Seems implausible, but that’s the information we got.
6. Visit the St. Simons Island Lighthouse, take the colorful, informative tour, and climb to the top if you’re feeling energetic. Lighthouses are not a part of our Alabama culture. Maybe that’s what makes them doubly intriguing to me. This one is really beautiful. And, of course, my Silver Fox made the climb.
7. Enjoy dinner at Georgia Sea Grill. This is another place to find delectable seafood prepared by an accomplished chef. Check out a few of the dishes we sampled with our tablemates. So, so good.
Look at your calendar. Pick out some dates. Start planning a visit to St. Simons Island. You’ll be glad.