St. Simon’s Island Georgia – My Personal Story

St. Simon's Island Georgia as seen on Hill City Bride Wedding Blog

If you’re a regular reader, you may have seen my post here showcasing St. Simon’s Island, Georgia as a wonderful place to have your destination wedding and/or honeymoon. It’s gorgeous! I experienced the island while on a press trip, which had nothing to do with weddings, actually (although I did make it a point to meet with the wedding planner of The King and Prince and connect with several area wedding photographers). Our group of writers was from different areas with varied interests – some were interested in food and drink, others in fashion and local flair. I so enjoyed meeting everyone on the trip, and I’d love to tell you about it from my own personal point of view.

Before I headed to St. Simon’s Island, I was unfamiliar with our host venue of The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, and even pulling up to the entrance doesn’t do the ocean justice – you just see an amazingly beautiful, historic building. So, imagine my glee when I actually went up to my room (my own, private room!) and went out on the deck to this view. Gorgeous! The resort is oceanfront, and there’s a nice walkway along the front to get to the beach along with lovely pools if the beach isn’t quite your thing.

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After dropping off my luggage, we met in the lobby – I was greeted by our hostess, Leigh, who was with us every step of the way – super sweet, and she immediately makes you feel like her friend, which was a relief. I don’t believe that any of us knew each other before the trip, and having someone to break the ice for us was so nice. We all had a quick bite and a drink – with quite a nice spread, I might add – and headed off on Cap Fendig’s St. Simon’s Lighthouse Trolley to scope out a few of the sights. Our first stop was the historic Christ Church, which was both beautiful, full of history (including the Wesley family) and offers a beautiful graveyard (which I always find intriguing!).

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Then our trolley took us to Fort Frederica, which is a national park complete with a historic fort surrounded by ruins of buildings that once were. I loved walking around the grounds and exploring on my own – I say mainly on my own because it was the first day, and we hadn’t quite gotten to know each other yet. Oh, and the drippy Georgian Spanish moss is so lovely – it’s everywhere!

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We went back to the resort and had a small break before we reconvened for dinner. And what a dinner it was, but let me stop there for a minute. Remember I said that we hadn’t gotten to know each other much yet? Well, I love people and I could see a few of us starting to bond already. I went into the dining room and saw that we each had a pad of paper with our name on it, but they weren’t quite arranged the way I would have hoped, so I took the liberty to switch around the tables to make a table up of people that I had gotten to know.

Well, when I went back out from the dining room into the cocktail area, I overheard Leigh (remember our hostess?) telling one of the hotel representatives that she had organized the table arrangements strategically. OH NO! We were all walking in together, and I had to fess up. Ha! I felt awful, got in a tiny bit of trouble (and revealed the first night that I’d be the one to watch, lol), but it was all taken in good nature and became a point of chuckling later on. Whew. But let me just say I won’t be doing that ever again – and I was the one that had to leave my carefully curated table to make room for one of the hotel representatives to sit. Ha! Point taken.

Ok, moving on… our meal was at The King and Prince and was prepared by Chef James Flack. The fish were actually caught right near the resort – how amazing (and fresh!) is that?? Also, I was told that Chef James doesn’t ever smile for photos, so I was glad I captured this one! We also had deliciously fresh salads and delectable desserts. It was a wonderful introductory meal, and I LOVED meeting new friends at my table – even though it wasn’t the group I had arranged. Ha!

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I was told that the sunrises were stunning – and they happen on St. Simon’s Island at 7am each day, which was a very comfortable time for me (seriously, if they had been at 5:30 I wouldn’t have gotten out of bed at all!). Each morning I was there I made it a point to head out to the sandbar and soak in the morning sunrise. It was a great way to start each day – so beautiful! St. Simon's Island as seen on Hill City Bride Wedding Blog_0008

My first sunrise on the island was followed up by an amazing breakfast at the hotel (ok, AFTER a shower, of course). They were very careful to always have healthy selections available, and their waitstaff was so sweet – and accommodating for photos. I have never had eggs benedict, but it came complete with a crabcake on top. I had fun trying new things as I’m not much of a seafood eater, either. But everything was delicious – and colorful!

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After breakfast, we were once again escorted by Cap Fendig to head out to the ocean for a jaunt. The boats and water were oh so beautiful. Loved it! Plus, I am a water girl for sure, so it was right up my alley. We were able to see the fishing boats along with a lovely selection of birds on our way to the Sidney Lanier Bridge – such an interesting structure!St. Simon's Island as seen on Hill City Bride Wedding Blog_0010St. Simon's Island as seen on Hill City Bride Wedding Blog_0011St. Simon's Island as seen on Hill City Bride Wedding Blog_0012

Our time at sea was followed up by some free time – with the option to rent bikes to tour the island. So, of course, that’s what a group of us did. So fun! St. Simon’s Island is very easy to tour by bike, and the island actually has two high and two low tides each day – making the beach sand harder when the tide is out. So hard that you can bike on it. We had a great time exploring for sure. *selfie warning, lol*

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That evening we enjoyed a delicious meal at Georgia Sea Grill followed by a morning breakfast at Sandcastle Cafe at the Pier – I must have been ravenously hungry because I actually don’t have any photos of our meals. But the food was so wonderfully amazing! After breakfast we learned some about he history of St. Simon’s Island, which includes “tree spirits” that are carved into some of the stately oaks on the island by artist Keith Jennings. So interesting and lovely – below is one near the visitor’s center.
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We also had the opportunity to tour the gorgeous St. Simon’s Island Lighthouse, which is beautiful with an interesting history, too. The museum is so well curated along with having a knowledgeable staff to answer questions. I decided to climb to the top of the lighthouse to take a peek at the view – although it was somewhat overcast but still lovely. St. Simon's Island as seen on Hill City Bride Wedding Blog_0015St. Simon's Island as seen on Hill City Bride Wedding Blog_0016

Gnat’s Landing was our stop for lunch. Although I opted for a healthy-esque salad, I just had to test out the fried pickles. Yum! We ate indoors but it felt like the outdoors with the one side of the restaurant open to the outside and the fact that we were placed at an ultra long set of picnic tables so we could all eat together. Our evening consisted of a wine pairing dinner by ECHO that evening. I do have to say that my favorite was a honey flavored wine. So delicious – and honey is one of my favorite condiments. Only second to ketchup, but I doubt that would be an acceptable wine flavor. Ha! The images below are of my lunch at Gnat’s Landing.

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The last morning, I woke up and enjoyed my last sunrise on St. Simon’s Island. Bittersweet! I happened to catch another member of our group, so we walked out there together – and chased some of the island’s birds. It was really interesting to see different flocks of birds come and go in the mornings – if you are a birdwatcher, it would be such an interesting place to go!

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As I ponder my trip, I miss the beauty of St. Simon’s Island – both the inside of the resort and the outside along with the island itself. It’s so relaxed and lovely that I truly could vacation or even live there. It’s gorgeous!

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I to have to be honest, though, I miss the crazy, fun loving bunch of friends I made on the trip. Even though we all have eclectic  interests, are in different phases of life and are various ages, we were all writers, which leveled the playing field and gave us commonality. I’ll forever hold St. Simon’s Island and my trip fondly in my heart – but the memories I made with the people will be the thing that I cherish most. *I miss you guys!*

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