This trip was sponsored by the King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort. All opinions are my own.
Although it seems summer has just begun, before you know it we’ll be back in sweaters, scarves, and overcoats.
Before this inevitable chill, consider flying south this summer for a “kingly” experience at the King and Prince Resort on St. Simons Island.
The largest of the Atlantic barrier islands in Georgia, (known by locals as the Golden Isles), St. Simons is the size of another favorite island of mine (Manhattan), and completely walkable, but that is where the similarities end. Continue reading
Bicycles and golf carts are the major modes of transportation on the island, and due to the slower pace of low country, and the evergreen vacation mentality of both visitors and locals alike, days spent here feel as calm as the gentle waves of the sea.
If you decide to make St. Simons a summer destination, here is my roundup of some of island’s sights, tastes, and shops that I experienced during my stay.
The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort. The King and Prince is without doubt, St. Simons’ grandest hotel.
Nowhere else on the island will you find so many family friendly activities, an award-winning golf course, two full tennis courts, and a spacious pool (with a pool bar!) just steps away from the ocean.
The stunning buildings that make up the resort resemble an elaborate sand castle, and since it is only beachfront property on the island, is a very fitting motif.
The resort is family owned, and has won nearly hundreds of awards of excellence in its 80 years of operation.
Since it is a historic hotel, the rooms tend to err on the side of cozy, but a recent major renovation project (known as The Castle Makeover) gives the rooms a fresh feeling, while retaining the charm of the hotel’s past.
The resort’s best new edition is its restaurant, ECHO (named for the hotel’s stint as a naval training facility during World War II), which is located on the far side of the truly massive, yet inviting lobby.
Flanked by creative executive Chef John Palacio, and daring food and beverage director, Allen Lancaster, ECHO’s cuisine adds a touch of southern charm and a lot of local flavor, to nouveau American cuisine.
- ECHO. Aside from the reasons listed above, dining at ECHO is an absolute must, if only to try the succulent, sweet wild caught Georgia shrimp.Upon arriving at the K&P, Chef John treated us to a live cooking demonstration using the tender little morsels, and by far it’s the best tasting shrimp I’ve ever had. Fortunately, the shrimp and grits dish is on the menu daily, so you too will have to chance to taste this delectable treat.Shrimp isn’t ECHO’s only specialty – Chef John was on a mission to show us his vast range – and he succeeded. We sampled a hearty breakfast, a “Beach body” lunch featuring organic, health-conscious dishes, and an elegant five course tasting menu accompanied by a great variety of wines chosen by Allen.Our last meal at ECHO was a farewell breakfast where Chef John cooked delicious southern style omelets to order, and, in an interesting turn of events, we were challenged to smoothie making competition by the Chef and our resort hosts. Disappointingly, my team – even though I had a familiar connection with one of the judges (my boyfriend) – wasn’t chosen as the victors (this time lol).
- Mullet Bay. A great choice for lunch or dinner, Mullet Bay offers a seafood-heavy menu and relaxing, outdoor porch or interior dining. Don’t miss the southern take on a Yankee classic: the mahi rueben.
- Brogen’s at the Pier. Brogen’s has been one of the Georgia Coast’s most popular eateries for ‘Food & Spirits’ for over 30 years. Whether you choose a sandwich, salad, or one their classic burgers, request a seat on the second floor for the only unobstructed ocean view dining on the island.
- GNATs Landing. Located in RedFern Village, GNATs is a great choice for lunch in between a hefty shopping excursion. Order a classic sweet tea and one of the crowd favorites like the famous slaw bowl, or Vidalia onion pie, or go with a healthier option like the blackened mahi salad like I did.
- Sandcastle Cafe. The Sandcastle is a tasty and affordable choice for breakfast – and a local favorite. Enjoy eggs freshly made to order, and an accompanying buffet of pastries, cereals, breakfast meats and more.
Now that you are well rested and fed, stay tuned for part 2 of the fun sights and activities!