I have been visiting St. Simons Island for almost forty
years. What keeps me returning
time and again is the residential ambience – lush tree cover and landscape –
beautiful natural beaches – delicious sea food – and friendly people.
St. Simons Island
is located five miles off shore from the City of Brunswick in the
southeastern corner of Georgia, about 50 miles from the
Florida line. St. Simons is part
of the Golden Isles Chain that also includes Sea Island, Little St. Simons
Island, Jekyll Island and others.
Below is an aerial view of St. Simons Island from the
south. The Village is located in
the bottom–right part of the picture, the King & Prince Hotel and the East
Beach far middle right.
There are many hotels, motels and rental properties for
visitors to choose from. From
Sept. 25 – 29, 2015, my special friend Patty Morrison and I stayed at the King
& Prince Hotel located a mile north of the Village.
St. Simons’ largest hotel was recently renovated and
provides a wide array of accommodations to suit most needs or budgets. For families, there are many nearby
condos for rent all year round.
The hotel’s Echo
Restaurant & Bar is an attractive place to eat or drink and offers
the only seaside dining on the island.
seaside service on patio – poolside bar and food service far right.
St. Simons is famous for seafood – fisherman catch Georgia
White Shrimp in the prevalent marshes that surround much of Georgia’s coast and
the island in particular.
CrabDaddy’s and the Crab Trap have consistently prepared
good seafood for decades and are but a short walk from the King & Prince.
Brogen’s is a casual, landmark restaurant in the Village and a
home for Georgia football fans and alumni. The front porch upstairs dining provides a great view of the
pier and water.
The below picture is the main street of the Village where
many shops, restaurants and bars are located. Pub crawling is a favored Village activity for locals and
At the end of the Village’s main walking street is the
famous pier where many locals and tourists fish off of or just enjoy the salt
air. My son attended college in
the area for two years and often sought – and found – inner peace sitting
There are numerous pretty areas for walking or biking. A lovely walking path starts at the
pier and follows the ocean’s edge.
At the end of this path is the famous St. Simons Lighthouse.
The marshes serve as incubators of sea life – shrimp, crab,
clams, sea trout to name a few.
This marsh is located on the East Beach Road / Causeway.
Real estate development is one of the island’s major
economic activities. Virtually
every type of housing from apartments to estates to elite golf themed resorts
pictured below to cute bungalows featured in the following picture.
This is an example of a classic St. Simons beach bungalow
that has been updated – has a second floor bedroom and big wide backyard porch. The main landscaping aim is to use
ground covers instead of lawns.
Note the broad porch, cross ventilation windows, and semitropical
vegetation / landscaping.
St. Simons is blessed with lush foliage, a vast tree cover
consisting of mature oaks and palms, and Spanish moss hanging from branches
This park is just east of the village and a magnet for dog
walkers and pedestrians. The moss
adds a dramatic element to the lawn and mature oaks.
St. Simons is similar to Bermuda in the effect it has on
visitors – they slow down a bit, take in the sights, and enjoy the lush vegetation
and comfortable climate.
Quaint Mayjoe Street runs between Demere
Road and the Village and is my favorite thoroughfare because it’s still a dirt
road that includes a natural speed brake.
The two big oaks limit passage to a single lane and slow down the few
cars a day that pass through it.
I tend to think of the East Beach and Gould’s Inlet as a single
stretch of natural beach. The sand
constantly shifts forming new bars at low tide. Sea oats, varied wild foliage and sand berms keep the beach
Picture of Gould’s Inlet facing south – the East Beach is
about a mile straight ahead.
This view of Gould’s Inlet captures the tidal pools created
by the receding ocean.
This view is facing north from the East Beach towards
This view is from the entrance to the East Beach – the tide
has just receded and vast sandbars are presenting themselves. The emerging sandbars remind me of new
barrier islands forming.
This picture shows the natural vegetation that holds the
East Beach together and prevents sand from washing away into ocean.
St. Simons is a great place to relax and read a book on the
beach or by a hotel pool. I enjoy
watching the amazing parade of handsome dogs being walked by their masters – it
reminds me of a Westminster Kennel Club on sand.
Whatever you choose to do with your time, I believe you will
become enchanted by the island’s charms and assets and return time and again
just like me.
Maybe you will fall in love with the island just like I did.
Dr. Arnold Heller