We have been a regular visitor and homeowner on St. Simons Island, Georgia, for about 25 years, so we weren't surprised it was named #3 on Conde Nast Travelers Best U.S. Islands list. For us, it has the perfect combination of unspoiled beauty and enough development to make it livable. You can find a place to get away from everything or a great meal, all within minutes of each other.
We first visited and fell in love with St. Simons Island, Georgia, about twenty-five years ago. So, when a condo at the Beach Club came available in 2002 for a great price, we jumped on it. It has been our spring and fall go-to place ever since. And while there have been many changes in all those years, it's still the same place with friendly people, great food, and good photo opportunities.
There are plenty of bike paths on the island, and lately, golf carts have begun popping up, but to me, it's always been a walking destination. On any given day, I may walk past the beautiful saltwater marsh toward East Beach, then return past the Coast Guard Station. There I pick up the beach and walk back through the old oaks that populate Massengale Park.
Or, if there needs to be food on my journey, I head in the other direction past the lighthouse and pier and end up in The Village, where I could easily spend the rest of the day. When I have felt particularly adventurous, we will head up the middle of the island toward Sea Island for lunch at Cafe Frederica or Sal's Pizza. Then my wife will head out shopping while I take the four-mile walk back home.
For photographers, there are endless places to shoot. I can spend hours walking along the edge of the marshes looking for herons, egrets, and otters. Or, if architecture is my goal, I love shooting the lighthouse and pier, the Coast Guard Station, or any of the several old churches dotted along the island. And by old, I'm talking Oglethorpe and first European settlers old. And no photography day would be complete without a visit to the Avenue of Oaks in front of the Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club.
Every time we pack up to head to St. Simons Island, Georgia, we always pack a lot of snacks and junk food to eat while we are on vacation. And every time we pack up to go home, we have every bit of it leftover because there is no excuse ever to be hungry there. From the Beachcomber BBQ a quarter-mile away to the great restaurants in 'mid-island,' there are dozens of regularly visited restaurants.
In the Village alone, there are a half-dozen places we always visit, including Mallery Street Cafe, Zuzu's burgers, Iguanas, and of course, Barbara Jean's. We also love Palm Coast for breakfast or lunch. If we are heading out, we will usually end up at Cafe Frederica for breakfast or Sal's Pizzeria for lunch or dinner. Almost all of the restaurants on the island are locally owned, and it was only a few years back when the first chain restaurant showed up on St. Simons Island, Georgia,
If you are not fortunate enough to own a condo on St. Simons Island, Georgia, you can always rent one. The great folks at Georgia Coast Realty will take care of you. In the same complex they occupy, you can also find a couple of hotels. But if it's a hotel you want, why not stay down in the Village at the Saint Simons Inn or the Ocean Inn & Suites. They are just at the edge of the Village, far enough down Beachview Drive to be quiet at night.
If you are looking for a beach holiday in Georgia, you can't do better than St. Simons Island, Georgia. Look for me around the Village and say hello.