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Driving to the island, I am very excited to finally see the resort. I was not aware of St. Simons Island or The King and Prince prior to a client mentioning that his family has vacationed here for years. From their web site, it really looked like a great place! After a few phone calls and e-mails, here I am visiting with my family.
Turning onto the causeway, I realize that I have never driven onto an island before! The approach to the island is magnificent; you are surrounded by endless vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and tidal marshes. Water is everywhere, and the views are just beautiful! I already have a good feeling about our visit to this island haven.
Driving along Kings Way toward the Resort, one is caressed by the overhang of massive ancient oaks with their beards of Spanish moss. The road leads through the Pier Village, the epicenter of St. Simons Island. We were getting excited and looking forward to browsing the quaint little shops that are nestled in this ocean front location and checking out the daily catch on the fishing pier.
Upon arriving at the Resort, we were welcomed by the accommodating staff and a beautiful two-bedroom villa that had just recently been refurbished. As do all kids, my kids had to run through and check out the kitchen, laundry rooms, bathrooms and the comfortable furniture. They were overjoyed when they realized they had their own room with twin beds and a TV. They were stopped mid-stride when they saw the view from the balconies of the Villa. They were in awe when they looked out at the ocean and saw dolphins playing in the waves. What perfect timing; and of course, we could not make it down to the beach quick enough.
The resort’s accommodations fit any budget and include oceanfront rooms, oceanview rooms, resort view rooms, beach cottages, suites, and two and three bedroom villas, many with private patios or balconies. The Cabana rooms, where my parents stayed, have separate parlors, private patios, and a direct oceanfront location.
A few hours on the beach relaxing will rejuvenate the soul and the appetite, so we all ventured out to find dinner. Before we decided where to dine we took a quick stroll through the Pier Village. What a surprise to find so many dining options in such a short distance from the Resort. While enjoying some incredible crabcakes and she crab soup at Barbara Jeans, we started making our list of things to do for the next day when my parents would arrive. My children made it clear to me that we had to climb to the top the St. Simons Island Lighthouse; one of few working light houses in the United States. I was thinking of taking the historic trolley ride to hear all about the islands historic past.
After a splendid nights sleep, it was revitalizing to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean while sipping my Latte’ from the Starbucks café in the Atrium Lobby. I promised the kids that they could take a quick dip in the resort pool, (they have five including an indoor pool and hot tub. Of course my husband with clubs in hand headed to the golf course. He had read all about the Resort’s Hampton Club and its four signature island holes and was hoping he would have a stroke of luck playing this challenging course that was designed by Joe Lee.
When the parents arrived we did make way to the Lighthouse. From there, the view of the island and ocean are gorgeous. Mom and dad also rented a beach buggy and followed us around the island as we cycled the miles of bike paths that meander through the most beautiful maritime forest with coastal views that take your breathe away. After exerting all this energy, we decided instead of venturing out for dinner that we would enjoy the Friday Night Seafood Buffet at The King and Prince. The Blue Dolphin Restaurant which is St. Simons Island’s only ocean front restaurant, offers something for all—steamed crab legs, shrimp prepared more ways then you could imagine, prime rib, and pasta station. Everyone (even the kids) left satisfied; it was incredible.
Our stay was fabulous, and we are already planning to come back next year to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of this Historic Hotel of America. Hopefully next year we will be able to enjoy the recreational activities we missed, like kayaking, sailing, boat tours, the Emerald Princess Casino, charter fishing, and even the Lady Jane shrimp boat.
St. Simons Island is situated on the southeast coast of Georgia, approximately 15 miles east of Interstate 95 at Georgia Exits 38, 36 & 29. There are three options for air travel; the Brunswick Airport offers three flights a day to/from Atlanta and is 15 minutes from the Resort. Jacksonville International Airport provides the most flight and airline choices and is located one hour south. Savannah International Airport is only 70 miles north of St. Simons Island. #
For more information please visit their website at www.kingandprince.com and www.hamptonclub.com.