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Georgia on my mind

CHANTEL GUERTIN, Contributor CHANTEL GUERTIN, Contributor

St. Simons Island blends the best of the Deep South with the East Coast. Halfway between Jacksonville, Florida and Savannah, Georgia, fly into either airport and make the hour drive to the island.

The King & Prince. Photo by Chantel Guertin

Where to stay

The King & Prince is the only waterfront resort on the island. Originally opened as a seaside dance club in 1935, it now offers oceanfront suites, beach villas or resort residences (ideal for larger families).

Lounge by one of four pools (with full bar service), stroll the white-sand beach to the pier, take a tennis lesson on the har-tru tennis courts or join a kayaking tour through the marshy waters.

What to do:

Rent a bike at Ocean Motion Surf Co., which is right up the street from The King & Prince, and tour the 18-square-mile island in a few hours.

Around St. Simons. Photo by Chantel Guertin

Spend the afternoon popping in and out of the shops on Mallery Street as you make your way down to Neptune Park, the pier and the lighthouse. Then hop aboard the St. Simons Island Trolley Tour to see the rest of the island.

Golf at The King & Prince Golf Course, situated on an 18th century antebellum plantation where cotton, indigo and rice were grown. Highlights include the four island holes on the back nine — and for the non-golfer, the chance to see dozens of alligators in the marshy swamps and ponds.

Board the Lady Jane with Captain Larry Credle and travel through the scenic marshes of St. Simons Sound to see pelicans, gulls and dolphins. As the crew trawls for shrimp (the Lady Jane is a working shrimp boat), you’ll see marine life up close: turtles, pufferfish, sharks, helmut crabs and dozens of species of fish.

Surf Squared at Palmer’s Village Café. Photo by Chantel Guertin

Where to eat:

For the best in BBQ, grab a picnic table outside Southern South Barbeque, where pitmaster and co-owner Harrison Sapp uses nothing but oak wood in the outdoor pit.

Featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, the owners opened the restaurant in a 1940s gas station with $700. They make their rub every day from scratch, then roast the pulled pork for 10 to 14 hours. Order the Southern Soul Sampler and try two meats (pulled pork, ribs, sausage, beef brisket, turkey breast or chicken), plus stew and a side for $15.

Palmer’s Village Café is only open for breakfast and lunch, and after a meal there you won’t need to eat dinner anyway, so it all works out. First, order something savoury, like the Surf Squared (poached eggs over crab cake, roasted red pepper grit cake and homemade hollandaise) or the Southern (poached eggs over collard greens, ham and biscuit with pot licker gravy). Then follow it up with the breakfast equivalent of dessert: Vanilla & Honey Mascarpone Full Stack Pancakes.

Oysters on the Half Shell at the King’s Tavern Restaurant. Photo by Chantel Guertin

For a true taste of Georgia, stay in and dine at The King’s Tavern Restaurant at The King & Prince. Start with the Oysters on the Half Shell, then taste the creamiest grits ever in the Low Country Shrimp & Grits. Finish with the Georgia Peach Crème Brulee.

Chantel Guertin is a beauty expert on The Marilyn Denis Show, hair editor at TheKit.ca and bestselling author. She has worked at Sweetspot.ca, ELLE Canada and TV Guide, and has contributed to FASHION, Best Health, HGTV.ca, FoodNetwork.com and WNetwork.com. Visit her website at www.chantelguertin.com and follow her on Twitter @chantelguertin.


Date Added: August 20, 2012 | Comments (0)

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