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When Georgia’s on your mind, consider St. Simon’s Island

March, 2011

If you are looking for a restful getaway, think St. Simon’s Island, Georgia. It doesn’t get more peaceful than the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, in its tranquil island setting on the edge of the Atlantic.

Have some Southern Soul Barbeque with collard greens before or after visiting Fort Frederica (below). Photos: Sandra Phillips, Stan Posner

Crowned in terra cotta since 1935 and named one of the historic hotels of America, you can rest your weary body in the luxurious hotel or opt for historic villas, condos, houses (perfect for family reunions), or even a golf house. It is really hard to keep your eye on the golf ball here when your view of the ball vies with the ancient oaks, lakes, lagoons and tidal marshes, making for a view on every hole.

Go shelling, stroll a tropical waterfall, play tennis on their clay courts or experience a massage in the Royal Treatment Cottages. You can get wet in the ocean, or in one of the five pools. The ocean is never far away, even when you dine. Hugely popular are the famous Friday night seafood buffet and the Southern Charm Sunday brunch, served in the Delegal Room. If you can tear your eyes away from the buffet table, notice the stained glass murals of island history. 800-342-0212,

If you want to get onto all that water, you can play “Bubba Gump” climbing aboard Lady Jane and participate in activities on the only shrimp trawler certified by the U.S. Coast Guard. Captain Larry Credle welcomes you and you get to help the crew empty the net and learn about the species they caught (bonnethead, blacktip, sand shark, horseshoe crab, puffer fish, amberjack, crocker, spot, whiting, blue crab, skate). After you watch (or not) the shrimp beheading, partake in the freshest possible “shrimp boil,” where you can eat as much shrimp as you can handle. 912-265-5711,

For some island exploring that will take you through tunnels of live oaks, head to Fort Frederica. General James Oglethorpe laid claim to the area for England, to protect the southern boundary of his new colony of Georgia from the Spanish in Florida. He found the ideal site for defense and a town settlement along the river on the western edge of the island, and named it Frederica for Frederick Louis, the prince of Wales (1702-1754).

In 1736, 44 men and 72 women and children arrived to build the fort, and by the 1740s it was a thriving village of about 500 citizens. Colonists from England, Scotland and the Germanic states came to Georgia to support this endeavour. When Spanish troops tried to capture St. Simons Island on July 7, 1742, Oglethorpe’s men won a decisive victory in the Battle of Bloody Marsh (though there wasn’t much blood shed). This proved to be the turning point in the Spanish invasion of Georgia. 912-638-3639,

You will be getting hungry at some point, so mosey on down to the Southern Soul Barbeque, which started life in a former gas station and was featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Grab a bottle of SunDrop, Cheerwine or Nehi soda as you peruse the smoky menu. Choose pulled pork, ribs, smoked turkey or chicken or beef brisket, but you must top them off with their Grandma’s special Sweet Georgia Brown sauce (please, please bring a bottle home for Sandra). There’s a six-pack of other sauces on the table, but why bother? Locals would add a side of collard greens, fried okra, hoppin’ john (black eyed peas), Brunswick stew or mac ’n cheese.

And since you’re on vacation, have dessert and surrender to the fabulous gooey daily cobbler, which might be chocolate apple, peach, cherry or pear or else the—yikes—fried oreos. 912-638-SOUL,



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