Spring Break is just around the corner and I am looking forward to a trip to the beach! I can’t wait to spend the day basking in the sunshine with my toes in the water and salt air blowing through my hair. However, as much as I love the beach, I have to admit that I don’t like the long drive, the crowds and the noise that are so prevalent at most beach resorts.
If you are looking for a more peaceful, family oriented beach location, I’ve found the perfect place and it’s only a short drive from Atlanta! St. Simon’s Island, one of Georgia’s beautiful barrier islands, offers a multitude of family activities to enjoy plus a world class luxury beachfront resort.
Crossing the causeway is almost like stepping through a "star gate" into another dimension. It's hard to believe that such a different world exists a mere 4 hours from Atlanta. I can almost feel my blood pressure drop while gazing out on the beautiful, ever-changing Marshes of Glenn. On the other side there are no high rise condos and no teen-agers cruisin' the strip with windows down and music blaring. Time seems to slow down, background noise fades to the sounds of the surf and stress is a thing of the past as I enter the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort.
Home Away From Home
The resort, which began in 1935 as a small, private dance club, has grown into a luxury Mediterranean style oceanfront resort that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Priding themselves on southern hospitality, families as well as Moms & Dads wanting a romantic weekend alone will feel right at home. And talk about personal service...everyday, the housekeeper for my room left a handwritten note wishing me a great day!
They offer a variety of accommodations for families with children of all ages, ranging from spacious, budget friendly, one room suites with pull out sofas, two room suites, beach villas, small cottages to luxurious 5 bedroom homes. Well-behaved 4-legged family members (under 25 pounds) are also welcome in specific buildings. The beautifully appointed rooms evoke the magic of a bygone era but include all of the modern conveniences you would expect at a luxury resort including complimentary wifi. Most rooms have balconies or patios overlooking the ocean or pool.
The Local Dish
The owners of the King and Prince Resort are dedicated to preserving the rich heritage of this beloved historic resort while incorporating modern technology and innovation. Nothing exemplifies this more than their newly opened ECHO Restaurant.
Named with a nod to the St. Simons Naval Air Station and their top priority mission of amplifying radar signals during World War II, ECHO is the only oceanfront restaurant on the island. Although remaining true to southern coastal cuisine, Executive Chef Jason Brumfield’s locally sourced philosophy brings a contemporary flair to the menu. He utilizes lean, fresh, organic items whenever possible including fresh caught Georgia white shrimp, Sapelo Farms vegetables, grass fed beef and local honey.
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the menu is sure to please the whole family. Breakfast offers everything from doughnuts to salmon bacon with scrambled eggs and Georgia caviar. You can run in from the pool for a plain ol’ cheeseburger or order an ECHO Burger with Foie gras, tobacco onion, Boursin cheese and black truffle aioli. Dinner could be she-crab bisque, shrimp & grits or fried quail with waffles. Or you could order my favorite… room service! They have a huge selection that even features a children’s menu with spaghetti, mac and cheese, burgers or chicken.
Water, Water Everywhere
With six unique pools, the recently updated pool complex has something for everyone. The shaded wading pool with a castle-building area and splash fountain is perfect for families with toddlers. Older kids will enjoy the underwater benches and jets in the lagoon-style pool and for sun-worshipping teens, there are plenty of chaises on which to just hang out! If relaxing in the shade with a good book is more your style, you will love their umbrellas and pool side food and drink service.
Of course, the main attraction to a beach resort is the beach! With gorgeous water in which to play and 6 miles of beautiful white sand beach to walk and shell, this is a beach lover’s paradise. Most days the water is blue and the sand dollars are plentiful. Just rent a beach umbrella from the hotel, pick your spot and do nothing! Hey, that’s what vacations are for, right?
For the more athletic types, try out the tennis courts, the indoor exercise facility or their world class golf course. Built before current restrictions, several holes provide breath-taking panoramic views of the marsh. If you are lucky, there might even be an eagle in the massive nest on one hole.
Prefering something less strenuous, I usually sign up for a gourmet cooking class with Executive Chef Jason Brumfield or visit the Royal Treatment Spa for the ultimate in pampering and relaxation. I highly recommend both!
With so many options, many people never leave the resort. But St. Simon’s Island has enough activities to keep your family busy for months! From renting bicycles to fishing from the pier and exploring the quaint shops in the village,
If you yearn for a family beach vacation that is slower and simpler, but with modern conveniences and luxury, then make a reservation at The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort on St. Simon’s Island. Please save a spot for me under the third umbrella on the left!