In the sweet Georgia ground of St. Simons Island lies a key to America’s past, to a time where dance clubs were good natured places to learn the Pachanga and an old-fashioned was just…well, a fashioned. On St. Simons they embrace their history, and the culture is better for it. It’s a place of tradition, southern hospitality, and a true sort of getaway.
Where to stay on this magical island? The King and Prince resort was an original 1935 dance club & hotel that would become a US Navy radar station for the entirety of World War II. A genuine Historic Hotel of America, this 75 year old luxury resort has merged the past and future with a property that’s gone under extensive renovations for the modern traveler yet kept its original architectural features. And you can believe the authenticity of the ‘historic’ aspect…they can’t change so much as a window if it’s an original piece to the building, according to the local historic society.
It’s the truth of the South.
Book a villa if you’re looking for privacy, and do not leave without dining in the King’s Tavern—newly appointed Food & Beverage Director, Vinny D’Agostino, has a penchant for sophisticated southern cooking and he is making sure each bite served throughout the resort reflects that. Vinny is an Italian man who truly understands the culture of food, and it’s showing as he makes his culinary mark at the King and Prince. The Low Country Shrimp & Grits is carnivore converting and their Bread Pudding is simply outrageous.
For a taste of the resort’s specialites check out the King and Prince Shrimp & Grits entry at the The Wild Georgia Shrimp Festival this September 16, 2011 held on the neighboring Jekyll Island.
Taking a day off from the beach for the course is also a necessity. There’s nothing quite like island golfing! Originally designed by renowned architect Joe Lee, the King and Prince Golf Course is famous for its challenging layout through the forests, salt marches, dramatic holes. The bold design is breathtaking and ingenious throughout. The highlight of the course lies in the back nine, but all 18-holes make for a great morning round.
Haylards is truly the crème de la crème dining experience on the island. Chef Dave has spent years in the restaurant biz in NYC but appreciates the lifestyle St. Simons allows him…in fact, he personally caught the whole fried sea bass that he served us later that evening. That’s dedication. Make sure you try the Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Salsa (on St. Simons, it really is all about the fresh seafood) and finish the night with Graham’s Ten Year Tawny Port. Perfection.
The last stop for a mind blowing experience on this itsy bitsy island would be a visit to Moo Cow Ice Cream. An artisan style creamery, brainchildren of Chef Jayson Ridinger, includes radical flavors ranging from avocado, candied bacon, sweet potato (strangely decadent), to chocolate covered potato chip madagascar vanilla. Jayson even has the Moo Cream logo tattooed on his wrist—these southern boys don’t mess around. Moo Cream is a worthy indulgence…home-made premium ice cream that keeps a chill in the air and a spring in your flops.