St. Simons Island is a barrier island in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Georgia in the United States. It is one of what are called the Golden Isles along with Jekyll, Sea, and Little St. Simons Islands. It is in the county of Glynn just off the coast of Brunswick, the county seat of Glynn County. The island is about 18 square miles and has a population of around 13,000. There is a small airport on the island, and Brunswick has a regional airport. Major nearby airports are Savannah and Jacksonville, both about an hour away. The Brunswick airport connects through both of these as well as Atlanta Airport.
Like the other coastal islands in Georgia, St. Simons has a feel and flavor all its own. As you enter the island across the Torres Causeway, you are treated to views of marshes in both directions populated by many white egrets and blue herons. In the distance you can see the new Sidney Lanier Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge which dominates the horizon to the south. On a clear day, you can also see the lighthouse which sits at the southeast end of St. Simons Island.
Once on the island, depending on the direction you take, you are greeted by more marshland, huge old southern oaks dripping with Spanish moss, or one of the golf courses which cover a lot of the island’s acreage. Besides golfing, the island is a haven for cyclists, walkers, and joggers with bike paths paralleling most major roads.
There are plenty of places to stay on the island. There are a few chain hotels, and a few private hotels, but most of the rooms are owner rented condominiums. There is only a small stretch of actual beach on the island, so if you want to stay on the beach, the St. Simon’s Grand, or the Beach Club at St. Simons are your best bets.
The island has a large choice when it comes to eating out also, with seafood dominating the local cuisine. For a touch of elegance and some fine dining, the Georgia Sea Grill is one of several upscale dining establishments on the island. Most of the dining however, like everything else on St. Simons is causal.
To check out several of the local restaurants as well as shops and bars, park in and stroll along the village. This is the end of Mallory Street on the east side of the island. The road ends in a parking lot adjacent to the fishing pier and the lighthouse. Some of the restaurants along this quiet street include Barbara Jean’s a must for crab cakes, and the Fourth of May, where home-style meat and vegetable lunch and dinners are served. For breakfast, try Dressner’s for their huge blueberry pancakes.
The coast of Georgia offers a nice variety of destinations to choose from. For a little golf, relaxing on the beach, or strolling through the village, St. Simons Island is one of the best.