While visiting some of the Southern States, I came across a culinary gem! It seems many of you might have visited this island before but if you haven’t give your taste buds a delicious vacation. Capture picturesque salt marshes, as you ride over the tidal rivers and enter St. Simmons islands. Saturate yourself in history or enjoy the sandy stretches like East Beach. While it is one of the largest islands, in a chain of islands, it is easily navigational. Just find Frederica road and you will be able to locate just about anything the island has to offer.
I escaped the cold weather in New York by staying at the King and Prince Resort. Many accommodations are offered to tourists from Bed & Breakfasts to chain hotels. The Resort offered some modern luxuries I was personally looking for in this particular trip. My first stop was brunch in the ECHO Lounge. Arriving on a Sunday I was “Welcomed” with a Bloody Mary Bar! It did look very appetizing but I settled down after my road trip with a Prosecco and Crab Cakes. Light taste, perfectly cooked, with just the right amount of sauce to compliment this fresh dish.
After settling into my room I caught a ride on Lighthouse Trolleys by Cap Fendig. While out exploring we watched anglers fish off a nearby Pier located in the Pier Village for all kinds of seafood, including crabs (pictured above).
A full day of exploration meant it was time to enjoy a meal at the King and Prince Resort. Executive Chef James Flack prepared a delightful meal incorporating Southern Hospitality at its finest. He started off with a roasted heirloom apples slow roasted with candied walnuts, figs and apple brandy vinaigrette. The appetizer was my personal favorite, smoked venison tournedos. I would like to say he was paying homage to his Northern roots with this dish. Tender, moist, flavors described as “wild” verses the traditional “game” taste and cooked to absolute perfection!
With such a hearty dinner, I ate a light breakfast at the Sand Castle Cafe & Grill located by the pier. Afterwards, climbed the 129 steps to enjoy the views at the top of the St. Simons island Lighthouse. Imagine a 360-degree coastal view of the area. I love saturating myself into the history of a place while visiting. Georgia was the epicenter of conflict in the 1700s and St. Simons Island is a perfect place to learn some history. Fort Frederica, for examples (pictured above), was built as a southern boundary marker.
If you are exploring and learning about a place try to have one of their local dishes. At the pier I heard many anglers talking about the Georgia Shrimp being caught and decided to try them out. They were so much larger compared to the shrimp we have back in New York!
Another captivating view I think worth mentioning is the Avenue of Oaks (pictured above). Each new location I visited, I felt the people were so inviting and genuine. It was easy to pass the hours just listening to stories of how they came to the island and how is has changed over the years. In these conversations is when I find the best places to snap some photos or find local food joints! It is amazing what you can learn about an area by just asking a local! With all this scenic beauty you can really work up an appetite while exploring it all.
Personally, I love finding “off the beaten path” places to eat. A place I can bring my family and enjoy a meal without dressing up or worrying if my son is “too” loud. Gnat’s Landing not only had a great place to sit and rest they were extremely family friendly. A bulldog statue is out front waiting to greet you, what more could you ask for? The Vidalia onion dip was worth the trip entirely!!
One of the many things I noticed while out exploring is the majestic Oak trees. They are dripping with moss and truly a marvel frozen in time. With so many areas tearing down trees, it’s refreshing to see establishments embrace them! While out on the King and Price Golf Course, I saw many Oak trees. I even heard a pair of Eagles reside on the property and could you blame them?
We embarked on a little “putting” competition while enjoying the course. Would it surprise you I have never played gulf before (Even though I live extremely close to many courses)? I was excited to learn some techniques but more excited to taste their food. Whenever I hear an establishment cooks from scratch, my taste buds do a “happy dance”. The Hawaiian Cake was hands down the best dessert I’ve consumed in my whole 32 years. As a professional Food Judge who recently graded a competition based on only desserts, that is saying something. It is a moist cake, filled with chopped walnuts, pineapple and magical ingredients topped with homemade frosting, yum! Do not leave this island without trying a piece, it is THAT good! I wonder if they would ship some to NY?
While I know St. Simons Island has so much more to offer food-wise these are the places I enjoyed this visit. I plan on coming back to try out more. It was truly a delight to find a place with such hospitality and passion for the food scene. From culinary chefs to every day home cooks this island has it.
Have you ever traveled here?
If so what places do you enjoy eating at?
I would love them to my next trips itinerary; just leave me a comment below!