For living in Georgia for over 15 years, I still have a lot to explore. In May, I was invited to be a guest of The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort on St. Simons Island, Georgia. For living in a coastal state, I have a lot of the Georgia coast to visit. The dates worked out and my friend Meghan and I hoped in a loaner Miata and took the 5-6 hour drive to the Georgia coast and to explore St. Simons Island and visit The Resort. What we found was an amazing retreat and I wanted to share some of the best kept secrets and tips form The King and Prince Resort.
But, they might not be secrets so much as they are things you might not know….so we’ll run with that, too! Speaking of running, make sure you don’t miss my post about keeping your fitness routine while on vacation, especially at King and Prince Resort.
13 Things You Should know about The King and Prince Resort
1. Lack of Commercialization
When you come off the causeway and onto the island, you notice the lack of extreme commercialization. You don’t see 20 story hotels. You don’t see a beach crammed full of people.
What I learned is that there is a Land Trust protecting the island. It effectively says that nothing can be built taller than the tree canopy (4 stories). It was even tried in court and found to be solid. So, St. Simons Island won’t ever have huge buildings on it, which limits the number of people that can stay there.
2. The Rooms
Through various renovations and additions over the years, there are a plethora of room and sleeping options; many of them with amazing ocean and/or pool views.
You can have a nice ocean front room with a view, ocean front suites, two and three bedroom villas as well as cottages and private homes with up to five bedrooms.
3. The Tidal Bight
The tidal bight (the difference between low and high tide) on the Georgia Coast is the biggest I’ve ever seen. The difference between low tide and high tide on the Georgia Coast at St. Simons Island is about 10-12’. There are 2 low and 2 high tides a day that complete approximately every 6 hours. You can see just how low the tide gets when sand bars emerge from the ocean. This one one was captured at sunrise.
Another low tide in the afternoon let’s you see how families play in the water and hop in the tidal pools. But, because the tidal changes are so intense and so frequent, you have to be very aware of the ever changing landscape. In just a few hours time, the water will be covering those sand bars and almost all the way up to those rocks on the left.
Because of these high tides, there are many rescues and drownings due to people not realizing how far they are out and how quickly the water level changes, so please be very aware.
4. The sand
The sand on the St. Simons Island side brushes off so easily (compared to the sand of the Gulf of Mexico where I grew up). And because of these tides (see 3 above), the sand stays pretty wet for a good distance and make the beach a great place for a run or even a bike ride. You won’t find the ability to ride a bike on another hard sand beach like this, at least easily.
5. The only beach front hotel on St. Simons Island
None of the other hotels are on the ocean side of the Island. The only other rentals that have beach access would be private homes or the condos next door (The Grand, The Beach Club, Shipwreck, etc.) but they’re not resorts with restaurants, etc on property. If you want a beach front hotel, The King and Prince is for you!
6. St. Simons Island is the Furthest Westernmost island on the Eastern Seaboard / East Coast
I think you just have to sit on that one and digest it for a minute. I had to write it down and say it out loud and then imagine a map, but yep, furthest westernmost island on the US east coast. Crazy, right?
7. Pet Friendly
Both The King and Prince Resort as well as the beaches are pet friendly. There are select rooms at the hotel where dogs and other pets (it’s a good idea to get confirmation that your pet is on the approved list) are welcome and I’ve heard they are even known to put out treats and dog beds when they are expected.
Photo by: https://familytravelsonabudget.com
8. Electric Car Charging Station
If you have an electric car, you know the trouble of finding a vacation spot that might not be in the middle of everything, but that will allow you to charge your car. The King and Price Resort has you covered. Charge your car while you recharge on the beach and you’ll be good for more driving. (No, this isn’t my Tesla…have you seen a Tesla that seats 6 yet?)
9. A Tiny History
There has been a strong military presence on St. Simon Island and at The King and Prince over the years. Until the 1800s, the island was strictly a military island. Then, in the early 1900s it became a cottage community with the causeway built in 1928. During World War II, the hotel was only open to the US Navy after German U-boats were sighted off the coast in 1942. It was not open to public again until 1947.
Currently, the resort is privately owned. It is listed as one of the Historic Hotels of America by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
With the resort’s rich history and changing of hands, there have been quite a few renovations over the years. One of them was done to convert the original front entrance and lobby into the Solarium. We were told that people that had been coming to the resort for years still come to the original front lobby out of habit.
This gorgeous light fixture hangs in what was the old lobby and is now the Solarium.
Because of the historical status, approvals have to be granted for changes to be made. And sometimes things have the be restored after changes were previously made.
One of those included this small window. When the bigger windows were added and then renovations were done, one of the requests was that this little window be added back because it was a part of the original architecture of this part of the building. It looks kind of funny here, but when you see drawings of the original building, the window makes sense.
11. The Biking Community
Many visitors and people living on the island get around by way of bike. It’s actually very easy to do if you are staying at the King and Prince. You are actually within biking distance of a kids playground, many stores and restaurants including those at St. Simons Pier Village and Redfern Village. You can drive, too, but it was a nice way to see the island via bike.
12. An Award Wining Resort
The King and Prince has deservedly been awarded many awards over the years. Some of these awards include A Certificate of Excellence for 8 consecutive years by Trip Advisor, Top 10 Islands in the United States, America’s Most Romantic Town and #1 [Golf] Course in Georgia by Golfadvisor. Sometimes it’s nice to know that a resort you are headed to has been acknowledged by others as well.
13. Dine at the Resort at ECHO
Under the direction of resort Executive Chef, James Flack, you won’t find your food lacking! From grabbing a meal at ECHO, the Sea Shack Bar and Bites or even having room service delivered, King and Prince has you covered.
If you like to partake of an adult beverage, make sure to try something new and order it in a plastic cup so you can explore the island, the resort or even lounge on a pool chair or at the beach.
This is by no means remotely inclusive of everything there is to see and do (and eat) while at the King and Prince Resort, but hopefully you learned something new about the resort or the island and have a trip coming up soon! I’m ready to go back.