The Golden Isles. St. Simon’s Island, Little St. Simon’s Island, Jekyll Island and Brunswick form the Golden Isles off the Southeast coast of Georiga. The area lies about fifty miles North of Jacksonville, Florida and about seventy miles South of Savannah, Georgia. Curiously, though it is a coastal area, it lies nearly as far west as Cleveland, Ohio.
Because of the westerly lie, the area does not take the pounding from the surf that other coastal regions take. Consequently, the area has a quaint, almost old-world feel to it. The area is dotted with palm trees that sway amongs very old live oaks. Spanish moss hangs from the branches. At time and in certain areas, the fog combined with the hanging moss create a dreary and nearly spooky effect. In fact, when we first moved here, and went to dinner on Jekyll Isalnd, my children were spooked on the walk from the car to the resturaunt.
Little St. Simon’s Island is now privatized and has no access points. St. Simon’s Island and Jekyll are separated by a few hundred yards of ocean, but are totally different islands. St. Simons’ Island is heavily populated and driven by tourism. However, Jekyll Island is a state park where development has been controlled, visitors are monitored, and retail and business locations are very sparse.
I like the area very much because you have two divergent island getaways within a few yards of one another. Should I desire a quiet day at the beach with my family, I will take them to Jekyll. After a visit on a quiet, scerene, wide sandy beach, we can stop by the one tiny market for an ice cream. To walk off the ice cream we can visit the historic section where the Jekyll Club Hotel once hosted the wealthiest of American Families. Jekyll was the playground for the Goodyears, Rockerfellars, Morgans and others. The wealthy families built huge homes and ultimately built what is now the Jekyl Club Hotel to house their guests.
Should I want to take my children crabbing or pier fishing, I can load them up and take them to St. Simon’s. The Village on St. Simon’s houses several family owned boutiques, antique shops, beachwear stores and small eaterys. Quaint, yet dramatically different from Jekyll, St. Simon’s is the place to visit if you want a busy day shopping, sight seeing, and playing.
Though we are far from a thriving city, I am happy to be here in this little slice of ocean side paradise. The Golden Isles is a place where you can take your shoes off, put your top down, turn the tunes up and relax away the day.