Visit to St. Simons Island, Georgia

Old Feb 24th, 2017, 05:46 PM
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Visit to St. Simons Island, Georgia

My first trip to St. Simons in 25 years . . .many things the same but much more crowded, at least on recent President's Day weekend. Beautiful weather . . . sunny, highs all 3 days in the 70s, lows in the 50s.

I was on the island to attend the 2nd annual storytelling festival at Epworth By the Sea, the Methodist conference center on the island. I stayed in the Turner Lodge, with a view and balcony facing the Frederica River and marshes. Lovely sunset view! A couple of the lodges that are part of the conference center are cheaper but only Turner and Robertson Inn have views of the river. Room pleasant and spacious but do wish for an in-room coffee or tea maker!

All meals during the storytelling festival itself were at the conference center, food was reasonably good and certainly plentiful, dining room had lots of windows and a view of river and sunset. My friends and I shared our table at several of the meals -- nice to meet other folks.

Aside from attending festival sessions, we also took a 2+ hour trolley ride around the island that was a good way to get some general history and orientation. The only stop was at Christ Church, a small Episcopal church important in the island's island; especially enjoyed walking around its beautiful, old cemetery that had both azaleas and camellias in full bloom (unusual result of the long, warm spell this February). Red and pink camellias especially striking draped with gray Spanish moss.
The huge old live oaks on the island are lovely to see, as are the few remaining old cedars.

We also visited the Methodist Museum and Archives at Epworth by the Sea, getting in about 45 minutes before it closed on Saturday. Lots of Georgia Methodist history represented, including displays from the missionary services of the past in China and Korea.

John and Charles Wesley both came to St. Simons in Georgia’s very early days – Charles as James Oglethorpe’s secretary, John as an Anglican minister. They had not yet founded the Methodist denomination. Neither were happy in Georgia; Charles only stayed for 3 months, John for a bit over a year, but this was their only American visit so Epworth is special place to American Methodists.

Monday morning, after end of festival, we went out to Cannon’s Point Preserve, on the northern end of the island, and walked out to the ruins of an old plantation -- house had been built in the 1700s, burned in 1890s but its foundation and old tabby chimneys were still standing, facing the river and marsh.
The Preserve has limited hours (only open Saturdays-Mondays, 9 a.m.-3 p.m) and is staffed only by a volunteer. The hiking trails are still closed because of damage from fall hurricane but the old road is open, as is a kayak launching spot.

Had good meal in Brunswick after leaving St. Simons, at a little restaurant named The Moveable Feast, in a strip mall. I had a power mix salad, which was a warm sauté of kale, cabbage, radicchio and brussels sprouts with chicken, artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes and topped with turkey bacon and feta cheese, plus a cup of black bean soup. Cost was only $9.50.
Many more things to see on island and surrounding area, if only time had permitted!
CLBtravel is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2017, 05:54 AM
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Thanks CLB--remainds me that we need to get back to St. Simons as it has been at least twenty years since we've been there.
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