But the friends that go with you to Little St. Simons Island will be friends forever!
There is something special about this place named Little St. Simons Island. It elicits a feeling deep inside your core that lets you know for sure there is a mystic that abounds. As a guest, you know you are treading grounds that have only been trodden by few. As a guest, you are one of the luckiest people on earth.
Steeped in rich history, Little St. Simons is a small, quaint and relaxed resort that offers guests something that is eloquently unlike anything anywhere else. Yes, this resort has lazy rivers, games, five-star meals, pristine beaches, bicycle paths, and a staff that puts service above all else, but it couldn't be farther from the image you probably have in your mind right now. You see the lazy river is actually one of many waterways that surround this private island, and in the game room you will find a scrabble board, monopoly, a few puzzles, and a deck of cards in the cupboard.
Accessible only by boat, Little St. Simons Island, is observing its 100th Anniversary this year. And it will be, in large part, a celebration of one remarkable family's abiding devotion to letting nature reign and to simply leaving well enough wonderfully alone. Things haven't changed much since Fanny Kimball, wife of the then-owner, visited the island and called it "a forest in the sea" and a "tangled wilderness" in 1839. She would be surprised to know just how accurate her words are still today.
So why exactly did five women decide to travel to this rustic island where the wilderness reigns and nature is queen? Where you get on a boat and bid farewell to the hustle and bustle of everyday life, including televisions, telephones, and in our case, electricity (I'll explain later) only to be delivered to a dock on Mosquito Creek and met by friendly faces donning bug spray. At first, I felt as if I'd been drafted for a round of Survivor, but boy was I wrong. This was the girl time I needed, and an experience I will treasure forever.
To my surprise, I learned that the island's overnight guest capacity is no more than 30. So let's see: 10,000 acres with only 30 people there at a time, that's about 333 acres per person. For our mid-week arrival the five us made up more than half of the guests and from the moment we stepped onto the dock our adventure began.
Before I go on, please allow me to introduce my girlfriends. I was accompanied by my buddy, Dr. Kathy Murphy and my sister-in-law, Meredith Millen Deal who lives on St. Simons Island. Meredith brought her friends Ginger Schrimsher (who I decided to call Wendy) and Amanda Meyer, whose husband is one of the staff on the island.
We gathered at the Lodge, a classic hunting lodge built in 1917, for orientation of all the amenities and activities that awaited us. We were shown the game closet, the selective, yet well-stocked bar, the honor-system store, and the dining room where we would be eating our meals. We were then briefed on the day's activities and the lay of the land, decided our schedule, or lack thereof, and were shown to our cabin.
We stayed in the Cedar House, a comfy four bedroom, four bath cottage with a large den, fireplace and sprawling screened porch across the back complete with a hammock and spectacular serene creek views.
Once acclimated, we decided to head to the beach for a shelling excursion and nature walk with Stacia Hendricks, one of the staff's expert naturalists. We missed our ride, so we jumped on bikes and headed down the two-mile trail to the ocean. By the way, one of the wonderful things about Little St. Simons is that it is an all-inclusive rate. In other words, everything is included; boat usage, bike usage, all beverages, all recreational activities and tours, three daily meals, snacks, island history tours, guided nature walks, guided birding tours, fishing gear, bait, bug spray, sunscreen, and anything else you may need.all included!
When we arrived at the beach, what we found was unbelievable; seven miles of untouched, undeveloped, not a building in sight, fresh salty air beach. We looked to the right and then to the left and as far as our eyes could see, it was only the five of us, Stacia, the two day-trippers who had come over on the boat with us, and Mother Nature in all of her grandeur. It was as if we had discovered this pristine, glorious treasure for the very first time. We caught up with Stacia and encountered the shore, shells, birds, and sea-life like never before. Stacia added so many interesting facts and pointed out things I had never before noticed. For instance, where the horseshoe crab's 17 eyes are located on its shell, and how to tell if the shell was shed or if the crab had actually died. She also identified every shell we picked up. My favorite part was to learn that the large shells I was picking up could be used to bake appetizers in, and that they are oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe!
We hopped a ride on the truck back in time for lunch in the dining room at the Lodge. Meals are served at specific times and family-style. All nine guests gathered around one dining table and shared the delicious, chef-prepared meal. The meals ended up being my favorite part. Not necessarily because the food was delightful either. Actually it was the camaraderie and table conversation that piqued my interest. Lunch was where we were introduced to Giff Beaton, the dashing chap who was the guest ornithologists in for birding week. He was as interesting as he was a gentleman. As he stood to offer to fill our glasses, we all decided right then and there that we would be going on the Owl Prowl that evening with Mr. Beaton.
This was a girl's get-away at its best. There was nothing to distract from true girl-time of chatting, laughing, talking about Giff, and solving the world's problems or at least a few of our own. We spent the afternoon back at the beach with a cooler full of beer, a couple of fishing rods and the world as our oyster.
Upon arriving back at the Lodge for the evening cocktail reception and dinner, the sky looked a little weary. Kathy and I played a game of scrabble, where she played words that must only be words in the small South Carolina town of Bennettsville where she was raised, and then proudly counted up their points in an effort to beat me at my game. Fortunately for her, the electricity succumbed to the storm that was gracefully raging outdoors and the darkness of the room thankfully hid the words the two of us had defaced the scrabble board with.
So we moved to the windowed main room in the Lodge to join everyone and enjoy our wine and bourbon by candlelight (remember the electricity is out). To reassure us that we would be kept in the dark a good while longer, the heavens opened and dumped enough hail onto the earth to cover the ground. We all moved to the porch to sip and watch the storm.
Dinner was served without a hitch. Fortunately, the kitchen runs on gas and not electricity. We had our entire meal, again with the nine of us at one table, in the dark. The conversation turned hilarious and as the nine of us explored each other's minds, we were even able to pull off a civil conversation about politics and the upcoming election. I was completely in my element. There is nothing I enjoy more than intelligent banter amongst interesting people.
Armed with flashlights, the five of us girls retired from the table after a superb meal and returned to our cabin. We chatted over wine until the wee hours of the morning and after a long, enlightening day, finally turned in for the night.
This adventure is definitely one for the history books of my life. I felt as though I had stepped back in time and in doing so, was able to have the time of my life. Listed as #1 in the Top 50 U.S. Mainland Resorts by CondÈ Nast Traveler and cited in the 1000 Places to See before You Die book, Little St. Simons Island is actually the perfect place for a girl's weekend, guy's weekend, family vacation or day-trip. As a group of females traveling alone, we felt very safe and were taken care of like nowhere else I've been.
It was definitely a girl's gone wild experience, but with an old world elegance highlighted by the essence of pure nature that emphasized the wild part. Yes, friends may come and friends may go. But the friends you share Little St. Simons Island with will hold a special place in your heart forever.
Simply Stated: Little St. Simons Island, Georgia is a 10 minute boat ride from St. Simons Island, GA. For more information or to make reservations call (888) 733-5774 or 912-638-7472 or log on to