This weekend on St. Simons…

Saturday September 24, 2016

Southern Grown Farmers Market
10:00am – 2:00pmSouthern Grown
Support southern vendors at the Southern Grown Farmers Market. Enjoy live music, fresh produce, samples, and southern products at this family-friendly event. This event is open to the public and held at The Market at Sea Island, 351 Sea Island Road, St. Simons Island, GA.

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge
This weekend visit Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge for FREE.

Considered the headwaters of the Suwannee and St Marys Rivers. Various threatened and endangered species call this refuge their home, such as red-cockaded woodpecker, wood storks, indigo snakes, and a wide variety of other wildlife species. It is known worldwide for its amphibian populations that are bio-indicators of global health.  More than 600 plant species have been identified on refuge lands.  The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge has 353,981 acres of National Wilderness Area within the refuge boundaries.

Touch-a-Truck presented by American Cancer Society Victory Board
Time: 10 am – 2 pm
Location: Brunswick Exchange Club Fairgrounds
Description: Kids and adults alike will have the opportunity to get close to the trucks and machines they have admired from afar. Including police cars fire trucks, garbage trucks, front end loader, dump trucks, ambulances, tow trucks, tractors and more!

Sunday September 25, 2016

Taste of the Vine fundraising event for the Coastal Coalition for ChildrenTOV-Signature-72215-1-ed
Happening Sunday, September 25th, 2016 from 6:30-9:00pm for the 11th Anniversary of the Taste of the Vine fundraising event for the Coastal Coalition for Children, Inc. (CC4C). Not only will the event have wonderful food provided by The Georgia Sea Grill will be providing heavy hors d’ oeuvres, wine tasting, desserts as well as evening music at the Grill’s new location, 310 Mallery Street, in the heart of St. Simons Island village. There will also be a Silent Auction and 50/50 Raffle.

Location: The Georgia Sea Grill, 310 Mallery St, Saint Simons Island, Georgia
Cost: $65 per person (two for $120) in advance, $75 at the door.

The 11th annual Shrimp & Grits Festival, hosted by Southern Living is taking place this weekend on Jekyll Island.

This festival has gained quite the audience over the years attracting visitors from near and far. The Shrimp & Grits festival holds contests for both professional and individual cooks of the dish each year to decide who is the best in the state. Chefs were chosen to participate in the contest by an online voting system among each region. The defending champion, Blackwater Grill of St. Simons Island, will compete this year against some new challengers including American Catch Seafood Exchange, Deano’s Italian, Goin’ Coastal, The National and West Egg Café among others. This year’s competition is at 11 a.m. Sunday, the final day of the festival that starts Friday afternoon.

One new feature this year is the Jekyll Island Experience Pavilion which features education displays and interaction with wildlife from the Georgia Sea Turtle center as well as some of centers in Georgia. There will also be a Craft Brew Fest for all of the beer fanatics which will feature over 50 beverages to sample. Regional musicians will perform live on three stages, and there will be more than 100 art and craft vendors along the walking paths of the historic district where the festival is held.

All events will be held in the island’s National Landmark Historic District on the western side of the state-owned island.

The festival hours are:

Friday September 16th, 4-9 p.m.

Saturday September 17th, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Sunday September 18th, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

General admission to the festival is free, but tickets for admission to the VIP Lounge, DuBignon and Riverfront Lawn lounge options and Craft Brew Fest are available at



pool with grills

The Beach Club Pool Side

Celebrate Labor Day surrounded by friends, family, good food and good fun!  Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals is looking forward to hosting several guests for the long weekend in honor of Labor Day next week.  We invite you to share in the fun with us by testing out some ideas to make your Labor Day BBQ a huge hit!

Hodnett Cooper would love to host you, your friends and family at the Beach Club, which offers a pool, ocean front views, and grills! Grill it up for Labor Day poolside with Hodnett Cooper!  If you are local to the Golden Isles, and just need a grill to enhance your Labor Day experience, check out Massengale Park which offers public grills, beach access and a playground for the little ones.

If you are having a cookout or BBQ of any kind on the island, Southern Soul BBQ can make your cookout an event to remember!  Their pulled pork and side dishes are exactly what you would expect from bbq in the south…. mouth-wateringly delicious and as good as grandma used to make!  Southern Soul has been featured many times on many television shows for their delicious food; I also can attest to how delicious everything is there! You can call your order in and pick it up on the way, where ever you may be headed.

If you would rather make a dish yourself, I would highly recommend Food Network Kitchen’s 7-Layer Pasta Salad

7-Layer Pasta Salad

Kosher salt
8 ounces farfalle (about 4 cups)
2 stalks broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Juice of 1 lime
Freshly ground pepper
2 avocados, diced
1 12 -ounce piece deli ham, diced (about 2 cups)
8 ounces yellow cheddar cheese, shredded
1 small head romaine lettuce, sliced
2 tomatoes, diced


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (about 2 minutes less than the label directs), adding the broccoli during the last 4 minutes of cooking. Drain the pasta and broccoli and rinse under cool water; shake off the excess. Remove the broccoli and pat dry.
Whisk the mayonnaise, buttermilk, 1/4 cup chives, the parsley, half of the lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Toss the pasta and a few tablespoons of the dressing in a medium bowl.
Assemble the salad: Toss the avocados with the remaining lime juice in a large glass serving bowl and season with salt; arrange in an even layer. Top with layers of the ham, broccoli, pasta, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. Drizzle some of the remaining dressing on top and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon chives, or cover and refrigerate the salad and dressing separately up to 6 hours. (Bring to room temperature before serving.)

Have a safe and fun Labor Day weekend!  Let us know if Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals can assist with planning a fun Labor Day getaway!

A little Light Music

A Little Light Music

Friday August 14th from 7:00-9:00 PM Island Garage Band is back and will take you “back in time” with some of your favorite classic rock hits from Steely Dan, Chicago, Allman Brothers, Doobie Brothers, Eric Clapton and many more. Tickets are $12 for adults; children under 12 and Keepers of the Light are admitted free of charge.


ocean Sounds by the Sea

August 28th at 7pm Gwen Hughes & The Kats will play at Neptune Park on St. Simons. The concert is $10 at the gate, feel free to bring chairs and blankets.



downtown brunswick

First Friday in Downtown Brunswick

Friday August 5th from 5:00 to 8:00pm visit the shops, galleries, and restaurants in downtown Brunswick. Live music from local musicians will be there as well as art opening, and food and beverage samples



Sapelo Island Natural Estuarian Research Reserve Art ExhibitSapelo Island Painting

As part of its yearlong celebration of 40 years of research, education, stewardship, and training programs, the SINERR in partnership with McIntosh Art Association presents artwork inspired by the reserve at the Ritz Theatre in Brunswick, Gallery hours at the Ritz are Tuesday-Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, ending August 31st.Visit or call 912.262.6934 for more information.


Southern Grown Saturday, August 13th, 2016 – 9:00am to 1:00pm

Support southern vendors at the Southern Grown Farmers Market. Enjoy live music, fresh produce, samples, and southern products at this family-friendly event. This event is open to the public and held at The Market at Sea Island, 351 Sea Island Road, St. Simons Island, GA.


Fort FredericaSaturday August 6th from 10am- noon you will be able to travel back in time with the help of clues from archaeology on what cooking must have been like at Fort Frederica. Visiting Fort Frederica is free and the National Monument is open daily from 9am to 5pm


In need of a kid friendly dinner spot, check out the list below to see some of our favorites!

  1. Tramici

Tramici is an Italian restaurant located in the heart of St. Simons wine a splendid wine list for mom and dad while also having plenty of choices for the kids! You will find kid friendly Italian favorites like mozzarella sticks, spaghetti, fettuccine alfredo and cheese raviolis on the menu. The past part is everything on the kid’s menu is under $10!

Address75 Cinema Ln, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522

Phone(912) 634-2202




  1. Sal’s Neighborhood Pizzeria

Sal’s Neighborhood Pizzeria offers a family friends atmosphere with American Italian cuisine with recipes that have been passed down from many generations. Kids can enjoy pizza, spaghetti, raviolis or some good old fashion chicken tenders. All for under $10

Address3415 Frederica Rd, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522

Phone(912) 268-2328



  1. Southern Soul

You can’t come to the deep south without enjoying some South Georgia bbq. Southern Soul offers family style meals that will surely be kid approved! Let the kids get a little messy with a slab of ribs or maybe share some chicken wings instead. Is you have a craving for soul food, this is the place you will want to go!

Address2020 Demere Rd, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522

Phone(912) 638-7685



  1. The Half Shell

The Half Shell is a local seafood restaurant (obviously its seafood given the name!) They offer a wide variety of salads, sandwiches, and entrees for mom and dad and they offer fried shrimp, chicken fingers, and hamburgers for the kids!

Address504 Beach view Dr, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522

Phone(912) 268-4241


  1. Iguanas Seafood

Iguana’s is easily an island favorite! Their seafood is some on the best on the island. Kids can enjoy shrimp, fish bites, clam strips, or American classics like chicken fingers, or a grilled cheese. The best part about Iguanas though is their complimentary soft serve ice cream!

Address303 Mallery St, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522

Phone(912) 638-9650

Ever wondered why we pop fireworks on the 4th of July? Wonder no more because after doing some research I found out when and where this tradition was started.

John Adams wrote in a letter to his wife on July 3, 1776 that signing the Declaration of Independence should be a “great anniversary Festival” and “solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

The next year Congress ordained the tradition in Philadelphia with an amazing fireworks display as well as firing 13 rockets to symbolize the 13 colonies. In the next few years the tradition started to spread through Boston, New York, and other cities.

By the early 1800’s Pyrotechnicians emerged as a profession, cities would often try to outdo one another with their firework displays and would hire them to create firework masterpieces. Up until this point fireworks were only allowed to certain people, however now becoming available to anyone which created quite havoc. Children would abuse the privileges to have these explosives and would light them and throw them at merchants on the streets.

Soon cities started to ban use of fireworks in city limits for safety reasons but also because of the noise. These cities would offer official displays in hopes to gather a crowd for one firework show instead of having many individuals doing their own.

Today there are much stricter laws in place that restrain who can buy fireworks, when and how many as well. Many cities have downsized their firework displays or cut them completely due to budget requirements.

Lucky for us on St. Simons Island we have and will continue to celebrate the 4th of July with the iconic and traditional fireworks display that Americans associate with patriotism and our Independence. Fireworks can be seen over the waters of the East River and Oglethorpe Bay starting at 9:00 pm of July 4th, compliments of The City of Brunswick, Golden Isles Arts and Humanities Association, and the Downtown Development Authority.

For more information regarding this year’s firework display and 4th of July celebration visit



So you just checked into you Hodnett Cooper, ocean front beach cottage on St. Simons Island with your significant other, and you are wondering what there is to for you all to do. You always come and hang out at the beach and eat at local restaurants but this time you want to do something different. You are looking for a romantic night with the one you love the most.

Lucky for you there’s endless possibilities, from massages, to horseback rides on the beach, to dinner and a movie.

Start your day off right with a couple’s massage, relax and enjoy each other’s company in a calm and serine setting. The Island Day Spa has a date night package perfect for you and your hunny! If you really want to spoil your lady you could also keep her company while she takes advantage of the manicure and pedicure services offered.

Once you are finished with your morning at the spa you can freshen up and head over to The Stables at Frederica to start your private horseback ride on the beach or through the trails. Enjoy ocean front views while you are on horseback with the salt air breeze. Or opt for a walk through the beautiful wooded trails with big mossy oaks all around you.

By the time you finish horseback riding, you will have surely worked up an appetite. You can head over to Tramici and see Chef Dave and Staff for some delicious neighborhood Italian cuisine accompanied by a delicious glass of wine.

After dinner, conveniently located right across the street is the Island Cinemas where you can finish your night off with a romantic comedy! Enjoy popcorn and candy while you laugh and enjoy yourself together as you end the wonderful day you have had together.

Location and phone information for all mentions are below.

The Island Day Spa

60 Cinema Ln

(912) 638-7799

The Stables at Frederica

Frederica Golf Club

100 Pike’s Bluff Drive


Tramici Neighborhood Italian Restaurant

75 Cinema Ln, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522

(912) 634-2202

Island Cinemas

44 Cinema Ln

(912) 634-9100

If you are wondering where to go for live music on St. Simons Island, we’ve got you covered. There are so many options but below you will find a nice variety of restaurant styles all offering live music on the weekends.

  1. Gnats Landing

Address: 310 Redfern Village, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522

Phone:(912) 638-7378

Located on St. Simons Island in Redfern Village, Gnats has been around for over 15 years and is known for their laid back atmosphere, great American food and of course, live music!  Locals and visitors alike can agree it doesn’t get much better than this down home local restaurant with good food and great people

  1. Mullet Bay

Address: 512 Ocean Blvd, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522

Phone:(912) 634-9977

Right in the heart of St. Simons, Mullet Bay offers seafood, salads, sandwiches, and more. They have a great patio area perfect for listening to music while having a refreshing cocktail. They have Happy Hour daily at the bar with $1 bottle beer, $2 drafts, $3 wells, and $4 wines as well as $5 appetizers.

  1. Catch 228

Address: 228 Redfern Village #100, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522

Phone:(912) 634-6228

If you are on a quest to find some delicious oysters, you have found the place at Catch 228! Along with many other seafood options they also offer sandwiches, salads, and wraps. They boast that although they are not located on the water all of their seafood is fresh, and we can attest to that!

  1. The Pub at Village Inn

Address: 500 Mallery St, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522

Phone:(912) 634-6056

The Pub located inside the Cottage opens daily at 5 pm and welcomes locals and travelers. They have daily happy hour from 5-7, trivia on Wednesdays and live music Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

  1. The Public House at Sea Palms Resort

Address: 515 N Windward Dr, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522

Phone:(912) 638-3351

If you are looking for an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere The Public House at Sea Palms will be right up your ally. They offer a variety of craft beers as well as wine and specialty drinks. Their menu consists of an array of items such as grilled quail, and yukon fingerlings, to crab salad.

Follow the link below to get a full list of live music happening this weekend on St. Simons!




Top 10 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Your Mom! 

Are you stumped as to what to get Mom for Mother’s Day?! Good thing here on St. Simons Island there are so many great places to get some pretty awesome gifts for your special Mom! From weekend getaways, to jewelry, to a family meal we’ve got you covered. Who doesn’t want to spoil the woman who selflessly puts others first every other day of the year? This is her one day to shine, so make it great by taking our advice and getting her any of our Mother’s day picks! Take a look at our list below to find which gift your Mom would like the best!

  1. Vacation GetawayJack Rogers Sandals
    • St. Simons Island is such a beautiful escape from everyday life, why not bring Mom to experience the beauty herself. Stay with us at Hodnett Cooper and she will be nothing short of amazed at her experience on the island!
  2. Jack Rogers
    • St. Simons Island very own, Cloister Collection has tons of Jack Rogers in different colors for you to choose from. These sandals are so versatile and classic, your Mom will surely love them!Turtle Tides
  3. Julie Vos Jewelry
    • Butler’s Stash has the best selection of Julie Vos bangles in town! These bangles are so elegant and easy to wear; you definitely can’t go wrong with these.
  4. Lunch with the family
    • Barbara Jean’s is definitely a local favorite and your Mom will be sure to love it too! They have the best crab cakes in town but they also have a variety of other delicious items on their menu.
  5. Paddle Board or Kayak rental
    • If your Mom is the adventurous type, head on over to Turtle Tides and rent a paddle board or kayak for her to enjoy for the day!
  6. Trolley Tour of the Island
    • St. Simons Trolley Island Tours is one of the best ways to see the island! If your Mom loves history and beautiful views she will surely love seeing the island this way.
  7. Lisi Lerch EarringsThe Southerns Handbook
    • Two Friends has the best collection of Lisi Lerch earrings. These tassel earrings come in so many vibrant colors, your mom will absolutely love these!
  8. The Southerner’s Handbook
    • Dutchman’s Casual Living has the best selection of coffee table books! If your mom is a Southern Belle she will thoroughly enjoy the Southerner’s Handbook!
  9. Acacia Honey
    • The Savannah Bee has the best honey! Why not get your mom a bottle big enough to last her until next Mother’s Day. The Acacia Honey is a best seller with tons of reviews.. but we suggest you go sample it yourself at their location at Mallery Pier!
  10. Flowers and a card
    • When in doubt your Mom will always appreciate the gesture of flowers accompanied by a hand written note from you. A Courtyard Florist on Frederica Rd. can help you pick the perfect arrangement.


Dave Synder

Dave Synder owner of Halyards and Tramici

Have you always wanted to know the best spots in town to eat, those spots that only the locals know about? Now you can! We sat down with Chef Dave Synder, owner of Halyards and Tramici, two of St. Simons most popular dining spots! He filled us in on what brought him to St. Simons, what he loves most about the island, and what are his favorite things to eat.

His background includes a degree from New England Culinary Institute, starting Hotel Nikko now the Grand Hyatt in Atlanta, and becoming Executive Chef at Azalea, also in Atlanta. While at Azalea he decided city life wasn’t for him, he wanted to escape the fast past lifestyle Atlanta had to offer and trade it in for warm sunny days in a coastal town where he could follow both of his passions – cooking and fishing. Lucky for Dave St. Simons restaurant J Macs needed someone just like him. Dave accepted the job with J Macs and has been here ever since.

When asking Dave what he loves most about St. Simons the answer was very simple- the people. He goes on to say “we celebrate together, we mourn together, and we help each other when in need”. In addition to the people, of course he loves the fishing, so much so he started his own fishing charter business called Hook & Knife.

There are a few things Dave suggests visitors do while they are here, things he thinks people might not think of but are an absolute must for visitors! Watching the sunrise by boat is at the top of his list, followed by renting a sail boat for the day, and then ending the day with a walk through the beautiful Cannon’s Point Preserve. He also says there is much more to do on the Island than you think, it is an outdoors enthusiast dream. Aside from that he boasts that the food on the island is amazing.

Although the Island offers some great dining options, Dave saw one major gap. The island had so many Mom and Pop type places but no upscale dining experiences could be found. This led him to open Halyards and Tramici.

Dave let us in on a few of his favorite dishes at both restaurants. At Halyards he loves to eat the Tuna Tartare and his favorite dish to make is the Scallops and Foie Gras. The Scallops and Foie Gras is actually no longer on the menu but if you request it he will make it just for you! At Tramici he loves making the house made mozzarella and he loves to eat the antipasto.

In celebration of the new spring season we also asked Dave what his favorite spring recipe was to make, which is Shrimp and Spring Pea Salad. He was also kind enough to share it with us!

Shrimp and Spring Pea Salad

Poaching liquid

1 gal       water

1 c          White Wine

3 ea        Lemons, cut in half

1 ea        Yellow Onion, peeled and cut in half

1 ea        Celery Stalk

1 ea        Carrot, peeled and cut in half

3 T         Old Bay

3 T         Salt

1 ea        Bay Leaf

½ ea     Bunch Thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

1 lb         Georgia Shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • Bring to boil and lower to about 175 degrees, steep for 15 minutes.
  • Season shrimp with salt and pepper.
  • Add water to seasoned shrimp a bit at a time so water reaches 150-175 degrees. Poach for about 12 minutes depending on size of shrimp and temperature of water.
  • Pull from water before they are done and cool on a flat rack. Remember, they will continue to cook outside the water.


1 c          Blanched and chilled snow peas

1 c          Blanched and chilled sweet peas

1 c          Blanched, chilled, and peeled fava beans

1 ea        Shallot, peeled and julienned

½ c        Diced Tomato

1 c          Diced Inner Celery Stalk, the very tender stalks

1T           Chopped Thyme

1 ea        Lemon, finely grated zest and strained juice

3 oz        Georgia Olive Farms Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste