After much research combined with an unbridled passion for Christmas displays, it is official: the Broadway/Wesley Oaks/Oglethorpe Park neighborhood on St. Simons Island is winning Christmas!

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Pack the kids in the car, bring hot chocolate and go on an Island excursion through these connected neighborhoods to see the best, most creative and most prolific displays.

Here are a few highlights to guide you:

Park Circle: Just behind Southern Soul BBQ is Park Circle. Near the intersection of Park and St. Simons, a guy with a bucket truck (imagine how helpful a bucket truck could be in Christmas lighting!) has long strands of white lights hanging down from the limbs of his tall live oak tree. The effect and the overall labor is impressive! And the neighbors deliver as well with icicle lights on a very steep roofline along with a Hello Kitty blow up figure. Nicely done!

Traveling North on Broadway: Lots of colorful lights. And don’t forget to look up—someone else managed to get up pretty high in an oak tree with white lights.

Right on Wesley Oak Drive: More lights, lots of participation and holiday cheer. When Wesley Oak Drive intersects with Wesley Oak Circle, turn right. A little more than halfway down the circle is a house with a tree of lights and a small toy train on a track circling the yard and making its way through a Christmas village.

Just after the house with the train, turn right—this street ends at McIntosh Avenue. Turn left on McIntosh, then a quick right onto Strother Place. Lots of grand, lighted stairs and one house has the laser beams! (If you haven’t seen these yet, have a look here).

Back out on McIntosh, turn right. Just before Frederica Road, turn left on Maxwell. At the end of Maxwell, turn right on McLane, then right on Wesley Oak Drive, then right on Postell. McIntosh, Maxwell, McLane and Postell all have lots of lights including: Santa and reindeer on a roofline, laser beam lights on an oak tree on Maxwell, a lake made of white lights, a blow up animated Santa and more!

Christmas lights are notoriously difficult to photograph, so you’ll have to trust us on this one! And while you’re out, don’t miss the over-the-top display in Sea Palms at 144 Shore Rush Drive!

Have fun out there. Merry Christmas from St. Simons Island!

It’s the biggest weekend of the year on St. Simons Island as Georgia fans gather to attend the annual Georgia v. Florida football game played on neutral ground in Jacksonville, Florida. Why do Georgia fans gather on St. Simons Island? I had it explained to me once in very simple terms, “we don’t want to stay in Florida!

In the months and weeks before the game, all of St. Simons Island is preparing for Georgia fans to descend! This year, many things remain the same, but we do have a few changes to communicate.

Friday at the Beach: On Friday, we have an early afternoon high tide. As a result, Glynn County law enforcement will be asking anyone gathered on the beach outside the St. Simons Grand/Beach Club/Shipwatch area to move north to the Coast Guard Station at approximately 1:30 pm. This will allow volunteers to thoroughly clean the beach of any debris before the high tide.

Also on Friday, Glynn County has issued permits to two local radio stations to set up and play music at the Coast Guard Station, where you will have more space with the incoming tide. That may be a nice place to start your day!

Coolers: For environmental reasons, plastic foam coolers are not permitted on the beach. If you have a plastic foam cooler, Parker’s will trade your cooler for a free, 100% recyclable UGA-themed cooler while their supplies last. The switch outs take place October 30-November 1 at Parker’s in the St. Simons village or Parker’s at FJ Torras Causeway and Highway 17. While plastic foam coolers break apart and can threaten marine life, “Recycoolers” are environmentally friendly. Plus, they’re red and black and almost as strong as Todd Gurley.

Trade your plastic foam cooler for a RECYCOOLER at Parkers! (Photo from KBGIB)

Trade your plastic foam cooler for a RECYCOOLER at Parkers! (Photo from KBGIB)

If you don’t have a trade and just need a cooler, they are also available for purchase for $9.99. Thanks to Parker’s and KBGIB (Keep Brunswick-Golden Isles Beautiful) for their efforts in keeping our beaches clean and pristine.

We’re looking forward to seeing you on St. Simons Island! Safe travels, Dawgs!

 

 

 

 

 

UGA RECYCOOLERS! (Photo from KBGIB)

UGA RECYCOOLERS! (Photo from KBGIB)

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Today is National Dog Appreciation Day and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than by taking your dog for a stroll on the beach. We are fortunate to have dog friendly beaches on East Beach, St. Simons Island. If we obey a few minor regulations, we can all have a great time!

Understanding the regulations is key to a safe visit and avoiding ticketing and fines.

PET FRIENDLY HOURS:

During summer (beginning Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend), you may visit the beach with your dog before 9:00 am and after 6:00 pm. So early morning and evening walks are permitted. But during the day, when the beach is busiest with guests and children, dogs are not permitted. Plus, it’s probably too hot for the pooch!

During the off season (beginning Labor Day through Memorial Day), dogs are permitted on the beach at any time.

 

LEASH REGULATIONS:

During times when dogs are allowed on the beach, they do not have to be leashed, but must be under immediate voice command of their owner. Which means dogs must obey voice commands and be within distance to hear the owner’s commands. Owners who allow dogs to stray beyond voice command, or whose dogs do not obey will be subject to fines and ticketing. If a dog is leashed, the leash can be no longer than 10 feet.

 

CLEANUP:

For the enjoyment of everyone, always, always, always clean up after your dog. Bring disposal bags. Trash receptacles are located at most public beach access points.

 

We think these regulations are fair and even generous. We also realize these rules could change should a bad incident occur. With everyone cooperating, we can keep our beaches dog friendly. Because there is nothing better than treating your dog to some quality time oceanfront! For a complete selection of Pet Friendly vacation rental homes and condominiums on St. Simons Island, visit the Hodnett Cooper website.

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A frequent visitor to St. Simons Island, supporter of local charities, friend of Hodnett Cooper, fellow Georgian and quintessential Southerner, we are happy to report that Ronda Rich’s book The Town That Came A-Courtin’ has been adapted for television.

The movie’s television premier is on Sunday, January 19 at 7pm on the UP Network which provides family-friendly, uplifting programming. The Town That Came A-Courtin’ is based on Ronda Rich’s novel, which is loosely based on an experience Rich had during a book tour. The book’s main character, Abby Houston, is a successful author and independent Southern woman. When she visits the small town of Bliss, Mississippi, it seems the entire town is in cahoots to set her up with the town’s widowed mayor. As they embark on their romance, an obsessed fan intervenes. With phones buzzing and the town mobilized, what happens next will determine her future.

The movie stars Valerie Harper, Lauren Holly, Cameron Bancroft and Lucie Guest.

Ronda Rich is a best-selling author and syndicated columnist. Her books include What Southern Women Know (That Every Woman Should), My Life in the Pits (a memoir of her years as a NASCAR reporter and publicist), The Town That Came A-Courtin’, and There’s a Better Day A-Comin’. Her syndicated column appears in over fifty newspapers. Her storytelling—both as a speaker and writer—is a distinctive voice of the South.

We’ll be watching the premier of The Town That Came A-Courtin’ on Sunday night and hope you will too!

 

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PeachMac, the largest Apple retailer in the Southeast, will be opening a store on St. Simons Island in early March. The store will be located in the new “Shops on Market Street” development at the corner of Sea Island Road and Frederica Road.

PeachMac President and founder, Darryl Peck, has been visiting St. Simons Island for over 25 years and has been a part-time resident for over a year. In a blog post he says, “Opening this store in St. Simons is the culmination of a long dream.” The St. Simons location will be PeachMac’s 12th retail store and will serve the St. Simons and Brunswick market.

PeachMac founders Darryl and Anne Lyndon Peck have been ingrained in the Apple/Macintosh market for over 25 years. In 1995, they founded Outpost.com, the Internet’s first retail establishment and for many ears were Apple’s largest online retailer in the world. Today, PeachMac is one of the largest Apple resellers in the country.

Inside a PeachMac store, you’ll find everything you need for your Mac with over 1,500 inventory items available. As a Premier Specialist, Apple’s highest level of reseller authorization, PeachMac offers a huge selection of Apple products at competitive prices. PeachMac carries the complete line of Mac, iPad, iPod, and Apple TV, as well as supporting software, hardware, and accessories. PeachMac can repair any Apple product both in and out of warranty. The store also offers workshops and training.

We look forward to welcoming PeachMac to St. Simons Island!