Ernie Andrus will finish his run, Saturday 8.20.16 at the Coast Guard Station on St. Simons Island

Does the name Ernie Andrus ring a bell? If not, it will after this weekend. 93 year old (as of Friday August 19th 2016) Ernie Andrus will be finishing a trek across the United States in St. Simons this weekend! He began this journey October 7th of 2013 in San Diego, California. Ernie is a World War II veteran who helped bring the, now, only remaining LST 325 navy ship back to the US from Crete, Greece. The ship has already been restored and is still operational however there were plans to return the ship Normandy for the D-Day Memorial Service, the same place it was 70 years ago. Cost to get it across the Atlantic Ocean are enormous and due to lack of finances the trip was cancelled. Ernie’s run across the United States will hopefully raise excitement about the LST 325 navy ship and help secure enough money to bring the ship back to Normandy.

As of July 10th he has run 2,534 miles in 957 hours. He will complete his race at the Coast Guard Station Saturday morning. I can’t wait to see history be made Saturday morning and hope to see the community out supporting Ernie! If you would like to donate to the LST 325 trip across the Atlantic, click here.

Way to go Ernie and Happy 93rd birthday!

Ernie Andrus

Georgia is home to quite a few Olympic athletes, read below to find out who!

Georgia is putting up some serious numbers in the Olympic medal count! To date they have eight Olympic medals. That’s more than most of the countries have. Three of these medals are Gold as well adding to the already impressive accomplishment. Most of these medals have come from University of Georgia’s swimming program. Bragging rights are now help in the 4×200 meter freestyle relay in which Gunnar Bentz won a Gold, 2 women, Allison Schmitt and Melanie Margalis helped the Team USA win a Gold in the same Freestyle relay as Bentz. We also have Chase Kalisz who won an individual Silver medal in the 400 individual medley. Along with another medal from Schmitt and Amanda Weir who helped Team USA win silver in the 4×100 freestyle relay.

Aside from swimming we have Maya Moore who will be defending the women’s basketball 2012 Gold. As well as Kristi Castlin who will be competing in her first Olympics, representing Team USA in the women’s 100m hurdles.

It’s safe to say Georgia produces some major athletes. We are so proud of each one of them and can’t wait to cheer Team USA and all of our Georgia athletes on during the Rio 2016 Olympics



The Golden Isles offers some of the most beautiful back drops on the coast with the endless marsh, sunrises over the ocean, and majestic live oak trees. Making this the perfect place for filming movies and television shows. Locals typically hear the buzz around shows being filmed and the list of celebrities that make their way to the area to film but most travelers probably don’t know of all the famous footsteps that have happened here!

Most recently a new film called Live By Night featuring Ben Affleck was filmed in the heart of Brunswick, GA. The film will be released in 2017 and is based on the 2012 novel Live By Night by Dennis Lehane. The south of Brunswick got a huge make over (or make under) to have the appearance of Ybor City, FL in the 1920’s. A lot of money and time was spent painting, recreating buildings and signs, redoing roads, as well as on building and then burning down other set pieces. Big crowds turned out several nights to try to catch a glimpse of Ben Affleck and he was nice enough to acknowledge the crowds and give them a waive.

Prior to Live By Night, another very well-known movie filmed partly in the Golden Isles was Magic Mike XXL, starring Channing Tatum. With the majority of the scenes taking place in Tybee Island and Savannah you might recognize the beach scenes due to our popular and notable drift wood washing ashore on the beaches here. Although not one of the classiest movies ever filmed Magic Mike XXL is surely a favorite among women, leaving them blushing and giggling for sure!

One of the most famous movies to be filmed in the Golden Isles is definitely X-Men First Class. Although most of the film took place in the UK, there was a beach scene filmed in our back yard, Jekyll Island at the Jekyll Island Club.  Also filmed at the Jekyll Island Club was Glory starring Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick.

It’s safe to say celebrities from far and wide have walked the Golden Isles, which gives a small but beautiful area large bragging rights for sure!

St. Simons Island - Best Coastal Small Town

St. Simons Island – Best Coastal Small Town

The beautiful coastal town of St. Simons has been nominated by USA Today for Best Coastal Small Town 2016. With many local competitors like Fernandina Beach, FL, Beaufort, SC, Tybee Island, GA, competition is stiff. However anyone who has been to St. Simons knows its immaculate beauty that compares to no other place on this earth!

There are 20 nominees from the west coast to the east coast, all with less than 25,000 people. According to USA Today these locations offer uncrowded, unpretentious, and affordable fun for all.

Currently we are in 2nd place, however with our southern hospitality, great food, and beautiful beaches we have nothing to fear. Aside from the beach St. Simons offers so many things that the competition does not, like our oak tree lined roads that are perfect for biking, great local shopping destinations, and most importantly the people of the island that make it so warm and welcoming!

You have until April 25th at noon to vote, votes can be cast every day, one time per day until the poll is closed! Follow the link below to vote!


Congratulations to Hodnett Cooper Realtor®, Ann Dempsey, who had two properties she has listed for sale featured in The Week

House hunting: 7 lovely homes on the Georgia coast 

The article featured 7 homes for sale on the Georgia Coast, and included Ann’s 1129 W. Mission Lane, SE Darien listing of a 5 bedroom home providing marsh views, featuring a gourmet kitchen, elevator, library, and master suite with screened in porch. Property amenities include stationary and floating docks, as well as a dock house.

Mission Lane – Additional Photos & Details


Ann’s second home featured is a .07 acre property in Brunswick at 103 Drakes Landing, a gated community with nature trails. The house has tile floors, fireplace, a formal dining room, eat-in kitchen with granite countertops, and includes landscaped areas and community pool access.

Drakes Landing – Additional Photos & Details



For additional information on either property, contact Ann

Dempsey, Ann_New2-22

Ann Dempsey
Associate Broker
520 Ocean Boulevard
St. Simons Island
Office Phone: 912-291-3492
Office Fax: 912-634-8350
Cell Phone: 912-222-0876


HGTV has recently begun airing a new reality show called “Island Life.” The show focuses on families relocating to an island destination, their motivation for moving and the decision making process in finding a new home.

Hodnett Cooper Associate Broker, Lisa Marriott Anderson, was featured on the show with the Buffington family who were relocating from the San Francisco Bay Area to St. Simons Island, Georgia. The show features scenic footage of the St. Simons Island beaches, moss-draped oaks, village area and three beautiful homes.

There is more to the story than appeared on the show. Long before filming, Lisa met Dr. Shontae Buffington when she visited the area for a job interview. Dr. Buffington grew up in Atlanta and vacationed on St. Simons Island as a child. Upon visiting as an adult and medical professional, she fell in love with the area all over again. During this initial visit, Lisa described her role as “not to find the perfect house, but to provide knowledge about the area and confidence that we can find the perfect house should Shontae take the position.”

With a renewed love for the area and confidence in the housing options, Dr. Buffington did indeed accept the position. She was so sure of the decision, she cancelled a scheduled interview in Florida in order to make St. Simons Island a new home for her and her family.

Dr. Buffington returned to the area several weeks later with her husband and two daughters and again worked with Lisa to narrow down their wish list and look at homes. While only three made it to the show, Lisa showed the Buffingtons roughly twelve properties that met their criteria. “Relocating from the Bay Area, the Buffingtons were pleasantly surprised at both the size and condition of the St. Simons Island homes within their budget,” explains Lisa Anderson.

As you’ll see on the show, The Buffingtons purchased a home in the West Point neighborhood of St. Simons Island and are settling in to Island Life quite nicely! Lisa continues to maintain a relationship with Buffingtons, and even coaches one of the girls in golf as a volunteer with the First Tee program.

While Island Life highlights the beauty of St. Simons Island, three amazing homes and the process of selecting a residence, it only scratches the surface of the knowledge, negotiation, expertise, trust and relationship building that goes into relocating and purchasing a home.

At Hodnett Cooper Real Estate, we are incredibly proud of our St. Simons Island community, but we’re equally proud of all the work our agents do each day to help people find the perfect spot to call “home.”


To see the Island Life episode featuring St. Simons Island and Lisa Marriott Anderson, tune in to HGTV:

Friday, February 13, 2pm EST

Sunday, February 22, 10:30pm EST

Monday, February 23, 1:30am EST



Lisa Marriott Anderson, Associate Broker

Graduate, REALTORS Institute
Accredited Seller Representative
Seniors Real Estate Specialist

For her entire professional career, Lisa has been involved in sales. She began in retail clothing while in high school, was a toy manufacturer’s representative and began her real estate career in 1990 in Highlands, North Carolina. Lisa enjoys the entire process–from meeting new people to finding the right home or homesite to closing day when the home becomes a haven for her clients. With  new construction, Lisa considers creating a home a labor of love, and takes pride in each phase of the process. Lisa’s top priority is protecting her clients’ interest through every phase of the buying and selling process.

Lisa has a great deal of experience in new construction, short sales, relocation, second homes and condominiums. She specializes in sales in the Sanctuary Cove community and on St. Simons Island. When she is not working, Lisa is involved with the St. Simons United Methodist Church, volunteers with the American Cancer Society, is a volunteer marshall each year at the McGladrey Classic PGA TOUR event and loves spending time with family and playing golf.

Couple standing on a sand dune with bicycles

Not long ago, St. Simons Island was ranked #1 among “America’s Most Romantic Towns” in a Travel + Leisure Readers’ Poll. St. Simons “was a hit with readers in romance-friendly categories such as picnicking and charming cafés.”

And now, USA Today seconds the motion!

In an article published on July 10, 2014, USA Today names St. Simons Island among the “Most Romantic beaches in Georgia and the Carolinas.” Here’s what they have to say about St. Simons and our never-ending supply of romance:

Step back in time in St. Simons Island, a picturesque town on the Georgia coast. Hop on a bicycle and explore 30 miles of paths shaded by live oaks, stopping to browse for antiques in the bustling town village. Another great way to see the island is by trolley; tours showcase the historic lighthouse (where you can climb 129 steps to the top), 19th-century church and a nearby Southern plantation.

Now, grab your sweetie and head to St. Simons Island for some Romance with a capital R. Be sure to check with Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals for the perfect accommodations for your getaway!

Photo: Coastal Living Magazine online

Photo: Coastal Living Magazine online


Each year, Coastal Living Magazine starts out with a burning question: what are America’s Happiest Seaside Towns? All seaside towns are happy, right? I mean, they’re sitting right there by the sea!

With a scientific approach, Coastal Living begins with empirical evidence including reader nominations and editors’ assessment of each town’s “coastal vibe.” Then they cross reference the data with measurable evidence including Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index categories including percentage of sunny days, healthiness of beaches, commute times, crime ratings, walkability, standard of living and financial well-being of locals. The top 10 contenders were announced in March, 2014, then America voted for the Happiest Seaside Towns.

Of course, it is an honor to be among the Top 10, but even a greater honor to rank #6 on the final list. Here is what Coastal Living Magazine had to say about St. Simons Island, Georgia:

“St. Simons is the largest of Georgia’s resplendent Golden Isles, an idyllic Southern enclave midway between Savannah and Jacksonville, Florida. The century-old resort community of 13,381 residents occupies an 18-square-mile island where the winding streets and bike paths are lined with moss-draped oaks, and the two public beaches are among the most unspoiled in the region. Its marshes and woodlands, once the setting of colonial exploration and rice cultivation, now make safe haven for the more than 300 species of birds that pass through.

Fishermen migrate here, too, to drop their lines right at the pier or to fish offshore in the plentiful waters for fresh catch ranging from grouper and snapper to flounder, tarpon, and king mackerel. Golfers pack their clubs for a chance to tee off at any of the island’s 99 holes of superb golf. And walkers love the John Gilbert Nature Trail in Frederica Marsh, which features a breathtakingly huge live oak in the heart of this lovely island.”

We are honored (and happy!) to be among this year’s Happiest Seaside Towns.


In a Travel + Leisure readers’ poll released in May, 2014, St. Simons Island, Georgia was voted America’s Favorite Beach Town.” And St. Simons Island is not just among America’s Favorite Beach Towns, it is America’s #1 Favorite Beach Town!

St. Simons Island ranked above some pretty impressive beach towns, including Amelia Island, Carmel-by-the-Sea, St. Augustine, Key West, Martha’s Vineyard, Tybee Island, La Jolla and others.

Travel + Leisure readers cited St. Simons’ “triple threat of southern charm, serenity and affordability.” The Island also scored well with readers for good picnic spots, annual festivals, romance and activities like biking. The “white sand and live oaks” impressed as well.

This adds to the treasure trove of awards, accolades and national mentions St. Simons Island has been stacking on our trophy case:

–       #5 on the “Top 10 Islands in the United States” in the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards

–       #3 in the “America’s Favorite Towns” Travel + Leisure readers’ poll

–       #1 in the “America’s Most Romantic Towns” Travel + Leisure readers’ poll

–       Named a “Best Fall Beach Escape” by Outside Magazine’s online Adventure Adviser

–       Crowned “A New Capital for U.S. Golf” by The New York Times

–       Named an “Ultimate Spring Escape” by Southern Living magazine

To read more about St. Simons Island, visit the St. Simons Island section of our website. And to see more awards and links to the full stories, visit the Praise for St. Simons Island page at


Coastal Living Magazine’s Happiest Seaside Town

Coastal Living Magazine is currently conducting its third annual “Happiest Seaside Town” poll and St. Simons Island is in the running! Coastal Living Magazine describes St. Simons Island as a “dreamy Southern enclave with moss-draped oaks, marshes, pristine beaches, 99 holes of golf, excellent fishing and plenty of family fun.” That sounds like everything you’d find at the Happiest Seaside Town.

Please take a moment to vote for St. Simons Island and vote often. The site allows you to cast a vote every hour from February 10 through March 31. Simply click on the blue “vote” button below the picture of the lighthouse and the St. Simons Island, GA description.



Travel + Leisure 2014 World’s Best Awards Survey

Each year, travelers and dreamers participate in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards survey, voting on the best hotels, airlines and destinations. In 2013, St. Simons Island ranked #3 among “America’s Favorite Towns” and in a recent poll, was ranked #1 among “America’s Most Romantic Town.” We’re hoping for a three-peat to again rank among the America’s favorite Island destinations in 2014. Please take a moment to vote for St. Simons Island and the Golden Isles.

St. Simons Island needs your vote! The survey is live through March 31, 2014 and winners will be announced in August issue of Travel + Leisure.


Voting Instructions/Path:

1. Are you a Travel + Leisure Subscriber (yes/no) – hit enter

2. Tell Us about You: four required questions (gender, age, T+L readership, visits) and email address – hit submit

3. Check the “Islands” category  – click here to vote

4. Check the “United States” box – click continue

5. Check the “Golden Isles” box (Sea Island, St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island) – click continue

6. Rate on Natural Attractions, Activities/Sites, Restaurants/Food, People, Value, Romance + additional box for comments