The ideal destination for many; St Simons Island offers breath-taking landscapes from the salt marshes to the miles of white sand and ocean breeze. 5 star cuisine options and outdoor activities galore make this the perfect destination year-round however there are a few things we love about Autumn in the south. Beautiful weather, fall activities, and family fun to name a few! fall activities

Weather

Most days are beautiful and sunny, you will also experience great temperatures all fall long. With the average temperature remaining in the 70’s through November there is never a day too cold to enjoy all the beauty St Simons island offers.

Outdoor Activities

Surrounded by picture perfect scenery, the outdoor fall activities are endless. Rent a bike and enjoy the miles of bike paths taking you through winding marsh front roads or cruse down the beach, with oceanfront views! You could also charter a boat and go fishing in the intercostal or enjoy a day in the marshes on a paddleboard or kayak.

Festivals

St Simons and the surrounding areas love to host fun outdoor parties! Each Friday in Brunswick enjoy food, fun, and music or if you looking for something a little more low key, watch an outdoor movie on the Village Green on Jekyll Island.

St. Simons Post Hurricane Irma

St. Simons Island Beach Hours After Hurricane Irma Passed Through

Hurricane Irma has come and gone, which leaves a lot of people wondering “what now?”. We wanted to take the opportunity to tell you how the island is doing and what it looks like here on St. Simons Island.

The simple answer is, it looks just as beautiful and well kept as the last time you visited! St. Simons Island and the surround areas did receive quite a bit of storm surge from hurricane Irma, we had minor flooding in a few of our complexes but no major damage. The grounds and pools of all Hodnett Cooper complexes are in great shape. Landscaping was completed shortly after Irma passed through and the pools were up and running the next week. The beach was not affected, it is still as pristine and beautiful as the last time you saw it!

Here is a short list of the most common questions we are receiving.

1. Is St. Simons Island Open?
Yes, Glynn County including St. Simons Island is open to the public.2. Did St. Simons receive any damage?
Yes, however at this time the majority of damage has been repaired.

3. Is there running water?
Yes, water and sewage is working as normal.

4. Are roadways cleared and open?
Yes, all roadways are cleared and open to the public.

5. Is Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals Open?
Yes, we are open and look forward to welcoming you.

6. Do the vacation rental units have power?
Yes.

7. Can we use the pool?
Yes, all pools are working.
 
8. What does the beach look like?
Sandy! The beach has been cleared and is open to the public.
 
9. Are restaurants, shops, and stores open?
Yes, restaurants, shops, and stores including grocery stores are open.

10. Have Island activities resumed?
Bike rentals, kayak tours, historic tours, and other island activities are open and ready for business.

 

I’m sure you have heard by now, on August 21st we will have the opportunity to witness a solar eclipseSolar Eclipse. For most of us it is an experience we have never seen and will never see again..pretty cool! Although the eclipse path isn’t coming straight over St. Simons Island it will still be close enough to experience 94% obstruction of the moon to the sun. This once in a life time eclipse will begin the cover the sun around 1:15pm on St Simons, with maximum coverage at 2:46pm, and ending at 4:30pm. If you haven’t gotten your eclipse glasses we are all sold out on St Simons however check out this article on DIY solar eclipse glasses. If you are looking for the perfect spot to watch the eclipse, we suggest; Epworth by the Sea, The Pier, or Morning Star Marina. Epworth by the Sea, located on the marsh with views of the Sidney Lanier bridge and rows and rows of huge oak trees providing the perfect amount of shade. With a number of benches by the water and picnic tables throughout the oak trees, Epworth is the perfect spot to sit back, relax, and enjoy the solar eclipse show. The Pier is also another great place to watch, at the end of the pier there is no cover allowing you to have 360 views of the sky and the surrounding islands. Lastly, Morning Star Marina provides a beautiful view of the Sidney Lanier bridge as well as tons of sail boats that would make for a great prop in your solar eclipse photo op!

Tree Spirits on St. Simons Island

If you’ve vacationed on St. Simons Island, then you’ve most likely seen a tree spirit. These works of art carved into oaks trees spanning across the island are magnificently unique! Artist Keith Jennings wanted a way to remember the lives of those lost at sea aboard ships made from St. Simons Island oak. He fell into this creative outlet when per Jennings “I had a little too much time on my hands and not enough money”. He credits his work to the trees though, they inspire him and carving these beautiful oak trees allows the tree’s spirit to shine through.Tree Spirit On St. Simons Island

There are about 20 tree spirits on St. Simons Island only 7 of which are located on public property. There rest were carved into trees that belong on private residence. Enjoy strolling the island on foot or bike and make sure to keep your eyes peeled for these wonderful works of art! Listed below are the addresses to the Tree Spirits that are on public property.

  1. Golden Isles Welcome Center
  2. Mallery Park- Baseball Field 529 Beach View Dr. St. Simons 422 Park Avenue Main parking lot- West side of building Large tree in Parking lot entrance to Park
  3. Mallery Park- Basketball Court
  4. Magnolia Manor Retirement Home 515 Park Avenue 120 Heritage Dr. Right behind the Basketball Goal- East 1st right and then 1st tree on the right
  5. Red Fern Village
  6. Anderson Fine Art Gallery and Delaney’s 310 Redfern Village 3305 Frederica Rd Across the street from Gnats Landing- look up The large tree directly in of Art Gallery
  7. Gascoigne Bluff Park 1000 Arthur J Moore Drive Along the dirt rd. closest to the River by the picnic area.

4 Day Trips Near St. Simons Island that can’t be missed!

Jekyll Island, only about 20 miles away from St. Simons Island but seems like worlds away because you have to cross over the Sidney Lanier Bridge which separates St. Simons and Jekyll Island. Jekyll Island is well known for their rich aristocratic history as well as for the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, and many other neat places.

Brunswick, if you are looking to browse through a quaint downtown area or maybe you like more commercialized shopping, Brunswick is the place to go. The quiet downtown area is small but packed with antique stores, city markets, and festivals as well as great theaters. Also in Brunswick there is big box stores like Target and Old Navy as well as many chain restaurants to choose from. Also about 20 minutes away from the island makes Brunswick the perfect afternoon trip.

Cumberland Island is a little ways from St. Simons at about an hour away, but it is totally worth it! Once you get to Cumber Island National Seashore you will board the ferry that well take you across the bay to the secluded Cumberland Island. Known for its wildlife it boasts many different species like wild horses, turkeys, alligators, armadillos, and many coastal birds. There are also palmetto forests and beautiful live oak.

Sapelo Island which is a stone’s throw away from St. Simons, however it is only accessible by ferry that departs from Darien, Ga. This barrier island is rich with history and with beauty. Once you make it to the island you are free to meander through the various historic points or you can take in the miles of pristine coastline!

St. Simons Island has so much to offer that we know it may be hard to find the time and desire to slip away for the afternoon. If you do find time to explore outside of the island these options, we be sure not to disappoint!

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.

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

912-634-6900

Tramici Neighborhood Italian Restaurant

75 Cinema Ln, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522

(912) 634-2202

Island Cinemas

44 Cinema Ln

(912) 634-9100

There are so many great activities for children happening this year in St. Simons and the surrounding area. We’ve picked out our top 5 choices for summer camps if it were us going this summer!

Here on St. Simons this summer we have

  1. Coastal Outdoor Adventures

This camp is May through August and is for children ages 6-14

As you would imagine this camp has a plethora of outdoor activities with themes for each week including SharkFest, Camp Village Creek, and Junior Biologist. Some of the activities for camp include fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, crabbing, cast netting, and basically all other ocean related activities you can imagine! Not to mention you will learn about Marine Science while you are there as well!

  1. Epworth By The Sea

This camp is happening on 6/24-6/27 and is for elementary ages children AND their grandparents! How cool is that, you can bring your favorite grandparent with you to camp..or all of them!

You will learn about plankton, observe beach life, swim, arts and crafts and much more. This would be the perfect time to challenge Grandpa to a swimming competition.

  1. Kids Camps at The Brick

This camp runs from June to August and is for ages 5-14

If you aren’t into all things outdoors and prefer at least some time in the nice cool air conditioned spaces, then this might be the camp for you! Campers will get to participate in activities including arts and crafts, treasure hunts, movies, bowling, games and much more. There are very cool themes this year for each week of camp. The first week is all about animals with an Animal House theme, seconds is Hogwarts, then Star Wars, and the list goes on and on! You have to check it out for yourself, it’s going to be great!

  1. Hampton Club Junior Golf Summer Program

This camp runs June and July and is for children ages 6-15

If your child loves golf or maybe wants to learn the basics of golf, then they should definitely try out this camp! Even if you don’t have your own golf clubs you are still welcome, clubs can be provided if needed! You will learn the basics of golf as well as skill drills and participate in competitions with a chance to win prizes and trophies!

Last but not least just a few minutes away on Jekyll Island we have #5

  1. Sea Turtle Camp at The Georgia Sea Turtle Center

This camp is for children 6-9 years old and runs June and July

Each day you will learn all about sea turtles from what they like to eat and how long they live to how we make a better environment for them here on the coast and what we can do to help keep them safe. You will also get to explore the marshlands, maritime forest as well as the beach in search for signs of sea turtle life.

 

First sighted on December 4 on Sea Island, this beautiful snowy owl has been on Sea Island and St. Simons Island, Georgia since. The Snowy Owl spends summer in the Arctic Circle and rarely travels further south than the northern United States. A Snowy Owl in Georgia is extremely rare and has been causing a lot of excitement on the Island. Bird enthusiasts have been visiting from all over the Southeast just to catch a glimpse of this amazing bird, who does not disappoint with daily appearances around the East Beach area.

With such a rare occurrence, we’ve done a little research on the Snowy Owl and have a few interesting facts to share from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology online:

  • Unlike most owls, Snowy Owls are diurnal, extremely so. They’ll hunt at all hours during the continuous daylight of an Arctic summer. This has made for great daylight sightings on St. Simons Island.
  • Whether the tundra or the Great Plains, an airport field or beach dunes, Snowy Owls like treeless places and wide-open spaces. Because they often sit right on the ground to hunt, they prefer rolling terrain where they can find a vantage to survey the surrounding area. On their wintering grounds they’ll also perch atop a fencepost, hay bale, building, telephone pole, grain elevator—anywhere with a good view.
  • Snowy Owls mainly eat small mammals, particularly lemmings, which at times on the tundra may be all these birds eat. Sometimes they’ll switch to ptarmigan and waterfowl. Snowy Owls are also one of the most agile owls, able to catch small birds on the fly. On both their breeding and wintering grounds, their diet can range widely to include rodents, rabbits, hares, squirrels, weasels, wading birds, seabirds, ducks, grebes, and geese.
  • Snowy Owls do a lot of sitting. They sit still in the same spot for hours, occasionally swiveling their head or leaning forward and blinking their big, yellow eyes to get a closer look at something. When they hunt, they use extraordinary vision and hearing to draw a bead on their prey—maybe a vole scurrying beneath the snow—and then fly, or even run, over to pounce on it. If successful, they’ll down the rodent headfirst in a single gulp.

Though it is far outside its normal habitat, from the description above, we can see why this Snowy Owl has found a nice stopping place on St. Simons Island! The owl has been seen perched in the same spot for hours, scanning the open beach for prey. We’re not sure how long it will stay, but we love having snowbirds of all types on St. Simons Island!

The St. Simons Land Trust recently purchased a 600-acre tract of land at the Northern end of the Island known as Cannon’s Point. The land will be protected through a conservation easement and managed as a nature preserve. The purchase quadrupled the amount of protected land on St. Simons Island.

Cannon’s Point has a rich history including shell rings and middens dating back to 2500 BCE. Cannon’s Point was one of the Island’s most important plantations during the plantation era—several slave quarter sites still exist, ruins of the original plantation home are standing, and the entire plantation tract is intact. The plantation owner, John Couper, had a lively orchard and he experimented with citrus tress, grapes, date palms from Persia and olive trees from France.

Ecologically, Cannon’s Point is of significance as well. It is one of the largest tracts of intact maritime forest on a Georgia barrier island with 400 acres of mature maritime forest. The land is rich in plant and wildlife habitat, including protected plants and birds.

Within the next year, the Land Trust hopes to open the land to the public, allowing visitors to experience Cannon’s Point through a variety of activities.

During the 18-month capital campaign to raise funds for the purchase, The St. Simons Land Trust produced the video below, which gives additional insight into the significance of the property, as well as showcasing its beauty.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK1PdYmkiAc&w=560&h=315]