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Georgia/Florida Weekend on 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!








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Making New Friends at The Beach Club on St. Simons Island

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Earlier this week, a Beach Club guest and her two sons came down to the office to speak with Mike Cross, the on-site manager. The older son had some questions about the tides and current. While Mike was answering, the younger son, two-year-old Zach, kept asking his mother an urgent question.

Mike, a father of two himself, said “what is Zach saying? Can we help him with something?”

Zach’s mother explained that he wants to know where the lady with the pretty hair is. Apparently, upon arrival, Zach noticed Debbie, the landscaper at the Beach Club and was mesmerized. When the family went to the beach or pool, Zach would find a stick and pretend it was a leaf blower or hedge trimmer. Each time they went outside, he’d look for Debbie and watch her hard at work. “We can’t get him interested in anything else… he’s been talking about the lady with the pretty hair the entire vacation,” his mom explained.

All of us at Hodnett Cooper aren’t surprised. Debbie has been keeping the Beach Club grounds beautiful for ten years. She’s outside all day, every day planting, trimming, blowing and beautifying. Guests often comment about how hard she works and how—without fail—the landscaping is always beautiful.

When Debbie heard she had a fan in Zach, she took some potting soil, a bright orange pot and a plant upstairs and paid him a visit. Zach put on his bright orange work gloves and the two new friends worked together to pot the plant. We think Debbie may have inspired the next generation of landscapers!

Zach has certainly reminded us how important Debbie’s contributions to the Beach Club are! She is obviously passionate, talented beyond description and the hardest working woman on St. Simons Island. Every day, we thank our lucky stars she works with us! We hope Zach and Debbie will continue their potted plant tradition for years to come.


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Dog Friendly Beaches on St. Simons Island


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.


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.



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.



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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Hodnett Cooper Voted “Best Of” by Elegant Island Living Readers


St. Simons Island has been filling up our trophy case lately! Travel + Leisure readers named St. Simons Island “America’s Favorite Beach Town” in their annual America’s Favorite Towns Survey. Coastal Living Magazine ranked St. Simons Island among “America’s Happiest Seaside Towns.” Travel + Leisure readers also named St. Simons Island “America’s Most Romantic Town.”

While our destination is enjoying the limelight, Hodnett Cooper has some great news to report as well.

Our locally-published magazine, Elegant Island Living, conducts its own readers’ poll each year. In July, the eagerly-awaited “Best Of” awards are announced in categories including dining, shopping, cocktails, favorite landmarks and more.

For 2014, the votes are in and we are pleased to report that Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals was voted “Best Vacation Rentals.”

And Hodnett Cooper Real Estate was voted “Best Real Estate Firm.”

Being the best in America’s Favorite Beach Town sure feels nice. We strive to exceed expectations every day and are pleased to have earned your vote. From all of us at Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals and Hodnett Cooper Real Estate, thank you!

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St. Simons Island Ranks #1 in “America’s Most Romantic Towns” by Travel + Leisure Readers

Photo: James Schwabel / Alamy

Photo: James Schwabel / Alamy

You may remember the “America’s Favorite Towns” survey where St. Simons Island, Georgia ranked #3 for our beautiful natural setting, miles of sandy beaches, sprawling oaks, golf and historic sites.

As part of the “America’s Favorite Towns” poll, Travel + Leisure readers also scored towns on their romantic appeal for the “America’s Most Romantic Towns” list. To calculate the most romantic towns, Travel + Leisure looked at brunch spots, bakeries, wine scenes, scenic picnic-friendly parks and romantic hotels.

Based on these categories, we are pleased to report that St. Simons Island ranked as the #1 Most Romantic Town! We’ll just quote T+L directly:

“America’s top town for romance strikes the right balance between seclusion and accessibility. Located on one of Georgia’s Golden Isles, this southern-style beach town has both white sands and live oaks, and was a hit with readers in romance-friendly categories such as picnicking and charming cafés. You can rent bicycles, browse antique shops, and check out another undeniable marker of romantic destinations: the local lighthouse.”

As a bonus to those who are considering a romantic getaway, another top romantic town is just across the bridge—a quick 12-minute drive from St. Simons Island. Neighboring Brunswick, Georgia ranked #20 among Travel + Leisure readers:

“Established by the British in 1771, this romantic coastal spot is one of the few American towns that kept its colonial street names—a nod to longevity any couple can appreciate. Aside from quirky appeal to history buffs, Brunswick was ranked highly for its festivals, such as autumn’s Brunswick Rockin’ Stewbilee, where competitors cook up tomatoey pots of stew. Come December, a plethora of twinkly lights is a seasonal enchantment (even on the water, during the Christmas Boat Parade of Lights).”

Turns out, Coastal Georgia is for lovers! Take a look at the Hodnett Cooper St. Simons Island and Brunswick Area Guide for all sorts of activity ideas. For the romantic, a horseback ride on the beach, picnic at oceanfront Neptune Park, a long walk on the beach or a Tree Spirit treasure hunt.

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Get to St. Simons Island the Weekend of March 14


With historically perfect weather and just before the Spring Break rush, get to St. Simons Island the weekend of March 14! There are three area-favorite, can’t-miss events, so make your travel plans today. A Hodnett Cooper Vacation Planner is waiting to take your call:


(Photo: georgiaelvisfestival.com)

Georgia Elvis Festival – Historic Downtown Brunswick, Georgia

Thursday, March 13 through Sunday, March 16, 2014

Again this year, the Georgia Elvis Festival returns to Brunswick, Georgia. Elvis tribute artists perform throughout the weekend, hoping to win a trip to the “Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest” in Memphis during Elvis Week in August. For an entire weekend, the streets are filled with Elvi (the plural of Elvis) and performances take place in the squares of downtown and inside the historic Ritz Theater. The Schedule of Events outlines everything from the free Opening Night Ceremony at Mary Ross Waterfront Park on Friday to the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Finals on Sunday. What better way to spend the weekend than days on the beach and nights with Elvis?!


Peaches to Beaches – Georgia’s Longest Yard Sale

Friday, March 14 and Saturday, March 15, 2014

This year is the 10th Annual Peaches to Beaches Yard Sale which runs over 200 miles along Highway 341 from Culloden, Georgia to Brunswick and the Golden Isles. Along the way, there are two dozen participating communities and vendors selling everything from antiques to local crafts to traditional yard sale fare. Georgia’s Longest Yard Sale will be open from 8am to 6pm on Friday and Saturday and treasure hunters will be making the annual trek. Why not start or end your hunt with a few nights on St. Simons Island?


Christ Church Tour of Homes – St. Simons Island

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Join us on St. Simons Island for the 61st Annual Christ Church Tour of Homes. This year’s tour includes grand homes on Sea Island and St. Simons Island. Musgrove Plantation will also be open to tour participants—the plantation boasts 1,000 acres of preserved land with only six residences. New in 2014, the Christ Church historic cemetery is an official stop and actors will bring some cemetery residents to life.



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Happy Thanksgiving from Hodnett Cooper!


Hodnett Cooper is a family-owned company that recognizes the importance of family connections. As you gather together to give thanks this week, we are doing the same. At Hodnett Cooper, we are thankful to be a part of such a unique, vibrant community. Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals is thankful for the opportunity to welcome thousands of visitors to the area each year. And at Hodnett Cooper Real Estate, we are thankful we have had the opportunity to help so many families find a home in St. Simons Island, Brunswick and throughout the Golden Isles. From the Hodnett Cooper family to yours, thank you and Happy Thanksgiving.

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Hodnett Cooper Announces Kris Maichle as Newly-Elected President of Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals

GI Mag 20-Under-40 2011

In a recent Board of Directors meeting, Kris Maichle was appointed and unanimously approved as President of Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals, Inc. The appointment reflects a promotion for Maichle, who has been General Manager of Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals.

Kris Maichle joined the Hodnett Cooper team in 2007 bringing years of resort and vacation rental management experience to the company. In his time at Hodnett Cooper, Maichle and the vacation rental team have grown the portfolio of vacation rental properties from 200 to just under 400 properties and has increased annual revenues. Kris Maichle is active in the Glynn County tourism industry and is the immediate Past Chairman of the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.  Maichle has served on Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce boards and is currently on St Simons/Sea Island Council. Maichle is active in the nationwide Vacation Rental Managers Association, and in 2011, he was recognized as a community business leader by Golden Isles Magazine in the “Twenty Under Forty” profile.

“Kris has been instrumental in the success and growth of Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals and we are pleased to recognize his leadership and positive contribution to the company,” said Roy Hodnett, Founder and Chairman of the Board.

Maichle’s position as President is effective immediately. “All of us at look forward to the ongoing value and innovative leadership Maichle provides to the vacation rental business of Hodnett Cooper,” said Pat Hodnett Cooper, President and Broker of Hodnett Cooper Real Estate, Inc.

About Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals: Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals is the largest vacation rental management company on St. Simons Island, Georgia with 50 employees and close to 400 vacation rental residences. Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals welcomes approximately 10,000 traveling groups to St. Simons Island each year.

About Hodnett Cooper Real Estate: Operating as a separate company, Hodnett Cooper Real Estate, Inc. currently encompasses a team of more than 40 real estate professionals and services listing contracts throughout the Golden Isles. The Residential Rentals division manages over 400 long-term rentals. With offices on St. Simons Island, Brunswick and Oak Grove Island, Hodnett Cooper Real Estate, Inc serves a three-county Coastal Georgia area.

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Georgia-Florida Weekend on St. Simons Island


At Hodnett Cooper Real Estate and Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals, many of us are proud University of Georgia alumni. Georgia-Florida weekend is always an exciting time on St. Simons Island and Hodnett Cooper is pleased to be a part of the Bulldog Nation. And we are pleased to welcome so many visitors to the Island on this beautiful Autumn weekend.

At Hodnett Cooper, we want you to have a good time and enjoy the Island. We also hope you will exercise caution and responsibility, as well as Stash Your Trash and recycle like all good Dawgs should.

Each year, Georgia fans gather on St. Simons Island to root for the Dawgs.  It is often during this weekend that visitors fall in love with our community and decide to make a piece of St. Simons Island their very own. Remember, even on game day, Hodnett Cooper agents are available to help find the perfect property for you.

Welcome to St. Simons Island and Gooooo Dawgs! Sic ‘em!

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Twelve Things to do During “Septober” on St. Simons Island and throughout the Golden Isles

In addition to the historically beautiful weather on St. Simons Island, September and October (what we like to call “Septober”) are packed with activities to keep you busy. Here are a few to consider during your Septober St. Simons Island getaway. (Green headlines are links to additional information):

1. #SocialArt – An Exhibit Inspired by Social Media

Presented by Golden Isles Arts & Humanities

Friday, September 6 through Saturday, October 26

This interactive exhibit explores the effects of social media on human interaction.

Ritz Theater • 1530 Newcastle Street • Brunswick, GA


2. First Friday in Historic Downtown Brunswick

Friday, September 6 and Friday, October 4

On the first Friday of every month, the galleries, shops and restaurants open their doors from 5-8pm with special music, art, food and beverages. Stroll through the historic district to see what’s new!

Newcastle & Gloucester Streets • Brunswick, GA


3. Shrimp & Grits – The Wild Georgia Shrimp Festival

Friday, September 20 through Sunday, September 22

The 8th Annual Shrimp & Grits Festival is a celebration of the area’s favorite dish. Set in Jekyll Island’s Historic Landmark District, the Wild Georgia Shrimp Festival features food, cooking competitions, a craft brew fest, live music and lots and lots of Wild Georgia Shrimp. Visit http://www.shrimpandgritsfestival.com/ for schedule of activities and ticket information.

Historic District • Jekyll Island, GA


4. St. Simons Island Food & Spirits Festival

Tuesday, October 1 through Sunday, October 6

In its second year, the St. Simons Food & Spirits Festival celebrates the bounty of the Golden Isles while raising funds for Hospice of the Golden Isles. Events include wine tastings, tastings with local and visiting chefs, cooking classes, cocktail classes and much more. Visit http://www.saintsimonsfoodandspirits.com/ for schedule of events and ticket information.

Multiple Locations • St. Simons Island & Brunswick, GA


5. St. Simons Island Antique Show

Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6

Stroll through Postell Park from 9am-5pm where antique dealers from all over the Southeast showcase antique furnishings, jewelry, collectibles and more.

532 Beachview Drive • St. Simons Island, GA


6. CoastFest 2013

Saturday, October 5 – 10am – 4:30pm

The 17th Annual CoastFest highlights Georgia’s coastal ecosystem in a family-friendly, educational environment. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources gathers more than 70 exhibitors ranging from recycling to animal life to coastal weather.

For more information contact: Nancy Butler at GA DNR/Coastal Resources Division at (912) 264.7218 or email: nancy.butler@gadnr.org

1 Conservation Way • Brunswick, GA


7. Glynn Art in the Park Fall Festival

Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13

Presented by the Glynn Art Association, the 44th annual event features fine arts and crafts in Postell Park on St. Simons Island.

529 Beachview Drive • St. Simons Island, GA


8. Under the Oaks Half Marathon, 5K and 10K

Saturday, October 12 – 7am

Whether running, cheering or observing, this is sure to be a fun event on Jekyll Island with beautiful scenery! Half Marathon begins at 7am, 10K begins at 7:30am and the 5K begins at 8am. Visit http://www.undertheoaks10k.com/ for event information and registration. (Registration closes Tuesday, October 8).

Great Dunes Park • Jekyll Island, GA


9. Golden Isles Live! Piano Concert with Umi Garrett

Tuesday, October 5 – 7:30pm

Child piano prodigy Umi Garrett is only 12 years old, yet she made her first television appearance in 2009 on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She performs around the world and will bring her talent to Glynn Academy. Individual tickets available at the door.

Glynn Academy • 1001 Mansfield Street • Brunswick, GA


10. The Island Players present “Spamalot”

Friday, October 18 through Sunday, November 3

October 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 31, November 1, 2, 2013 at 8:00pm
Matinees: October 20, 27, Nov. 3 2013 at 3:00pm

This hilarious award-winning musical, based on work by Monty Python, tells the legendary tale of King Arthur’s quest to find the Holy Grail. Tony award winning music includes “Always Look for the Bright Side of Life,” “All for One” and “Whatever Happened to My Song?” among other memorable and upbeat tunes.

Pier Village/Casino Theater • 530 Beachview Drive • St. Simons Island, GA


11. St. Simons Island SUP Challenge

Friday, October 25 and Saturday, October 26

In its fourth year, the Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) Challenge is sponsored by Davis Love III’s Paddle & Putt shop on St. Simons Island. It is the largest and most widely attended paddleboard race in Georgia and benefits CURE for Childhood Cancer. For more details, visit the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SaintSimonsIslandSupChallenge


12. Brunswick Rockin’ Stewbilee

Saturday, October 26 – 11am

This 14th Annual showdown aims to settle the age-old question once and for all, who makes the Best Brunswick Stew? The day’s events include a 5K run, Pooch Parade, live entertainment, classic car show. All the while sample and vote for the Best Brunswick Stew from dozens of entries!

Mary Ross Waterfront Park • Brunswick, GA