School bells are ringing but if your brain is still in beach mode, fall break is the perfect time for Roadtrippin' to Georgia's Golden Isles.
Less than a five hour drive from Atlanta, it's easy to pack up the car and load up the kiddies for a farewell beach fling to St. Simmons Island, Jekyll Island or Sea Island.
With a family of five, Airbnb and VRBO have been my heroes for family vacations. You only know the horror or being crammed in a hotel room with three kids if you have experienced it yourself! This time I hit the jackpot, CHI-CHING, finding a private residence, 2 bedroom condo on the property of the King & Duke in St. Simmons for less than the price of a hotel room.
We checked in Friday evening and woke up to sunrise on the beach. After breakfast in our condo, we hit the marina for a day of offshore fishing with Coastal Island Charter Fishing. Our Captain, Ashlee Parmalee, made us feel right at home on the boat. As the sun rose across the marmalade waters, seagulls flocked and dolphins danced for a magical start to the day.
Since we had the kiddos with us, we opted for offshore fishing instead of deep-sea fishing so we would have more time with lines in the water as opposed to driving. When the the first line hit, we were excited to see what we were going to pull up from the abyss.
Bringing in his catch, my oldest son screamed, "SHARK!" To our surprise a baby shark, doh doh doh, was hanging on the line! The kids thought it was the coolest thing on the planet to actually catch a shark and by the end of our trip, we had caught and released six sharks. Adding to the sharks, we caught a gigantic stingray and several 20 pound plus Bull Reds. We didn't catch the sushi my kids wanted for dinner but we did have an amazing time!
After our fishing trip and a quick lunch, we loaded up with skimboards and surfboards and walked to the beach right from our condo and enjoyed the afternoon in the waves.
You are in the Atlantic so it's not the turquoise blue waters and sugar sand beaches of 30A but here you have waves, big waves! And if you're one of my kids, you would trade blue water all day long for waves, waves and more waves! We had a big beach almost to ourselves, but by mid-afternoon, we noticed we were losing beach. By the time we left, the water had taken over the entire beach, up the rocks and almost touching the stairs, it was amazing to witness the power of the tides!
Tired from fishing and an afternoon at the beach, for dinner , we opted for Echo, onsite at the King and Prince. If you're lucky enough to find a residence in a hotel, the amenties are a big plus since you have access to pools, spas, bars and restaurants. We had an amazing dinner on the outdoor deck at Echo. We started with seared tuna in a wasabi, avocado mayo, I had the seared scallops and my hubby enjoyed the herb-crusted salmon. They have several options for seafood and kiddie food for the little ones but mine wanted fried shrimp!
After a good night's sleep, we set off for Jekyll Island in the morning to explore the beach and dunes. It's quiet, breathtaking and beautiful. Several times my kids asked, are we really in Georgia?
We ended the trip with an amazing seafood dinner at Crabdaddys Seafood Grill. Be sure to make your reservations well in advance because this place is popular and packed! The crab legs are delicious and the carnivores in the family loved the steaks.
Sometimes the best vacations are the unexplored destinations in your own backyard. St. Simmons definitely has a place in our hearts, we will be back!
Lisa Lossie is an Emmy Award Winning former television writer/producer who now carpools her kiddies around Milton and blogs about her travels around Georgia and the world. www.blondonboard.com and instagram.com/blondie_on_board/