The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

PCB is Nothing Compared to SSI

Photo of a sunrise (or sunset) at Saint Simons Island. Photo by Sydney Grove

With spring break approaching at a snail’s pace, I’ve been daydreaming about my getaway all semester. It seems like most of my peers are planning exotic, expensive trips abroad or a week of partying and sleepless nights at 30A. That’s never been my style. I’ve been to Panama City Beach twice in my life, and for me, that was two times too many. The sand is too soft to take walks on. You have to pay for parking. No matter what time of day it is or where you are, there always seems to be a loud, drunk frat boy disturbing the peace. I never understood the appeal of such an expensive yet trashy experience. If you’re looking for a relaxing spring break that you’ll actually enjoy and remember rather than a Fireball-fuelled haze, give Saint Simons Island a try.

I’ve been visiting Saint Simons Island for years, and it’s truly incomparable to all beaches within reasonable driving distance of Atlanta. From Pinterest-worthy live oaks draped in Spanish moss to nationally-acclaimed eats, it has the kind of community and delicate natural beauty that most major spring break destinations lack. 

While the water at Saint Simons isn’t as crystal-clear as it is in south Florida, I find it more beautiful and interesting. All of the Golden Isles in Georgia, including Saint Simons, are barrier islands. This means that their beaches are constantly changing and moving; the current takes sand and sediment from one side of each island and deposits it on the other side. It’s a really remarkable act of nature, and the water on each barrier island in Georgia is extremely rich and conducive to wildlife because of it. Saint Simons’s water is especially unique because of its inland marshes that are home to dolphins, manatees, storks, and a slew of other creatures that can’t be found anywhere else in the state. The best part? Access to this rich landscape is completely free.

The entire beach at Saint Simons is free to the public, as is parking. The flat, packed sand and long shoreline makes the beach ideal for walks and bike rides, and the calm tide and light wind provides the perfect ambiance for a relaxing beach day. It’s not rare to have an entire stretch of the beach to yourself during the offseason. Even during spring break, there’s plenty of elbow room if you know where and when to set up shop. 

Apart from the landscape, there’s a great cultural scene on the island. Unlike tourist traps in other beach towns, downtown Saint Simons is home to primarily local artist markets and outdoorsman stores. Some of my personal favorite shops in Saint Simons are Uncle Don’s Farmers Market, Simon’s, and Ocean Motion. The town has the kind of charm and handcrafted feeling that bigger beach towns don’t.

Perhaps Saint Simons’ biggest draw is its food. There’s really something for everyone. If classic barbeque is your thing, Southern Soul and Porch are both national award-winning joints. If you’re looking for something a little fancier, Fiddlers is an atmospheric upscale seafood eatery that overlooks the marsh. For dessert, I’d recommend Moo Cow (they source their ice cream from the same company as the Frosty Caboose in Chamblee) or Frosty’s, an 80’s-inspired spot complete with an original Meatballs one sheet and a KISS pinball machine. 

All in all, Saint Simons is an unbeatable vacation spot. Whether I’m visiting for two days or two weeks, I’m always happy to be there. Soon, I won’t be a visitor. My mom is moving there this summer, and even though I’ll be in Athens in the fall, everyone knows that home is where your mom is. 

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About the Contributor
Sydney Grove
Sydney Grove, Staff Writer
Sydney Grove (‘24) is a staff writer for the Blue & Gold. This is her first year writing for the publication. In five years, she hopes to still be continuing her insatiable pursuit of the bag. Sydney’s three favorite things are surreal horror movies, her Doc Marten Mary Janes, and Snoopy.

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    CraigMar 27, 2024 at 12:58 pm

    Live here and love it!