If you have an itch to escape the city for a quick daytrip, I would highly recommend heading south to St. Simon’s for fabulous food, shopping, and atmosphere. I first discovered the beautiful island on a Georgia-Florida football game back in 2006 with my girlfriends from Atlanta who went to UGA. I quickly fell in love with the settlement of little hamlets (The Pier Village & Redfern Village) intermixed with amazing tree canopy (protected by the St. Simons Land Trust), all with quick access to the beach. Oh, and gorgeous historic homes AND fabulous shopping. Yes, I am in heaven here and can highly recommend a quick visit or longer stay as part of vacation to historic downtown Savannah.
No trip to the Village is complete without checking out the Village Inn & Pub. This is my girl group’s go-to spot for a quick drink and friendly convesation with R.B., bartender extraordinaire. You can expect good local music and sometimes even dancing with some of the locals! The Spanish-styled architecture is absolutely charming and the buildings are right at home under the live oak trees dripping in moss.
The other little hamlet you must check out for fabulous shopping is Redfern Village, just north of the Pier Village. I have discovered so many great stores here that I must dish. My go-to FIRST stop is the Tibi Outlet. For those of you who do not know about Tibi, you are missing out. Amy Smilovic is a native of St. Simons and I like to imagine she takes lots of cues from her hometown – great colors and prints & fun new twists to classic cuts. Her studio is in SoHo, New York City and her collection is highly regarded here and abroad. My other favorite store in Redfern is the GoGo Ferguson jewelry outpost. GoGo takes design cues from architectural shapes of items like dolphin vertebrae, the spiral of a sea shell, and anything connected to nature. Gogo’s jewelry is amazing and you absolutely must check it out . I was blown away the first time I saw her rattlesnake rib bangles & have coveted them ever since.
After all the shopping, quench your thirst with a tangy margarita at Bubba Garcias Mexican restaurant. Bubbas definitely has a very laid back, almost dive bar, kind of feel to it and I keep going back for the “liquid gold” (my affectionate name for their queso dip) as well as the Potato Burrito (my beau adds chorizo to his but the original is perfect to me). Not up for Mexican? Hop over to Gnat’s Landing for a classic Bloody Mary and a plateful of their friend pickes chips or Vidalia onion pie. Not the healthiest but absolutely worth it.
There is SO much more to do like rent a bike and explore the countless miles of trails on the island, check out Fort Frederica, or just kick back on the beach. Whatever your MO, you will find what you are after in this gorgeous part of coastal Georgia — just a hop, skip, n’ jump to Savannah.