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A tiny island in the deep south. Blue skies, sand in my toes and the sound of waves lapping at the shore of a beach I can ride my bike on. Those are often the things that come to mind when I think of St. Simons Island, Georgia. But with a little time on the island and an open heart and mind, it might be the sound of a southern drawl, the smell of great BBQ eaten outside on a porch, the kindness of strangers, the beauty of a tidal marsh or an old plantation home that will draw you back. Scores of bike paths that make a car non-essential, except for the A/C burst that feels so good in the summertime. Of course, a good breeze on a bike helps too. Sharing a bottle of wine at the beach with friends. A walk to the Village for a cup of coffee and some quiet time at the Pier. A library and a pool overlooking the sea. Historical reminders from centuries of explorers, colonists, farmers, traders and wars. So many stories to be told.

There really isn’t any place on earth quite like St. Simons Island. It draws people from all over the globe and leaves a mark on each one, which is why so many people think of St. Simons as home, even when they only come once a year. It hits you as you start across the causeway and that feeling pulls you back when you leave. When I first started hosting guests in the cottages all those years ago, I sometimes felt like a used car salesman when I spoke to people who had never been here before and told them each the same thing. “Come once and you will be coming back for the rest of your life.” Those of you who have vacationed on this island or stayed in our rental cottages are all nodding your heads in agreement, aren’t you?

Good old fashioned hospitality is what we strive for on this little island of the deep south. But what we end up with are lots of friends that we look forward to seeing again and again.