Georgia Barrier Island Embraces Multi-Generation Family Vacation

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Multi-Gen4Babies and elders blend well on family vacations, generally bringing with them relaxed expectations, but what happens with all the generations in between finding fun too?

Checked that out for a week on St. Simons Island, one of Georgia’s 13 barrier islands. Only four are accessible by car.

My spread of family ages might just match some of yours: three to 77, a couple of 30-somethings, one teen, two entering kindergarten and two 10-year olds.

The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort provided home base: a five-bedroom, four bath house such an easy walk to the ocean the three-year-old never asked to be carried.

Perfect for our eldest, preferring the house to the surf. Engaging for the kindergarteners because the surf here is calm, and they felt bold enough to play in the mini-waves.

Multi-Gen2Surf Sports

Standup paddleboarders balanced easily too, and in abundance. Little kids can ride on the board with parents.

Middle schoolers rent stretch sand bikes, recumbent style, and zip among the perfect matching blue umbrellas on the resort’s beach.

The King and Prince has six pools, two with wings of villas, and four overlooking the beach.

That’s a very multi-gen feature and here’s why: adults preferring the lounge chairs can keep an eye on the kids.

I prefer the ocean so I can just check in occasionally around the pools with the others. The 60s, 70, 80s playlist on the ambient music system, however, lured me to linger.

Little kids aren’t embarrassed by a dancing grandmother.

Multi-Gen6Hotel Elegance

Pop up rain showers that interrupt craft classes and popsicles by the pool distress the youngest vacationers in the family, but playing I Spy in an Historic Hotel of America more than fills the gap.

Nine stained glass murals fill the upper walls of a handsome dining room and choosing favorite St. Simons scenes enticed my grand and great-grandchildren in short spurts.

Did they care so much six windows were installed in 1938? No but I do.

Geometric towers of soft terry towels in the hotel bathroom amazed my kindergarteners, who also loved operating the glass front elevator, overlooking the indoor pool and hot tub in the lobby.

Posing before formal portraits of the royalty works too, determining which is the king and which the prince.

Engaging the 14-year old great-grandson with the hotel? Errands, that’s how. “Ask the front desk if the chef can share some hot sauce. Recycling bags are filled; would you ask housekeeping for more.”

Jobs of importance, needed services.

Multi-Gen3Culinary

Fine dining and poolside/surfside options important at The King and Prince but we opted for cooking for our big crowd, plus relatives paying day visits.

Synced some menus with the hotel, preparing our own Low Country Boil on the night the hotel executive chef did so too!

Wild Georgia shrimp of course. I’m guessing our grits weren’t as luxurious as his.

The King and Prince breakfast buffet always includes peach cobbler but we’re more low sugar corralling our little ones for the day.

Island Stretches

Bike trails open St. Simons Island to pedaling families, with rentals one block from the resort. We never got that far, but would another time.

Jekyll is the next-door barrier island where our teen wanted to immerse in the Georgia Turtle Center, a research, education, rehab and release facility.

Turtles are known to cross the five-mile causeway to the island so point out the openings on the center-dividing barricade.

Multi-Gen1Maybe Later

I disappointed my generations of children by not trying harder to get to the lighthouse where we could have climbed to the top or hopping aboard the Lighthouse Trolley for a tour.

Didn’t take them to Fort Frederica either or the park at the village pier. We did crash a wedding on the lawn by the sea, however, discreetly of course.

So, multi-gen return trips need to be in the works.


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