Ever since the late 1940s, when Humphrey Bogart and Edward G. Robinson were battling it out on Key West in the classic movie “Key Largo,” island living has seemed exotic, enticing, and radically different from the big city to people longing for a different way of life.
After all, you’re surrounded by beaches. There are no traffic jams, no crowded shopping malls. You’re escaping city noise and congestion and settling into something quite unlike an urban jungle.
Pina Coladas and sunsets. Doesn’t it sound idyllic?
Just keep in mind that not all islands are alike. Islands off the coast of Maine get tons of snow, while islands in the Caribbean do not – so it really depends on what you’re looking for.
On the other hand, an island like St. Simons Island off the coast of South Georgia may be as close as you can get to someplace that doesn’t feel like the big city; it’s surrounded by beaches, has spectacular sunsets … but hasn’t exactly forsaken all those amenities we take for granted in more heavily populated inland areas.
So do you have what it takes for island living? Here are some things to consider before getting out of the city and moving to an island and why island life is right for you.
Are There Drawbacks to Living on an Island?
If you were to draw up a list of the top reasons why people love living on an island, nearness to the ocean is likely to be at the top of everyone’s list. When you’re living on an island, every day can be a vacation. Just having the ocean close by can easily cure the blues.
Island life also moves at a pleasantly slower pace than city life does, and shopping is more enjoyable because you’re not fighting the crowds and long lines that you’d traditionally find in huge malls and outlets. Instead, you’re shopping in quaint specialty stores.
Island life is relaxing; you’ll be a regular everywhere, which means people will know you and you’ll know them.
But are there drawbacks to island life?
If you are thinking about moving to an island like St. Simons, there may be people around you cautioning that island life is not all it’s cracked up to be. And they’re likely to warn you about inconveniences that are more common in remote Caribbean islands than on the Golden Isles of Georgia. Still, chances are anyone who has seriously contemplated moving from the big city to an island has heard reservations like these before.
Do you need a boat to get there?
Not to St. Simons Island. The island is easily accessible from the Sidney Lanier Bridge, Georgia’s tallest cable-stayed suspension bridge, which provides easy access to the Golden Isles from Interstate 95.
Of course, you’re welcome to get there by your own private boat, but it’s not the only way to access the island.
Are big cities far away?
Hardly. Right across that bridge is Brunswick, a city known for its Victorian-era Old Town Historic District and the huge, centuries-old Lover’s Oak tree. Causeways link the city to the four barrier islands of the Golden Isles, including St. Simons Island. Anything you need from the big city is a quick drive, but if you’re looking to get away from an urban environment, St. Simons Island is picture-perfect.
Is shopping a challenge on St. Simons Island?
Not at all. St. Simons Island has supermarkets like Winn Dixie, West Bay Foods, and the Harris Teeter Grocery Store. St. Simons Bottle is the island’s largest full-service liquor store, there are Target superstores and WalMart. Chances are you can find everything you need here.
Are there limits to the island infrastructure?
If you’re wondering if St. Simons Island is old dirt roads, think again. The streets here are smoothly paved and provide comfortable and easy access anywhere you need to go. The only dirt paths are the nature trails that attract so many lovers of the outdoors each year.
And if you’re wondering if electricity is spotty here or if rainstorms can knock out power for hours, think again. Service is provided by Georgia Power, and it’s steady and reliable.
So if you’re not giving up the conveniences you come to expect in the big city when you move to St. Simons Island, how is life any different when you’re living here?
That’s a great question.
What are the Benefits of Island Life?
One of the first things you might ask is: is it fun living on an island?
On St. Simons, definitely.
If you love the beach, you can easily walk to it, depending on where you live. The Atlantic Ocean surrounds this beautiful island which runs 18 miles from one end to the other. At the Pier Village, you can walk out along the pier and take in breathtaking views of the ocean.
And right behind you, the village itself is a popular spot for its antique shops, specialty stores, and family-owned restaurants serving the best in southern cooking. The island’s restaurants are also well known for some amazing seafood dishes, courtesy of the catch that comes fresh off the Atlantic Ocean.
St. Simons Island is a paradise for people who love the outdoors. South Georgia’s tropical climate means there’s always a cool breeze coming off the ocean in the summer months, and in the winter, temperatures hover around 65 – not too cold, right?
That’s why people love coming here for activities that include boating, fishing, exploring the local parks for birds and wildlife that live among the marshes or walking along the nature trails that have been so beautifully preserved.
Something else that’s been stunningly preserved is so much of the island’s history. Monuments like the St. Simons Island Lighthouse, the Bloody Marsh Battle Site, Fort Frederica National Monument and Gascoigne Bluff will take your breath away and leave you feeling like you stepped back in time. The island’s history has remained one of its top selling points for decades.
It’s that mix of natural beauty, intoxicating ocean views and modern conveniences that make life on the island so appealing.
But there’s something else. St. Simons Island is a place where no one seems to be in a hurry. You’re as likely to see people getting around on bicycle or golf carts as in their car. There’s a pleasantly slower pace of life here. And if you live on St. Simons Island, you’ll quickly figure out that rushing around feels like a waste of time.
St. Simons Island operates on Island Time – the sense of living life at a pace that truly helps you appreciate the moment. After work, or on weekends, you’ll find yourself practically being called out to the beach for quality time filled with relaxation and rejuvenation.
Truth is, on St. Simons Island, every day is a beach day. If you’re not basking in tropical sunshine in the big city, you will on St. Simons Island.
And besides hitting the beach, you’re always going to feel that urge to just … relax; to stop, and listen, and hear nothing but the waves and the wind. Walking along the ocean is a terrific way to disconnect and reflect. The ocean offers you far more than just beautiful scenery.
Besides that, St. Simons Island is also a very friendly place. There’s southern charm and hospitality to spare here. You might decide to live on an island to get more opportunities for solitude than you would in a big city, but because it’s a different pace of life here, you’ll quickly become a regular with the locals.
It’s like packing up all your stress and leaving that suitcase behind as you exit the big city and settle in to enjoy the beauty, and natural wonder, of this gorgeous island.
Choosing to live on an island isn’t difficult once you’ve made your first trip to St. Simons Island, and discovered just how much the island has to offer, how beautiful it is, how close you are to the rest of civilization, and how friendly the people are here.
Selecting an island home isn’t difficult, either. If you’re looking at becoming a permanent resident of St. Simons Island, Palmetto Building Group has new, move-in ready single-family homes, cottages, condominiums and townhouses available, often with fabulous views of the marshes close by. We also have homes close to the Pier Village, or right near the beach.
Whatever it is that draws you to live on St. Simon’s Island, we have a home to match your concept of the ideal setting.
Contact us today at 912-266-8401 or email us at Palmettoleads@gmail.com to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you, but most of all, we’re thrilled to know you’re looking for a new home on one of the most spectacularly beautiful and historic parts of South Georgia.