When Philip Berolzheimer purchased Little St. Simons Island in 1908, he saw a "cherished change of pace, a wild retreat" for family and friends. Little did he know that this secluded barrier island paradise would become a favored respite for individuals, couples and families from around the world.

It is accessible only by boat, which ferries Island guests to and from St. Simons Island twice daily.

During the 15-minute ride, visitors begin to get a feel for the natural wonders that await them. Shorebirds stalk their quarry along the riverbanks. An occasional dolphin breaks the surface and makes its presence known. The concerns of the day begin to fall by the wayside. Paradise beckons.

As the boat turns into Mosquito Creek and slows for its approach to the Little St. Simons dock, you get your first glimpse of the Hunting Lodge. The tidy surroundings, lawn swings, birdhouses and inviting vista hints at the quiet pleasures to come.

As you step off the boat, a member of the Little St. Simons Island staff warmly greets you. The welcome is not unlike what you would expect at the home of a family member or close friend: "You are our guest, and we are glad that you are here."

The landing party moves from the dock to a grassy path that leads to the Hunting Lodge. This beautifully rustic building, filled with Berolzheimer family heirlooms and mementos, has served as the focal point of island activity since it was built in 1918. Inside the Hunting Lodge, one almost expects Philip Berolzheimer himself to enter the room, welcoming you to his family’s island home.

While your bags are quietly taken to your room, your island host–typically the general manager, Joel Meyer, or the resident manager, Bonnie Hilton–provides a brief orientation, outlining the island’s history and explaining the rhythms of island life: daily activities, meals (very important), the evening cocktail reception.

Guests are invited to join in an array of daily planned activities, or to strike out one their own. Enjoy a nature tour led by a staff naturalist. Explore the island’s creeks via kayak, canoe or motorized skiff. Ride a bike to the beach. Look for shells on seven miles of secluded beaches. Relaxation and rejuvenation are encouraged, and the atmosphere is enhanced by the absence of telephones, TVs, radios and computers.

After the orientation, it’s time to explore. Anchored by a huge fireplace, the main room of the Hunting Lodge is filled with overstuffed couches and antique wicker tables and chairs. In a corner by a window overlooking the marsh, a checkerboard stands ready to host a friendly game. Nearby bookshelves are filled with books, journals and games.

In an adjoining room, the "museum" yields a fascinating glimpse of the island’s natural history. The walls are filled with trophies of hunts conducted long ago, of the ones that didn’t get away including a seven-foot-long alligator. Glass cases are filled with jars of insects and other creatures as well as archaeological remnants left behind by earlier island residents.

In these cozy rooms, it’s not hard at all to imagine friends and family gathered by the hearth recounting the day’s adventures. You could hardly find a better place to enjoy a rainy day or a quiet evening.

Three times a day, the stillness is broken by the sound of a clanging bell summoning guests to the morning, mid-day or evening meal. All meals are served family-style. This encourages congeniality and fellowship, both qualities that were highly valued by Philip Berolzheimer. Take a quick peek beneath the table and marvel at the table legs – massive tree trunks cleverly adapted to a new purpose.

The menu, prepared by the resident chef and his staff, emphasizes Low County cuisine and uses the freshest local seafood and shrimp whenever possible.

Accommodations on Little St. Simons Island offer quiet comfort amidst an ambience of elegant rusticity. Guests can choose from several lodgings, from the Hunting Lodge to Helen House, Michael Cottage or one of the River Houses. Each has its own special ambience. All offer luxuriant furnishings and amenities to rival any fine hotel or inn.

One of the best ways to learn about Little St. Simons Island is during a tour led by a staff naturalist. Whether their chosen field of study is forestry, marine biology or another topic, these knowledgeable men and women are passionate about preserving and sharing the island’s environmental treasures.

Nature tours on Little St. Simons Island are conducted safari-style, with visitors seated on long boards stretched across the bed of a pickup truck. Those who are unable to ride in the back of the truck are welcome to ride up front with the naturalist.

The "North End" tour is one of several tours offered each day. It winds through maritime forest with stops along the way to discuss the island’s physical growth and development. Many are surprised to learn that the "hills" they see along the way were once sand dunes, and that this seemingly primeval forest was once the beach.

Other sites along the way include stops at the River Beach and Myrtle Pond. If you’re especially lucky, you may get an unexpected (but not unusual) view of some of the hundreds of birds that are regularly sighted on Little St. Simons Island. Depending on the time of year, you might see a nesting pair of bald eagles, or a flock of roseate spoonbills wading in a quiet marsh.

Very soon, the spell is cast. You find unanticipated pleasure in the stillness of an early morning walk, unrivaled beauty in the whorl of a knobbed whelk shell, uncommon joy in the discovery of new friendships and the reinvigoration of old relationships. You begin thinking about your next visit to Little St. Simons Island, your new home away from home.

Little St. Simons Island accommodates up to 30 guests at a time, and is an ideal destination for romantic weekend getaways, family vacations, business retreats and other gatherings amidst a setting of great beauty and comfort. Rates are all-inclusive and include overnight accommodations, three daily meals, an evening cocktail reception and free use of all island amenities and activities. Full-island rentals are available, as are special offers throughout the year. For information and reservations call toll-free (888) 733-5774. Or, visit them online at The Lodge at Little St. Simons Island.
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