Jekyll Island is one of Georgia’s golden islands. South of St. John’s Simons Island, this barrier island is connected by a bridge to the mainland in Brunswick, Georgia. It is a magical place that combines the southern charm of oak trees and Spanish moss with the tropical ambiance of palm trees and the beautiful beaches of Jekyll Island.
If you’re near Georgia’s Atlantic coast, Jekyll Island is the perfect place for a day trip. (We stopped on the way from Florida to South Carolina). It’s only a short drive from I-95, but you feel like you’ve avoided the crowds. Jekyll Island offers many recreational opportunities. It is the perfect vacation spot to return to every year!
What to do on Jekyll Island
Jekyll Island is known for its natural beauty, historic charm and expansive beaches. The hotel offers options for history buffs, nature lovers and those who just want to relax on a beautiful beach and enjoy a few rays.
Here are the top five things to do on Jekyll Island. There is something for everyone in the family.
Relaxing on Jekyll Island beach
There is no better way to relax than to watch the summer waves pounding on the white sand beaches. Jekyll Island has 10 miles of coastline and beaches for everyone. Choose from the island beaches of St Andrews Beach (famous for bird watching), South Dunes, Ocean View, Great Dunes, Slav Beach and of course Driftwood Beach.
Lunch at the South Dunes picnic area. You can also take a stroll through the Beach Village and discover the shops where you can buy beach-inspired gifts. Then walk through the dunes to the huge white sand beach. Take a deep breath and stay there for a while.
Jekyll Island history study
In the early 1900s, the richest families in the world were members of the Jekyll Island Club, including J.P. Morgan, Pulitzer and Vanderbilt, who used it as a private residence.
It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Jekyll Island National Historic Site includes one of the largest restoration projects in the Southeast. You can take a tour – including a trolley tour – of the historic cottages and learn more about their past. Explore the museum and old lodge that now houses the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.
APPROPRIATE: Explore the historic city of Newport, Rhode Island.
Lunch at the club.
While you’re at the Jekyll Island Clubhouse, cool off with a drink at the Pool House. They serve an informal al fresco lunch by the pool with burgers, fries and southern dishes like crabs and fried green tomatoes. They also have industrial ceiling fans in the bar area. It was so comfortable on a warm August day, I didn’t want to leave!
Driftwood Beach Tour
Discover the sculptures of Mother Nature at Driftwood Beach. The huge tree trunks create a beautiful backdrop – and great photos! In fact, Driftwood Beach was recently named one of the best beaches in the United States by Trip Advisor’s Travelers Choice Awards.
This beautiful beach on Jekyll Island is hard to find, but well worth the effort. Find a small parking lot on Beachview Drive North and walk a short distance to the beach (see photo above).
Professional advice: Visit Driftwood Beach at low tide to see more of the beach. And bring mosquito spray with your beach gear.
Hanging out with sea turtles
Learn more about sea turtles at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, where you can watch the turtles feed or participate in one of the behind-the-scenes tours or daily programs. This nature center is a great place to visit with kids. You can also learn all about alligators during the summer in their summer alligator course.
And if exploring nature or relaxing on the beach isn’t your thing, you can always try the golf courses. Jekyll Island has four beautiful golf courses to choose from and many opportunities to be active on Jekyll Island.
What you need to know about Jekyll Island
You must purchase a parking ticket at the entrance to access Jekyll Island, $8 for a day pass. If you’re staying longer, you can also buy annual passes or multi-day passes (see current information here).
The island has more than 30 kilometers of bicycle paths and hiking trails. Access is free for cyclists and pedestrians.
What are your favorite activities on Jekyll Island? Share it in the comments below!
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