Escape to Jekyll Island, GA

Jekyll Island, GA is where sprawling pristine beaches, amazing wildlife, historic Georgia resort hotels, and an unrivalled choice of recreational activities all come together in perfect harmony. There's nothing else quite like it.

For 40 years, starting in 1886, this Georgia barrier island was the exclusive home of the Jekyll Island Club. This was the winter retreat for some of America's most prestigious families. Names like Morgan, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt and Pulitzer would winter in private cottages served by the original Jekyll Island Clubhouse.

After World War II, the state of Georgia bought the island and converted it into a public state park. It is now controlled by the Jekyll Island Authority.

Jekyll Island GA Driftwood Beach Today, Jekyll Island is a vacation paradise for everyone. There are shops, grocery stores, and fantastic restaurants on Jekyll Island, yet commercialism and tourist traps are not allowed to take over. Things go at a slower pace here, and the islanders have taken great care to protect their beachfront and the ambience of their historic community.

When you arrive, stop by the Greeting Station and pick up their island brochure so you know everything the island has to offer.

There are 10 miles of spectacular beaches, including the splendid "Driftwood Beach." The temps stay pleasant year round, with warm summers and short, mild winters. You can walk or bicycle for hours on the beach, and never find a crowded area - sometimes you'll see no one at all!

Jekyll Island, GA Hotels and Rentals

One great thing about Jekyll Island is there's no clutter of hotels and condos. There are 10 hotels on the entire island, and they offer something for everyone. You'll not be disappointed!

Here's a look at two of the resort hotels on Jekyll Island:

Brimming with history, the Jekyll Island Club Hotel has been restored to its original elegance of the 1880s and is among the finest luxury hotels in America. Rooms and suites are available in different settings, and many feature fireplaces or balconies. Jekyll Island Club Hotel is on the Intracoastal Waterway side of the island.

Jekyll Island Club HotelYou'll never forget a meal in the Grand Dining Room, whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is superb dining, with gourmet entrees and premier wine (dinner guests, be sure to bring along a jacket.)

Villas by the Sea Resort and Conference Center is a pet-friendly resort, and has kitchens areas for times when you don't want to eat out. You can choose from one, two, or three bedroom condominium villas. The pool is solar heated for year-round use, and all villas are just a short walk from the beach and the pool. There's also a playground for the kids. A rock barrier on the beach divides the water and sand so there's no sandy beachfront, yet the public beaches are nearby.

Jekyll Island Vacation Rentals and Camping

The privacy and flexibility of a rental cottage is an ideal way to enjoy a Jekyll beach vacation. There are lots of wonderful beach homes with up to 6 bedrooms for big family groups or golfing parties - perfect for a week or month's stay, and you can sometimes rent them for shorter periods. Some homes are beachfront, some are riverside, many have their own pools, and you can find a few that are pet friendly.

If you enjoy camping, beautiful Jekyll Island Campground is at the north end of the island. This is a family-oriented camping area and can accommodate anything from tents to motor homes. It's situated on 18 wooded acres about 2 miles from the swimming beaches.

Things to See and Do

Jekyll Island Golf is legendary. The island has three public 18-hole golf courses (Pine Lakes, Indian Mound, and Oleander) and one 9-hole course (Great Dunes). The courses are first class and continue to be a major attraction for golfers world-wide. You play from a central top-notch clubhouse, making everything a pleasure. Call 912-635-2368. Plus, you're a short driving distance to the nearby links at St. Simons Island, Ga.

If tennis is your game, Jekyll Island, GA is right up there with the best. Thirteen clay courts, all public, make up the Jekyll Island Tennis Center. It is host to six USTA tournaments each year, and tennis camps for kids are held throughout the summer. Tennis Magazine has labeled the facility as one of the "25 Best Municipal Tennis Facilities" in the country. Private lessons, clinics, pick-up games and round-robin tournaments make Jekyll Island tennis a huge draw. Call 912-635-3154.

Saddle up and ride a horse along the beach and marshes. There's no better way to spend the day than to ride about this beautiful island on horseback. You'll love the relaxing guided tour - the horses know the way through the dunes and the live oaks, right on to beautiful Driftwood Beach. Sunset rides are fantastic!

If you'd rather explore by water, canoeing and kayaking is the way to go. Paddle all through the estuarial waters and marshes, either on your own or with a tour from the Tidelands Nature Center.

Excellent fishing charters and sailing trips are part of the sporting scene here. The charter captains know their piece of the Atlantic like nobody else. Leave out from Jekyll Wharf Marina or Jekyll Harbor Resort Marina for a day of offshore and near shore fishing like no other. Jekyll Harbor Marina is an adventure in itself, packed with all sorts of water sports, a pool, restaurants, even a spa.

Schedule a dolphin spotting tour from either marina on the island, and get educated the fun way about Jekyll Island's coastal environment. Spotting the playful dolphins along the surf has become so popular, it's a good idea to make reservations ahead.

Take a tram tour through the historic district of the island. The tours depart from the Jekyll Island Museum Center, and cost $10 for adults and $6 for kids. The tram is the only way to see the restored millionaire's vacation homes of Moss Cottage, Mistletoe Cottage, Indian Mound Cottage and Dubignon Cottage. You'll travel into the past and hear the story of the Jekyll Island Club during the American Gilded Era. It's a fascinating trip!

The Summer Waves Water Park is another fun way to splash through the day. The wild water slides will pump you up, and the Lazy River ride will make you perfectly, well... lazy! Tubes, mats and lounge chairs are waiting - great family fun.

Map of Jekyll Island

There's much more to enjoy on Jekyll ... like 20 miles of paved bike trails that roam the island's beaches, marshes and forests. Take a Casino Cruise aboard The Emerald Princess cruise ship. Nightlife on Jekyll Island is alive and well with pubs, sports bars and live entertainment.

A short trip north takes you to St. Simons Island and Sea Island, GA. A beach vacation spent on this one-of-a-kind island will have something for everyone, guaranteed!