Visit Jekyll Island to enjoy natural beauty, interesting historical sites and a range of outdoor activities all set on just 5,700 acres (2,306 hectares). More than half of the island’s landmass remains undeveloped, including 10 miles of unspoiled shoreline. The barrier island hugs the Georgia coast between Savannah and Jacksonville. The land was first occupied by the Guale Indians and in the late 19th century became a getaway destination for America’s wealthiest families.
Explore the island’s National Historic Landmark District where many original cottages have been preserved and are open to the public. Walk through the same rooms that the Astors, Pulitzers and Vanderbilts used to vacation in. Don’t miss Faith Chapel, which features a massive stained-glass window by Tiffany. Trolley tours are available Tuesday through Sunday and will give you insight into the area’s history.
Jekyll Island offers three distinct beaches. Great Dunes Park is the perfect destination for families, with safe swimming areas, volleyball courts and the Beach Music Festival in summer. Driftwood Beach is often called the Gothic Tree Graveyard because of the massive driftwood structures that line the shore. Glory Beach has sand dunes and freshwater pools.
Escape the heat in summer at the Summer Waves Water Park, which has fast-paced water slides and slow-moving “rivers.” Families will also enjoy indoor attractions such as the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, a recovery and rehabilitation hospital for these marine reptiles. The 4H Tidelands Nature Center offers a hands-on learning experience to encourage children to act as environmental stewards.
Make the most of the island’s natural beauty: Fish or kayak off the sandy beaches, go golfing at one of the four courses or tour the island on horseback as part of a guided trail ride.
Jekyll Island is easily accessible from the mainland via a 6-mile (9.6-kilometer) causeway. Although the island is car-friendly, many visitors opt to get around using the 20 miles (32 kilometers) of bike trails. Bicycles are available for rent on the island.