Even though Jekyll Island has become a popular vacation destination on the coast of Georgia, the island was formerly a prestigious winter retreat for the wealthiest families in America. For over four decades in the late 1800s, the island served as a getaway spot for wealthy families including the Vanderbilts, the Rockefellers, The Morgans, the Pulitzers and other elite families. This elite group established the Jekyll Island Club which is now a hotel that is open to the public. They also built a group of large cottages that were scattered along Jekyll Creek. Today, you’ll find a number of rental properties and hotels around the island. The island has become a part of an ongoing restoration and redevelopment project, and offers a wealth of activities for beach-goers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Jekyll Island’s five miles of golden sandy beaches are an attractive destination in themselves and you will probably spend most of your time just relaxing on the sands. Jekyll Island is now also home to several historic sites that tell the story of this area’s rich history and legends. A trip to the museum and other historic destinations will reveal some interesting stories and legends about the island’s heritage and you can see hundreds of photos and artifacts from an era gone by.
Historians believe that this island was first occupied by small groups of Native American hunter-gatherers around 2,500 B.C. The area remained fairly undeveloped until the wealthy families moved in and decided to make the island a vacation destination. The natural setting, oak tree forests, salt marshes and streams and native animals almost made this island to be a nature preserve. The “gilded decades” of Jekyll Island were between 1879 and 1930, when the elite families flocked to the island over winter season to enjoy a break from the cold further up north.
Today, you can still enjoy the natural settings and scenic sites that were once enjoyed by these families. The area is now home to the Jekyll Island National Historic Landmark District, a 240-acre riverfront compound which is currently one of the largest ongoing restoration projects in the southeastern United States. Visitors who travel to this area for a vacation can rent a villa, reserve a beach house or stay at the old Jekyll Island Club.
Whether you want to take a boat out on the water, take a stroll out on the boardwalk, or explore the oak forests and other natural landmarks, you’ll find a wealth of activities to enjoy around this peaceful and scenic setting.
Jekyll Island Weather and Best Time to Visit
The climate along the Georgia coast is fairly mild and comfortable during the winter and spring months, with average high sin the mid-60s to mid-70s from January through April. Average highs can reach the mid-80s to low-90s from May through September, but then drop to the 80s and 70s for October, November and December. October through December are among the peak travel seasons to Jekyll Island because this is when most travelers head to the area to escape the cold in the northern states. You can expect rates at some of the larger hotels and resorts to increase around the holiday season, and when there are special events happening in the surrounding area.
If you visit during the early spring season, you can expect temperatures to be fairly cool day and night, so plan to pack some sweaters and light jackets to be comfortable throughout your trip.
Experience Jekyll Island
Jekyll Island is primarily a leisure destination, a place to sit back and enjoy the sunshine, go golfing for an afternoon, take a boat out on the water, or explore the bike trails that criss-cross through the island. You’ll only find one route on or off Jekyll Island by automobile and this can be accessed from Brunswick via US Highway 17 South, and also from I-95 by exit 29. Jekyll Island is currently undergoing revitalization and some buildings and destinations are expected to be completed by 2012. You’ll still find plenty of things to do and enjoy around the island in the present day, and can plan a relaxing vacation out here any time of here.
Jekyll Island is home to about 10 miles of unspoiled beaches, and is a barrier island that offers some amazing views of the area. When you’re not spending time at the beach or enjoying some boating activities, head to the oak-lined shopping district at the shopping plaza. When you’re traveling to the island with the family, don’t miss the chance to visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Museum or other unique destinations.
Sports and recreation enthusiasts can enjoy a number of recreational activities throughout Jekyll Island. Tennis, soccer and summer camps are a few highlights for activities on this island. The island has served as a premier golf destination since 1898 when the Jekyll Island Club members added their first course to the island. Today, you’ll find three 18-hole golf courses and one 9-hole course with 63 holes of golf.
The natural beauty of Jekyll Island makes this an attractive destination for weddings and many couples have made their way here to enjoy the romantic beaches and breathtaking backdrops for their special day. A handful of companies in the area offer horse-drawn carriages and trolleys that can transport the wedding party to various destinations around the island. The Faith Chapel which was constructed in 1904 is located in the Jekyll Island Club Historic District and was built exclusively for Club members. Today, the chapel serves as an elegant destination for a Georgia wedding.
Whether you’re visiting Jekyll Island for a wedding, family getaway, or just a relaxing vacation with a significant other, you’ll find plenty of unique things to do and enjoy throughout the island. From the golf courses and beautiful beaches, to the historic sites and quaint shops, you’ll never be at a shortage of things to do and experience around Jekyll Island, Georgia.
Miles of white sandy beaches, gourmet seafood restaurants and golf courses await in Jekyll Island, GA. This family-friendly tourist destination is the perfect place to enjoy quality seafood, learn about the area's rich history and see why many wealthy residents once enjoyed summer vacations here.