Jekyll Island– Georgia’s Hidden Gem

by Pam on February 14, 2013

Have you ever wanted to own your own private island? Once belonging to the Spanish and the French, home to pirates, planters, prisoners and millionaires, Jekyll Island, Georgia was  officially reopened to the public in December of 1954.  Today this small island, with a land area of a little over 17.3 miles, beckons nature lovers, golf lovers, families and those seeking a quiet escape from reality.

The Site of the Ill-fated Squirrel Capture

We discovered Jekyll as young newlyweds and have been taking our children to the island for years. One of the big draws for our family is the abundance of family friendly activities. It’s easy to rent bikes by the hour or by the day and bike around the twenty miles of paved bike trails. Along the way we stop at the South Dunes area in hopes of catching a glimpse of an alligator or other wildlife. We have tons of stories of alligator, snake, shark, right whale, and the more tame deer, squirrel, dolphin or raccoon sightings while strolling along the nature trails or beach. We even have a story of how my daughter, then four, managed to catch a squirrel by the tail before we could stop her. 

Check out the People Playing Croquet in their Croquet Outfits on the lawn of the Jekyll Island Club
For history buffs,  the Jekyll Island historic district brings a glimpse into the lives of Millionaires like J. P. Morgan, Joseph Pulitzer, and William K. Vanderbilt, who purchased the island and built “small winter cottages” and a Jekyll Island Club resort for their own private entertainment.  Today many of these shops have been transformed into museums and charming shops. My kids’ love the Sweets Shoppe featuring homemade fudge in yummy flavors like peanut butter,  mint or double chocolate.  

Example of a “Small Winter Cottage”
One of the favorite pastimes of our children while on the island is visiting Summer Waves water park. It’s eleven acres of twisting and turning water slides, a lazy river which is exactly my speed when I’m on vacation, a wave pool and a complete kiddy area for the little ones. When the kids were younger I opted for the Night Splash, offering discounted admission after 4 PM.  It gave the kids plenty of time to enjoy the water park, tire them out before bed, and saved me money, a definite winning combination.  
The best part about Jekyll is the lack of crowds. I’m able to get plenty of nature shots,  the kids are able to play mini golf, bike, hike, play in the ocean and Bryan can walk along the shore line without worrying about bumping into someone.  It’s tranquil, relaxing and quiet. We’ve been on the island during cheer leading competitions and teen youth retreats and it’s still fairly quiet. I don’t know how they manage it! 

Feeding the Seagulls by hand is an activity my son has found he dislikes. Sometimes they peck!
A parking fee, used to maintain the island, is required before entering. For anyone staying for a week and planning to leave the island to visit the many area attractions, I suggest the weekly pass. 


This is NOT a sponsored travel post. We enjoy Jekyll Island and I wanted to share our experiences.

Pam is a former teacher turned work from home mom. When she's not caring for her kids or cats, she can be found whipping up tasty recipes, trying her hand at the newest techie gadgets or reading. She loves to travel whenever she has a chance and spends way too much time on the computer sharing her experiences.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Cinny Bbs February 14, 2013 at 3:05 pm

That is too cool!! Looks like a great place to visit.

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Crystal Threeprncs February 14, 2013 at 3:26 pm

What a beautiful place! I need to get out more ;)

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Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell February 14, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Oh wow, you’ve made me want to go for sure!!!! Looks WONDERFUL! I wonder how far that would be for me…need to look!

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Beeb February 14, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Beautiful place to visit!

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Nikki February 14, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Wow, that looks like such a neat place to visit! Love those hidden gems, they’re usually far less busy and you really get to see some neat stuff.

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The Shopping Duck February 14, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Beautiful! I am putting it on my list of places to visit!

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Randa Derkson February 14, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Looks beautiful! I would love the check that out.

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AMBER EDWARDS February 14, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Wow, that place looks absolutely amazing. I’ve never heard of Jekyll island before. But now I really want to go there.

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Barb W. February 14, 2013 at 7:47 pm

I always wanted to go there, but we never got around to making the trip when we lived in GA… now I really, really want to go!

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brich2222 February 14, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Have heard of this place. Very secluded spot for sure. Would love to visit this someday as I am in NC and not too far away

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Daisy B February 14, 2013 at 9:01 pm

How pretty and peaceful! I’d love to go there for a vacation!

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Unknown February 14, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Looks like a very photogenic place. This is somewhere my parents would love to visit, I’ll have to tell them about it.

Tesa @ 2 Wired 2 Tired

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Stefani @ MommyEnterprises.com February 15, 2013 at 4:46 am

That looks like a neat place to visit.

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PixyStik4U February 16, 2013 at 1:26 pm

oh wow this is a beautiful island!

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Mom's Small Victories February 20, 2013 at 2:34 am

I’ve heard wonderful things about Jekyll Island and it’s be a nice road trip for us. I love that its not as crowded and you can focus on the beauty of nature.

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Vanessa @SauteedHappyFamily March 22, 2013 at 5:02 am

Wow! I’m so glad I found this post (via ranting ginger blog hop). My family used to go to Jekyll every summer for years. We would spend all week just biking around the island, through the big live oaks lining the golf course, the pier, and historical district– so many great memories there! Whenever we move back to the US, I am taking my husband there asap! :D

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Rita Spratlen April 10, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Someday maybe I will get to Georgia! This sounds fun and the waterslides I would really love that just like I was a kid. I am in Oregon and I doubt I go here. Thanks so much for the sharing of a great place!

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