More than just turtle eggs have hatched on this historic island. More than 100 years ago the biggest banking magnates in America (comprising 25% of the world’s wealth) came to the unspoiled soft sand beaches of Jekyll Island where they gave birth to The Federal Reserve.
Say what you will about that fateful meeting which changed the American financial system forever. Then and now, the island’s unspoiled beauty, exclusivity and accessibility have made it the perfect place for an undisturbed vacation.
Credit: ken ratcliff
Jekyll Island State Park
Jekyll is a barrier island sitting just off the coast of southern Georgia about 40 miles (64km) north of the Florida border and about 90 miles south of Savannah. It is famous for being one of the Golden Isles of Georgia, historically inhabited or frequented by America’s most élite families, including the Rockefellers, Morgans, and Vanderbilts.
The Federal Reserve aside, the island is also known for its ten miles (16km) of pristine beaches and sandbars, ancient forests, calm lakes, lazy rivers and diverse wildlife, as well as many outdoor activities.
Credit: JKD Atlanta
Where To Stay
Jekyll Island has it all. From stately mansions, luxury suites, summer cottages and beach-side bungalows, to plotted campsites hidden in the trees. If you plan on doing some deep-sea fishing or dolphin spotting, consider chartering a boat and staying onboard. Docking in the marina buys you the right to every amenity, while free bicycles and extensive trails give you easy access to the entire island.
Credit: BSC Photography
Miles of soft sand beaches are perfect for sun tanning, swimming, long walks or easy jogs. A popular wedding location, Driftwood beach in the north is the most striking with picturesque driftwood graveyards lining the shore.
Not to be outdone, Glory Beach is lovely as well with a long boardwalk taking visitors through dunes, sloughs, meadows and a rich collection of flora and fauna.
Many golfers come to the island for its three excellent and challenging courses whereas fisherman are drawn there for its variety of platforms such as deep-sea fishing, beach and pier casting and lake fishing. Rent a boat or kayak and explore the coastal waterways. Enjoy a sunset ride on horseback along the beach or arrange a nature tour into the heart of the island.
No trip to the island would be complete without absorbing some of its historical points of interest. Make sure to visit the Jekyll Island Club National Historic Landmark District, the Historic Wharf, and the Jekyll Island Museum, including its interesting archeological sites.
The kids will love splashing around in Summer Waves Water Park, learning at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and playing sports in the summer camps.
Whether you come for history or tranquility, plan a trip to this exciting yet peaceful island where politics, business and finance quickly becomes a thing of the past.
When To Go
The best time to visit Jekyll Island is during the spring from March to May when the weather is pleasant.
From March to May, the average high temperatures range from 74 to 81°F (23 to 27°C), low temperatures range from 53 to 65°F (11 to 18°C), and precipitation ranges from 0.6 to 1.6 inches (15 to 40mm) each month.
Getting There & Around
Jekyll Island is located between Savannah and Jackson Georgia in the Atlantic coast.
The best way to get to Jekyll Island is to fly into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport near Atlanta and either catch a connecting flight to Jekyll Island Airport or drive 284 miles (457km) to Jekyll Island.
- Mid-range accommodations: $75-125
- Meals: $15-20
- Bottle of beer: $3.50
- Golf: $50
- Stop by the Café Solterra for a warm pastry and cup of coffee for breakfast.
- Check the Calendar of Events for annual festivals, concerts, trivia nights, and more.
- Visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center to learn more and help protect the sea turtles. They typically come to shore in May.
- Miss the spooky nighttime Ghost Walk tour of the St. Simons Lighthouse, allegedly the third most famous haunted lighthouse in the nation.
- Forget to bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.
- Miss the Jekyll Island Museum and Visitor Center for maps, activities, and further information on the island.
- Jekyll Island is part of the Golden Isles of Georgia.
- Jekyll Island is one of the few islands in Georgia that’s accessible by car.
- Before European inhabitants, the Muskogian Indian tribe resided on Jekyll Island.
Feature Image Credit: BSC Photography