If you’ve followed us for a while, you know how much we love finding new and unique adventures, as a family, everywhere we go. But every once in a while, Dave or I will take a solo trip somewhere with our friends. This past weekend was one of those trips. A few of my best friends and I decided to head to the Jekyll Island Club Resort for a few relaxing days away.
First things first- if you’re unfamiliar with this resort, here’s a quick background: in 1879 Jekyll Island became an exclusive and private hunting club for some of America’s wealthiest people. This club purchased the island and became a “retreat for families that represented 1/6 of the world’s wealth.” Over the next century, this club designed a golf course, built multiple cottages and suites, went through new ownership, and eventually reopened in 1987. In 1948, Jekyll Island became a State Park after the state of Georgia purchased the island from the club. Today, the resort boasts an expansive historic property as well as a new, modern ocean-front property, The Jekyll Ocean Club. (To read the entirety of the history, you can check it out here). The rich history as well as the uniqueness and accessibility to both of the properties is what continues to lure us back to the Jekyll Island Club Resort.
My first recommendation is that you rent bikes from the on-site bike shop. The island maintains beautiful bike paths that weave through old oak trees and gorgeous landscapes. For our trip, we rented tandem bikes because… “When in Rome.” They were definitely more difficult than riding normal one-seater bikes, but the bikes provided many laughs! We also used these bikes to traverse the short ride between the historic property and the ocean front property.
Visiting the Sea Turtle Center is a must. It is located on the premises of the resort directly behind the bike shop. Their mission is education and rehabilitation. There were quite a few recovering “patients” there, as they called them, and even some babies! Every kid in the place was loving it. Many of the sea turtles would eventually return to the wild. However, one of them was paralyzed to the point that he could not move his two back flippers, and the team was looking for a long term home for him, perhaps at the Georgia Aquarium. There was also one injured turtle that had just come in the night prior to our visit. It was unable to move its front flipper after some kind of accident. The team thought it was due to either a boat strike or a large predator. He was bandaged up and being hand-fed when we observed him. They were hopeful for a full recovery, but only time would tell. It is $9 per adult but after seeing the turtles, you can rest assured it is money well spent!
On sunny days, one can lounge poolside at either property or head to the beach where lounge chairs and umbrellas await. At night, the resort boasts open-air restaurants on both the beach and pier, antebellum-style porches for lounging, and multiple maintained bonfires in fire pits. A number of other outdoor adventures await around the island: Shark Tooth Beach, Driftwood beach, golfing, boat charters, Summer Waves Water Park, Museums, Historical Tours, or searching for “Island Treasures” (hunting for globes only happens 2 months out of the year. See our previous blog post here for details on this amazing microadventure.
We happened to visit during a tropical storm, so we had to get creative one of the days we were there. With much rain and many yummy restaurants and bars around the island we decided on a pub crawl. My sister mapped out our route, and the girls and I spent a rainy day hopping from one bar/restaurant to another while sampling their signature drinks and pairings. Needless to say, it was a day for the books!
No matter what your interests, The Jekyll Island Club Resort has a little has something for everyone. Check it out here!