Things to do in Jekyll Island

This post is sponsored by The Jekyll Island Authority. All opinions are 100% my own.

We recently escaped the hustle of our busy schedules and traded our cell phones for seashells in Jekyll Island, Georgia. One thing I love about living in North Florida is that there are so many weekend trips just a drive away. Jekyll Island has been on our “must see” list since we moved here a year ago. With it’s rich history and beautiful landscape – it’s definitely a southern destination. Jekyll Island is a barrier island off the coast of Georgia, just about an hour north of Jacksonville, FL (where we live). It’s a darling quaint little place that has everything you need and nothing that you don’t. While there are plenty of things to do in Jekyll Island, you aren’t overwhelmed with activities. It seemed like it was just enough for us to see and do while maintaining a level of leisure and relaxation. 

What to do on Jekyll IslandThings to do in Jekyll Island

When we checked into our hotel, the Holiday Inn Resort Jekyll Island, we were greeted by the most luxurious beds that made us feel right at home. The newly-renovated resort is right on the beach and has everything on the property for your to enjoy the outdoors. We loved the deck with adirondack chairs for lounging and enjoying the large fire pits. The pool is gorgeous and children’s playground was a highlight for Millie. As a family, we most enjoyed having the beach just steps away.

The entire visit was a combination of fun and relaxation. Disconnecting the devices and heading to Jekyll Island was the perfect way to connect as a family.

So, what are the things to do in Jekyll Island? Well, I have a few suggestions

Jekyll Island Family Vacation IdeasEnjoy the Beach

The beaches in Jekyll Island are top notch. When we arrived, one of the first places we went was to Driftwood Beach. It feels almost sacred the way these giant ancient trees are lying about on the beach. We also enjoyed walking the beach that our hotel was on. The girls found tons of seashells while Matt and I searched for a sand dollar. And wouldn’t you know that on the very last day of our trip Matt found one.

Jekyll Island VacationGo Mini-Golfing

Maybe not exactly what you had in mind but, if you ask Peighton (and probably Millie) what their favorite part of the trip was, it would for sure be mini golfing. We had the best time! The course is perfect for young and old. They even had a cute plastic putter for Millie to use. After we golfed a full 18 holes, we enjoyed the children’s playground near the course.

Family Vacation to Jekyll IslandRent Bikes

One thing I noticed about Jekyll Island is that everyone rides bikes. It’s so fun to hop on a bike and ride leisurely through town. Especially in the historic district, it’s easier to get around by bike and way more fun. The surroundings are idyllic with hundred-year-old live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss.

What to do in Jekyll IslandThe Crane Cottage – my favorite

Check out the Jekyll Island History Museum

Matt and I are big on history so whenever there is a history museum we have to check it out. Jekyll Island has a very rich history. Not only is there a ton of information, they offer some pretty unique tours. We did a guided tram tour, called Passport to the Century tour, that took us all around the historic district to see up close many of the historic landmarks in Jekyll Island. We were able to go inside two of the historic cottages from when Jekyll Island was a private island many years ago. We learned that no matter how large the homes were as a part of the Jekyll Island Club, they were called cottages. It was really remarkable to see the detail of these gorgeous cottages up close.

What to see on Jekyll IslandDid you know? Jekyll Island began as a hunting club for the wealthiest families – the original club building still exists and is very well maintained. It is a treat to see with its historic charm.

10 things to do in Jekyll IslandSpend Time at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center

The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is unique because while it’s an education center it’s also a working hospital/rehab facility for a variety of wildlife patients, including birds, snakes, tortoises, and sea turtles. We had the opportunity to learn so much about the species just before seeing them up close. We learned about each specific turtle that was currently in the rehab facility, we got to watch them feed, and even got to see new hatchlings.

Georgia sea turtle center in Jekyll Island, GAOne turtle, Logan, had so much spunk, Peighton loved him. It was also a great teaching moment for Peighton about the importance of protecting wildlife and how we can all do our part

Visit the Jekyll Island Market

For good food, cute trinkets and souvenirs, and the best ice cream we’ve ever had, visit the Jekyll Island Market. We headed over there for dinner our first night in town. We grabbed some sandwiches and chatted with a couple of other vacationers. One gal told us that she had been visiting Jekyll for over 40 years and recommended we try the ice cream at the market. I never have to be convinced to try dessert so we gave it a go. Our favorites were the blueberry muffin and key lime pie. We loved it so much we came back the next day, and then the next. So delicious.

When we left Jekyll Island it was if we were leaving a time in history, not just a place. I can’t wait to go back.

Tell me, have you been to Jekyll Island? What is your favorite part about this charming place?

What to see and do in Jekyll Island

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  1. We go to Jekyll Island every May for our Patrick Reunion. Been going there for the last 11 years. Everybody looks forward to seeing each other on that beautiful island. We usually have at least 12 to 15 first cousins, plus their spouses and other members of their family. Going next week end. Can’t wait!

    1. oh that sounds like a blast! I noticed there are a lot of families that have been visiting Jekyll Island for years. Such a fun tradition! Enjoy!!

  2. Thank you for sharing your vacation with us! I live on Jekyll and enjoy hearing how others feel when they leave – always a positive encounter! I operate a kayak and paddle board business called Turtle Tides Jekyll. If you ever get back this way check us out! We have tours and rentals and we offer the new HME boards and EBikes too!

  3. So glad I found this. I just booked a family trip to Jekyll Island, as something different from our traditional Florida panhandle vacation or Smoky Mountains camping, and was looking for experiences not written for travel or tourist site. We can hardly wait to explore.

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