In the late 1800s, a group of northern millionaires, among them the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Goulds, Astors, Morgans and Goodyears, sent a team of experts to find a spot that would offer natural beauty, complete privacy and excellent weather so they might escape the northern winters. They selected Jekyll Island Georgia, and under their direction it became the most exclusive resort in the nation called the Jekyll Island Club. It is said the membership represented one-sixth of the world's wealth - and no unwanted or uninvited person ever visited the island from 1888-1942. Today 35% of the island is developed. The other 65% will be preserved in a natural state. Ten hotels with over 1,500 rooms offer accommodations from family-oriented to luxury. Resort facilities include 63 holes of golf, a convention center, nine miles of beach, tennis complex, a summer water park, soccer complex, nature center, bike trails and fishing piers. The Jekyll Island National Historic Landmark District is one of the largest restoration projects in the Southeast.
Jekyll Island sits in close proximity to Brunswick & The Golden Isles all ideal venues for travelers interested in nature and outdoor pursuits. Many are captivated by the abundant natural beauty of the area, from the ubiquitous moss-draped live oak trees to the expansive Marshes of Glynn. Many areas on the mainland and the islands remain undeveloped. Jekyll and Little St. Simons Island – are protected from further development and are great locations for enjoying vast stretches of unspoiled beaches, maritime forest and marshes.
Little St. Simons Island is family-owned, and is limited to no more than 30 guests at a time. The accommodations are elegant but rustic, the staff graciously attentive and service-minded. Guests here have the option of guided activities – nature walks, canoeing and kayaking, birding, etc. – or are free to explore the island on their own.
Jekyll Island is owned by the State of Georgia and is administered by the Jekyll Island Authority. Because development is limited to 35 percent, most of the island remains in a pristine state.
Since the islands are on the Southern Flyway, they are especially attractive for birders. In fact, St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island feature several stops along the Georgia Coastal Birding Trail, which was introduced in Fall 1999. Jekyll Island also was named an Important Birding Area (IBA) by the Georgia Audubon Societies in Fall 2001.
Since these islands are located along the Intracoastal Waterway, the area provides access to great fishing in the expansive rivers and marshes as well as offshore fishing and diving.
Situated on the Georgia coast, midway between Savannah, GA and Jacksonville, FL Jekyll is just minutes from I-95 at Exits 29, 36, 38 and 42 for those land-cruisers. Few places can match The Golden Isles' wealth of attractions, amenities and activities. Miles of sun-drenched beaches, 234 holes of golf, historic sites and museums, fishing and water sports, quaint specialty shops and galleries, nature programs, casino/cruise ship and more combine to create memorable getaways. Local restaurants yield an abundance of options from fine dining to casual, waterfront meals.
Accommodations range from convenient Interstate hotels and bed-and-breakfast inns on the mainland to a world-class island resort, private island retreat, historic oceanside and riverfront hotels, golf and tennis resorts, rental cottages and campgrounds.
Submitted by Onshore Magazine