As one of the smallest of the Golden Isles along the coast of Georgia, Jekyll Island is known for its lush green spaces, calm beaches, and golfing opportunities. It's a hidden gem for relaxing with your friends and family as you enjoy outdoor activities, historical locations, and the natural world. Whether you want an action-packed vacation or just a fun getaway, Jekyll Island has something for everyone.
Enjoy the great outdoors in your tent or RV at the Jekyll Island Campground. With over 200 camping spaces, its central location makes it a great option for your home base as you explore. You can walk to many of the island's main attractions, like Driftwood Beach and Clam Creek, or rent a bike for further exploration.
You can visit and enjoy over 20 miles of natural beauty from a bike along Jekyll Island's many paved bike paths. Pick up a free map at the Welcome Center to plot your route for an active, entertaining day. If you don't bring your own, you can easily rent a bike and enjoy the fresh air. Take in the sights and explore as you bike along the beach, through forests, and into town.
If you want a different experience, consider horseback riding along Driftwood Beach. It's a wonderful way to enjoy a romantic getaway, family excursion, or group outing. For a truly unforgettable experience, take a ride at sunset or reserve a moonlight jaunt along the beach.
If being on the water is more your style, enjoy Jekyll Island by boat or paddleboard. Book a boat tour for potential dolphin sightings and learn about local ecology, history, and wildlife. Alternatively, enjoy a slower pace with a stand-up paddleboard, canoe, or kayak as you explore tidal creeks and marshes. Several outfitters provide guided kayak tours on the island, including the Tidelands Nature Center.
Back on land, you'll find that flora and fauna abound on Jekyll Island, creating the perfect environment for nature lovers. No wonder it's home to the 4-H Tidelands Nature Center, where you can indulge in educational activities that bring you closer to the area's coastal ecology. Check out the various live gallery exhibits featuring reptiles, saltwater life, and other displays.
Can't get enough of the water? Avid anglers and novices alike love the variety available in the Jekyll Island waterways, including right off the ocean pier at Clam Creek. Other locations, like Glory Beach, St. Andrew's Beach, and Driftwood Beach, also provide top-rated fishing opportunities. You can visit the Jekyll Island Fishing Center for bait and tackle or to book a fishing charter out on the ocean.
Aside from the many fish in the waterways, there's a wide variety of waterfowl, birds of prey, wading birds, and shore birds that are native to Jekyll Island. You can spot birds from the wildlife viewing platform behind the Welcome Center or from the old bridge deck on the causeway. Alternatively, you can book a Ranger Walk with a local park ranger for a bald eagle nest viewing tour.
To gain a deeper understanding of the wildlife preservation efforts on the island, enjoy an informative visit at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, a rehabilitation and education facility. Drop in to learn more about sea turtles and the center's impact on the coastal environment. You may be surprised to see how adorable a turtle hatchling can be.
After learning about the importance of beaches for turtles, you can enjoy all 10 miles of beaches on Jekyll Island. Great Dunes Beach offers excellent amenities for a full day in the water and fun on the sand. Additionally, Driftwood Beach is known for its picturesque landscape of natural driftwood sculptures that dot the beach, and it's one of the best things to do on Jekyll Island. It's a great spot for a romantic date or sightseeing visit with the family.
After some time in the water, dive into the rich heritage and history of the island with a visit to Mosaic, Jekyll Island's museum located in a historic stable building. The interactive exhibits and hands-on experiences allow you to step back in time and see how the culture and community on Jekyll island have evolved. From the museum, you can find other ways to explore the island with guided tours, special events, and highlighted historic landmark buildings.
The Jekyll Island Club is an old members-only winter retreat destination that first opened in 1886 and hosted many well-known historical figures from America's past. Enjoy visiting restored buildings built across the site from 1886 to the 1920s. You can explore on foot, on a guided trolley tour, or at a living history event to see the magnificent landscaping, charming structures, and historic architecture.
The Jekyll Island Club first introduced golf to the island in 1898, and the island is now a well-regarded golf destination. The Jekyll Island Golf Club has four courses of varying difficulty for golfers at every skill level. Keeping in line with the way that nature is cared for across the island, the courses here have Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Certification.
If golf isn't your thing, one of the best things to do on Jekyll Island is to spend a day at the Summer Waves Water Park with your family or friends. Open from May to September, the park features eight water attractions, a store, and a sandwich shop spread over 11 acres. You can also rent a cabana for the day to relax in comfort while your kids enjoy splashing, sliding, and swimming at the various attractions.
If the waterpark is too fast-paced, the Clam Creek Picnic Area is a fun place to relax and eat outdoors. People-watching, fishing on the pier, soaking in the lush green surroundings, and seeing the boats drifting by make it a fitting place for a time-out from the more active attractions and activities on the island. Plan your picnic for the evening and enjoy a beautiful sunset and views of the Sidney Lanier Bridge.
If you need another relaxing excursion, you can enjoy a walk through multiple habitats on a 0.7-mile loop along the Tupelo Trail to Horton Pond. As you walk, you can stop to read plaques about the various plant species that make up this maritime forest and see the island in a different light. Horton Pond has an observation deck where you can see wildlife, including birds, turtles, and alligators, on a floating basking platform in the middle of the pond.