Jekyll Island has a very unique history. The island was named by famous British General James Oglethorpe, who founded the colony of Georgia. Early on, the land was used to raise sea island cotton- a very profitable enterprise. In 1888, the entire island became an exclusive retreat, the Jekyll Island Club. Families such as the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts would visit each season, and enjoy the finest extravagances of the day. Hunting trips, carriage rides, parties, and lavish dinners were just some of the activities retreat-goers took pleasure in. This was certainly the place to be.
Then, during World War II, the families were encouraged to stay away from the island, as the government feared enemy bombing. Eventually, the retreat began to fall from grace, and after World War II, the State of Georgia bought the island for just $675,000.
Today, the famous Jekyll Island Club is part of a 240-acre National Historic Landmark District. Visitors will discover several historic structures, including homes. Guided tours, and exhibits further help visitors understand what made this place so special. The Jekyll Island History Center is full of exciting historical information. Tram rides through the Historic District depart from here.
Although this is a small island, a variety of lodging options are available. Upscale resorts, historic B&Bs, and even camping are all wonderful choices. Thankfully, sixty five percent of the island is, and will remain, undeveloped. This isn't a place looking to become a mega resort.
For those in search of recreation, Jekyll Island offers several opportunities. Bicycling may be one of the best ways to really discover this island, and over 20 miles of picturesque trails make it easy. For a different perspective, visitors should consider a self-guided nature tour, or a guided kayak tour. Bird lovers will respect that Jekyll Islandÿis also one of 18 sites featured on the well-known Colonial Coast Birding Trail. Summer Waves, a water park, is a fun place for the entire family to cool down.
Jekyll Island is a small barrier island, located in the southeastern part of the state. It is off the coast of Brunswick, Georgia, and only 30 miles from Florida.