Jekyll Island is renowned for its landmark Historic District, termed the "Millionaire's Village" long ago, with its 240-acre site containing 33 historic structures, including the Jekyll Island Club Resort and surrounding cottages that were once home to some of America's most wealthy and prominent citizens, including the Crane family, the Pulitzers, Morgans, Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, and Goodyear clan to name but a few. These privileged few used Jekyll Island as a hunting and golf retreat, spending lazy summers here and building these historic homes that have been lovingly restored to their former glory. Jekyll Island has been a part of many historic moments, including the first meeting of the Federal Reserve, and the first transcontinental telephone call.
Jekyll Island has received numerous awards and recognition for its preservation work that continues today, and has been named to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Other notable attractions include Faith Chapel, Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Horton House, and Plantation Oak, estimated to be 350-400 years old. Today, Jekyll offers visitors a trip back in time to a simpler, unhurried way of life. Vacationers can meander around the Historic District, visiting these restored cottage homes as well as numerous shops, restaurants and attractions such as horse carriage tours, or you can stay overnight in several of these historic homesites or the Jekyll Island Club Hotel which is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
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In 1898, members of the Jekyll Island Club created the Island's first golf course, Great Dunes. Since that time, Jekyll Island has welcomed golfers to a natural landscape and challenging play. With 63 holes on 4 golf courses, including Indian Mound, Oleander, Pine Lakes, and the historic Great Dunes. Jekyll's coastal scenery is unmatched in its beauty and makes golfing here a truly memorable event.
Located on Jekyll Island, Summer Waves Water Park features 11 acres of water thrills and spills. Ride the Atlantic Wave Pool, or take a plunge down Pirate's Passage which drops down a 300-foot, five-story tower. Nature's Revenge has two 40-foot slides that twist and turn into a large catch pool at the bottom. Flash Flood is a 350-foot-long curvy slide with double inner tubes, and Thunder and Lightning are twin slides that spiral down 150-feet of fully-enclosed tubes. Kids will enjoy the Splash Zone, which has water guns, a giant dunking bucket, and a water fun fort. Or for smaller children, the Kiddie Zone features two mini slides and waterfalls to play in. Turtle Creek is a lazy river that loops around the park for a relaxing cruise.
Features an interactive Exhibit Gallery and Rehabilitation Pavilion open to the public. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is a functioning hospital for ill and injured sea turtles and is the only hospital of its kind in the state of Georgia. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island offers a summer program to engage visitors with a unique understanding of the Island's endangered sea turtles. Ride with Night Patrol allows guests to accompany local biologists to the beach on all-terrain vehicles, where they will gain hands-on experience with sea turtle crawls, habitat, nesting and egg hatching.
Jekyll Island is rich in history and legend. Native Americans, Spanish missionaries, English settlers, French planters, millionaires, modern residents and tourists have all played a part in the evolution of Jekyll Island. Jekyll Island is now a family resort with ten miles of public beaches. The Jekyll Inn is the largest oceanfront resort on the Island, with 15 acres of oceanfront property.
The Jekyll Island Convention Center is the only oceanfront convention facility on the east coast south of New Jersey. Throughout the 128,000-square foot building, hints of the coastal environment are found. In addition to the large, flexible Atlantic Hall, the new convention center offers an additional 11 breakout meeting rooms, including the upgraded 3,000-square foot Ben Porter Oceanside Salon. Large pre-function areas and more than 30,000-square feet of patio and lawn function areas make the new center as malleable as it is efficient. The new center is perfect for groups from 25 to 6,450 delegates.
Jekyll Island has 3 main beach areas, Driftwood Beach, Glory Beach and Great Dunes. Jekyll experiences two high tides and two low tides each day. The tides reach 6 to 9 feet, a situation unique as compared to normal water patterns along the East Coast. Every 6 hours 12.5 minutes, Jekyll experiences a change in tides. The tides pervade deeply inland due to high tides and the gradual slope of Georgia's Coastal Plain, which results in the most expansive marshes of the entire Atlantic Coast.
Sand dunes on Jekyll Island are home to millions of species of plant and animal life. These communities are protected by the State of Georgia. It is our goal to promote the preservation of these natural habitats. According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, "these sand dunes form a natural buffer and protect upland homes, hotels and other buildings from the tides, winds, waves and storms. Morning glory vines, ghost crabs, sea gulls, Spanish bayonets and sea oats all made their home in and around the sand dunes. Many shorebirds lay eggs directly on the sand in the dune area. Even the threatened loggerhead turtles come ashore during the summer months to lay their eggs in the warm sands of our coast. The dunes are extremely fragile and the plants which hold the sand in place are easily killed by foot traffic.
Pitch your tent or park your RV and stay among the magnificent oaks draped with Spanish moss on Jekyll Island. The Jekyll Island Campground is a State Park with 179 campsites on 18 wooded acres located on the Island's north end, including basic tent sites to full hook-up, RV sites with electricity, cable TV, water and sewer. Enjoy Free Wi-Fi for registered guests. There is also a General Store on-site with amenities and supplies, community event center, two bath houses, as well as laundry facilities and bicycle rentals available. Click here for more info or to make reservations online.
Fishing is a favorite pasttime on Jekyll Island, whether it is onshore or offshore fishing charters, you'll find plenty to Explore for beginners to experts. Fishing charters, boat cruises and guided tours are available most days in season, with the Jekyll Island Marina and Jekyll Island Wharf provided easy access and supplies for anglers. At the north end of the island you will find Jekyll's campground, fishing pier, bait and tackle store and seasonal horseback riding.
Jekyll Island offers a variety of dining options to choose from, from casual to fancy, as well as places to grab a quick bite or take the whole family. We've compiled a complete directory of all the local restaurants on Jekyll, along with contact information and an interactive map so you can easily find the one you're looking for.
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Terrapins are the only turtle species in the world known to live their whole life in brackish water (a mixture of salt and fresh water, common in the Golden Isles). Found in the marsh habitat of Georgia's Barrier Islands, they have webbed feet with claws on each toe, allowing them to swim well and also walk on land at low tide.
Diamondback terrapins are one of the most common turtles to see along the causeway. Female terrapins are almost twice as big as the males. Because of their hard shell, female terrapins can't expand their bodies to accommodate eggs. A female terrapin grows to about 8 to 10 inches long in comparison to a male and she lays 8 to 10 eggs which take about 65 days to incubate.
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