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Thread: Quick thoughts on Jekyll Island?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Prediction? Pain.'s Avatar
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    Quick thoughts on Jekyll Island?

    My wife is pushing for a last-minute trip to the beach next week, and we're considering Jekyll Island. But we've never been. Any thoughts on the place in general? And how about the weather, water, and crowds this time of year? Also, we've got a couple of very small children (3 years old and 10 months). From what I've read, the island seems pretty family friendly, but if any of y'all have thoughts on that too, I'd appreciate it.

    Context -- I'm a pasty hiker who's much more accustomed mountains and forests than beaches and coastal areas. So, seriously, even the most basic info is welcome.
    Last edited by Prediction? Pain.; 05-09-2017 at 11:05 AM.

  2. #2
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    you can't go wrong with any island on the GA/SC coast. Totally different than the gulf.

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    Senior Member FISHDAWG's Avatar
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    Jekyll is far less commercialized than it's neighbor Sea Island. There are a few good places to eat there but the better dining is a short drive to Sea Island... The Southern end is pretty good for bike riding and nature strolls ... The Northern end has a fishing pier and some fine golf courses. Jekyll is pretty laid back (more of a type B personality) There are some beaches there on the East side around the hotels, but not as much as you might think. I love Jekyll and went there for years but haven't been back since they built the convention center and some other development projects but I'm sure it hasn't changed Jekyll's ambiance.... I think yall would enjoy it there as it usually doesn't have the usual typical crowds of vacationers the way other coastal cities or islands do and that was a huge plus for me ... hang out on the beaches at night and you will probably see a sea turtle or two coming in to lay eggs. It also has some history to it as it was previously owned by the Rockefellers and was their own private retreat for a while ..... let us know how it went

    ETA - the water and the pools will still be cold this time of year but folks still get in ... Weather that time of year is quite pleasant.
    Last edited by FISHDAWG; 05-09-2017 at 01:06 PM.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator BeastMan's Avatar
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    I've always wanted to take a vacation to either St Simon, Jeckyll, or up to Charleston/Folly Beach.
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    Senior Member BrunswickDawg's Avatar
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    I live on the mainland and worked on Jekyll for 15 years as Director of Historic Resources (left in 2015). The biggest thing is that it is a slow pace, limited service (i.e. numbers of restaurants, night life shuts down early, etc.). But, if you are looking for a low-key, nature and history oriented family friendly vacation, it is tough to beat. Look into renting a house for a week. It is significantly cheaper that Gulf Coast beach rentals, and you can save a lot by not going out every meal - Jekyll Realty -http://www.jekyllrealty.com/ has the best houses. Feel free to PM me for more info.
    Last edited by BrunswickDawg; 05-09-2017 at 01:40 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Prediction? Pain.'s Avatar
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    Now that the sand is finally starting to clear out of our clothes, cars, and everything else, I thought I'd swing by for a quick post-vacation update.

    Jekyll Island is a pretty cool place. Much to my liking, there has been only limited development on the island, so the scene is very natural. Forests and dunes abound instead of endless strips of retail space, condos, and restaurants. There are biking trails through seemingly all of the island's environments -- next to the main road that hosts small residential areas and a few hotels, next to the ocean on the east and the river/channel/marsh on the west, through some dunes near the beaches, through the 130-or-so-year-old historic district, and through thick maritime forests (that I would've hiked if I had more time or less children to deal with). There is boat access for fishing trips and kayak exploration. There are rental houses and condos, but many are located amidst big old live oak trees. (Our condo's pool, for instance, was completely under the shade of twisty, mildly wind-gnarled oaks, which was a huge plus even with the sunny days being "mild" in the mid-80's.) And of course there are a lot of beaches, all of which were serene and uncrowded with little-to-no invasive development. (Yes, there are a couple of hotels on the beach, but even they are set back a bit and separated from the shore by dunes or tree lines.) The water's definitely not crystal blue like certain places in the gulf -- in fact, I think the water got cloudier and more brown as our week wore on, if that's possible. But so it goes. We didn't go there thinking we'd be snorkeling or anything.

    Restaurant scene is somewhat limited, but that was fine by me. We cooked in our condo's kitchen most nights, but could have easily driven 20 minutes or so to Brunswick of St. Simon's for lots of eating-out options.

    I'd like to go back again someday, hopefully when the kids are older. (Biking, kayaking, and horse-riding options are limited with a still-nursing 10-month-old and manic 3-year-old in tow.)

    Just to give a snapshot, here are some pics from the trip (with focus on Driftwood Beach, for good reason):



















    Notice what's missing from those pics? Other people. There were plenty of times that there was no one else in sight for as far as I could see in both directions down a beach. Maybe we hit the island at the perfect time -- mid-week, right before schools are out in the spring. Whatever it was, it was awesome.

    Your stomping grounds are pretty solid, BrunswickDawg.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BrunswickDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prediction? Pain. View Post
    Notice what's missing from those pics? Other people. There were plenty of times that there was no one else in sight for as far as I could see in both directions down a beach. Maybe we hit the island at the perfect time -- mid-week, right before schools are out in the spring. Whatever it was, it was awesome.

    Your stomping grounds are pretty solid, BrunswickDawg.
    Glad you enjoyed it. Jekyll really is a special place, and I enjoyed being a part of preserving its balance of development/undeveloped and its historic resources for 15 years. The cool thing about Jekyll is that there are beach areas you can go to on the 4th of July and be virtually alone. Driftwood Beach is magic. Also glad you included a pic of one of my favorite "cottages" - Cherokee. That was one of the first projects I worked on when I arrived on Jekyll in 2000. You would not believe the before pictures. Next time you visit, we will have to meet up for a beer.

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