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Jekyll Island is a unique vacation destination that offers diverse avenues for adventure and family fun. From history to nature walks, beach activities to golf or horseback riding, Jekyll Island has something to offer everyone. When Jekyll Island was first purchased by the state of Georgia, it officially became the Jekyll Island State Park and then, in 1950, the state chartered the Jekyll Island Authority to manage the island on behalf of the state. The Island has become renowned for the preservation of its natural resources, even as it provides public access to thousands of visitors annually. The island is located at the mouth of two large rivers which dump rich soil offshore that is carried onto some areas of the island’s beaches. As the rich mud washes ashore, visitors are often rewarded with finding sand dollars and other beautiful shells buried deep in the sand and mud. There is a large sand bar stretching way out into the sea that is fun to explore during low tide, and Jekyll Island’s unique salt marsh ecosystem, its beaches and shore birds are the focus of walks led by Coastal Encounters Nature Center. Loggerhead sea turtles are protected on the island, where they return year after year to lay their eggs. Guided evening turtle walks are offered June through mid-August by the Jekyll Island Turtle Project. Jekyll Island is also one of the 18 sites along the Colonial Coast Birding Trail, and guided nature walks are held year round on the island.

In 1972 the Jekyll Island Historic District, also called “Millionaire’s Village,” was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in 1978 it was elevated to a National Historic Landmark. Guided tours are offered every day except Christmas and New Year's Day, and inside the welcome center, you can first view an 8-minute video presentation on the history of the island, and obtain tickets for a narrated tram tour. The tram will take you around the village, stopping at least 4 of the restored cottages. Thirty-three of the original buildings from the late 1800s still stand, including a church with a stained glass window that was installed personally by Louis Comfort Tiffany. However, the grand Jekyll Island Club House remains the centerpiece of the historical district, and is a member of Historic Hotels of America. Inside, the public rooms are reminiscent of the best of days gone by, with elegant stuffed couches and chairs, huge fireplaces, beautifully polished wood floors and ornate doors and woodcarvings. Self-guided tours of the 240-acre village are another possibility, or you can view the village by horse-drawn carriage.

There are over 20 miles of trails that meander around the island, perfect for hiking, walking, jogging or biking (there are numerous places around the island to rent bikes.) Jekyll Island also has 63 holes of golf and 13 clay tennis courts, horseback riding (with beach and trail riding available,) kayaking and canoeing and ten miles of uncrowded beaches for sunning, swimming, shelling and exploring. There are also ample opportunities for fishing, including deep-sea charters and offshore boating. Other activities include dolphin watching and an 11-acre water park.


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