As we have mentioned on several occasions, Georgia is famous for its barrier islands, a chain of islands stretching across Georgia’s coast, separating the mainland from the open ocean. Jekyll Island is one of the more famous barrier islands; it was a well-known resort for the wealthy during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, it is a popular vacation destination because of its beautiful beaches. We spent about half a day at Jekyll Island and explored several of its attractions.
Since we got to Jekyll Island around noon, we decided to eat lunch at Red Bug Motor’s Pizza and Pub. The restaurant was a small local place that was clearly a local hang out. We decided to just get a standard pepperoni pizza. We didn’t wait long for our pizza with lots of cheese, and it was the perfect way to relax before an afternoon of exploring.
We decided to check out Jekyll’s famous beaches, and we weren’t disappointed. Despite the fact that there were a fair number of people at the beach, we were still able to enjoy the nice waves crashing up the beach and the smooth sand.
After the beach, we paid a visit to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, which attempts to rescue sea turtles along the Georgia coast. The center has a small museum that teaches visitors about sea turtles and warns them about the perils that turtles face. The museum is informative, but the best part of the museum are the rescued sea turtles that visitors are able to see. Depending on when you visit, one can see any number of several different kinds of sea turtles, ranging from adults to young turtles. Some of these turtles, unfortunately, have been injured and are recovering. Thankfully, however, many of the sea turtles are able to be returned to the ocean after their time at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. Getting to see so many of the sea turtles up close, especially the young turtles, was a highlight of the trip. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center also has several different activities that visitors can do, including night walks that give visitors the opportunity to see a sea turtle and learn more about the work the center does.
After visiting the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, we stopped by one of the old tabby structures that still exist on the island, the Horton House. Tabby is a type of concrete that utilizes local materials such as oyster shells, sand, ash, and water. Few structures still exist that use Tabby, several of which are set amongst the Georgia barrier islands. Much of the Horton House still remains, so visitors are able to see what the tabby structures would have looked like. It’s also worth noting that Horton built the first brewery in Georgia, the remains of which are nearby.
It wasn’t hard to discover why Jekyll Island has been so popular for so many years. We definitely recommend visiting and suggest pairing it with further explorations of the Georgia barrier islands, such as Cumberland Island, Sapelo Island, or St. Simon’s Island.