Jekyll Island State Park

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“The Devil went down to Georgia, he was lookin’ for a soul to steal. He was in a bind, ‘cos he was way behind; he was willing to make a deal.” – Charlie Daniels

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Jekyll Island State Park, GA – Welcome back to Georgia, folks! Today we have quite the place to tell you about! It’s called Jekyll Island State Park and it boasts tons of interesting activities for both families and individuals alike. However, seeing how Hurricane Matthew has recently pounded through the area, there are sections of it that will not be operating. But, more on that later. For now, let’s focus on everything this Georgia paradise has to offer.

A Bit About Jekyll Island State Park History

Located in Glynn County, Jekyll Island State Park is actually a barrier island. At the same time, it’s also one of the Golden Isles of Georgia, as well as one of the Sea Islands. Today, visitors can witness tons of history throughout the area. This is because indigenous peoples in the region have long used this part of Georgia for seasonal recreation. As times went by, parts of Jekyll Island became privately owned. This started back in the colonial era.

Later, during the 19th and 20th centuries, a number of wealthy American businessmen developed parts of the island for private vacation homes. Eventually, the US government ordered its evacuation during WW II. The state of Georgia acquired all the property in 1947, for preservation and security purposes. No wonder, since the beaches of Jekyll Island State Park are known far and wide for their appeal. Vacationers frequent them almost on a daily basis, thus making the Island a hugely popular tourist destination.

Through The Years

The island, and therefore, namesake Jekyll Island State Park, was named after Sir Joseph Jekyll. Jekyll was General James Oglethorpe’s English friend and financier. In fact, it was Oglethorpe who named the island after Jekyll in 1733. Later on, during the 1800s, the island became an exclusive hunting club. Families the likes of Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Pulitzer, Baker, and Morgan frequented it. Today, however, the retreat, which was once private, is part of one of the largest preservation projects in the southeast. It is also known as The Jekyll Island Club National Historic Landmark District.

Finally, the area was established as a State Park in 1947. This was thanks to the Georgia state legislature, and of course, the Governor of the state of Georgia. It is because of them that we are today able to enjoy everything this natural oasis has to offer. A historic sanctuary in its own right, Jekyll Island State Park is today known worldwide as a definite place to see before one departs from this Earth.

Some Of Our Favorites, Folks

The Jekyll Island Museum, for example, is a very convenient way to learn more about this wonderful place. The island’s long history is intertwined to the point where one cannot deduce where opulence and luxury begin and balance and nature take over. The museum actually organizes several tours throughout the island that help visitors decipher just that. The Passport to the Century Tour, for example, is a guided tram tour. It focuses on the Jekyll Island Club National Historic Landmark. The Faith Chapel Tour takes visitors to the famous chapel built by Frederic Baker. Lastly, the Rockefeller Experience Tour is…well, just what it sounds like!

Furthermore, several historic sites in Jekyll Island State Park are available for renting. The aforementioned Faith Chapel is one of them. Now a romantic setting for weddings, it was built exclusively for use by the Jekyll Island Club’s prestigious members. The Horton House, for example, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. At the same time, it’s one of the oldest tabby buildings in Georgia. The Villa Ospo should not be neglected, either. It is an ideal setting for indoor and outdoor affairs. Not to mention it represents a timeless blend of Italian and Spanish eclectic. If you’re interested in renting any of these historic buildings for a joyous occasion of your own, please contact Clint Joiner at cjoiner@jekyllisland.com (912.635.4403) for more information.

A Couple Of Options, Just To Get You Started

Accommodation in Jekyll Island State Park includes property rentals, campgrounds and hotels. We stayed at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, but have heard nice things about Villas by the Sea Resort and Conference Center and Days Inn & Suites. The Jekyll Island Campground is also hugely popular, and therefore might be worth exploring. The same goes for dining in Jekyll Island State Park. Our favorites include McGarvey’s Wee Pub Beach, as well as Driftwood Bistro, but you have tons of options throughout the area. As usual, you could go with our selection, or make your own. Whichever one it is, you won’t get it wrong.

IMPORTANT NOTE: As of October 15, 2016, the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew has left some areas of the island crippled and out of order. Therefore, call ahead to get up-to date information and avoid not being able to fully enjoy your Jekyll Island State Park visit. For example, the Jekyll Island Tennis Center is closed until further notice. Also, more than 50% of all beach crossovers on the island are either blocked or damaged, and are marked accordingly. DO NOT attempt to use those that are closed! Bike paths other than the one behind Flash Foods are all safe to use. Sections of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center are also closed and will resume regular admission fees on October 18. Lastly, the Pine Lakes and Oleander courses of the Jekyll Island Golf Club are also closed until further notice.

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