The southernmost island of the Golden Isles, Jekyll Island, is defined by its abundance of recreational activities and natural beauty. Visitors of all ages savor 10 miles of white sand beaches, 63 holes of golf, an outdoor tennis complex, a waterpark, a fishing pier, nature centers, 20 miles of bike trails and a National Historic Landmark District. And there will soon be more to savor: recent developments have included an all-new beachfront convention center, a beautifully redesigned gateway corridor to the island, a beach village shopping and dining district, and more accommodations options.

Even with all of this new activity, the island’s development is still limited to just 35 percent of the available land area to preserve its critical barrier island ecosystem. Great lengths have been taken to honor this ratio while the highly anticipated revitalization of Jekyll Island moves forward. With so much to do on Jekyll Island, it's hard to choose what to do first. To help you plan your next Jekyll Island getaway, we've gathered our top 5 things to do on Jekyll Island:

1. Visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center 

Discover the wonders of sea turtles at this nature center, which not only offers interactive education exhibits, but rehabilitates injured turtles as well. In June and July during nesting season, you can also take a guided tour to see wild sea turtles on Jekyll Island’s beaches. Learn more and plan your family-friendly day at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.

2. Experience the History of the Island  

In the early 1900s, Jekyll Island was a private club retreat whose members included the Rockefellers, Morgans, Cranes and Goulds and represented over one-sixth of the world’s wealth. Today, it is owned by the State of Georgia, but this history can be dramatically revisited with a tram tour of the National Historic Landmark District, including many of the opulent mansions their millionaire owners called “cottages.”

3. Hit the Golf Links

Dating back to the days of the Rockefellers and Morgans, Jekyll Island Golf Club continues to be one of the premier golf destinations in the Southeast. With three 18-hole championship courses — as well as a 9-hole par-3 course — it will challenge golfers of all abilities for days on end.

4. Stroll on a White Sand Beach

Jekyll Island is home to some of Georgia’s finest beaches, including the often-photographed Driftwood Beach and Glory Beach, which takes its name from the acclaimed 1989 Civil War movie that was filmed on its pristine sands.

5. Enjoy a Variety of Accommodations

Whether you are drawn to a rustic retreat under the stars or a more luxurious getaway, the accommodations on Jekyll Island are invitingly varied. Stay at a grand historic hotel, rent an oceanfront property or even pitch a tent and go camping. Don't forget to check out unique Jekyll Island shops or restaurants near your hotel as well to round out your getaway!

There are far more than 5 activities available on Jekyll island and a lot more about the region itself. Feel free to learn more on Jekyll Island and go from there!