A Nature Lover's Itinerary: Jekyll Island Activities
Jekyll Island is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. With miles of sandy beaches and vast expanses of mature maritime forests and preserved wetlands, the island’s rugged coastal beauty beckons for exploration. Plan a quick weekend getaway with these exciting things to do in Jekyll Island, from dolphin tours and fishing to golfing and biking.
After your journey to Jekyll Island, take a moment to relax and immerse yourself in the laid-back island lifestyle. At the north end of the island, grab an early dinner at Beach House, where low-country dishes such as shrimp and grits, andouille crusted sea trout and fried green tomato BLT will feed your stomach and your soul. Then, make your way to the fishing pier adjacent to the Clam Creek Picnic Area, where you can drop in a fishing line and enjoy the quiet beauty of dusk falling over the St. Simons Sound.
Take in the breathtaking beauty of lush coastal terrain with a round of golf at Jekyll Island Golf Club, Georgia’s largest public golf course. With three distinct 18-hole courses and a 9-hole course, you can navigate your way along the links while taking in views of ponds, forests and marshes.
Another option is a game of tennis at Jekyll Island Tennis Center, a public facility in an idyllic setting, offering 13 clay courts surrounded by moss draped oak trees and wild palmettos.
After working up a sweat, enjoy lunch in a casual, coastal outdoor setting at The Wharf, where you can fill up on fresh salads, gourmet sandwiches and hand-crafted cocktails while overlooking the river.
Then, spend a couple hours feeling the wind in your hair as you sightsee on two wheels. Jekyll Island offers more than 20 miles of paths and trails, which wind along scenic beaches, around sand dunes and past Jekyll Island attractions and historic sites. Rent a beach cruiser, and relish a leisurely ride around the island. While you’re cycling, take some time to stop and enjoy the many beaches, from the romantic Driftwood Beach to the popular beach at Great Dunes Park.
For an early dinner, indulge in an elegant yet casual dining experience at Eighty Ocean Kitchen & Bar, an oceanfront restaurant on Jekyll Island with a second-story outdoor deck to die for.
Then, experience one of the most memorable Jekyll Island activities possible: horseback riding along the beach to watch the sunset. Marvel at the natural beauty as you ride through maritime forests, past the salt marshes and along Driftwood Beach as the sky fills with delicate washes of oranges and purples.
For your last day, get a glimpse at the diverse wildlife in Jekyll Island. Spot bottlenose dolphins on the 90-minute narrated boat tour by Jekyll Island Dolphin Tours, or delve into the island’s natural habitat with a 3-hour guided kayak tour with 4-H Tidelands Nature Center, which will take you through Jekyll Island’s tidal creeks.
After a morning of boating, enjoy a casual lunch along Great Dunes Park. Located within the Jekyll Beach Village, there are a variety of local eateries with classic lunch staples on their menus.
Then, escape to a secluded natural habitat at Horton Pond, featuring an ADA-accessible observation deck where you can watch wildlife such as alligators, turtles and birds. Walk along the 0.7-mile Tupelo Nature Trail to spot unique plant life near the pond.
Meanwhile, at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, learn about sea turtles and the efforts being made for their rehabilitation. This center also offers a variety of programs during turtle nesting season, including guided turtle walks along the beach.