Turtles, Treasure Hunting and Treats: Things To Do in Jekyll Island, Georgia

We spent a weekend recently camping in Brunswick, Georgia at Blythe Island Regional Park Campground, you can read about that here. Blythe Island is about 20 minutes away from Jekyll and St. Simon’s Islands. We spent most of our days during our camping trip at both places and really got to know them both a lot better than any other visit.

This time our main attraction to visiting Jekyll Island was to visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. To prep for the trip I was telling Liam that we were going to visit a Turtle Hospital and he was very interested in seeing what that was all about. The weekend we visited they had an all day event going on at the Turtle Center and had various activities and presentations to checkout throughout the day.

Now let me back up a bit. As I mentioned we camped outside of Jekyll Island at Blythe Island Regional Park Campground in Brunswick, GA – so that means you have to drive over to both Jekyll and St. Simon’s Island and as far as Jekyll Island goes that means you have to pay $6.00 as an “entrance” fee to the island. They started this a few years back, the first time we ever went there was not a charge to enter the island. It’s kind of strange that you have to pay that fee, but you do and I’m sure some of the fee goes to maintaining the island since its’ SO CLEAN. But here’s an Money Saving Tip, the $6.00 entrance fee is good for 24 hours so if you enter say 10:00 am on one day and can get back over there before 10:00 am the next day – you just scan your ticket (do not throw it out) and you can get into the island again for another day… kind of for Free. So there’s one cost saving tip for your visit.

Our first stop on Jekyll Island was the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, what a great place to visit. It was our first time visiting the center and I highly recommend it.

Here’s a little bit about the Georgia Sea Turtle Center from their website:
The Georgia Sea Turtle Center was created and is operated by the Jekyll Island Authority as a primary conservation program dedicated to increasing awareness through sea turtle education, rehabilitation, and research programs. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center empowers individuals to act locally, regionally, and globally to protect the environment.

We visited the center on a Science Saturday which I believe is a monthly event that they offer. (It costs $7.00 for adults, $6.00 for seniors (over 62) and $5.00 for kids (4-12) under 3 you get in for free) You can come and go all day with the cost of admission, which was nice because we actually went in the morning visited for awhile, looked at the schedule of events planned our afternoon and went to have lunch in the meantime. Some of the daily activities include “Meet the Patients” and “Patient Feeding”. We really enjoyed everything about the Georgia Sea Turtle Center from visiting the educational/museum area to seeing the turtles in person to the extremely friendly staff and volunteers that work at the center. They offer so many great events and activities I would definitely put this stop on your list. Side Note: There is RV Parking at the Georgia Sea Turtle Museum if you are just passing thru.

The general area where the Sea Turtle Center is located is all very nice. In this part of Jekyll Island you will find the Jekyll Island Club Hotel which as been around for a long time and is a National Historic Site. It was once the winter retreat for some of America’s wealthiest families. While we were there we walked around the outside of the hotel and then went for a coffee at their cafe. Here’s another Money Saving Tip: if you visit the cafe after 4:00 pm so 4:01 pm on you can enjoy the delicious sticky buns and some other pastry items for half price. YUM.

Here some more pictures from around the Jekyll Island Club:

Jekyll Island has 20 miles of beautiful bike paths, which hopefully next time we’ll partake in, what we did partake in this time was searching for one of the island treasures they hide daily from January 1st to February 28th all around the island. The history behind these treasures is back in the early 1900s, east coast fishermen used hollow glass balls, or floats, on their nets as markers. Occasionally, the floats would break loose and wash ashore for lucky beachcombers to find and keep. Collecting these rare, highly sought after glass floats became a hobby in the 1950s. These days the glass floats are part of a hide-and-seek style game played on Jekyll Island every day throughout January and February. Each day, volunteers called Beach Buddies hide two to five glass floats around the island for lucky guests to find and keep. We REALLY wanted to find one, but didn’t. 🙁 But we did encounter someone on Driftwood Beach who did find one so we know it’s real and possible. 🙂 It was really cool looking. We’ll keep looking.
Here’s a picture from Jekyll Island’s Instagram feed so you can get an idea of what they look like:

Before we left on our trip someone had recommended we check out the old Jekyll Island Amphitheater. It has been abandoned but you can still “hike” to it and check it out. It is supposedly haunted now…. it’s off the beaten path and was worth taking a few minutes out of our trip to check it out. I’m pretty sure all the kids will think it’s cool if you hype it up about being haunted. The Amphitheater is located across from the historic district and a little bit down the road from the Firehouse, so if you can find the fire house then you can find the turn off from the road for the amphitheater – there are no signs you just have to guess. There are two paths (left or right) that go around from the back of the amphitheater that you will take and then come to the old amphitheater. It’s pretty cool to see.

After that we headed to Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island. This is just such a cool beach and if your little one likes to climb then it’s the place for you. I think I took a million pictures. It’s just so beautiful. This is a year round pet friendly beach, which is great so we could take Zico out for some fun too.

If you’re interested in seeing more pictures of Driftwood Beach head over to our Facebook Page, We RV Together.

We also visited St. Simon’s Island for a little bit on this trip. We mostly went on Sunday evening for something Chocolaty and boy did we find something.

I googled Best Chocolate Cake in St. Simon’s Island and it came up with Barbara Jean’s Restaurant’s “Chocolate Stuff”. It was like chocolate cake, meets lava cake, meets a chocolate trifle YUMMINESS. It was good although we probably could have gotten the smaller portion. 🙂 Apparently Barbara Jean’s is known for her Crab Cakes too, we’ll have to go back and try those out. The Chocolate Stuff was good!

After that we walked around the pier and coastline for a bit in St. Simon’s and snapped a few photos as the sun was setting.

We had a wonderful trip this is such a beautiful part of Georgia to go visit. I hope we have given you some ideas of things to do while in Jekyll Island or St. Simon’s Island. Have you been there? Have you visited the Georgia Sea Turtle Center?

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