A Ride Around Jekyll Island

I have recently been inspired to reminisce on my past trips around the United States. Since having the opportunity to live in Europe, I’ve realized just how little I traveled while in the USA.  And I think that happens to a lot of us. We get comfortable staying in our little corner of the world, maybe taking a beach vacation every year or two if we are lucky, but we never fully appreciate what is at our doorstep. Sure, it is fun to dream of eating a baguette under the Eiffel Tower, or drinking a margarita in Mexico (and it is fun to do those things in real life), but there is lots of fun to be had, and lots of beauty to see right outside your doorstep.  I hope those of you who read my little blog on the regular will not mind little trips down memory land. Maybe they will inspire you to plan a weekend getaway or to research what is available to you within a short drive. I also hope that this will be helpful to those planning future vacations in the United States.  Don’t worry, I still have plenty to talk about from our European travels, too!

First up, this lovely little island off the coast of Georgia, Jekyll Island! Jekyll Island is one of Georgia’s barrier islands, known as the Golden Isles. Jekyll Island is home to miles and miles of biking and walking trails, beautiful and unique beaches, home to a water park, marshes, and a beautiful and quaint historic district! Jekyll Island is located just a few hours from Savannah, GA and Jacksonville, FL, making it the ideal day trip or weekend getaway for those in the area. While living around Savannah, GA I made a few trips to Jekyll Island. Once with my mom and one of my sisters, and then I loved it so much I brought my husband back, and then the two of us brought friends to the island a few times!

Jekyll Island is perhaps most famous for its unique beach, Driftwood Beach. Driftwood Beach will amaze you with its natural beauty. The beach resembles a tree graveyard. This is a gorgeous area of the island to walk up and down. Here you can find pieces of driftwood, take beautiful pictures, spot dolphins (I’ve seen them 4 times here!), and sometimes even find sea glass or sand dollars.  The reason Driftwood Beach looks the way it does is due to the north side of the island eroding.

I have so many pictures of Driftwood Beach. I apologize for the photo overload, but the beach really is amazingly beautiful!

 Some of the trees are so big that you can get inside of them!

To get to Driftwood Beach drive North on Beach View Dr. until you see the “Villas By the Sea” complex. Right after this complex there will be a small gravel lot (don’t blink, or you’ll miss it!) park here and follow the path to the beach. This is the most direct route. Alternatively, you can park at the Clam Creek Picnic Area and follow the trail down to the beach, but this is a longer walk and often times more crowded!

There are also “normal” beaches on Jekyll Island if you prefer to have a typical beach experience.

There are several beaches with boardwalk trails that will take you through lush forest to reach the beach. While on Jekyll Island I’ve barely seen other people other than the ones I am with. It is a very peaceful and relaxing place!

One of the best things to do on Jekyll Island is to rent a bike and bike the miles and miles of trails that the island offers. Bike rental is very reasonable. You can rent a bike all day for around $15 or you can bring your own. The trails will take you through the downtown, through the marsh, and even right next to the beach. There is a little something for everyone!

Above is what the trails look like when riding through the marsh!

One of our favorite stops during our bike ride was the ice cream shop located in downtown! Lots of flavors to choose from here! Below are more pictures from our bike ride. We rode through many residential areas and admired the beautiful and historic homes. I also really love to ride through trees covered in Spanish moss! It is so beautiful!

If riding bikes isn’t your thing, there is still plenty more that Jekyll Island offers! The downtown is filled with shops of locals selling their beautiful crafts. I picked up a very unique Christmas ornament in one of the shops. It was Santa made out of a clam shell. It was very cute! Jekyll Island is also home to the Georgia Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center, Summer Waves (water park), a museum, and a brewery. Make sure to swing by Great Dunes Park before you leave to see the beautiful sand dunes. A trolley tour around Jekyll Island is also offered!

To get into Jekyll Island you will need to pay a small fee of $6 per vehicle for a day pass. Other passes are available. See link below. There are camping and hotel accommodations available on the island. You can find out more specific info about those at http://www.jekyllisland.com/visiting/

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