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I’d rather be boating… Jekyll Island, Georgia


Author: Nicki Belczak

If you’re looking for a boating destination that offers a rich history, natural beauty, and first-class amenities, set a course for Jekyll Island, Georgia.

Jekyll Island Sunset: Source Flikr ©CC- BY-NC-ND 2.0 Neal Wellons

Jekyll Island Sunset: Source Flikr ©CC- BY-NC-ND 2.0 Neal Wellons

Located between Jacksonville, Florida and Savannah, Georgia, Jekyll Island is the smallest of Georgia’s Golden Isles barrier islands. But don’t let its size fool you—this little island offers an abundance of boating, fishing and recreational activities.

Spanish Moss, Jekyll Island: Source Flikr ©  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 John O’Sullivan

Spanish Moss, Jekyll Island: Source Flikr © CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 John O’Sullivan

With miles of white sand beaches, golf courses, a water park, fishing pier, bike trails, nature center (the Georgia Sea Turtle Center), tennis and soccer centers, lodging options that include hotels, cottages and campgrounds, and a landmark historic district, the island is a boater’s vacation paradise. Yet ironically, one of its greatest assets is its lack of development.

Georgia Sea Turtle Center: Source Flikr © CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Christopher P. Bills

Georgia Sea Turtle Center: Source Flikr © CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Christopher P. Bills

To preserve its unique eco-system, by law 65% of the island must remain undeveloped. So you’re not likely to find the crowds common at many beach resorts. You will find pristine waterways and amazing biodiversity— including dolphins, herons, eagles, sea turtles, and if you’re lucky, even a manatee.

Great Egret: Source Flikr © CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Evangelio Gomez

Great Egret: Source Flikr © CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Evangelio Gomez

Paddlers can explore the marshes and tidal creeks by kayak, canoe or stand up paddleboard.

Kayaking: Source Flikr © CC BY-NC 2.0 UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences

Kayaking: Source Flikr © CC BY-NC 2.0 UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences

Anglers will find no lack of places to wet a line—offshore, from a dock or from the shore. Gulf stream species include grouper, sea bass, tuna, and marlin. In-shore fishermen can also reel in trout, bass, tarpon and whiting.

Jekyll Island Fishing: Source Flikr © CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Mark Kortum

Jekyll Island Fishing: Source Flikr © CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Mark Kortum

While the island is accessible by car, boaters can cruise in via the Intracoastal Waterway. Jekyll Harbor Marina is at Mile Marker 685. This full-service marina features boat slips, floating docks, dry storage, a pump-out facility, restaurant, and more.

Jekyll Island Club: Source Flikr © CC- BY-NC-ND 2.0  Evangelio Gonzalez

Jekyll Island Club: Source Flikr © CC- BY-NC-ND 2.0 Evangelio Gonzalez

For more than four decades Jekyll Island was a private club and winter retreat for some of the wealthiest Americans, including the Astors, Pulitzers, Rockefellers, and Vanderbilts. No visit to Jekyll Island is complete without a trip to the Historic District where the thirty-four historic structures that remain on the former Club grounds offer a glimpse of what was once the richest, most exclusive club in the world. The Club closed in 1942 and the state of Georgia bought the island for a state park in 1947.

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2 thoughts on “I’d rather be boating… Jekyll Island, Georgia

  1. Propeller Depot

    Jekyll Island is one of my favorite summer destinations. Always stop there for a few days on our trips from Florida to North Carolina. Boating and fishing is top notch there in Jekyll, I’ve caught some really nice reds over the years. Driftwood Bistro is fantastic for dinner.

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