Family vacations in Georgia don't have to be the same old ho-hum experience you've had in other places. There are many fantastic vacation destinations to choose from. Georgia has everything, from mountains flowing with cool, trout-filled streams to pristine Golden Isles basking in the sun to Big City cultural experiences. But one destination – Jekyll Island – sits at the top of my list as my “favorite family vacation spot” in Georgia.
Jekyll Island gleams like a jewel in its Golden Isle setting off the Georgia coast. Here, there's everything you could want in a family vacation destination - sun, sand and surf; sports; wildlife and nature; boating; sightseeing tours; history. There's only one thing missing - you and your family!
No need to put it off any longer. Pack a bag (pack light, you'll spend most of your time in T-shirts, shorts and sandals), grab a map, jump in the car, and head out. It's easy to get here overland from almost anywhere.
What's the best way to get here? Well, since we don't have teleportation yet, any of the tried and true modes of transportation will work. Check them out below.
If you're coming from somewhere relatively close and traveling by automobile or kid-friendly van, here are route maps to help get to Jekyll from several nearby points-of-departure.
Arriving from out of state (or from outside the United States)? You can fly in to Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta. From there, rent a car and plot your course. Your Jekyll Island vacation is only a five or six hour drive away. Better still - Savannah, Georgia or Jacksonville, Florida are only 75 or so miles from Jekyll. Both have fair-size airports.
Or fly into Brunswick, Georgia. It's practically next door.
Feeling really brave (and like spending a long time on the road)? You can take the bus. This might be the way to go if you're a childless couple bent on "roughing it". If you're feeling really adventurous and want to save on gas, give it a try - but don't say I didn't warn you! (Before we met, my wife tried this, and lived to tell about it - but she doesn't recommend it!)
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”- Mark Twain
Keeping with the adventure spirit...charter a private plane and fly into the Jekyll Island Airport. This small island airport overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway can easily handle small passenger planes. Their friendly staff will greet you with smiles, and can even rent you a Redbug to get around in!
I've always thought Jekyll Islanders have a little pirate in their blood, with a love of the sea and the ships that ply her waters. If boats are more your style, the Intra-coastal Waterway runs right by Jekyll Island's doorstep. Two marinas await your pleasure - the Jekyll Island Wharf (used by Millionaires in the past!), and a great Jekyll Island marina - the Jekyll Harbor Marina. The Jekyll Harbor Marina is especially suited for you "seadogs" traveling the Ditch as part of your family vacations in Georgia.
The gateway to Jekyll Island, Ga. is the City of Brunswick (sworn to by some to be the birth-place of Brunswick Stew), and the Downing Musgrove Causeway (GA 520) , built across the marsh specifically to access the island.
Just before you get to the M.E. Thompson Bridge spanning the Jekyll River you'll see the Jekyll Island Visitor's Center and Georgia State Patrol Post 35. Stop here, stretch your legs, and acclimate yourself to your surroundings. The folks at the Visitor's Center are refreshingly nice, and their knowledge of the island is phenomenal - encyclopedias with smiles!
From the Visitor's Center it's just a short jump to the island's entrance, and the true start of one of your more memorable family vacations in Georgia - your Jekyll Island experience. At the entrance kiosk , you'll find your "Jekyll Island Guide" - maps of the island, and information on upcoming events. You'll also need to pay your parking fee (currently $6.00 for a day pass).
Okay, pirates! Got your map? Good! You're ready for some
serious fun. And remember - family vacations in Georgia begin with
Jekyll Island Family Adventures!
Knowledge is Power
Know your island! For you pirates out there, that means where you can put in or take out a boat!
Straight from the horse's mouth: Jekyll Harbor Marina