May 22, 2023 We got a later start than planned because we wanted to wait for the rain to stop so we could walk Auggie before leaving. We left about 11:00 –destination, Jekyll Island.
These impressive entrance pillars to Jekyll Island led the way across the causeway over the marsh to the island.
There was a “toll” station to get onto the island where it said we had to pay a “parking pass fee”($8), which was really an entrance fee to get onto the island. It didn’t have anything to do with parking at all.
Driving on the island took us along beautiful live oak-lined roads. The island is more forested and natural than St. Simons Island.
The Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) parallels the island for awhile and then goes off to the west. We saw this trawler motoring north on the ICW from the island. The day was overcast with a ENE wind blowing at 17 mph, gusting to 25 mph. The temp was around 75 degrees and it sprinkled off and on all day for short periods. The wind created white caps on the water which didn’t make for a good boating day, especially going against the wind and waves.
Our first stop was going to be the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.
We entered the gift shop and Education Center with lots of hands-on exhibits.
In the Education Center, we saw how a loggerhead turtle digs its nest in the sand in the shape of light bulb and lays its eggs.
So far this year, Jekyll Island has documented 28 loggerhead nests and there have been a total of 323 loggerhead nests in the state of Georgia.
The Turtle Center his a Rehabilitation Center for injured and unhealthy turtles–loggerheads, greens, diamondback terrapins, and freshwater turtles.
Once out of rehab, the turtles are released into the wild, if possible.
If they can’t survive in the wild, they spend the rest of their days in zoos or aquariums.
As of the spring of 2022, Jekyll Island has had 1000 patients that they have nursed back to health.
It’s more than a hospital. It educates the public about these wonderful creatures. I loved our visit to the Turtle Center! The next stop of the day was to the Horton House Heritage Site.
The Horton House is one of the oldest tabby buildings in Georgia constructed in 1743. William Horton was the 1st English resident of Jekyll Island. He grew crops for the settlers at Frederica on St. Simons Island.
You can see the tabby walls here in this picture underneath the protective coating of stucco.
From there, we went to check out the Jekyll Island Campground.
It was pretty full, and as we drove through the campground we saw this beautiful older motorhome parked there.
Next, we drove to the Jekyll Island Fishing Pier.
It has a very unique design, great for fishing and crabbing in the shade. It is one of the three ocean piers on the Georgia Coast. The second one is on St. Simons Island that we visited yesterday and the third is on Tybee Island.
At the base of the pier, is the Jekyll Island Fishing Center full of souvenirs, snacks, and of course, all sorts of fishing gear.
We stopped at Tortuga Jacks Restaurant for lunch.
We sat outside on the tiki patio deck and had nachos. . . our favorite! The white stuff was lots of delicious cheese. It was difficult to eat outside in the strong wind, but we did our best.
I walked up to the boardwalk to get a look at the sand dunes and the ocean, but the dunes blocked my view.
From there, we took Riverview Dr. to the National Historic Landmark District. In 1866, Jekyll Island was purchased to become an exclusive winter retreat, known as the Jekyll Island Club (also referred to as Millionaires Village). It became recognized as the richest, most inaccessible club in the world. Club members included J.P. Morgan, Pulitzer, Vanderbilt, Goodyear, Rockefeller, and Marshall Field. The Jekyll Island Club Resort is in the center of the district.
This “cottage” colony was viewed as a little paradise. Today, the 240 acres contains 34 historic structures and the “cottages” have special names. Here are a few: Indian Mound Cottage, Mistletoe Cottage, Goodyear Cottage, and Moss Cottage, respectively. Like I said, not really “cottages”.
We checked out the Jekyll Wharf Restaurant sitting on the water’s edge in the Jekyll Island Club Resort. We saw a commercial shrimping boat sitting at the dock.
We left the area and drove back to the campground over the causeway where we saw many signs for Terrapin Crossing!
As we returned to the campground around 3:00, it started to rain harder. We did a few inside projects waiting for the rain to end. I took Auggie for a walk when the rain stopped so we could both stretch our legs. We passed on dinner due to our later lunch and the rain came again. We squeezed in our evening walk when the rain stopped for a brief time and then settled in for the evening, listening to the rain on the roof.