Only 90 minutes north of Jacksonville, Jekyll Island makes for a great day trip from Jacksonville destination. Whether you plan to visit for a long weekend, or make a day trip out of it, we’ve got 5 things you shouldn’t miss when visiting Jekyll Island with kids.
Explore the Bike Trails around Jekyll Island
There are lots of places you can rent bikes in Jekyll Island, or you can bring you own. Just make sure you make plans to do a little bike riding around the island. Much like the Baldwin Rail Trail, the bike trails on Jekyll Island are wide, flat and perfect for kids. There are lots of places to stop along the way and explore or grab a snack. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can bike for a few hours and see the entire island but we recommend some short mini trips with the kids to explore the different historic areas of the town.
Navigate Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island
Tucked away in a quiet area of Jekyll Island is Driftwood Beach. Similar to Boneyard Beach, here lies a secret playground of hundreds of driftwood trees where kids can climb and explore to their heart’s content. Driftwood Beach also makes a great spot to snap a few family pictures and it’s a great location for stargazing, if you happen to be staying the night.
Visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center
The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is a hospital for ill and injured sea turtles and it’s the only hospital of its kind in the state of Georgia. They have an interactive museum where kids can learn all about different types of sea turtles, their habitats, and what we can do to help protect them in the wild. Then you can visit the actual turtle hospital, where staff and volunteers care for a wide variety of sea turtles. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is perfect for kids of all ages.
Brush Up on Your History
Jekyll Island is full of history. Historic buildings are dotted along the landscape and you could easily spend days learning about the area. You can take a historic tour, attend a historic event or just explore the different landmarks while biking around the island. Whichever you choose be sure to set aside some time during your visit to learn about the history of the area.
Eat Some Seafood
There is no shortage of dining options on Jekyll Island. Whether you’re looking for something casual for the kids or an adults only dinner at an upscale restaurant, Jekyll Island has plenty of restaurants to choose from. But wherever you decide to dine, be sure to try some local seafood. We found tons of great seafood choices on virtually every menu and the quality did not disappoint.
Bonus Activity: Summer Waves Water Park
We love a good waterpark day trip, and if you visit in the summer be sure to check out Summer Waves. Known for its cool, refreshing waters, clean surroundings, and amazing views of the Jekyll River, Summer Waves offers a variety of ways to beat the heat during those hot summer months.
Winter in Jekyll Island Bonus: Searching for Island Treasures
If you visit Jekyll Island in January or February be sure to stop by the visitor center and find out more about the Island Treasures hunt that happens each year.
Jekyll Island can be a great destination for a day trip from Jacksonville, or a romantic weekend getaway. There really is a little something everyone will enjoy during your visit.
Shannon Beckham is a former Special Education teacher, turned SAHM that doesn’t spend a lot of time staying at home. Mom to Cole & Kiley, she loves cheering on the Gators, early morning visits to the beach and traveling with her family. She blogs about her adventures at The Beckham Project.