You may remember from an earlier post in 2010 that we had stopped overnight at Jekyll Island while we were en-route to Florida. We had been favorably impressed with what we saw then, and had vowed to come back and spend more time exploring this Georgia State Park Sea Island.
One of the things we did not have time to see during our first pass through of the Island was it's historic district. In 1886, Jekyll Island was purchased to become an exclusive winter retreat for America’s most elite families, known as the Jekyll Island Club. For more than half a century, the nation’s leading families, including the legendary Rockefellers, Morgans, and Pulitzers, came to Jekyll Island “to secure an escape.” Many of their "cottages" are still here.
Today, the Jekyll Island Museum tells their stories, giving an inside look at what life was like for both club members and their employees.
Offering exhibits, tours, and a museum store, the Jekyll Island Museum provides an introduction to the vibrant cottage life of the National Landmark Historic District and important landmarks beyond such as this colonial era tabby structure.
or this Plantation Oak which is estimated to be the oldest Oak on Jekyll Island.
While we did not take any of the formal tours, we did spend a significant amount of time riding our bicycles through the historic district homes and gardens
stopping to read all of the historical markers along the way.
The island has an extensive set of well maintained bike trails which allowed us to traverse the entire length and breadth of the island without the use of a car .
Many of the bike paths are under the shade of the massive heritage oaks making it not just a beautiful place to ride ones bike but a comfortable one as well
The bike paths not only go through out the historic district, but
the maritime forest,
The maritime forest
and even through the dunes onto the beach.
We were very impressed with the measures that the State of George has taken make such treasures accessible to the public, while protecting these same areas from use. E.g. look at the viewing stations set up on the dunes so that people can watch the sunrise without trampling the fragile dune vegetation. They are a perfect place to photograph or paint the seashore.
All along the way there are bike racks for those that want to stop to explore an area of the island a bit more. We took full advantage of this , especially when it came to exploring the beaches.
We had seen the Boneyard Beach on our previous visit, but had not had time to fully explore it.
This time we were able to park our bikes
and walk completely around the north eastern leeward end of the island
along the river
having a picnic along the way
then back across the marsh to where our bikes were parked
On a different day we explored the opposite end of the island checking out the river
and the small marina under the Talmadge Memorial Bridge
Most early mornings were spent on the beach watching the sun rise
and taking pictures of the beautiful dunes for a series of paintings CC is working on
Evenings were spent back in the historic district dining in one of their many fine restarants,
and walking their beautifully lighted gardens.
It's impossible to name which area of the Island CC enjoyed the most, but
I think it is fair to say that we will be back to visit Jekyll Island again some day