Beach + Island

Great American Beach Towns

by Sarah Tuff

JEKYLL ISLAND, GEORGIA

The sand: A barrier island with ten miles of dune-swept beaches, a Prince of Tides feel, and 63 holes of golf

Marine life: Though you won't find Mr. Rourke and Tattoo, Jekyll could be Fantasy Island, thanks to its array of fun-time activities. You can go horseback riding on the beach. There's kayaking and canoeing through salt marshes and estuaries, plus biking along 20 miles of trails along the sands, notching birds in the Audubon book, and visiting a water park to work off the kids' waffle-cone sugar highs. This bounty of outdoors options is matched by the historic district, a 240-acre compound on Jekyll Creek. Named in 1734 for a financial backer of the Georgia colony, the island long belonged to co-owners J.P. Morgan, Joseph Pulitzer, and William Rockefeller, and their moneyed manners still linger in elegant boutiques. But just about any budget can afford Blackbeard's Seafood Restaurant, where the fried oysters and flounder almondine are better than the restaurant name suggests.

The sanctuary: The Queen Anne–style Jekyll Island Club Hotel, with 157 rooms, has been hosting guests from Joseph Pulitzer to regular Joes since 1886. It's also where you'll find the four golf courses.

Jekyll Island Club Hotel
Tel: 912 635 2600
Doubles from $189

Blackbeard's Seafood Restaurant
Tel: 912 635 3522

NEXT: A wild-and-woolly beauty

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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