All About Sea Turtle Season on Jekyll Island

sea turtles on jekyll island

Jekyll Island is an ideal destination for nature lovers and wildlife fans — especially during sea turtle season! From May through October, you have the chance to see these magnificent creatures up close as they nest and hatch on the beaches of Jekyll Island. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Jekyll Island during sea turtle season!

Sea Turtle Season on Jekyll Island

Sea turtle season on Jekyll Island typically spans from May to October. Through mid-summer, the island’s shores become a vital nesting ground for loggerhead sea turtles as they emerge from the water to lay their eggs in the sand, and baby sea turtles make their journey across the beach to the water from August to October. During sea turtle season, visitors to Jekyll Island are asked not to disturb the nests or sea turtles, keep pets on leashes and observe turtle-safe lighting on the beach at night. Watch for turtle tracks leading up the sand and you have a great chance to spot these amazing animals in their natural habitat.

Georgia Sea Turtle Center

The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is Jekyll Island’s home base for conservation and education programs. This wonderful facility is open to the public year-round, with exhibits and programming dedicated to educating visitors, as well as rehabilitation efforts for the local sea turtle population. You can also learn more about the care that goes into helping sea turtles with a Behind the Scenes Tour through the center’s turtle hospital area. Sea turtle season is a busy time of year at the center, so visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets online in advance to ensure admission.

Sea Turtle Season Experiences

baby sea turtles on jekyll island

Newborn sea turtle in the sand on the beach walking to the sea after leaving the nest

Turtle Walks. These guided tours offer visitors a unique opportunity to observe nesting sea turtles while learning about their biology, behavior, and the conservation efforts aimed at protecting them. The Sunrise Turtle Walk will offer you an overview of sea turtle nesting and hatching, as well as the opportunity to uncover a hatched sea turtle nest. Evening Turtle Walks provide a similar learning experience, along with the chance to see a female loggerhead building a nest.

Ride with Turtle Patrol. If you are looking to get directly involved in conservation efforts, then an excursion with the Turtle Patrol is for you. Ride with Dawn Patrol for the chance to assist researchers in monitoring and cataloging nests across Jekyll Island. After dark, you can Ride with Night Patrol to get a glimpse into the field biologist experience, with the chance to observe nesting sea turtles up close.

Adopt a Nest. Once you’ve experienced the magic of sea turtle season on Jekyll Island, you may feel inspired to support future conservation efforts. By adopting a sea turtle nest, you can leave your mark on Jekyll Island and ensure these incredible animals have the protection and resources they need to thrive.

Explore the Outdoors. You can also encounter sea turtles while exploring the natural beauty of Jekyll Island. Take a leisurely stroll along the beach at sunrise or sunset, and you may spot females crawling to their nest or hatchlings making their journey to the ocean. Head out on a guided kayak tour through tidal creeks with the 4-H Tidelands Center, where you could spot sea turtles, as well as shorebirds and dolphins.

Whether you’re a casual wildlife watcher or a serious biology enthusiast, sea turtle season on Jekyll Island is an awe-inspiring experience. Book your Jekyll Island vacation rental today and embark on an incredible journey to immerse yourself in the magic of sea turtle season on Jekyll Island!