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!

Jekyll Island offers an abundance of natural beauty, historical landmarks, and family-friendly activities, and the activities you choose while on vacation don’t have to break the bank. There are plenty of free things to do on Jekyll Island, perfect for planning an itinerary that’s easy on the budget. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or just looking for a relaxing getaway, Jekyll Island has something for everyone. Let’s explore some of the free things to do on Jekyll Island!

Enjoy Jekyll Island’s beaches

Oceanview beach park on Jekyll Island

For a day of fun in the sun, head to Great Dunes Beach Park, where free parking, pavilions and beach facilities make it easy to set up your umbrella and relax on the sand. Enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the pavilions at Oceanview Beach Park. The scenery at Driftwood Beach is unbeatable, and the epic sunsets at St. Andrews Beach shouldn’t be missed. If you visit between May and October, you may witness sea turtle season, when adult sea turtles nest and babies make their way toward the ocean after hatching! These are all free activities that will make your Jekyll Island vacation extra memorable!

Wander through the Historic District

Transport yourself back in time as you wander through the Historic District of Jekyll Island. Marvel at the elegant architecture of the Jekyll Island Club and explore the grounds where America’s wealthiest families once vacationed. Use an official visitor’s map as you stroll through the streets to identify the cottages and historic buildings where 19th century industrialists spent time enjoying Jekyll Island.

Jekyll Island Trail System

Jekyll Island trails

Explore the island using over 20 miles of paved paths meandering through maritime forests, marshlands, and scenic beaches. Whether you prefer biking, jogging, or leisurely walks, this extensive trail network provides a peaceful journey through the island’s diverse landscapes. Use a visitor’s guide map to guide you to the points of interest around the island.

Explore Horton House

Take a step back into the island’s colonial history with a visit to Horton House, the remnants of an English tabby house built in the 18th century. Wander through the ruins and imagine life on the island centuries ago. Venture across the road to visit Dubignon cemetery which houses tombstones of one of the earliest settling families on the island.

Walk the Steps of the Past

Wandered memory trail on Jekyll Island

Visit the Wanderer Memory Trail, an open air educational exhibit featuring the story of one of the last known slave ships, the Wanderer, which landed illegally on Jekyll Island. This powerful memorial trail includes interpretive signage which provides historical context and highlights the stories of individuals who were connected to the Wanderer, including enslaved Africans, crew members, and local residents.

Go Fishing

Jekyll Island is known for its excellent onshore fishing and many of the spots are accessible for free. Anglers can cast their lines from the island’s beaches, fishing piers, and docks. Some popular spots for shore fishing include Driftwood Beach, St. Andrews Beach, and the Jekyll Island Fishing Pier. Common catches in this area can include flounder, redfish, trout, and tarpon. Learn more about the best fishing spots to reel in your big catch on Jekyll Island!

Observe Local Wildlife

The marshlands, maritime forest, freshwater ponds and shoreline of Jekyll Island provide plenty of opportunities to spot local wildlife. Spend some time at Horton Pond to see alligators, turtles and wading birds in their natural habitat. Take a walk underneath the canopies of live oaks to spot racoons and bald eagles’ nests. To catch a glimpse of dolphins, migratory birds and marshland wildlife, head to the observation tower at St. Andrew’s Beach for a birds-eye view.

Bird Watching

Seabirds on Jekyll Island

Grab your binoculars and head out on Jekyll Island’s trails to spot ospreys, bald eagles, shorebirds and more. The island is an important stop for migrating birds along the Atlantic Migratory Flyway, so fall and spring bring additional opportunities to see certain species. Some of the best birding spots can be found in the northern end of the island, while the interior and southern end of the island offer the chance to see a diverse array of perching birds and shorebirds. Try the Merlin Bird ID app for help in identifying the birds you see or hear.

Attend a Local Event

 Jekyll Island offers cultural and seasonal events throughout the year, many of which are free to attend. Summer brings free outdoor movie nights and Independence Day festivities. In October, the Jekyll Island Shrimp and Grits Festival takes over the Historic District for a free, family-friendly weekend of food, music and handcrafted goods. The holiday season is magical on Jekyll Island, with tons of free events through the month of December, and January brings the annual Island Treasures scavenger hunt.

Enjoy Local Art

Head over to the Jekyll Island Arts Association in the Historic District to explore free exhibits showcasing local artists. If you are visiting in March, don’t miss the annual Jekyll Island Arts Festival, a free two-day event with an art show, artist demonstrations, and live entertainment.

Jekyll Island offers a variety of free activities for travelers of all ages to enjoy. Whether you’re exploring the island’s natural beauty, learning its fascinating history, or simply relaxing on the pristine beaches, the island promises an unforgettable experience. Book your Jekyll Island vacation rental and start planning your visit!

Jekyll Island is an excellent choice for an unforgettable family vacation experience. From exploring the island’s lush landscapes to learning more about its rich history, August presents the perfect opportunity for families to create cherished memories in this charming coastal town. Here are some of the top things to do during a family vacation to Jekyll Island this summer.

Cool off at the Water Park

Beat the heat at Summer Waves Water Park, open seasonally between Memorial Day and Labor Day. An afternoon of fun is guaranteed at this water park, with slides, a lazy river, wave pool, and splash zones for younger children. Kids 3 and under are free with daily adult admission, and there are season passes available which include discounts on other Jekyll Island attractions.

Jekyll Island Historic Landmark District

Take a step back in time and explore the Historic Landmark District, featuring beautiful historic buildings and museums. Discover the historic cottages used as vacation homes by wealthy industrialists in the early 20th century, and visit the Mosaic Jekyll Island Museum for interactive history exhibits. This historic area is centrally located on Jekyll Island and can be explored by foot or on a trolley tour. The landmark district is a fun outing for all ages!

Explore the Island on Horseback

For an exciting way to see Jekyll Island, check out the horseback rides offered by Three Oaks Farm. There are horseback rides along the beach and at sunset, as well as narrated history carriage rides through the historic district. Taking a horse or carriage ride on Jekyll Island is a sure way to bring a smile to your face.

Discover Historic Sites

Jekyll Island is full of history, and much of it can be discovered along the paths winding throughout the island. Stop by the ruins of Horton House for a glimpse of the colonial past. Head to St. Andrews Beach on the south side of the island to walk the Wanderer Memory Trail, an educational experience about the survivors of a slave ship that landed on Jekyll Island.

Take a Tour of Jekyll Island

There is so much to see on Jekyll Island and booking a tour is a great way to go. From trolleys to bicycles, there are tons of options for families who want to explore the island in their own way.

Go Fishing

Cast a line at any number of spots along the beach or the Jekyll Island Fishing Pier for excellent in-shore fishing for redfish, flounder and more. Or book a fishing charter boat for a memorable family adventure that will be talked about for years to come.

Beach day

Jekyll Island has gorgeous beaches for every type of beach day your family could want. Visit Great Dunes Beach and Oceanview Beach Park for a family-friendly atmosphere, with calm water, picnic shelters and play areas for kids. Both beaches are ADA-accessible and have plenty of parking. The iconic Driftwood Beach should be a stop to see the twisted driftwood structures along the beach – the kids will love to climb this natural playground. If you’re looking to take some family sunset photos, head to St. Andrews Beach on the southern end of the island.

Go Golfing

Enjoy a friendly family competition at the Jekyll Island Miniature Golf course. This 18-hole mini golf course offers a well-designed and fun experience for all ages. Families who prefer traditional golf will be delighted to hit the links at Jekyll Island Golf Club, the largest public golf resort in Georgia.

Go for a Bike Ride

Biking around Jekyll Island has been a popular activity for over 100 years! Head to Jekyll Island Bike Barn to find rental options for the whole family, including bikes of all sizes, tandem bikes, surreys and bike trailers. No matter what your preferred equipment, exploring the 22 miles of trails on Jekyll Island is sure to be a hit with visitors big or small. 

4-H Tidelands Nature Center

Your family can learn about the wonders of coastal ecology at the 4-H Tidelands Nature Center. With guided kayak tours and nature walks, as well as educational programs for kids of all ages, this center provides an immersive experience to learn about local wildlife and coastal ecosystems.

Georgia Sea Turtle Center

Families will not want to miss the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, which offers educational and interactive experiences centered around the rehabilitation of sea turtles. Learn about these fascinating creatures and even see the release of rehabilitated turtles back into the ocean. Summer is turtle nesting season, and the center offers free sunrise and evening Turtle Walks, where participants can learn about the nesting process and possibly witness it in person.

Take a Dolphin Tour

Take the opportunity to see bottlenose dolphins swimming and playing in their natural habitat with a dolphin tour. This 90-minute narrated tour is a popular way to explore the waterways of Jekyll Island and learn about the local ecosystem. Kids will have a blast spotting all of the other local wildlife on this tour, like manatees, sea turtles and more.

Tips for Families Visiting Jekyll Island in August


  • August can be hot and humid, with temperatures averaging around 85°F during the day. Bring lightweight and breathable clothing, hats, sunscreen, and stay hydrated throughout your stay. Bug repellent is also a good idea, especially when exploring the interior part of the island.
  • While outdoor activities are a big draw, consider mixing in some indoor activities as well to escape the heat during the peak hours of the day. 
  • Summer is a popular time for families to visit Jekyll Island, so expect certain areas to be busier than usual, especially on the weekends. Booking tours ahead of time is recommended to ensure availability.

With warm temperatures and sunny days, summer provides the ideal backdrop for adventures on Jekyll Island. From exploring pristine natural landscapes to learning about the history of the island, there will be something for the whole family to enjoy. Book your Jekyll Island vacation rental and get ready for endless family fun on this beautiful island!


Jekyll Island is a special place on the Georgia coast where the sun shines bright, the waves crash gently, and the beaches are simply divine. From swimming to birdwatching – each Jekyll Island beach has something that makes it unique. View a photo and an overview on each of the Jekyll Island beaches below. Or visit our Guide to Jekyll’s beaches here!

Driftwood Beach

Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island

The north end of the island is home to Driftwood Beach, an iconic stretch of shoreline known for its striking driftwood sculptures carved by wind and waves over time. Driftwood Beach was recently named one of top beaches in the world!

This stunning beach offers incredible views and is perfect for nature lovers who want to soak up the serene ambiance. The driftwood creates an interesting environment to explore, and also makes a dramatic backdrop for photos. During summer nesting season, you may even spot local sea turtles! There are no amenities at this beach, and visitors should be aware of the tide schedule, as it can become very narrow at high tide. It’s well worth the effort to get here!

Great Dunes Beach

Great Dunes Beach on Jekyll Island

North of the Jekyll Island Convention Center, Great Dunes Beach boasts soft sand dunes and calm water, creating an ideal spot for swimming, sunbathing or building sandcastles. This beach has showers, restrooms, picnic pavilions and play areas, making it a great choice for families with little ones. There are also game courts for bocce and volleyball, and windy days can create good conditions for boogie boarding.

South Dunes and Glory Beach

Glory Beach on Jekyll Island

Located in the middle of the island, two beaches form a long stretch of sand, perfect for long walks. With an elevated boardwalk and picnic area among the trees, South Dunes Beach is the perfect place to take a break from the sun and enjoy the sounds of the nesting birds who make their home there. Glory Beach is a great spot to collect seashells – look closely and you may spot some Sand Dollars.

St Andrews Beach

St Andrews Beach on Jekyll Island

St. Andrews Beach is located on the southwestern tip of the island, so it is the perfect spot to enjoy a sunset over the water or spot a pod of dolphins. Anglers will enjoy casting a line in the calm waters to catch redfish or flounder. Visitors interested in history should walk down the nearby Wanderer Memory Trail, a beachside trail with interactive exhibits about a slave ship which landed illegally on the island over 160 years ago. With picnic areas and ample parking as well as a wildlife observation platform, spending a few hours here in the early evening is a great way to end a day on Jekyll Island.

No matter what you’re looking for, visitors will find a variety of beaches to explore on Jekyll Island. Book your Jekyll Island vacation rental today, and get your toes in the sand!

Jekyll Island is a beautiful and romantic destination for couples looking to get away from it all. With miles of pristine beaches, natural beauty and historic sites, Jekyll Island offers a variety of romantic activities for couples to enjoy. 

Here are Our Tips for Planning the Perfect Romantic Getaway on Jekyll Island:

Start the day with a leisurely breakfast at Jekyll Island Club. This historic hotel was once a private club for the wealthy families who made Jekyll Island their vacation home at the turn of the 20th century. The club’s luxurious and elegant atmosphere makes for a truly romantic experience.

Follow breakfast with a walk among live oaks draped in Spanish moss in the Historic District, and stop by the Mosaic Jekyll Island Museum to book a history or nature tour with local experts. Explore the historic cottages of the wealthy industrialists who made this island famous in the 20th century. Take a trolley tour of the Historic District for a fun and educational experience.

Rent bicycles at Jekyll Wheels and explore the island together on a leisurely bike tour. The island’s miles of bike trails take you through beautiful landscapes, past historic sites like Horton House, and along the beach. From the untamed marshland environment in the north to tranquil St. Andrews Beach in the south, meandering through Jekyll Island on two wheels is a relaxing and intimate way to take in the sights of the island. 

For those who love nature experiences, head to 4-H Tidelands Center for a kayak trip in the marshlands. Guided tours will provide opportunities to view the birds and wildlife of Jekyll Island up close, and to learn about the ecology of the island. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is another wonderful activity for nature lovers to learn about sea turtle conservation and rehabilitation while observing these magnificent creatures up close.

An afternoon stroll hand-in-hand along one of Jekyll Island’s beaches is the perfect way to enjoy the beautiful scenery and ocean breezes together. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy on the sand or at one of the shelters in Great Dunes Park. Visit the serene atmosphere of Driftwood Beach, where large driftwood creates a unique and picturesque setting for a romantic walk. Horseback riding is another great way to explore the island’s natural beauty with your significant other. Enjoy a romantic horseback ride along the beach with Three Oaks Farm, or check out one of their moonlight rides or horse-drawn carriage tours of the island. 

End your day with a romantic dinner at one of Jekyll Island’s restaurants. The Wharf offers casual open-air dining and gorgeous views over the water, while Eighty Ocean is a great choice for couples looking to cozy up in an intimate setting. After dinner, join a sunset cruise with Dolphin Tours of Jekyll Island. Feel the magic of this area as you watch the sunset from the water and spot bottle-nosed dolphins playing in the waves – a perfect end to a romantic day on Jekyll Island. If you haven’t booked your Jekyll Island accommodations yet, browse our wide variety of vacation rentals on Jekyll Island.

Christmas and New Year’s are a wonderful time to be on Jekyll Island! During the holiday season, the island is full of exciting activities and events that you won’t want to miss. From holiday light displays to outdoor movies, there’s something for everyone. Here are the top ten holiday events to check out on Jekyll Island:

Holiday Light Displays. Take a Holly Jolly Light Tour around the island to enjoy Christmas light displays decorating historic sites and houses. The trolley tour includes festive drinks and music, with tickets available for purchase at the Mosaic Museum, or you can take a self-guided tour by car or bike by following the signs for the Holly Jolly Light Tour. Come watch Santa and other Christmas characters wind their way around the island in festively lit vehicles for the Holly Jolly Jekyll Island Light Parade.

Holiday Drive-In Movie Night. Enjoy holiday movies on the big screen with the whole family at this outdoor movie night. Popcorn, blankets, and warm clothes are all you need for this cozy event. Get there early to catch Santa riding around on a fire truck! 

Shopping for the Holidays. Visit the Goodyear Cottage to browse through handmade crafts and beautiful works of art from local artists at Merry Artists Holiday Market. Or stop by the Holly Jolly Trading Post on Pier Road to pick up your holiday gifts of the season and enjoy Christmas snacks and warm beverages. Open daily through Christmas Eve.

Go Christmas Caroling. On Saturdays in December, get in the holiday spirit with a Christmas sing-along put on by Chapel Carols! Local musicians lead the music at the Faith Chapel and admission is free.

Holidays in History. Take a trolley tour through the Historic District to learn what holidays were like for the wealthy families with homes on Jekyll Island at the turn of the twentieth century. Tickets can be purchased at the Mosaic Museum.

Follow the Christmas Bagpiper. Starting at the Riverfront Veranda, this fun live music tradition takes place daily for the week prior to Christmas. Grab a drink and take a stroll following the sounds of bagpipes

Get Festive at Jekyll Island Club. Get a little fancy and festive with Holiday High Tea at Jekyll Island Club throughout the month of December. Tables are set for up to four people and tickets can be purchased up to three days in advance. Or put your own spin on some holiday treats with Christmas Cookie Decorating at Jekyll Island Club Ballroom the weekend before Christmas, a timeless tradition sure to delight the whole family (tickets sold in advance). Jekyll Island Club also offers elegant holiday dining options for Christmas and New Year’s. 

Horsin’ Around for the Holiday. Join Three Oaks Carriage Tours for a narrated Christmas Lights Tour of the Historic District in a horse-drawn carriage. Or jump in the saddle for a one hour Jingle Bell Beach horseback ride, led by Three Oaks Farm. The horses will be decked out in festive attire and ready for some photos!

Festive Family Fun. Kids will love the Winter Carnival in early December, offering free carnival rides, games, a visit with Santa and a chance to get up close to fire trucks and emergency vehicles. Or take the whole family to the mini-golf course, which is transformed into Peppermint Land for the holiday season, with life-size gumdrops, gingerbread people and more! 

Explore the Local Environment. Visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center to learn about the lives of sea turtles and tour their rehabilitation center. While you’re there, leave “get well soon” wishes in the holiday stockings for the turtle patients, and decorate a Christmas ornament to hang on the tree. Stop by the 4-H Tidelands Nature Center to learn about coastal ecology and see exhibits about animals native to the area. On your way out, pick up animal-themed DIY holiday ornament kits to complete at home.

No matter how you celebrate it, the holiday season is a magical time of year on Jekyll Island. Come join us in the holiday spirit and book your vacation rental today!

Thanksgiving on Jekyll Island is the perfect time of year to enjoy everything the island has to offer. There are fewer crowds with the arrival of cooler weather, so you will have plenty of space to explore the island or relax on the beach with family and friends. The natural beauty, exciting wildlife and rich history of Jekyll Island provide a relaxing and fun way to spend time with your loved ones.

If you are planning to serve a traditional Thanksgiving feast in your vacation rental, you can find plenty of supplies at Jekyll Market or Winn-Dixie in nearby Brunswick. You could also take a short 30 minute drive north to St. Simons Island to pick up a pre-made Thanksgiving meal from The Market at Sea Island or Golden Isles Olive Oil, or homemade pies from Dulce Dough Bakery.

If you don’t feel like cooking, enjoy a Thanksgiving buffet at one of several Jekyll Island restaurants. Make a reservation for a traditional Thanksgiving buffet at the Jekyll Island Club or Beach House, or head to Sago on St. Simons Island for a poolside meal (reservations required). Not feeling like turkey?Head to Eighty Ocean Kitchen and Bar or The Wharf for tasty local cuisine. 

After you finish dinner, enjoy the refreshing ocean breezes on one of Jekyll Island’s gorgeous beaches or take a walk on one of the trails running through the island. Stick around the day after Thanksgiving for the annual Tree Lighting Festival in the Historic District. The festival includes themed tours, crafts and holiday decorations, and the tree will be lit at sundown.

Come stay at one of our premier vacation rentals and create a new Thanksgiving tradition on Jekyll Island!