Green Sea Turtle
But I’m brown not green! What’s up with that? In fact, in the Pacific region, people call them Black Sea Turtles. But it turns out that Green Sea turtles eat green algae and sea grass. This diet turns their fat and muscles green, giving them their more common name. Notice that each of the varieties of sea turtles has a different diet, allowing them to more easily co-exist in the same habitat. The Loggerhead Sea Turtle, for example, has a hard beak that it uses to crush crabs, clams, and other crustaceans. With a smaller head, the Green Sea Turtle could not easily eat crustaceans. But its serrated jaw is the perfect tool for its vegetarian meals.
Faith Chapel History
In 1904 the Jekyll Island Club members built Faith Chapel as a non-denominational church to replace the small Union Chapel. Although it had a strong Episcopalian influence, it was open to members of all faiths. Since the Club required that their members attend church service every Sunday, they needed a suitably larger facility. Busy or otherwise unavailable members, however, could send servants in their stead. In addition to being part of the Jekyll Island National Historic Landmark, in 1971 the church joined the National Register of Historic Places.
Convention Center Logistics
The new Jekyll Island Convention Center opened in 2012 and handles groups as big as 6900 and as small as a 100. We hope your company or organization was smart enough to book a conference at the beach. The property sits on the oceanfront, with the Beach Village to its south and the Great Dunes Park to the north. It’s very easy to get to. Just cross the causeway onto the island and stay straight until the road ends at a traffic circle. Then loop around the circle to make a left turn, and the Convention Center is immediately there on your right. The Beach Village provides easy access to a quick bite before your convention starts and there are several lunch choices, such as the Wee Pub Beach.
The Maurice family built Hollybourne in 1890, making it one of the first privately-owned homes of the Club era. And the Maurices were the last family to leave, after having lost their home to the state. Charles Stewart Maurice was a bridge builder, so he incorporated some bridge-building techniques in the house. Unique for the era, Hollybourne has very large rooms on the ground floor without columns. Instead, the construction uses trusses. Traditional tabby uses a combination of lime, water, sand, ash, and oyster shells. The lime comes from burning oyster shells. Maurice modified the traditional tabby formula with the then new Portland cement to make it stronger. But he wound up weakening the house by leaving the tabby wooden forms in the walls, which caused rot.
Turtle experiences, such as a turtle release on Jekyll Island, create lasting, happy, joyful memories. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center (GSTC) is an active hospital with a primary goal of treating turtles and releasing them back into the wild. An injured turtle might be cold-stunned from the Atlantic coastal waters, a boat may have hit it, or it might have so many barnacles covering it that it can no longer move. Visit the Turtle Center to see these animals recovering. You can view turtle surgeries, attend turtle feedings, or watch the turtles swimming in their temporary homes.
Seining refers to a method of fishing. Imagine a 4 foot by 20 foot net, attached to poles on either end. The bottom edge is weighted so that it sits just above the ground. Two people each take a pole and pull the net through the water, catching fish, shrimp, crabs, and other ocean animals in the process. People have used this method of fishing for thousands of years. The length of the nets varies, and you can also seine using boats.
Although it’s not uncommon to encounter turtle nests on the island, baby turtle hatchings are a rare sight. The southern end of Jekyll Island provides a remote and protected stretch of beach where sea turtles lay eggs every year. A walk from St. Andrews Picnic Area toward the sunken shrimp boat provides a glimpse of many sights of nature. Here you can see nests that have been marked and roped off by Georgia Sea Turtle Center (GSTC) patrols.
The Jekyll Island Arts Association holds its annual arts festival every year in early March. This free three-day event attracts over 3000 visitors and 400 association members to Jekyll island. The festival takes place at Goodyear Cottage in the Historic district, where it spills out onto the the mansion’s lawn.
Sandpipers are a number of species in the large family of shore birds known scientifically as Scolopacidae. Since different species of sandpipers can have different bill lengths, they don’t tend to compete for the same food. So they can coexist in the same areas. Nerve receptors in the tips of their bills let many sandpipers find their prey through touch, odor, and pressure changes and gives them the ability to hunt at night. You can frequently find them at the water’s edge, pecking for a meal.
The following are some species of sandpipers that are common to Jekyll Island.
Tours in the Historic District
A Historic District tour is a great way to envision the island during the height of its millionaire club past. Tours include going inside several select cottages. Narrators give participants a feel for the day-to-day operations of the island during the Jekyll Club Era. From January to March, the millionaires of the country dined and relaxed together in an environment where they were “roughing it.” And their conversations often impacted the direction of the country.
Easter Egg Extravaganza
Spring is a great time for those 12 & under to visit Jekyll Island. Come enjoy the annual Easter Egg Stroll, an event featuring an Easter Egg Hunt and an Easter Bonnet Parade. There will be prizes for most creative bonnet, best use of recycled materials, and the most Jekyll Island spirit. And egg hunters aged 3 and under will have a separate area.
Jekyll Sandpiper Vacation renters can enjoy live music playing throughout the event. Children can also enjoy visits with the Easter Bunny, a Petting Zoo andCarriage Rides. Food will be offered by Fuze Frozen Yougurt and Famous Funnel Cakes.
Date: March 24, 2018
Time: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location: National Historic Landmark District
Planning for 2019? This event will likely take place on Saturday, April 13th in 2019.
Interested in other Jekyll Island Special Events? Click here.
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What could be more romantic than a moonlit horseback ride along the beach? And you can do just that courtesy of Three Oaks Farm. Head to the north end of Jekyll Island and turn onto Camp Creek Road, just across from the campground. Very shortly you’ll come to the Three Oaks horse paddock staging area on your left. Once you’re outfitted and ready to go, you’ll ride into the marsh just east of the road and head for the beach for an hour or more of fun. When you reach the water, you’ll probably see the St. Simons Lighthouse blinking its warning to the north. If it’s still light enough, you might see pelicans flying by or diving for fish. If you’re lucky, you might even see dolphins swimming in the ocean.
The Wharf – Shrimp, Songs, and Sunsets
A new restaurant in an old location. The Club Hotel took over the management of this restaurant, which reopened in the Fall of 2017 after remodeling. It has a new name and a totally revamped menu. The Wharf sits on the pier near the Club, with spectacular views of the intracoastal waterway and the saltwater marshes beyond. Wonderful at sunset. Watch the birds or an occasional boat as it sails down the Jekyll River. You can select window seating inside or sit at an outside table on the pier.
Jekyll Island is a barrier island on the southeast coast of Georgia, USA. It is the southernmost of the Golden Isles, a collection of islands near Brunswick. The state of Georgia took ownership of Jekyll in 1947, and it created the Jekyll Island-State Park Authority (JIA) to run the island in 1950. Jekyll measures 7 1/2 miles by 3 miles in length. The island has 10 miles of beach and 20 miles of bike paths. The JIA maintains many pavilions and picnic sites for public use, as well as public fishing piers and a public boat launch. Jekyll is 5700 acres in size, and by law the state will allow development of no more than 35% of Jekyll’s land.
Upcoming renters often ask us about buying groceries on Jekyll Island. Flash Foods runs a convenience store at the gas station, but by far the best place for groceries is Jekyll Market. The market sits just off the roundabout on Main St, first store on the left. You will find an upscale store packed with your typical grocery store items. Jekyll Market has grocery items delivered to their location regularly. So grocery store items here are fresh but more expensive. We find ourselves in the market often but do admit to buying the bulk of our groceries off island.
Sea Turtle Center
At the Turtle Center, it is all about the turtles. You can find one of the most impressive sights just inside the gift store. You will see a replica of Archelon, a skeleton of a pre-historic extinct sea turtle, hanging from the ceiling. She makes an impressive sight. When Archelons roamed the earth, these turtles would have weighed in at over 11,000 pounds with a length over 16 feet.
The center is an active working turtle hospital, with two distinct public sections. The first is an interactive museum, with information about Georgia’s sea turtles and the challenges they face. The second area holds tanks of recovering turtles. The turtle feeding includes a very informative talk about turtles currently at the center, so note the time of the next feeding (typically 10 AM, 11 AM, 3 PM, and 4 PM). If you are close to a feeding time, head to the turtle pavilion before you tour the museum section.
Frank Goodyear, a lumber baron, built the Goodyear Cottage in 1906. The Italian-styled home was restored in 1973. Today it houses the Jekyll Island Arts Association. Goodyear is the only mansion in The Historic District that is open for free every day. Its hours are Monday – Friday noon to 4 PM and Saturday and Sunday 10 AM to 4 PM. The home is set up as an art gallery, with items created by local and visiting artists. You will find paintings and photography of structures and nature local to Jekyll Island, as well as examples of sculpture, pottery, weaving and other forms of art. Many of the displayed works are for sale.
A nice addition to the restaurant and bar options on the island, with the lively atmosphere you would expect of a pub. Sporting events up on the TV’s and even at your table. There are a few spots off to the side that may be a bit more quiet. Our server was very friendly, and our food came quickly. Shepherd’s Pie, Bangers and Mash, and the Reuben are our favorites. And don’t miss the onion rings! The fare here does not feel local, as there is no low country fare and not as seafood focused as many island restaurants. This makes for a nice change of pace. And we’ve really enjoyed everything we’ve tried so far. They have separate vegan and gluten free menus available upon request. We’ve seen live music advertised, but haven’t eaten when they were playing.
St. Andrews Beach
Walking from the St. Andrews Beach parking lot to the southernmost point of Jekyll is one of our favorite hikes on the island. On this walk you’ll see Little Cumberland Island, gorgeous stretches of Georgia beach, the mast of a buried shrimp boat, and you’ll likely see many shore birds. The round trip from the parking lot along the beach to the shipwreck and back is a little over a mile. But you might want to increase the distance of the hike by walking further along beach.
The St. Andrews Picnic Area parking lot is located off of Riverview Dr. on the southwest side of the island. Our usual route has us heading to the beach and turning left or south. Follow the coast until you see mast of the sunken shrimp boat. You can also take a short detour north from the parking lot to a lookout tower that provides a nice view.
Sunrise Biking on the Beach
There was a thunderstorm offshore this morning. It made for a beautiful sunrise. Snapped this shot from the beach right by our house. Folks were just standing and staring at the horizon. Shrimp boats plying the local waters and a dolphin looking for breakfast. What a wonderful way to start my morning!
We spent a week on Jekyll this summer visiting my parents and my sister’s family. Two boys attended Turtle Camp at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. Here are some of our day-to-day activities.
Great beach day. Sunny skies with a few white fluffy clouds. Waves are the right size for us to use boogie boards, with folks using paddle boards just a little further out, while the pelicans are diving for lunch.
Those dots are our kites. Great day too fly them, with the breeze blowing of the water they lifted into the air right out of our hands.