Jekyll Island, Georgia: Explore Driftwood Beach and Campgrounds


Jekyll Island is a barrier island located off the coast of Georgia, USA. It is one of the Golden Isles, a group of islands that also includes St. Simons Island, Sea Island, and Little St. Simons Island. The island spans 5,700 acres, with about 1,500 of those acres being a designated historic district.

Known for its beautiful beaches, lush maritime forests, and diverse wildlife, the island has become a popular destination for tourists seeking relaxation and outdoor activities.

History of the Island

Jekyll Island has played a significant role in American history, dating back to the indigenous peoples who first inhabited the land. Over time, it has seen European settlement, a plantation era fueled by slave labor, and the establishment of the exclusive Jekyll Island Club, which attracted some of the wealthiest families in the United States, such as the Rockefellers, Morgans, and Vanderbilts.

In 1910, the island was the site of the secret meeting that led to the creation of the Federal Reserve System. Notable figures like Frank Vanderlip, Paul Warburg, and Piatt Andrew were part of this significant event in American financial history, often referred to as the November 1910 meeting. This meeting was part of the Aldrich Plan and laid the groundwork for the Federal Reserve Act.

Today, the island is a Georgia state park, showcasing its rich history and natural beauty to visitors from around the world. It’s a testament to the island’s historical significance that it’s now part of the National Historic Landmark District.

What to Do at Jekyll Island?

Jekyll Island is a treasure trove of activities and attractions that are sure to delight travelers of all ages. With its unique blend of nature, history, and recreation, this coastal gem offers countless ways to create unforgettable memories.

For those who enjoy outdoor activities, the island boasts miles of bike trails and scenic bike paths that make biking a joy. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy several golf courses, while those who prefer a more equestrian pace can indulge in horseback riding.

The South Dunes Beach and beach house areas are perfect for beachgoers looking to enjoy water activities or simply relax on the shore, adorned with oyster shells.

Georgia Driftwood Beach Plaji Gun Dogumu
Driftwood Beach creates beautiful images in the morning hours.

Families will find plenty of family-friendly activities, including turtle rehabilitation programs at the local center and exploring the island via tram. For a unique view of the area, the Sidney Lanier Bridge provides a stunning vista.

An annual pass can offer regular visitors a cost-effective way to enjoy these attractions. History buffs will appreciate the references to General James Oglethorpe and the island’s historical significance.

Additionally, Jekyll Island goes to great lengths to ensure there are diverse trip ideas and guided tours for every vacationer. The island’s salt marshes offer a tranquil retreat, and with over 10 miles of coastline, it’s a haven for those seeking a seaside escape. The local 4-H programs add an educational aspect, making it an ideal education destination.

Jekyll Island Museum

Dive into the island’s rich history at Mosaic, the Jekyll Island Museum. Wander through exhibits that weave together tales of the island’s past, from Native American settlements to the illustrious Jekyll Island Club. Immerse yourself in the stories that have shaped this enchanting destination.

Horton House

Step back in time as you explore the hauntingly beautiful ruins of Horton House, a tabby structure dating back to the 18th century. Once the home of Major William Horton, a key figure in the early development of Georgia, this historic site whispers secrets of days gone by.

Georgia Sea Turtle Center

Get up close and personal with these magnificent marine creatures at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. This state-of-the-art facility not only rehabilitates injured sea turtles but also educates visitors about the importance of conservation efforts. Participate in interactive exhibits, and witness the incredible work being done to protect these gentle giants.

Jekyll Island Dolphin Tours

Embark on an exhilarating adventure with Jekyll Island Dolphin Tours. Glide through the sparkling waters as you marvel at playful dolphins frolicking in their natural habitat. Soak up the beauty of the Golden Isles while learning about the fascinating marine life that calls this region home.

Jekyll Island Golf Club

Tee off at the Jekyll Island Golf Club, where lush greens and stunning scenery create a golfer’s paradise. With three 18-hole courses and a 9-hole course, golfers of all skill levels can enjoy a challenging and picturesque round.

Fishing & Boating

Cast a line into the azure waters surrounding the island, as you indulge in some leisurely fishing. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice, the island’s fishing piers and charter services offer ample opportunities to reel in a prize catch. If you prefer to take in the scenery, rent a kayak or a paddleboard, and glide through the serene marshlands.

Summer Waves Water Park Make a splash at Summer Waves Water Park, where thrilling rides and refreshing pools offer endless fun under the sun. From adrenaline-pumping water slides to the lazy river’s calming currents, this family-friendly attraction has something for everyone.

Best Jekyll Island Beaches

The island is a beach lover’s paradise, where the sun-kissed shores beckon with their unique charm and picturesque landscapes. Among the many sandy stretches that grace this coastal gem, three beaches stand out for their distinct allure: Great Dunes Park, Saint Andrew Beach, and Driftwood Beach.

Each of these breathtaking beaches offers visitors a different experience, with a variety of facilities and breathtaking scenery to explore.

Great Dunes Park

Great Dunes Park, nestled in the heart of the island, is an oasis of golden sands and rolling dunes. This family-friendly beach boasts a plethora of amenities, including picnic pavilions, grills, a playground, and restrooms.

The beach’s central location makes it an ideal spot for visitors to enjoy a day of swimming, sunbathing, and building sandcastles, all while being just a stone’s throw away from local shops and restaurants.

Saint Andrew Beach

Saint Andrew Beach, located on the island’s southeastern shore, is a tranquil haven where nature lovers can immerse themselves in the beauty of the coastal environment. With its pristine sands and gentle surf, this beach is perfect for relaxing strolls and quiet contemplation.

An observation deck offers a prime vantage point for wildlife watching, as the beach is a popular spot for migratory birds and even the occasional dolphin sighting.

Driftwood Beach

Driftwood Beach, the crown jewel of the island’s coastline, is a hauntingly beautiful stretch of shoreline that seems to defy the passage of time. The beach is adorned with a mesmerizing array of sun-bleached driftwood and skeletal trees, sculpted by nature into a surreal landscape of twisted limbs and gnarled roots. This otherworldly scene has earned Driftwood Beach the distinction of being one of the most photographed beaches on the Georgia coast.

Georgia Driftwood Beach Gezilecek Yerler
Driftwood Beach Georgia

The allure of Driftwood Beach goes beyond its stunning visuals; it is a testament to the relentless power of nature and the delicate balance of coastal ecosystems. This unique landscape serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of environmental conservation, as the forces of erosion and shifting sands continually reshape the beach’s striking tableau.

Can you Swim at Driftwood Beach Jekyll?

While Driftwood Beach is an unforgettable sight to behold, it is essential to note that the beach’s terrain and strong currents can make swimming in its waters challenging and potentially dangerous. Visitors are advised to exercise caution and be mindful of their safety when venturing near the water’s edge.

Where to Stay at Jekyll Island?

Jekyll Island offers a diverse range of accommodations to cater to every traveler’s preferences and budget. Whether you seek the elegance of historic hotels, the luxury of beachfront resorts, or the simplicity of serene campgrounds, there’s an ideal lodging option for you on this picturesque island.

Hotels and Resorts

  • Jekyll Island Club Resort: This historic resort, once a haven for America’s elite, now opens its doors to guests seeking both luxury and charm. With elegant rooms, modern amenities, fine dining, a private beach club, and numerous recreational activities, it’s a blend of history and comfort.
  • The Westin Jekyll Island: For contemporary luxury, The Westin offers well-appointed rooms and suites with oceanfront views. Its proximity to attractions like the Jekyll Island Convention Center makes it a convenient choice for both leisure and business travelers.
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Jekyll Island: Ideal for families, this hotel provides comfortable accommodations, a heated outdoor pool, and complimentary breakfast. Its location is perfect for exploring the island’s natural and historical sites.
  • Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Jekyll Island: A budget-friendly option, this hotel offers comfortable rooms, outdoor pools, and beach access, making it a great choice for cost-conscious travelers.

Jekyll Island Campground

For a more nature-oriented stay, the Jekyll Island Campground is a perfect choice. Nestled among the island’s lush maritime forests and marshes, it’s located on the north end, close to Driftwood Beach and Clam Creek Picnic Area.

The campground features 206 campsites with various options including tent sites, RV sites with full hookups, and trailer sites with partial hookups. Amenities include restrooms, hot showers, laundry facilities, a general store, picnic pavilion, playground, and free Wi-Fi.

Additional Accommodation Options

In addition to these options, the island hosts other accommodations catering to different preferences and budgets.

  • For instance, beachfront hotels like The Westin Jekyll Island and vacation rentals offer luxury and convenience with stunning ocean views and beach access.
  • Budget-conscious travelers can find great value in options like Holiday Inn Express & Suites Jekyll Island, which balances affordability with comfort and amenities.

Entrance Fee to Driftwood Beach and Jekyll Island

There is no separate entrance fee for Driftwood Beach; however, there is a daily parking fee for the island. The daily parking fee was $8 per vehicle, but prices may have changed, so it is advisable to check the the island website or contact them for the most up-to-date information. The parking fee grants you access to the entire island, including its beaches, parks, and other attractions.

How to Get to Jekyll Island

The island is a captivating destination located off the coast of Georgia, USA. Reaching this coastal paradise is relatively simple, with a variety of transportation options available to suit every traveler’s needs.

Location: The island is situated approximately halfway between Savannah, Georgia, and Jacksonville, Florida, making it easily accessible from several nearby cities. The island is about 93 miles south of Savannah and 75 miles north of Jacksonville.

  • By Car: The most common way to reach is by car. From Interstate 95, take Exit 29 and head east on US-17/US-82. After about 7 miles, turn right onto the Downing Musgrove Causeway (GA-520), which will take you directly to the island.
  • By Air: The closest airports to the island are Brunswick Golden Isles Airport (BQK), Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV), and Jacksonville International Airport (JAX). From these airports, you can rent a car or arrange for shuttle services to take you to the island.

Brunswick Golden Isles Airport (BQK) is the nearest airport, approximately 20 miles from the island. It offers limited commercial flights, primarily through Delta Connection.
Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) is about 75 miles away and offers a wider selection of flights and airlines.
Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) is about 75 miles south of the island and provides an even broader range of flights and carriers.

  • By Shuttle: Some hotels and resorts offer shuttle services for their guests from nearby airports. It’s a good idea to check with your accommodation to see if this service is available.

Once you’ve arrived on the island, there are several ways to get around and explore the island’s natural beauty and attractions. Many visitors choose to rent bicycles to navigate the island’s extensive network of bike trails. You can also rent golf carts or use your car to explore the island at your own pace.


What is the history of Jekyll Island?

Jekyll Island, owned by the State of Georgia, has a rich history dating back to 1733. It was purchased by the state in 1947. The island, once a private retreat for America’s elite, played a key role in the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank.

What can I find at Jekyll Island?

Jekyll Island, a part of Coastal Georgia, offers a variety of attractions including historic landmarks like the mansion-sized cottages and the revitalized Andrews Beach. Visitors can explore the southernmost point of the island and enjoy its beautiful beaches.

Who was Sir Joseph Jekyll?

Sir Joseph Jekyll, unrelated to Jekyll Island, was a notable British lawyer and politician in the 1700s. Jekyll Island, however, is named after him and reflects the rich history and cultural heritage of Georgia.

What are some key dates in Jekyll Island’s history?

Key dates in Jekyll Island’s history include its founding in 1733 and significant developments in 1886. The island was closed to the public in 1942 during World War II and was bought by the State of Georgia in 1947.

What accommodations are available on Jekyll Island?

On Jekyll Island, visitors can find various places to stay, ranging from cozy cottages to luxurious beachfront hotels. The island offers accommodations suitable for different budgets and preferences, ensuring a comfortable stay for all.

What activities are available on Jekyll Island?

Jekyll Island offers a multitude of activities including visiting historical sites like Fort Frederica, enjoying the beaches like Andrews Beach, and exploring the natural beauty scattered throughout the island. It’s a perfect destination for a Georgia vacation.

Who are some notable figures associated with Jekyll Island?

Notable figures associated with Jekyll Island include General Oglethorpe, Senator Nelson, and Benjamin Strong. These men were influential in the island’s history and the drafting of significant legislation in the U.S.

Is Jekyll Island a part of the Federal Reserve System?

While Jekyll Island itself is not part of the Federal Reserve System, it played a significant role in the system’s creation through a historic meeting in 1910 that led to the drafting of the Federal Reserve Act.


There’s no shortage of things to do on Jekyll Island, Georgia. From exploring the island’s history to playing on its beautiful beaches, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of things to do on this perfect island.