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Life at your own pace, that is visiting Jekyll Island, a sea island off the coast of the United States. Located in Glynn County, Georgia, which is considered one of the Golden Isles of Georgia, named shortly Oglethorpe after General James Oglethorpe established Georgia as a colony in 1733.
Coastal Georgia was first visited by Spanish settlers who established missions all over the place, although Oglethorpe never had one. However, the mission close by at Saint Simons Island heavy influenced Jekyll Island, which received its name thereafter for the English settlement to honor General Oglethorpe's friend, Sir Joseph Jekyll.
Close by the Marshes of Glynn, immortalized by poet Sydney Lanier, and the city of Brunswick, Jekyll Island is a popular tourist destination where guided tours are available of the Landmark Historic District, an area comprising numerous buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Although the Atlantic coastline of Georgia is just about 100 miles long, it is a region rich in traditions and breathtaking green landscapes, often referred to as a scenic vacation destination, which has lured domestic and international travelers for decades.
The Golden Isles run from the Florida border up to South Carolina, the frequent point of encounter between vacationers traveling by car and others aboard small ship cruise lines, where Jekyll Island distinguishes itself from the hard work to avoid overgrown and over development.
In addition, coastal Gullah traditions make this destination unique within the area. Gullah is often referred to as "Sea Island Creole", an ethnic language and group of African-Americans native to this Georgia's region, and brought over by West African slaves.
Lifestyle in Jekyll Island is highly influence by Gullah, including manifestations of arts and crafts, religious practices, foods, music and storytelling directly from the mouth of friendly locals, usually neighbors of Brunswick. There are just a few residents in Jekyll because of the $3 parking fee charged daily to all cars entering the island.
Jekyll Island in really an amalgam of Gullah and many other cultures, besides Spanish moss, live oaks, palmetto and green corridors, but it lacks any nightlife activities, easily found in towns nearby.
Waycross, Kingsland, Brunswick, and the Historic Richmond Hill, are some of the towns and cities nearby this natural gem sparkling under the sun and open to the public, because many of the Golden Isles of Georgia are privately owned, while the rest are under federal or state park systems.
When they say there are centuries of stories per square mile, you will know that this statement is close to the truth. From the time of colonial days, the plantation era and the Civil War, to the famous Club days in the late 19th century, Jekyll Island has so much to say for your next visit to the so-called Georgia's Jewell.
The number or different activities, dinning, shopping and accommodation facilities make this island a stopover for many mainstream ships departing or arriving to Port Canaveral and Jacksonville in Florida.
A day at the beach is always enjoyable, but there are also over 20 miles of flat bicycle rentals distributed all over the island making it more fun, providing maps with all bike paths of Jekyll marked. In fact, there is a two-hour biking circle tour at the historic district as popular as the close golf course used sometimes to cut the twisted bike paths.
Jekyll Island is owned by the State, offering too many attractions in such a small island. Kayaking, fishing, Water Park and walkabout are just a few of those activities visitors can enjoy just 9 miles south of Brunswick. Jekyll is also the smallest of the Golden Isles of Georgia, with only 5,600 acres of highlands and 10,000 acres of marshlands.
Miles of beautiful green landscape, white sandy beaches, golf championship courses, and outdoor activities are the perfect setting for families wanting to enjoy the sun of Georgia. A Privilege that was not possible in the past, when the island was private-owned and the Jekyll Island Club operated was the only facility around.
In 1885, Jekyll Island became a playground for the wealthy, and it was estimated that the Jekyll Island Club represented more than 1/6 of most wealthy people around the world. The Munsey's Magazine published in 1904 that "The Jekyll Island Club is the richest, the most exclusive, and most inaccessible club in the world".
The Great Depression in 1929 caused the decline of the Club that finally closed its doors in 1942. It was expected that the club would reopen after the war, but in 1946, the State of Georgia wanted to purchase one of the Sea Islands and open it to public as a State park, as occurred one year later.
For further information, contact the Jekyll Island Visitors Center, 901 Jekyll Island Causeway, open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, telephone 912 635-3636.