This post is in part sponsored by the Jekyll Island Ocean club and the Jekyll Island Authority. The views and opinions expressed are my own. Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you, but I may earn a small commission.
If you follow me on social media, then you got an overdose of content from our recent trip to Jekyll Island. If you follow me on social media, then you already know the answer to the question in the title–the answer is clearly YES!
We spent five glorious days the Jekyll Island Ocean Club continuing to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. It was absolutely magical. That was our first trip to Jekyll Island, but it won’t be out last. Keep reading to find out why!
Things to do and see on Jekyll Island
From the moment we set foot on Jekyll Island, the laid back vibe was apparent. However, that’s not to be mistaken for a lack of things to do and enjoy. Between moments of relaxation, we partook of all the island had to offer from an island tour with the Mosaic Museum, to biking around the Jekyll Island Club properties courtesy of Jekyll Island Wheels. If we wanted to stay in our suite and enjoy downtime, we absolutely could. If we wanted to be entertained the island definitely had that too.
On Thursday, the day after we arrived, we took a guided tour of the main properties on the island. We learned so much about the history of the island including the very wealthy people who called it their vacation home (e.g., William D. Rockefeller and Joseph Pulitzer of THE Pulitzer Prize). Many of the restored homes are typically included in the tour. However, due to COVID and the precautions put in place on the island, larger crowds cannot tour the homes at this time. Thankfully, we toured around lunchtime on a Thursday which made for practically private tour. We were able to tour all of the very decadent homes and see how the uber wealthy of the day lived.
What I loved most about the tour was the in depth the coverage of the history of enslaved Africans on the island. Though it was very heavy, it was a much needed of reminder of how life on the island began and how it has evolved with time. The Mosaic Museum also had an exhibit showcasing the integration of Jekyll Island’s beaches. In fact Jekyll Island is home to St. Andrews beach, the first beach in the state of Georgia to allow black visitors. We visited the beach immediately after our tour, and standing on the shore really hit hard. We even saw dolphins to boot.
Though I don’t golf, that didn’t diminish my appreciation for the Jekyll Island Golf Club. It was an absolutely beautiful course to have the honor of driving the golf cart on an equally beautiful day. Doug played nine holes, while I requested mini photoshoots when ever I could.
Doug played the Indian Mound course. The Jekyll Island Golf Club, created in 1898, is comprised of 63 holes and four courses. It’s Georgia’s largest public golf course with some of Jekyll Island’s most pristine lakes, marshes and forests.
Biking with Jekyll Island Wheels
Biking Jekyll Island sounds like such a simple thing, but honestly it was very close to tying with the tour for my favorite activity! It’s been quite some time since I rode a bike, so it took a little bit to get me going (again, if you follow me on social media then you saw Doug capture my struggle). However, once I got going, it was on! Jekyll island made for a beautiful drive, but I’d have to say it’s more beautiful from a bike. The weather was perfect for a ride amongst trees covered in Christmas lights and Spanish moss. My only regret it that our trip didn’t coincide with the lighting of the Christmas decorations. What we did see was beautiful and, we definitely plan to return to see them in live action one year.
We researched and watched vlogs about Driftwood Beach heavily before our visit. It had to be the number one thing I was most excited to see in person. I didn’t disappoint. The beach gets it’s name from the iconic driftwood left by decades of erosion. It certainly not the best beach for swimming, but it made for the most stunning sunrise ever.
The Food on Jekyll Island
We ate our way around Jekyll Island and beyond! Doug is a self proclaimed foodie, and researched all the best places to eat ahead of our trip. We enjoyed meals on the Jekyll Island Club properties, and also ventured over to St. Simon Island a few times.
Eighty Ocean Kitchen and Bar
The first evening we arrived we had dinner at the Eighty Ocean Kitchen and Bar. We could tell it has beautiful view even at night, but in the daytime with the doors up it was absolutely stunning! But the wow factor didn’t end at the view. The wood fire Mediterranean pizza was the best version of a Mediterranean pizza I’d EVER had. Doug had the brisket ravioli and of course I stuck my fork in that too–amazing! We had breakfast with them before heading out the next day and it was equally amazing. I had an omelet while Doug had mini waffles. I’m salivating as a type!
The food was undoubtedly amazing, but what I appreciated most was the COVID precautions in place. Doug and I had only eaten in a restaurant twice prior to this visit since the pandemic began. We remain very cautious and are very mindful about dining in restaurants. However, Eighty Ocean was never overly crowded and all staff wore masks at all times. Also, when we decided to dine in our room, grabbing dinner to go was also an option.
After we wrapped up our tour with the Mosaic Museum, we enjoyed lunch at The Wharf. Newly renovated and recently reopened, we ate on the deck while taking in beautiful views of the river. The Wharf is also the spot for live music and entertainment. They also offer happy hour and a late-night bar.
Since we had a big breakfast at Eighty Ocean Kitchen and Bar, we didn’t eat nearly as much as we normally would have. We started with the fried pickles (yum), while I had a Caesar Salad to Doug’s Wedge Salad. We also sampled the cocktails and were very pleased.
After catching the sunrise at Driftwood Beach, we needed to grab a quick breakfast before our tee time at the Jekyll Island Golf Course. So, we made our way to The Pantry, a casual dining location on the Jekyll Island Club property. Though we grabbed our breakfast of a bacon egg and cheese biscuit with grits (for Doug) and a smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel for me, the Pantry does offer outside dining. There were many grab and go options including pastries and iced coffee. This was perfect for our small window of time. We enjoyed our food on the balcony of our suite while listening to the sound of the waves.
Where to Stay on Jekyll Island
Jekyll Island is home to various resorts and hotels, however the Jekyll Island Ocean Club was hands down the location we were most drawn to. Situated right on the Atlantic Ocean, it is the newest edition to the Jekyll Island Club Resort. Deciding to stay at the Ocean Club was a tough call because the Jekyll Island Clubhouse is most beautiful as well. However, we forfeited all of our beach trips this year due to COVID, so we chose a king suite at the Ocean Club overlooking the ocean.
The suite at the Ocean Club was ABSOLUTELY BREATHTAKING! We had looked at pictures online multiple times in anticipation of our arrival, but they did not do it justice! At approximately 700 square feet, I quite literally could have lived there.
When we arrived, the front desk personnel immediately went over the COVID precautions in place to protect the guest as well as staff. Staff made sure we knew what was to be expected while also being extremely accommodating. One example is our room assignment. As mentioned, we’d looked at photos of the suites a number of times prior to arrival. From the first floor suite, we could have easy access to the pool, hot tub and the beach. However, a first floor suite would only be available for part of our stay. The staff offered to room us in the third floor suite for part of our stay and the first floor for the other. Given the amount of luggage I had I knew this wouldn’t be feasible for us. However, given the fact that this option was offered without hesitation made my heart happy.
The room setup was perfect. Many guests were still enjoying the pool and hot tub as the weather was still nice. However, with the sleeping area separate from the balcony area, we were able to join in the fun or enjoy rest whenever we chose. The sitting area was another very cozy space where we watched tv when we weren’t exploring, and had our dinners when we opted to stay in for the night.
I can’t forget the bathroom, which in many suites can typically be unremarkable. The bathroom in our suite was very clean and modern. It also had a separate toilet area which we absolutely love! You already know a separate toilet area is a must. I can only think of one other resort that has offered this feature in all my travels.
After spending five beautiful days on Jekyll Island with the Jekyll Island Ocean Club, I can’t recommend it as a fall vacation location enough. The weather is mild and beautiful, the pace is slow, and the food and accommodations are top notch. We usually travel to the mountains for our anniversary, but after the trip to Jekyll Island, we believe we have a new tradition. Have you ever visited Jekyll Island? If not, what are you waiting for? Click here to book you social distanced approved getaway now. In the meantime, check out one of our other favorite anniversary locations here.