If you have a car, take the South Jekyll Loop to survey the scene before concentrating on specifics. Drive south on North Beachview Drive to view some of the island’s 10 miles of public beaches with public bathhouses and picnic areas. Your loop around the island’s southern end will include the South Dunes Picnic Area. Continue around onto South Riverview Drive, passing Summer Waves and the Jekyll Harbor Marina, until you return to Fortson Parkway.
Beaches -- There are three public beaches on the island, all open daily round-the-clock and free to the public. Those choosing to swim off Jekyll Island do so at their own risk, as there are no lifeguards on duty. The St. Andrew Picnic Area, reached beyond Summer Waves, the water park along South Riverview Drive, is one of the best beaches at the southeastern tip of the island. It has an adjacent picnic area, but no bathhouse or showers available. South Dunes Beach, with a picnic area and showers, is north of St. Andrew and is reached along South Beach Drive. Farther along, Central Dunes has showers but no picnic area. Saltwater fishing is allowed on the public beaches, and no license is required.
Biking -- Because of its flatness, Jekyll Island is relatively easy to explore by bike. Rentals are available from Jekyll Island Club Hotel. Bikes rent for $10 for a half day and $18 for a full day.
Golf -- Three championship 18-hole courses await golfers on Jekyll Island, plus one historic 9-hole course. The Great Dunes Golf Course, Beach View Drive (tel. 912/635-2170), is a small 9-hole course patterned after the course at St. Andrews, Scotland. It offers some holes that were part of the original course laid out in 1898 when only millionaires played golf here. The course was remodeled as an authentic links course in the 1920s by Walter J. Travis. A 3,023-yard, par-36 course, it’s open daily from 7am to 6pm. There is a small pro shop and a clubhouse on the grounds. Greens fees are $18 to $25.
Jekyll Island Golf Club, 322 Captain Wylly Dr. (tel. 912/635-2368; www.golfjekyllisland.com), consists of three separate courses: Oleander (18 holes, 6,241 yd., par 72), Pine Lake (18 holes, 6,760 yd., par 72), and Indian Mound (18 holes, 6,282 yd., par 72). Dick Wilson’s Oleander is consistently ranked among the state’s best courses, and the Atlanta Constitution called its 12th hole “the most demanding par 4 of any daily fee course in the state.” Pine Lakes was designed by Clyde Johnson and is the longest and tightest layout on Jekyll Island. Tree-lined fairways dogleg both left and right as they wind through the island’s interior. Indian Mound was designed by Joe Lee with wide fairways and large, sloping greens.
All courses prefer that you reserve tee times, and charge $17 to $45 for greens fee, depending on time of day and season. Play is daily from 7am to 6pm for all three courses. A clubhouse, restaurant, and pro shop are on the grounds.
Tennis -- Jekyll Island Tennis Center, 400 Captain Wylly Dr. (tel. 912/635-3154), boasts 13 clay courts, seven of them lighted for night play, all of them favored because of low-impact conditions and cooler court temperatures. The center is open daily 9am to 6pm. Ball machines can be rented for $12 per hour, and the court fee is $6 per person, per session. Professional instruction is available for $25 per hour. There’s a pro shop on the grounds, plus a restaurant and showers.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.