Guide to Jekyll Island Vacation with Little Kids
Jekyll Island is a hidden jewel on the southern Georgia coast. Filled with rich history and beautiful scenery, this is a destination that offers vacation fun for the whole family. Here’s my tips for the perfect Jekyll Island vacation with little kids including the best place to stay, family friendly activities and more.
Thank you to Jekyll Island for partnering with me for this post.
Best Place to Stay Jekyll Island with Kids
I highly recommend staying at the Jekyll Island Club Resort. This historic hotel dates back to the 1880’s and is the epitome of southern charm. With large porches, stunning architecture and comfortable modern amenities, this resort is the perfect for families traveling to Jekyll Island. Learn more about our stay >>
If you’re planning a vacation to Jekyll Island, I highly recommend staying at the Jekyll Island Club Resort. This stunning resort is rich in history with beautiful features and modern amenities. It’s the perfect vacation destination on the East Coast due to it’s charm and southern hospitality.
Jekyll Island Club Resort
The Jekyll Island Club Resort was originally built in 1888 serving as a retreat for extremely wealthy families. The nation’s first transcontinental phone call even took place between at Jekyll Island Club. The club was restored and reopened in 1987 and was even named a Best Hotel in Georgia in Southern Living Magazine in 2007.
The rooms at Jekyll Island Club Resort are comfortable, beautiful and full of amenities. Our room included two queen beds, a leather sofa and separate living room with mini fridge and coffee maker, two TV’s, a full bathroom and also the remnants of a historic fireplace. Most noteworthy, I loved the photos on the wall because they include old photographs that further showcase the rich history of The Club.
Southern Charm at it’s Finest (Jekyll Island Club Resort Reviews)
This beautiful resort is the epitome of southern charm. Walking through the doors instantly transports you to a different era. The architecture and workmanship is simply stunning. Filled with large porches, comfy rocking chairs and sweet southern comfort, we didn’t want to leave.
The Club also includes a convenient cafe with deli sandwiches, coffee and sweets. There is a full service restaurant as well with lots of delicious food options. Furthermore, The Club is located one mile from the ocean and complimentary intra-island transportation is provided. There is also a fitness center, pool with a water front view, and free high speed Internet WiFi.
Things to Do: Water Park Jekyll Island
A water park is the perfect way to beat the heat. There is an awesome water park in Jekyll Island. We loved exploring this Summer Waves water park and the fun attractions they have for kids of all ages.
Our favorite part of the park was Shark Tooth Cove. This zero entry, shallow pool with 360 degree seating is perfect for families with young kids. There were several small slides and lots of shooting water fountains. Both my preschooler and baby loved this area and I felt confident letting them play. There is also a height restriction to keep bigger kids out of this area.
As a Florida family, we live at Splash Pads during the summer months. The Summer Waves splash pad was lots of fun. There was water spraying everywhere. With lots of space to play and a giant splashing bucket atop the tower, this was a great area to cool off.
No water park is complete without a lazy river. This was my preschooler’s favorite. She could have floated for hours. I loved that they had little tubes that were perfect for younger kids. The lazy river was perfectly paced and had lots of fun water falls to add more character and splash to the ride.
The wave pool was another favorite. This pool offered fun for the whole family whether it was holding the kids waist deep in the waves, or letting them stand themselves in the shallow end. The park also provided life jackets which fit my oldest daughter perfectly.
Tips for visiting Summer Waves Water Park Jekyll Island
- Arrive early and save a chair in the shade! There is tons of shaded seating around the park. Having a shaded lounge chair was perfect for when my kiddos needed to nap
- Food isn’t allowed (except water & baby food) however, they have a nice picnic area by the parking lot and they do allow re-entry with a hand stamp
- Wear plenty of sunscreen and bring shoes. The pavement can get hot! Wearing shoes between attractions will keep your feet from being too hot. I love these Mox Shoes which are water proof and stylish for exploring Jekyll Island.
More Things to Do in Jekyll Island with Little Kids
Jekyll Island has so much to offer. With five beaches and lots of nature paths, there is something for everyone. We loved playing mini golf right across from the beach. Red Bug Pizza Restaurant located nearby is delicious and has outdoor deck seating that overlooks a great playground perfect for little kids to explore.
Visit Driftwood Beach
One of the most popular beaches in Jekyll Island is called Driftwood Beach. Ancient driftwood monuments line the waterfront, creating an unforgettable backdrop. Not to mention they’re so much fun to climb and explore for little ones. USA TODAY even featured this as one of the best Southern beaches for a weekend escape and it sure didn’t disappoint. I recommend going right at sunset for the best photos.
Explore Georgia Sea Turtle Center In Jekyll Island
The Center offers the public a chance to learn about sea turtles and see rehabilitation in action with a host of interactive exhibits and experiences. My daughter loved exploring the exhibits and learning all about sea turtles in a hands-on way. When traveling to Jekyll Island, don’t miss the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. This educational center is Georgia’s only sea turtle education and rehabilitation facility. It’s the perfect stop for families with kids of all ages.
Educational Fun for Kids of All Ages
The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is located in the historic district of Jekyll Island. The center includes interactive exhibits perfect for young kids and adults alike. My preschooler loved pushing all the buttons, lifting the flaps and exploring the various activities. Furthermore, each exhibit includes a number and teaches the life journey of a turtle. After completing each station, you emboss your Sea Turtle Guide making an awesome keepsake.
Sea Turtles Up Close
The Georgia Sea Turtle Center works to rehabilitate and release turtles. There’s a large window where you can watch vets do surgery on turtles. The turtle pavilion outside provides an up close look at about a dozen turtles. Each tank describes why the turtle is there and also what is being done to help. Many of the turtles are suffering because of boating accidents.
Above all, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center has released 179 Loggerhead turtles, 175 Green turtles, and 162 Kemp’s Ridley turtles. The Center offers the public a chance to learn about sea turtles and see rehabilitation in action with a host of interactive exhibits and experiences.
Visit the official Georgia Sea Turtle Center website to learn more about the programs, research, and other important work being done to save turtles and other coastal wildlife.
Final Tips for Visiting Jekyll Island with Little Kids
Jekyll Island is a perfect vacation destination for families with young kids. Here are a few final tips to help make your Jekyll Island vacation a success:
- Plan ahead. Know what attractions will be best suited for your family by visiting www.jekyllisland.com and exploring all the options
- Build in breaks. Traveling with young kids can be tough. Be sure to build in plenty of non structured breaks. Whether it’s play time at the beach, free time at the playground or nap time at the resort, breaks will save your sanity.
- Bring Your Camera. Everywhere we went was photo worthy. There are so many great picture spots so be sure to bring your camera along to capture every moment.
- Unplug. Jekyll Island is truly a world of it’s own. Take advantage of the breathtaking scenery and escape reality.