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3 Low Cost and Free Things to do on Jekyll Island

  • Driftwood Beach

Jekyll Island was once the winter escape for some of America’s richest families. Now, the island is a playground for the public, and winter is a perfect time to see it all at a discount. Explore Georgia has some hotel deals for a special getaway, and here are three low cost or free things to do on Jekyll Island so you can spend a little more on your hotel package.

The Tidelands Nature Center is a little more rustic than its neighbor the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. In addition to a small collection of sea animals in the center, they offer kayak tours, nature walks and special hands-on programs for kids. We participated in an identifying fish program, and my kids are still singing the parts of a fish song to the tune of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.”

Driftwood Beach, also known as Boneyard Beach, is a hidden gem along the northern end of Jekyll Island. The name comes from the remains of weathered grey trees that have been preserved by the salt air and water from the ocean. It’s a beautifully eerie place and a perfect backdrop for photographs.

The Jekyll Island Museum is free and located within the Jekyll Island Historic District. It has a small museum that showcases photographs and objects from the island’s colorful past. Bet you didn’t know that in addition to being the winter retreat for some of America’s most elite families, Jekyll Island also played a significant part in America’s history. In 1910, Senator William Alrich convened a secret meeting of financiers on Jekyll Island to create a proposal for banking reform that was the forerunner of today’s Federal Reserve. Today, the Jekyll Island Club National Historic Landmark District is a 240-acre, riverfront compound and one of the largest, ongoing restoration projects in the southeastern United States.

Sue Rodman

Sue Rodman is Georgia’s official Smart Travel Explorer and the managing editor of the award-winning family travel site 365 Atlanta Family.

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