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Once an exclusive getaway for America’s elite, Jekyll Island was purchased for public use in 1947 by the state of Georgia. Sixty-five percent of the island will never be developed.

Jekyll is the smallest of Georgia’s barrier islands. An Englishman first colonized Jekyll in the 1730s – you can feel the crumbling oyster shells of his tabby-constructed house, one of Georgia’s oldest structures.

We walked for hours along driftwood beaches and rode bikes on paved roads in the marshes. Damp from summer humidity, we were grateful for the shade of magnolias and oaks along seaside paths. Spanish moss sways from tree canopies, tickling this island with true Southern charm.

Loggerhead turtles lay eggs in the summer on white sand Atlantic beaches. If you don’t see turtles nesting at night, check out Georgia Sea Turtle Center’s museum and hospital, rehabilitating sick and injured sea turtles.

One of the last slave ships to reach America landed on Jekyll in 1858. A moving memorial about slavery is located at a beachside picnic area.

Nearby airports are in Jacksonville or Savannah. For cottage/condominium rentals, we contacted Parker-Kaufman Realty.

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JodyRoseMcCrary Sept. 17, 2009 @ 6:41 p.m.

I visited Jekyll Island, in 1987 as a date to the U.S. Marine Corps Ball for the Albany, GA Marines.

It was just a gorgeous place. I too rented a bicycle and rode around the island looking at the beautiful homes. At that time there was not much to see other than the homes and the island. They have apparently done a lot of visitor additions since this San Diego, for One Night "A Georgia Peach" I actually was the best dressed girl at the ball and my dress in 1987 cost $350. Burgundy and satin with the big rounded sleves and a square collar with a big satin bow in the rear. I felt magic that night. My father (deceased now) was a Lifer U.S.M.C.N.C.O. so me to go to a ball all the way across the United States from coast to coast was a big thrill.

The best thing was watching the sun rise over the water in my ball gown standing on the very thin layer of Atlantic Ocean. Rmember this is November 10, 1987 (my birthday was 3 days before). Too early for their birthday!!!! Oh well, I still made it.

I would recommend to anyone for any kind of vacation or meeting place Jekyll Island from 1987, so I imagine it would really be worth going back someday. I must add that to my must do before 82.

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