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We all need a family getaway that involves nothing more than island frolicking, relaxation, and sand between your toes. One piece of this fantasy is a cozy cottage close to the shore for a great price. It’s not a fantasy, y’all. Here are the highlights of our perfect family getaway near the sea at a Jekyll Island Georgia cottage …..
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Family Getaway Island
Jekyll Island Georgia is a picturesque island that became a State Park in the 1940’s after serving as a private retreat to the rich and famous elite like William Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, and Joseph Pulitzer. Jekyll Island is a natural landscape of wide beaches, maritime forests, wildlife, historic sites, biking trails, and thriving ecosystems.
Not just a summer beach destination, Jekyll Island Georgia has unique family adventure and festivals for every season of the year. Island treasure hunts in the winter months, Turtle Crawl Triathalon, July 4th festivities, and the Shrimp and Grits Festival, to name a few. Our family has visited the smallest barrier isle on the coast of Georgia so often that the legend must be true …
Once your feet touch the sand of Jekyll Island, you will always return.
Family Getaway Cottage
After driving across the seven-mile causeway from the mainland, we found our cottage rental tucked into a quiet little neighborhood under a canopy of trees. When I saw the quaint front porch, large windows, and colorful front door, I knew that our fantastic family getaway had begun. The entire cottage was a breath of fresh air with its bright white tongue-and-groove ceiling and exposed beams, beautiful tiled floor, and shabby chic furniture.
The fully-equipped kitchen streamed with light and a view of the huge backyard. Every appliance you could ever hope for was there because they’d thought of everything. Bottled water, coffee k-cups, and plenty of creamer waited for us to use while detergent, cleaners, trash bags and more were at our disposal. Out back there was a grill, family games, and bikes that we were free to use as we pleased.
The large master suite was charming with lots of light, coastal books, and a huge closet. The guest bedroom was large also with two twin beds, a large closet, and a flat screen TV. A bathroom separated the two bedrooms and may have been my favorite with its tiled shower and wainscoting. Special touches were in every room from magazines, guide books, maps of the island, blankets, and an extensive basket of toiletries.
Our first afternoon, we visited the Jekyll Market to get breakfast items and snack emergencies. Not only does this unique shop have every food, personal care, outdoor essential, or decor item that you could ever want, there’s also a restaurant, deli, bakery, and ice cream parlor. Yes, all in one place!
When you’re getting hungry, there’s a snack shop, yogurt shop, sweet shoppe, coffee shop, and about fourteen full-service restaurants on Jekyll Island (with only one fast food restaurant). Over the course of our stay, we found ourselves at The Love Shack Barbecue, Uncle Vance’s Coffee Shop, The Club Cafe, and Red Bug Motors Pizza.
Things to do on Jekyll Island
There are such many unique, family friendly things to do on Jekyll Island from bike riding through the historic “millionaires” district to kayak excursions on the marsh. We started our first full day by rising early to walk part of the 10-mile stretch of wide beaches. Nature photography, peaceful exercise, an “island treasure” hunt, and long talks along the shore resulted.
We retreated to our adorable cottage to relax before heading out again for a family bicycle ride around the island. Remember those family bikes in the backyard? What a blessing to be able to grab them at our whim and take off. There are about twenty miles of bike trails on the island and we literally covered half of that. So. much. fun.
Since Jekyll Island Georgia now has over 25 miles of paved bike trails and wooden bridges, we discovered the beaches, forests, marshes, fishing pier, the Landmark Historic District, and more from a fun perspective. Ask for a bike trail map when you stop by the Visitor’s Center for great routes to enjoy! Along our path was the Island Sweet Shoppe filled with old-fashioned candy, hand-dipped ice cream, fine chocolates, and homemade fudge.
The newly renovated beach village in the center of the island with boutique shops, a convention center, and restaurants is a gorgeous area to spend some time. The last stretch of our family bike ride was along the seashore to return to our perfect, Jekyll Island Cottage.
Know before you go
- Bike helmets are required for riders 16 years & younger.
- Bring your own accessories for the beach. Can’t think of anything else except clothing, toiletries, and food.
- There are five Jekyll Island Beaches. Find them all on the map provided in this cottage.
- Great Dunes Beach has great public bathrooms, picnic tables, and beach access for families.
- Driftwood, Great Dunes, and St. Andrews Beaches are pet-friendly with leashes no long than 16″
- Check the Coastal Georgia Tide Chart for high/low tide times before heading to beaches
Our cottage rental was side “A.” An independent cottage of its own, side “B” had a separate entrance and driveway. The only thing shared between both sides was the large backyard. I’d love to return and share the property with another family or family members and create new family vacation memories.
Click here to see details about both sides of the cottage and choose to rent one of them or the whole thing!
Red Bug Motors Pizza
My thanks goes to the owners of Sandy Toes and Salty Kisses for a memorable family vacation. We thoroughly enjoyed the warm hospitality, special touches, and coziest cottage we’ve ever seen.