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Jekyll Island Georgia

May 23 – 26, 2016: 

What a crazy name, Jekyll Island!  I just had to look it up to find out why the name of Jekyll.  It’s not real interesting but the name comes from Sir Joseph Jekyll who was a friend of James Oglethorpe. Oglethorpe was the guy who started the Georgia Colony in the early 1700s.  OK, the history lesson is over now!


The Sidney Lanier Bridge connecting Brunswick GA to Jekyll Island.

Patty found Jekyll Island on one of the Facebook RV pages last year while we were just beginning the process of planning our 2016 travel up the East Coast.  We heard all very good stuff about the island and the campground.  We can now say that the campground is one of the best we have stayed at!  The island is also a great place to spend some time.  It was a great five days here!

Jekyll Island is an island just off the coast of South Georgia and is around half way between Savannah GA to the north and Jacksonville FL to the south.  The island is also part of the Georgia state park system.  The campground is located on the north end of the island about 5 miles from the entrance of the park.  The campground has 175 campsites and can handle a large rig like we have at 40 foot or more. Our cost was only $40 a night for full hookups, pull through and great Wi-Fi.  That really is a deal for this campground! 

Coming into the park on Jekyll Island you need to pay a daily entrance fee.  The signs/instructions at the gate are not very clear.  I couldn’t make heads or tails out of the instructions on the electronic gate system.  The park had a couple of people helping people manage the system to get in.  This electronic gate handles a lot of things, making the instructions difficult to follow.  


Entrance to Jekyll Island

First, there is a daily rate of $6 that can be increased depending on the number of days you will be using the gate, not how many days you are on the island - confusing!  Then there is the issue of payment.  There is a slot for a credit card, cash, and one for your entrance card all with instructions.  Along with that stuff there is also a swipe surface for reading some other type pass and, yeah, another set of instructions.  Anyway, sitting there with a 40 foot 5th wheel on my rear and hanging out the door of our F-450 with a line of other vehicles behind you, this system was very intimidating to say the least!

We got through that obstacle with just paying the $6 entrance fee for one day with a credit card.  We didn’t ask how the weekly pass worked as we wanted to scope out the land before we decided how often we might be leaving the park. We did go off the island just after setting up to get a few things just to be sure we didn't need to go out later, and didn’t leave again.

The next hurdle was getting to the campground.  Our GPS system was giving us directions but I wasn’t too sure about them.  Also, the signs in the park are not the best and our GPS wasn't agreeing.  It’s not that the signs are wrong; it’s that they are somewhat busy and not always logical for an outside person like us.  You travel along watching the signs for campground and then see one showing campground with an arrow for straight ahead, all fine so far.  Then the next few signs show other stuff with arrows.  By the time you are wondering if you missed the sign, a sign appears telling you that we need to turn right now! Turning right away is not always convenient when you are a vehicle with tow of 55 feet! It’s all very doable, just need to keep on your toes!  We learned that if you follow the GPS you will be fine getting to the campground.  No worries!


One of the easier to read signs to the campground.



The campground reminds me of the campground that Disney’s Camp Wilderness may have been designed from.  It is one of the nicest real campgrounds we have been in.  The entire campground is full of tall pines and live oak trees making for a complete canopy of limbs with loads of Spanish moss overhead.  In fact, we had to use our interior lights in the middle of the day to see inside of the RV!  The campground sites are a layer of dirt with leaves on top and are a good size. We didn’t have any trouble getting into our pull through as there was just enough room between the trees.  We didn’t even need to maneuver around to get a better position, right the first time!


This is a view from our truck.  It looked to me like a locomotive was parked in the back of the campground.  Well, being a railroader, it looked like it to me!

Our site in the Jekyll Island Campground.

We didn’t do everything there is to do on the island but we did a lot in 5 days.  We feel that 2 weeks would be needed to take full advantage of all there is to do here.  One of the great things about the campground is that you can bike to most everything on the island.  However, we chose to use our truck for most stuff because we only have 5 days and wanted to move quicker.  


One of the houses in the historic district on the island.

The island has over 20 miles of bike trails.

My favorite pictures on the island are from here, Driftwood Beach.

Driftwood Beach

Driftwood Beach and my favorite picture.

The new Westin hotel and shopping area.  This was just opened last November 2015.
Entrance to Great Dunes Beach

The Westin from Great Dunes Beach.


Mark expressing himself!

Nice miniature golf course on the island



One of the best things for us was the golfing here.  I know we were here at a slower time just before the big summer season and just before Memorial Day weekend, but we never expected to have such great access to the golf courses!  I called the course up and asked if we could get on this week thinking there was no way.  I was told I could have most any day and time!  We went out on Wednesday morning at 9am and had no one close in front or behind us.  It was like we had the course all to ourselves!




Momma deer and her fawn on the golf course

Patty has a great swing!

We played the Indian Mound course and it was an absolutely fabulous course!  I still played my usual crappy game but I did it on a country club type course.  On a course like this I’m always thinking someone is going to see me play and make me get off of it!


Another picture of the golf course. It was a nice course and
just the right amount of challenge to it, for us anyway!

I decided one morning to ride my bike as one of my daily workouts.  I hadn't done that in a very long time.  I left the campsite early to avoid the midday heat at around 9am.  I was really getting into the ride and decided not to stop peddling by adjusting the gears as i went.  At the 3 mile mark I adjusted the gears down to a very low setting and all of a sudden the rear wheel locked up.  I was going pretty slow so I wasn't concerned that I was going to fall off.  It was a little scary though as it happened!  


Mark's 4 year old mountain bike with the numbing handlebars just after the derailer failure.

It's hard to see here but the sprocket on the derailler broke in half after getting jammed into the spokes of the rear wheel.  I believe this happened because it got bent laying on it's side in the back of the truck.

I've had the bike since we started full time RVing 4 years ago.  I did a little pricing on the rear derailers and I now think that a new bike is in order.  I don't buy expensive bikes as we are pretty hard on them, they ride in the back of the truck. This time I am going to look at more of a cruiser type bike with the handlebars in an upward position so I can sit up. The current bike is a mountain bike with the handlebars in a position that makes my hands numb after a few miles. Selection of a new bike will be sometime in a future blog post.

While we are at it, we do have one negative about the campground.  We wanted to play pickleball on their court but there wasn’t a net.  We have our own balls and paddles to play; we just need the net.  They advertise pickleball courts, so when we asked about the net at the office we were told that there was a $5 fee for the net! What!! So we didn’t play pickleball.  It was the principle that they were making you pay for the use of the net that pissed us off.  If the money was just a holding fee that would have been fine, but a fee to use the net, come on!

We were on the island for just 5 days, which was enough to get a real feel for the place but just wasn’t long enough to relax more. 

We are off to Savannah for 8 days including Memorial Day weekend.

Stay tuned!

1 comments:

Tom and Marci said...

Looks like you had a nice visit to Jekyll Island. We spent one day there last spring and really liked it - although we did not stay in the campground. We couldn't get a spot at the time, and after seeing it (we drove through), we were glad we didn't stay there. I didn't think the sites looked big at all, and everything seemed so haphazard. We loved the bike trail (rode around the whole island), and the Great Dunes Beach! I know what you mean about the directional signs -- we were headed toward the campground because we heard that there was a good place to park at that end of the island, and ended up driving through town and around the hotel! Would not have wanted to make that same mistake with the RV!!