Who we were: DH and I
Where we stayed: Jekyll Island Club on Jekyll Island. Winter Adventure rate was an excellent deal. We will opt for the Crane Cottage, Cherokee Cottage or San Souci Cottage on our next trip. The main house and the annex are a little too historic. Very poor air circulation, stuffy and mildewy odor, and hallway and outdoor noise is very noticeable. A minor annoyance was the absence of a table to use for a laptop in the room. I will do a full review on Trip Advisor, but would choose this hotel over any of the more modern beachfront ones.
Nice Surprise: A lovely bottle of champagne and fresh strawberries in the room at check in and a very pretty watercolor print of the hotel at check out.
Pluses for time of travel: the weather was excellent. Very warm (60's and 70's) during the day and quite pleasant though a bit cooler in the evenings. Beautiful breezes from the river and the ocean. Few other travelers so no wait at restaurants or crowds on the beach.
Another Nice Surprise: We happened to be there during the Shuttle launch. We rode our bikes to the beach and watched it. Not exactly ringside, but a treat all the same. DH has wanted to see one for many years, in fact we have timed several trips to FL for that purpose only to have the flights delayed. This was very exciting.
Where we ate: There is major construction at Jekyll right now. A beach village is part of the plan for the new convention center area. Right now restaurant options on Jekyll are relatively limited so we drove to St. Simons for breakfast. We ate at Palmers and Mallery St. Cafe. Both were family operations and quite good. Pricing was reasonable, service was fast. I don't think you can go wrong with either choice. Our last morning we had the buffet at Jekyll Island Club. It is fine, but not a wow.
We had lunches at Jekyll Island Club at the Cafe Solterra. Soups were excellent and we enjoyed the sandwiches. it was an easy place to zip in and grab something without having to worry about the bikes.
We had three dinners on Jekyll. Hands down my favorite meal was at The Courtyard at Crane's. Outstanding food, good wine choices, and the best key lime pie I have had in ages. Service is affected (three different waiters for our table) but not very prompt or polished. We didn't care. We loved the view and ambiance of the restaurant and as I mentioned the food was splendid. I would consider this a must on a Jekyll Island visit. Dress code is smart casual (the Jekyll Island Club dining room requires jackets).
We had a very good dinner at Latitude 31. Service was friendly and fast. The food was good. The view can't be beat. I would go back.
Blackbeards was not particularly memorable. A fodorite had warned me away but we were at the beach and it was not busy so we took a chance. Blackened wild Georgia shrimp came swimming in grease. The sides were not very tasty. But the view was lovely and the beer was cold, so we weren't miserable. Too many other options to return here.
What we did: Jekyll Island is a state park and one of which Georgia can rightly be proud. It has the most excellent bike paths, all off road, all flat as a board and most paved. It could not be more friendly to biking. DH is a stronger and more competitive rider than I but even he enjoyed the lovely views. The trails pass through the marshes, on the beaches, and under the gorgeous canopy of oaks and Spanish moss. I will try to post my photos on Facebook this week. It was really wonderful. We also drove to St. Simons and rode there. It is busier and more commercial than Jekyll so we preferred Jekyll, but it is very nice and they have added several new routes since our last visit.
We also visited the Georgia Sea Turtle rescue center. It is well done and worth a stop. One of the great charms of Jekyll Island Club is the many walking paths one can comfortably enjoy early in the day or at night. I tend to rise earlier than DH and I really loved being able to walk to the river and see the morning begin. I will think often of those mornings, they were a highlight of the trip for me.
Thank you to all the Fodorites who gave me helpful suggestions. The trip was a perfect way to celebrate our anniversary and take a brief break from the winter cold.
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Georgia Isles, perfect time of year to visit
Who we were: DH and I