Jekyll island beaches

Apr 20th, 2008, 03:09 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
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Jekyll island beaches

Our family is considering a stay on JI in August. However, based on some of the posts I've read, I'm having second thoughts.

Are all the beaches brown sand and is the water truly a muddy brown color?

We've been to the Outer Banks in NC, which had beautiful beaches IMO.

We are from Jersey and are planning a first stop in Charleston, with the beach stay being at Jekyll. Would we be disappointed? Would we be better off at Wild Dunes in SC or possibly Pawley's Island in SC?
Any input is appreciated!
ljv is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 09:47 AM
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Hi everyone. I am looking for info on Jekyll Island too and found this old post. Can anyone respond to ljv's questions?

bankbabe_again is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 09:53 AM
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The beaches and water are pretty much the same from the Mid Atlantic (including the Jersey Shore) down to about Daytona Beach. There are some small differences due to offshore reefs but they are minor.

The beaches range from white sand to grey sand the wetter the sand. The drier the sand the lighter the color.

No, the water is not a muddy brown color. The color of the water is due to what is happening offshore. If a storm is offshore it will stir up the ocean making lots of sediment appear.

Take a look at a map and google the gulf stream. That should give you a good idea of the ocean in the area.
GoTravel is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 09:54 AM
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bankbabe, the beaches are very very wide on Jekyll Island. It is a beautiful place to stay. Are y'all renting a house or staying at a hotel?
GoTravel is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 10:02 AM
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Hey GoT - This is just for 4 nights, so I think it will be a hotel. I am also considering Villas by the Sea because they allow dogs, and I might end up taking my sweet beagle. From the lounge thread - it depends on the golfer in my family!! LOL
bankbabe_again is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 10:33 AM
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Make sure dogs are allowed on the beach. Many beaches don't allow dogs or limit when they are permitted.
MikeT is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 10:53 AM
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First of all, Jekyll is probably my favorite getaway, especially with a pup. It is DEFINITELY my favorite place to go with my dog. Yes, the beach is wide and wonderful. It's not the sugar soft white sand of the FL gulf coast/ Panhandle beaches, but it's a great beach. It's a typical Atlantic coast beach. Click on my profile to see a pic of my pup on the beach at Jekyll.

Yes, the water at Jekyll can look brown. It's not mud or "muddy water". It's the tannic acid (not acidic) from the marsh that is coloring the water. It's clean. It's not polluted. It can be brownish. The color can freak people out but just think of it like iced tea. We drink the "tea water", but it's colored by the organic matter in it. Plant matter - not yucky stuff. When you are in it, you can SEE through it, but the overall look can be brownish. I hope that helps.

I LOVE Jekyll. Have I said that yet? It was created by the state to be a getaway for the "rest of us". It has never been high-falutin' - although there was a plan to build upscale condos and developments. That plan was downsized due to an outcry from environmentalists and those who love Jekyll. I think the economy has slowed things down even more. Some hotels on the south end of the island were razed to make for new construction. The hotels on the island are older and they are well-used beach hotels. Nothing different than middle-range/ moderate beach hotels anywhere else. The nicest place is the Jekyll Island Club - which is on the river side of the island. But, there's a "beach club" for them on the beach. Next to that is a public beach with lots of parking.

My very favorite place to stay is the Oceanside Inn and Suites. It's a long row of two story units, most of which are efficiency rooms with 2 doubles or a king, a divided (by a wall) living area and an efficiency kitchen. The upper units have a view of the ocean. The bottom floor units have patios that open to the large grassy lawn. There are a few motel room type units at the end and only a handful of those rooms overlook the parking lot. Almost all the rooms overlook the ocean. So, hotel/motel, grassy lawn, swimming pool, sidewalk, and then...the beach! Love it. Simple. Basic. Clean. One of my very favorite places in the world. For years my ex and I would go on great trips to Hawaii or California and stay in upscale hotels, then come home and grab the dogs to take them on "their" vacation at the beach for a week My first schnauzer was a prissy male who hated to get his feet dirty. He loved prancing along the sidewalk, seeing and smelling everything that was going on at the water's edge, but he stayed clean and dry.

On morning walks you'll get to know all the resident dogs in the area. You are supposed to have dogs on leashes on the beach. It is not unheard of for dogs to be off leash, running and chasing shore birds. Of course, MY pup would never do that

This is getting long. Around the perimeter of the island is a sidewalk to walk or ride bikes. There's a great kayak tour of the marsh from the nature center. There's a new sea turtle center. There is a water park and summer concerts. The historic district has the "cottages" of the wealthy New Yorkers who made this their getaway for years. When I golfed, I enjoyed the golf courses. But, NOTHING here is "really fancy" - although the dining room at the Club is very nice and they throw great weddings over there If you are a guest of the club, afternoon croquet is a unique experience (at least for us).

St. Simons is a short drive away if you want to see more, but Jekyll is still my very favorite I'll be there in July - yay!
starrs is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 12:01 PM
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We've been going to Jekyll Island regularly for about the past 20 years and I love it too. Now that we have kids, we stay in a condo at Villas by the Sea and we have never been disappointed by our accomodations. Even when the place is fully booked, it's quiet and I really like the pool. The kiddie pool was great when we had toddlers and now we enjoy the large pool with our teens.
Just a couple of caveats--although the beach is nice at Villas by the Sea, it gets covered with water during high tide. That doesn't bother us because we just drive down near the Jekyll Island Club pavilion and the beach is so wide there that it never gets covered. Also, be aware that the beachside condos are just that--beach SIDE, not beach VIEW. If you are beachside, you will get a view of the ocean from the upper master bedroom in a 3BR condo or from the master bedroom in an upper story 2BR condo. (The reason for this is that the stablilzed dune between the condos and the ocean block the view of the ocean from the ground floor.)
Finally, if dogs are permitted on the beach on a leash, please be a good pet owner and keep your dog on the leash. Not everyone on the beach will be as enamoured of your dog as you are--particularly young children who can be afraid of even the smallest dog.
longhorn55 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 12:20 PM
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Thanks for the additional info. Starrs -your pup is a cutie. Do they allow dogs at the Oceanside too? I don't want to be restricted if the Villas by the Sea has no beach at high tide. Of course my dog will be on a leash and I will have plenty of plastic bags on hand...
bankbabe_again is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 12:34 PM
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Yep, the pet fee is $10 a day at the Oceanside. Well worth it IMO.
I'm not a big fan of Villas by the Sea. Friends are, and return every year. It seems too dark to me. It's a complex of units under trees and each unit is different (based on the owner and taste/decor). The oceanside is not fancy but it's bright, faces the ocean, I love the big lawn (as do the pups) and the beach in front is the best beach on Jekyll IMO. I think the pet rooms may be a bit more worn at the Oceanside, but I don't care. It's worth it to have the pup(s) with me.

pssstttt - pup DOES take a morning run chasing the birds on the beach. But, she returns to get back on leash if anyone comes near on the beach. You can see forever on the beach so there's plenty of warning.

I'm usually there on the off season. This pup doesn't like the sun or to get hot. I wouldn't let her off leash if anyone were around. This pup doesn't really care for dogs or kids - or people in general - and will head away from anything she sees other than birds. She'll let you approach and pet her if you must but she'll avoid you at all costs

In Jan/Feb/March the parking lot of the Oceanside is full of cars with Michigan and Canadian tags. They come down for up to 3 months (special longterm rates) and set up house on the ocean. Grills outside their slider patio doors. Little red wagons piled up with beach stuff. It's a very relaxed family place.

longhorn, I just read your post and hope you aren't offended by my comments on Villas by the Sea. Just different personal preferences
starrs is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 12:43 PM
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Check out the pics - the long row of 2 story hotel. Grassy lawn in front. Pool. Sidewalk. Two sets of stairs down to the beach and water. Wide beach. Water. All sun-shiney.

The expanse behind pup in my picture is ALL hotel. Set back so you can't really see it, but that's how long the series of buildings are. Park right outside the parking lot door. Slider door on the opposite side of the room onto the patio or balcony.
starrs is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 12:46 PM
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Villas by the Sea. Nice units. Just down the beach from Oceanside. Beach is narrower. The pics don't show the complex of buildings under the trees. Just seems "darker". I like looking out to the water. Again, just a personal preference. Have fun!
starrs is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 02:47 PM
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I think Villa's by the Sea is variable. We stayed there once and the unit was shabby. It looked like left over dormroom furniture. The other units could be better though. Most units had a hike to the beach. The pool was not close to the ocean.

I forgot the name of my favorite place. It advertised itself as sandcastle on the beach.

Jekyll is my favorite beach because you can ride bikes for miles through swamps, by the beach and see all sorts of wild life. There are several natural beaches are are untouched.

The lodging is not luxurious. The state dragged its feet on renewing leases and owners didn't have alot of incentives to make improvements on properties they didn't own. Some of that was settled a couple of years ago so hopefully improvements have been made.
palmettoprincess is offline  
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