Last week, we returned home from the best week away with the kids I could have imagined. We spent half of our trip at Jekyll Island in Georgia and the other half at Palmetto Bluff, which is about two hours south of us here in South Carolina.
We spent the first three nights at Jekyll Island Club Resort, which felt like a real step back in time in the best way possible. I didn’t realize this ahead of time, but Jekyll Club was built in 1888 by some of the wealthiest families in America to use as their own private club. Yes, that’s the Vanderbilts, the Morgans, the Pulitzers, and the Rockefellers. They wanted a quiet, southern refuge away from the busy city life, so they built what is now a true iconic landmark and resort. It was described back then as “the richest, the most exclusive, the most inaccessible club in the world.”
A little snapshot of Jekyll Island to set the scene. It’s off the coast of Georgia—near Sea Island. All in one bike-able island, you’ll find the beach, the river, stunning coastal landscapes, and of course, rich history all nestled in one very instagrammable place. Instagrammable is a word now, right?
Talk about a quiet, peaceful place. Two of our mornings there, we grabbed coffee and breakfast from The Pantry, a little bakery & market just off of this porch. We enjoyed it at one of these tables, and even with the commotion of Watson and Rosie entertaining us with stories and sounds, we could still enjoy the birds chirping and soft music playing in the background. If this sounds like a storybook, then I’m doing my job in painting this accurate picture for you. It felt like a scene in The Notebook or in The Legend of Bagger Vance, which was partly filmed there!
If you look to the right of the American flag below, that balcony is the room where we stayed! It was a suite, which was perfect because we could put the kids to bed in the room and then we could still enjoy the living area with a TV, sofa, balcony, and things like that.
This picture from our first afternoon makes me laugh. Pretty sure Rosie just stole a finger lick of Watson’s ice cream cone. There’s an ice cream shop right on property, so naturally that was our first stop. Watson asked for a cone, but it took about two minutes before I had to run back and get him a cup from the heat melting it so quickly. Rosie and I were going to share a cone, but she stole it and I literally got maybe one taste!
We really enjoyed all of the activities around the resort. There’s a museum, carriage rides, Jekyll Wheels where you can rent bikes, historic trolleys, and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center to name just a few within steps of the Club. You can get a full list of activities here. But what we enjoyed most was the pool!
The food at the pool was really great, too! I had a turkey burger and it was one of the best burgers of any kind I’ve ever had.
And how fun is this? Every week, a real mermaid comes to the pool—and yes, it’s heated seasonally. I am so happy we didn’t miss this. Watson thought Mermaid Jessica was the coolest thing in the world! I about fell over when I saw her being wheeled in on a wagon… too funny! She spent a full hour at the pool—she read a mermaid book, sang songs with the kids, swam around and let them touch her tail. It was honestly the cutest thing ever.
At first glance you may have thought this was a family photo above. But look again… it’s not me… it’s Mermaid Jessica!
Let’s talk a little about Jekyll Club’s sister property, Jekyll Island Ocean Club and how the two compare. I never saw the rooms at the Ocean Club, but being that it’s considerably newer (you know, built within recent years vs. 1888!), I can only assume you’ll find newer accommodations than you’ll experience at Jekyll Island Club. Of course, this is all relative because some people much prefer things that have an older charm and character to them, which is the preference we took in this particular setting.
The great thing is that when you’re staying at one, you’re free to use the amenities of both properties. They even have a complimentary shuttle that will take you back and forth whenever you want. They are about a mile apart.
We went over to the Ocean Club one morning for breakfast. It was one of the top breakfasts I’ve maybe ever had—anywhere! Rosie clearly loved the orange juice… she wouldn’t break that grip for anything.
The kids made themselves right at home there, as you can see.
Just steps away from Jekyll Island Club, there’s a restaurant called The Wharf. It’s right on the water and often has live music. Such a fun atmosphere! We had a delicious seafood dinner looking right at the Brunswick River.
I asked you guys on Instagram for food recommendations while on Jekyll Island and one person said something like, “Don’t even both with other recommendations. The best food you’ll find is right there at the resort. It’s amazing!” After our trip was complete, Brandon and I decided that that person was right. Honestly, everything we ate and drank was top notch, from the restaurants to the room service to poolside meals. There’s actually a whole bunch of dining options, which you can see here.
We played on the dock right outside of The Wharf after dinner. The live music was playing and even though it was well beyond bedtime for Watson and Rosie, we decided to stay and soak it all up.
What a fantastic trip! Highly recommend Jekyll Island Club Resort to you if you’re looking for elegance, leisure, southern grandeur, peacefulness, and lots of fun and adventure sprinkled in. We hope to go back soon… it’s a special place unlike any other we’ve visited.
Thank you to Jekyll Island Club Resort for having us!