Arriving in town for graduation, with only a few precious hours to spend, I knew that the one sight I had to see for myself was the ancient driftwood forest of Jekyll Island. The haunting beauty had captured my attention while researching the area online. If there is an adventure to be had, I’m there.
Blessed with beauty, and steeped in history, The Golden Isles of Georgia have much to offer people of all ages and interests. Jekyll Island is one of the four barrier islands. Once a private retreat for the likes of Rockefeller, it is now owned by the state of Georgia and operated as a state park. It is home to the Jekyll Island Club National Historic Landmark District, and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center .
There is a nominal fee to enter the island which is used to support
conservation efforts and the stewardship of the natural and cultural
resources. Jekyll Island State Park caters to tourists with a wide variety of dining and shopping options. If you choose to stay on the island, accommodations are plentiful, from luxurious suites, swanky digs to RV and tent camping. There are many pet friendly areas.
Once entering the island proceed to the turnabout, take the third right to Beachview Drive North. I parked on the right at the second pull off just past the Villas By the Sea. The second pull off is closer to the driftwood forest. I have to admit, I was so preoccupied taking in the view that I blew right past my destination. I ended up circling the island twice, which is how I found…
On the way to the beach, we came across the Horton House. Built by Major William Horton as a homestead in 1743, this is one of the oldest buildings in the state of Georgia. Built with a material called ‘Tabby’, known to be more sturdy than wood, made by mixing oyster shell, water, lime and sand to create a mortar which then was poured into forms.
Bleached out from the sun and preserved by the salt air this graveyard of sorts presents a hauntingly beautiful scene. There are so many trees, it is easy to imagine some powerful storm must have dropped them here. In reality, due to the erosion of the northern most part of the island, trees too close to the shore end up deposited further south on the island. On Driftwood Beach you can wander for hours amidst massive trees, twisted trunks and gnarled branches. The photo opportunities are endless.
It is illegal to dig out, break, cut, or remove the ancient driftwood so beware, enjoy the beauty but do not damage or take any of them.
In the surf I was able to find my very first sea bean, seaglass and various bits of driftwood.
I plucked a gorgeous purple and white cone shaped shell from the tumbling waves. When I grabbed it, it immediately grabbed me back. Obviously still inhabited, I escorted the little guy back out to deeper waters.
Our time was short this trip and with so much to offer, I will definitely return to the Golden Isles and Jekyll Island. I long to witness sunrise among these silent sentinels of the Georgia coastline.
I found several things to add to my bucket list, including the Island Treasure Hunt. When I return I shall hunt for Tree Spirits as well.
Get directions to:
Jekyll Island Map
Jekyll Island Georgia
Page Photo Credits Photos courtesy of Living the Crystal Life Crew unless otherwise noted. Featured Photo:Sunrise on Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, Georgia. (For the life of me I cannot find where I saw this picture. The only notation I have is: JL_Thanksgiving_2009_0532) If you are the owner, or know the owner, please reach out to us through our contact page so that we may give proper credit where credit is due. Thanks! Tree Spirits via: Golden Isles Chris Franklin via: travelok