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Jekyll Island - Georgia's Golden Isle - Page 2

A Visit to the Millionaire's Village

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Jekyll Island Clubhouse, Georgia

The Jekyll Island Clubhouse was once the retreat of the rich and famous

Jekyll Island Photo (c) Linda Garrison
A one-day stopover on Jekyll Island must include a tour of the Historic District, also called the Millionaire's Village. Many of the cottages have been restored, and anyone who is fascinated by old homes will love the tour. The current restoration project is one of the largest in the Southeastern United States. If you arrive via small cruise ship on the Intracoastal Waterway, you will dock at the same Jekyll Island Wharf used by some of the most luxurious pleasure craft ever built. From the wharf, you can see the village laid out before you. The fascinating sea of grass on the other side of the waterway is the famous Georgia "Marshes of Glynn" made famous by the poet Sidney Lanier.

The tours run from 10 am to 3 pm at the National Historic District Welcome Center, which is located on Shell Road a short walk from the wharf. Be sure to check for the times before you go. Tours are offered every day except Christmas and New Year's Day, and the phone number is 912-635-4036. Inside the welcome center, you might first view an 8-minute video presentation on Jekyll Island's history and obtain tickets for a tram tour of the District, The narrated tram tour will take you around the village, stopping at least 4 of the restored cottages. Thirty-three of the original buildings still stand. The tour in 2006 was $15 for adults, and $7 for children 6-18. The narrated tour lasts about 90 minutes, but you can easily spend a few hours or half a day exploring the few small shops and houses not on the guided tour or just wandering the village on foot.

You can also do a self-guided walking tour of the 240 acre village. Another way to see the village is by horse-drawn carriage. The carriage tours also leave from the welcome center, and they give you an opportunity to see the village at the slow pace it should be visited.

One warning--don't forget to use bug spray when wandering the island! The mosquitoes can be pretty ferocious in South Georgia! After you've toured the cottages and the historic district, there's still time to rent a bike or explore the rest of the island by car or tour bus.

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