On Jekyll Island, waves lick the 10 miles of beaches as kayaks cut through the salty water, cyclists roll over 20 miles of paved trails, and riders on horseback clop through hushed maritime forests. All visitors to the barrier island can partake in myriad active, relaxing, or educational activities while immersed in its lush natural landscapes, where dunes give way to beaches filled with hermit crabs and shell collecting and where birders clutch binoculars to examine avian habitats and decode gulls' sign language. The island's public golf club, open since 1898, hosts two 18-hole courses and one 9-hole course on manicured greens and rolling terrain. In the summer, the Summer Waves Water Park provides a cool escape from the heat with six slides, a wave pool, and a lazy river. For indoor adventurers, exhibits at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center illuminate the lives of the shelled reptiles, and a museum preserves relics of the wealthy families who used the island as their gilded getaway and a place to bury their expired money. The Jekyll Island Authority oversees all conservation and development on the idyllic island, existing to continually improve the park and its amenities.
The Lodge at Sea Island is reminiscent of an English manor at the end of the St. Simons Island historic Avenue of Oaks. The Lodge at Sea Island benefits from its proximity to the impeccably manicured fairways of The Sea Island Golf Club and its beautiful views across the Saint Simons Sound. Elegantly appointed with antiques/ oriental rugs and overstuffed chairs. Amenities that include deep soaking tubs and butler service. The Lodge offers an intimate and understated elegance.
Panache ranks its stylists according to four levels of expertise (artist, designer, master, and top stylist), but all know how to keep appearances fresh and flattering with an array of mane-based services using Aveda products. Clients can relax or gargle the national anthem with a cup of Aveda tea as their scissor samurai cuts ($25+ for men, $37+ for women) and styles ($10+) hair into exciting new follicular sculptures. Panache also keeps anime hair looking its purplest with a variety of color treatments, including a color cleanse ($35+), touch-up ($60+), full color ($70+) with highlights ($25+ for partial, $45+ for full), or paint-can swirly.
Tony’s dishes out foldable slices of New York–style pizza made from hand-tossed dough. The extensive menu satiates ravenous appetites with massive circles such as the extra-large Super Supreme, a crispy 18-inch disk bedecked with pepperoni, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, ground beef, black olives, meatballs, and salami ($18.99), and personal-size hunger with 11-inch pies such as the white, with Tony's homemade ricotta white sauce ($8.99). The sauce-filled strombolis, ensconce tasty treasure such as pepperoni, sausage, steak, and fresh garlic within a deliciously doughy embrace ($9.99–$15.99). For authentic Italic flavor, homemade pasta specialties, such as lasagna, ship taste buds back to the Old World with noodle sails, savory, beef cargo, and italian-sausage deckhands ($8.99).
Substituting fat for more healthful probiotics, Yobe refreshes taste buds with guilt-free spoonfuls of all-natural self-serve yogurt. Made with organic milk, real fruit, and no artificial sweeteners, each ounce of yogurt packs just 25 calories, letting diet-conscious taste-testers engorge stomachs while tightening belts. The shops' soft-serve machines dish out 31 classic and exotic flavors such as açaí berry, passion fruit, lychee, and vanilla ($0.49/oz). After piling bowls high with toppings, such as fresh banana, kiwi, pineapple, or m&ms, cookie dough, or peanut-butter cups, tone-deaf taste buds find themselves serenading incisors with John Fogerty lyrics.
St. Simons Island, recently named the third-best island in the country by AOL Travel, is etched with an elaborate network of scenic biking trails, which visitors can explore on a fleet of rental two-wheelers. A web of leisurely tracks weaves through the south end of the resort village, winding along the marshlands coast at East Beach and along the length of Frederica Road. Cyclists can also navigate the island's pearly beaches or traverse the popular airport trail. For a more demanding outing, a 12-mile stretch originating at the northern end of Frederica Road offers wide-open riding, panoramic views, and honey-coated speed bumps.A scenic, 20-mile drive south brings island hoppers to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, a marine-turtle rehabilitation, research, and education center located on Jekyll Island. During guided tours, guests explore a host of exhibits on the islands' indigenous reptiles, illuminating the creatures' habits, human efforts to protect them, and findings from ecological and wildlife health research. In addition to sea turtles, the center also nurtures diamondback terrapins, river cooters, and gopher tortoises.