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.
Established more than a century ago as a lavish getaway for society's upper crust, Jekyll Island Club Hotel has been restored to its Victorian splendor to give modern guests a taste of classical American luxury. Each bright, inviting room features two plush double-beds or one ample queen or king bed, along with a cozy sitting nook with overstuffed chairs eager to support guests as they enjoy their complimentary breakfast, share an evening cocktail, or play a game of full-contact Battleship. Channel your inner railroad tycoon while relaxing amid the kempt fields and lush magnolia trees that line the resort's expansive grounds. Or discuss the merits of Teddy Roosevelt's monocle while feasting in the Grand Dining Room or one of the club's many other featured eateries.
The seasoned aqua men who own St. Mary's haven for Scuba aficionados also own the 6,000-square-foot building that houses the business. The diving specialists oversaw the construction of what would become their own self-contained underwater-experience facility. Adding to varied careers that encompassed naval service and cave diving, Bruce MacDougall and Chris Whitlock opened Diver’s Den in 2000, scheduling charters for open-water dives or practice dives in the company's heated, indoor pool. Over the last decade, Diver's Den has become a well-regarded source for both recreational diving instruction and professional training of rescue personnel.
The team of PADI-certified diving teachers at Diver’s Den regularly explores the region's offshore diving sites aboard its 36-foot Gulfstream boat, the Georgia Wreckreation. The team members once memorably aided the underwater investigations of famed wreck historian Richie Kohler (whose conquests have included the Titanic) as he dove off the Georgia coast to visit mysterious sunken wrecks and his snooty in-laws who live in Atlantis' biggest mermansion.
When a former law-enforcement officer and a former Navy serviceman formed Second Amendment Outfitters in 2009, they aimed to cover all the bases their customers needed, including a firearms training center, retail store, and indoor shooting range in the plans. Once inside the climate-controlled shooting range, targets hanging from automated carriers challenge pistol- and rifle-brandishers to test their shots at six 23-yard-deep shooting lanes. Expert instructors assist inexperienced gunners in mastering pistol and rifle fundamentals during classes, and advanced trigger fingers can acquire name-brand firearms from the facility’s onsite or online shop. Should firearms require repairs or a new Bang! flag, a local gunsmith stops by twice a week to make adjustments and augmentations.
Located on a working timber farm, Amelia Shotgun Sports boasts a sprawling terrain, home to a scenic setting, on which patrons can shoot sporting clays, skeet, trap, or 5-stands. Beginners can rest easy with trained staff instructors, Barbara Martin and Rick Wallace, who teach the basics and safety of handling a shotgun and then cheer them on as they acquire their first moving target. Visitors are invited to test their stance, aim, and focus across their 3 sporting clays courses, a total of 30 stations. Winding through lush forests and fields, each station lets sportsmen hone in on clay targets amid realistic forest hunting conditions. The facility also challenges sportsmen with skeet and trap fields as well as a five-stand field that tests even the most experienced shooters.
Aio Wireless is the brainchild of Jennifer Van Buskirk. In a former life, she acted as Senior Vice President of Mobility Strategy for AT&T, where her performance earned her enough trust from the higher-ups that they asked her to run their new company: Aio Wireless. Her new joint venture retains all of the reliability of AT&T's 4G/LTE network, but gives folks a chance to break free of contractual shackles with a pay-as-you-go plan. In fact, the whole process has been streamlined. Aio lets clients use their own cell phone rather than buying a new one with unlimited talk, text, and data plans.
Despite the cutting edge gadgetry and the reliable network, however, the stores' approach to technology is more than just practical. Their array of phone cases, for example, brighten iPhones, Galaxies and Lumias in neon hues. Their earbud headphones, meanwhile, let phone owners play their tunes on the go without schlepping their tuba everywhere.