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13410
Georgia

Spend Christmas on Historic Jekyll Island

Celebrate Christmas on Jekyll Island, where you’ll enjoy world-class cuisine, explore the festively decorated National Historic District and learn the grand story of this “Golden Isle.”
Rating (4.75)
Program No. 13410RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,759
Georgia

Spend Christmas on Historic Jekyll Island

Celebrate Christmas on Jekyll Island, where you’ll enjoy world-class cuisine, explore the festively decorated National Historic District and learn the grand story of this “Golden Isle.”
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,759
Program No. 13410 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
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DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Dec 21 - Dec 26, 2021
Starting at
1,759
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Dec 21 - Dec 26, 2021
Starting at
2,279

At a Glance

Experience the splendor and history of Jekyll Island during the Holiday season! More than a century ago, many of the nation's richest families, such as the Rockefellers and the Pulitzers, discovered the serenity and beauty of the jewel of Georgia's east coast. It became the winter retreat for many wealthy families. Imagine Christmas through the ages as you venture inside the cottages in the National Historic District with some curators in period dress. Complement the program with dinners at the nationally renowned Jekyll Island Club Hotel and the Jekyll Ocean Club. Other highlights include presentations of the Gullah-Geechee culture, a visit to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and holiday decorating with a famous Jekyll chef.
Activity Level
Easy Going
Walking a few blocks per day and getting on & off a bus during the St Simon's field trip. At the hotel, there are steps leading from the Bellstand to the veranda at the entrance (there is a handicap lift available). There are also 4 steps leading to the front desk. There is a gift shop at the hotel that has steps as well, which include 3 steps up and 3 steps down.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Enjoy an unforgettable Christmas Day brunch in the Grand Dining Room of the renowned Jekyll Island Club Hotel.
  • Visit the Jekyll Island Sea Turtle Center to learn about sea turtle conservation and this animal’s amazing journey from egg to adulthood.
  • Spend an afternoon on the largest of the “Golden Isles,” St. Simon’s Island.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Georgia Graves
Georgia Graves has developed and coordinates teacher training workshops on Georgia's sea turtles, shorebirds, marine mammals and coastal ecology for the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve, one of 26 such reserves in North America. Georgia leads nature and history programs and works with Georgia's sea turtle conservation project.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Georgia Graves
Georgia Graves View biography
Georgia Graves has developed and coordinates teacher training workshops on Georgia's sea turtles, shorebirds, marine mammals and coastal ecology for the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve, one of 26 such reserves in North America. Georgia leads nature and history programs and works with Georgia's sea turtle conservation project.
Profile Image of Tim Akins
Tim Akins was born and raised in Brunswick, Georgia, where he started performing at a very young age and taking piano lessons. Today, he is an exceptional singer, bagpiper and pianist who has thrilled audiences for years with his dynamic performances, soulful vocals, and musical versatility. His vast repertoire of songs and his unique style make his performances exciting to see and hear.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Jekyll Island Colony
by June Hall McCash
During the Gilded Age, Jekyll Island, Georgia, was one of the most exclusive resort destinations in the United States. Owned by the most elite and inaccessible social club in America, a group whose members included Rockefellers, Pulitzers, Vanderbilts, Goulds, and Morgans, this quiet refuge in the Golden Isles was the perfect winter getaway for the wealthy new industrial class of the snowbound North. In this delightful book, a companion volume to The Jekyll Island Club: Southern Haven for America's Millionaires, June Hall McCash focuses on the social club's members and the "cottages" they built near the clubhouse between 1888 and 1928. Illustrated with hundreds of never-before-published photographs from private family collections, The Jekyll Island Cottage Colony tells the stories of each home, the owners' connections with the island, and their interactions with one another.
Splendid Isolation: The Jekyll Island Millionaires Club 1888-1942
by Pamela Bauer Mueller
AN HISTORICAL NOVEL Untamed, and virtually unchanged since its discovery in 1733 by General James Oglethorpe, Jekyll Island s history unfolds with the excitement and suspense of a fairy tale. Because so many of the world s greatest minds and bank accounts gathered together in virtual isolation for three months each year, history was made on Jekyll Island. A group of tycoons with surnames such as Rockefeller, Morgan, Vanderbilt, Pulitzer, Baker and others formed their exclusive Millionaires Club on this island hideaway the richest and most inaccessible club of that time. Between 1888 and 1942, Jekyll Island was open only to Club members families and their guests for hunting, relaxing and playing in luxurious ease. In this sweeping historical saga, you will discover the Millionaires joys, tribulations, and deeply guarded secrets told through the unique voices of four Club employees. In this true story of the island getaway that offered them sovereignty, discover how the decisions of these powerful men changed the face of world finances, business and politics as they built modern America.
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 1BR 3 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Jekyll Island, GA
D
Jekyll Island Club Resort

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. A bagpiper will herald in the season at the Jekyll Island Club Resort and then down by the Jekyll River. We will enjoy this special holiday treat each afternoon of Christmas week.

Dinner: In a private banquet room at the hotel, we’ll enjoy a buffet meal with salad, entrée, dessert, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

DAY
2
Sea Turtle Center, St. Simons Island, Bagpiper
Jekyll Island, GA
B,L,D
Jekyll Island Club Resort

Activity note: Getting on/off bus

Breakfast: In the hotel’s Victorian-era Grand Dining Room, we’ll enjoy a buffet with an assortment of seasonal fresh fruits, yogurt, scrambled eggs, hot and cold cereals, breakfast meats, breakfast potatoes, grits, homemade pastries, toast, bagels, and muffins, and a daily special breakfast entrée, plus coffee, tea, milk, juices, and water.

Morning: We will walk over to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center to view turtle patients and learn from interactive exhibits and expert staff. Their mission statement affirms: “Through sea turtle rehabilitation, research and education programs, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center will increase awareness of habitat and wildlife conservation challenges, promote responsibility for ecosystem health and empower individuals to act locally, regionally, and globally to protect the environment.”. < br> We will depart for a field trip by bus to St. Simons Island.

Lunch: We will enjoy a plated lunch at a restaurant on St. Simons, ordered from a select menu. Coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase

Afternoon: We will enjoy another afternoon performance from our Highland piper at the hotel, who will play while marching the grounds.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: In the banquet room at the hotel, we will enjoy presentations by members of the Historic District’s team on Jekyll’s history.

DAY
3
Jekyll History, Chefs Demo, Historic District, Bagpiper
Jekyll Island, GA
B,L,D
Jekyll Island Club Resort

Activity note: Getting on/off tram.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning, an expert will lead us through the public spaces of the hotel, sharing stories about the various rooms, the woodwork, leaded glass, the people, and their pastimes. The stories are interesting and special to this National Historic Landmark.

Lunch: At the hotel, we’ll have a special chef's demo and lunch, featuring shrimp and grits.

Afternoon: At lunch, we'll enjoy a demo from our chef, who will show us how to prepare two courses and accompaniments. We’ll learn how to prepare and present delicious fare and exchange ideas with the chef and one another. The chef will provide generous tastings of each course and printed, easy-to-follow recipes to take home. Questions and comments are welcomed!< br> We’ll then board the tram to see the island’s 240-acre National Historic Landmark District, where gilded-era millionaires spent winter vacations with family, friends, and each other. It is said that Jekyll Island’s wealthy visitors once represented 1/6 of our nation's total wealth. We’ll have expert commentary aboard the tram and make two stops in the Historic District.< br> Once again we will enjoy our bagpiper’s tunes.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: In the banquet room, we’ll meet several members of a local group dedicated to preserving Gullah language, song, and dance who will share their heritage with us. The ring shout was an expression of religious culture and a precursor of other forms of music from spirituals and gospel to jazz. Its African origins are apparent in ritualized, dance-like movements in a circle, call-and-response singing, and hand clapping. “Shout” refers to movement rather than vocalizing, a counter-clockwise shuffle considered part of the spiritual character of the experience. Ring shouting was widely thought to have died out but had actually continued all along in McIntosh County, just north of Jekyll Island. It was reintroduced to the wider world in 1980. The McIntosh County Ring Shouters have since performed at state and national folk festivals, at Lincoln Center in New York, on television, and recordings.

DAY
4
Cookie Decorating, Christmas Eve Dinner
Jekyll Island, GA
B,L,D
Jekyll Island Club Resort

Activity note: Getting on/off passenger van. Walking up to 1 hour on sandy terrain. For dinner at the Jekyll Ocean Club, jackets or collared shirts and slacks requested for gentlemen. Sunday attire for ladies.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: The hotel's famous pastry chefs have all the parts ready for this cookie decorating workshop. Let’s celebrate as we decorate! Our pastry chefs roll out the dough and fun of Christmas We will each receive a dozen cookies to decorate and take home, with colorful icings and traditional cookie sprinkles provided. Jekyll Island's 10 miles of beach and outlying sand dune ecosystem provides many shells on the coast. Our expert will share her collection beautiful whelk shells, perfectly formed conch shells and much more with the group.

Lunch: Hotel buffet.

Afternoon: We will explore and walk on Jekyll Islands pristine beaches. 65% of the island exists as a state park, an ideal of conservation and preservation.It's time for the bagpiper to herald in the season. We’ll return to the hotel for dinner.

Dinner: Dinner at the fabulous Jekyll Ocean Club.

DAY
5
Christmas Day Brunch & Dinner
Jekyll Island, GA
B,BR,D
Jekyll Island Club Resort

Activity note: Minimal standing and walking today.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Brunch: We will enjoy a Christmas brunch. Coffee, tea, water included.

Afternoon: This afternoon we will enjoy a lecture from a local expert, as well as an elective Christmas gift swap. If you choose to participate, gifts will need to range between $10-$20.

Dinner: In a private banquet room at the hotel, we’ll enjoy a buffet meal with salad, entrée, dessert, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: We will enjoy some Christmas Carols

DAY
6
Behind the Scenes, Program Concludes
Jekyll Island, GA
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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