Best of St. Simons, Sapelo, Jekyll: An Island-Hopping Adventure

Discover Georgia’s Atlantic Coast islands from different perspectives as you explore a historic fort and grand homes while also learning about island ecology and Gullah Geechee culture.
Rating (4.88)
Program No. 1384RJ
6 days
Starts at
6 days
5 nights
12 meals
5B 3L 4D
St. Simons Island, Sapelo History
Jekyll Island, Georgia
Shrimp Trawl
Jekyll Island, Georgia
Ferry to Sapelo Island
Jekyll Island, Georgia
Program Concludes
Jekyll Island, Georgia
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At a Glance

In the late 1800s, the beautiful beaches and lush landscapes of Jekyll Island became a private playground for the elite. Today, relics of the Rockefellers, Morgans, Vanderbilts and Pulitzers still stand on this island-turned-state-park, and provide a fascinating window to the past. Explore the barrier island with an expert to gain insight into this world of wealth as well as the Gullah Geechee and their history in the region. On this educational adventure to three of Georgia’s barrier islands, explore historic homes, preserved forts, driftwood beaches and Gullah Geechee landmarks as you gain a well-rounded perspective of this region’s unique history.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking up to one mile, including beach and marsh walks; ferry ride to Sapelo. School bus or park van for field trips on Sapelo.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Explore the famed Jekyll Island Club hotel and learn how the island was made into a winter retreat for families including the Rockefellers and Pulitzers.
  • Venture to St. Simons’ battlegrounds, evocative churches and a lighthouse, and then board the Lady Jane shrimp vessel for a hands-on opportunity to study the catch of the day from a drag net.
  • Enjoy a ferry ride to Sapelo Island and join a local expert to learn the unique history of this remote island and the local Gullah Geechee history.

General Notes

Select dates are designated for small groups and are limited to 24 participants or less. If you would prefer a lesser priced program at a retreat destination, please explore program 23720, Epworth by the Sea: St. Simons and Jekyll Islands.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Fred Collins
Fred Collins has lived full time on St. Simons Island since 1971 and has been leading cycling rides on the island for a half-dozen years. With his family roots an hour away in Baxley, Ga., where his family lineage goes back to the Revolutionary War and Civil Wars eras, Fred is passionate about sharing his knowledge of the history of the area. He made his living in the banking and finance industry.

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

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Lyn Warr, Group Leader
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Fred Collins
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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.
A Guide to a Georgia Barrier Island: Featuring Jekyll Island With St. Simons & Sapelo Islands
by Taylor Schoettle
Testimonial: Ever wished, as you walked along a deserted stretch of beach or stared at the ruins of a stately old home, you had a naturalist/historian along with you? Buy A GUIDE TO A GEORGIA BARRIER ISLAND and you'll be in the company of both. His name is Taylor Schoettle. His informative, easy-going style and eager descriptions of what you're walking on, looking at, and interested in make this book a tremendous bargain.
God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man: A Saltwater Geechee Talks About Life on Sapelo Island, Georgia
by Cornelia Walker Bailey
Equal parts cultural history and memoir, God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man recounts a traditional way of life that is threatened by change, with stories that speak to our deepest notions of family, community, and a connection to one’s homeland. Cornelia Walker Bailey models herself after the African griot, the tribal storytellers who keep the history of their people. Bailey’s people are the Geechee, whose cultural identity has been largely preserved due to the relative isolation of Sapelo, a barrier island off the coast of Georgia. In this rich account, Bailey captures the experience of growing up in an island community that counted the spirits of its departed among its members, relied on pride and ingenuity in the face of hardship, and taught her firsthand how best to reap the bounty of the marshes, woods and ocean that surrounded her. The power of this memoir to evoke the life of Sapelo Island is remarkable, and the history it preserves is invaluable.
Sapelo's People: A Long Walk into Freedom
by William S. McFeely
In this moving and original work, William S. McFeely, one of this country's most distinguished historians, retells the history—and enters into the current-day lives—of the people who inhabit Sapelo's Island off the coast of Georgia, descendants of slaves who once worked its huge cotton plantations. It is at once a richly detailed work of historical reconstruction, a sensitive portrait of the lives of black Americans in this particular place and in our own time, and a moving meditation on race by a writer who has made its painful dilemmas his life's work as a historian.
A Guide to the Georgia Coast, The Georgia Conservancy
by Suzanne McIntosh
Natural, historical, cultural, and recreational sites along the Georgia coast are described in detail. Includes driving maps and directions.
New Moon Rising (St. Simons Trilogy) Book 2
by Eugenia Price
Horace Gould returns to St. Simons and wins the heart of lovely neighbor Deborah Abbott, who adores her Mr. Gould", despite the difference in their years. She is not concerned with his rumored past, but she is saddened by his lack of faith.
The Beloved Invader (St. Simons Trilogy) Book 3
by Eugenia Price
In this masterful first novel by Eugenia Price, a wealthy young northerner, Anson Dodge, shares his heart with two very different women -- Ellen, who passionately adores him, and Anna, who comforts him in sorrow. They each surrender themselves to his dreams. Anson's story unfolds as a beautiful tale of honor when he rebuilds the war-torn Christ Church, Frederica, in memory of lost love.
St. Simons Island: A Summary of Its History [Paperback]
by R. Edwin Green
South of Savannah, along the picturesque and historic coastline of Georgia, lies a group of barrier islands known as the Golden Isles. This collection of coastal Sea Islands has attracted people—Native Americans, European settlers and vacationing sun-seekers—throughout history, for the islands’ bountiful resources and appealing climate. Perhaps the brightest jewel of these islands is St. Simons Island. The History Press is proud to release St. Simons Island: A Summary of its History, by local resident and historian Reverend Edwin Green. Green has compiled an informative volume, which highlights the unique and developing history of one of Georgia’s most popular Sea Islands.
Jekyll Island: The Nearest Faraway Place
by unknown
Jekyll Island's undisturbed beauty, combined with its pleasant year-round weather and refreshing ocean breezes, provides a breathtaking backdrop for a variety of wonderful experiences. Located midway between Savannah, Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida, Jekyll Island is approximately 5,700 acres and the smallest of Georgia's barrier islands. As a tribute to the Island's allurement, the Jekyll Island Authority has published Jekyll Island The Nearest Faraway Place, a coffee table book recognizing the inspired talent of residents and guests and their ability to capture unique perspectives of our cherished Island. During the period of March through September 2010, a competition was conducted to discover photographs of, and poems about, Jekyll Island. Scenic images and inspiring narratives portraying Jekyll's beach and marsh, sunrise and sunsets, wildlife, nature, historic landmarks, and views from above were sought for inclusion in this project. Submissions included 70 from Georgia, 17 from different states, 4 from Canada and 1 from the United Kingdom. Results of the competition were announced and the winning selections are featured in the commemorative publication. Copyright of the selected works and all rights to publish became property of Jekyll Island Authority. Jekyll Island The Nearest Faraway Place is now currently available at the Visitor Information Center, the Commissary, the Jekyll Island Book Store, the Jekyll Island Museum Store, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and Hattie's Books in Brunswick.
Lighthouse (St. Simons Trilogy) Book 1
by Eugenia Price
From the New York Times best-selling author Eugenia Price, Lighthouse is the saga of James Gould, a young man raised in the post-Revolution North who realizes his dream of designing and building a lighthouse on St. Simons Island in Georgia after much hardship and success.

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