19138
Jekyll Island
Nature, History and Culture at the Historic Jekyll Island Hotel
Learn the story of Jekyll Island through its Gilded Age mansions, unique marsh ecosystems and historic Island Club Hotel. Plus, get hands-on at a sea turtle rehabilitation hospital.
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Program No. 19138RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,179
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6 days
5 nights
12 meals
5 B 3 L 4 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Jekyll Island, GA
D
Jekyll Island Club Hotel

Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK IN: You may check in beginning at 4:00 pm. PROGRAM REGISTRATION: Please register with the Road Scholar program staff at our desk in the lobby beginning at 5:00 pm. You’ll receive your arrival packet containing the most up-to-date schedule and program information that we’ll review during our orientation session.

Dinner: Dinner will be in the Grand Dining Room or a specially appointed room just for our group. Beautifully restored in the Victorian mode, the Grand Dining Room features Ionic columns and gleaming white woodwork. Three handsome fireplaces, add cheer on a Winter's day, while in Spring, the lawns and the river seen through expansive windows frame the first blossoms of crepe myrtle and magnolia trees. NOTE: Meals have been carefully selected. If you have a special dietary request, be sure and contact us in advance. We will work with the kitchen to try and accommodate your request if possible but may not be able to provide for every request.

Evening: ORIENTATION: You'll have an informative overview of the program to come plus an opportunity to meet the program staff and your fellow participants during an introductory get-acquainted session. We’ll review the updated schedule, answer any questions you may have, and cover responsibilities, safety guidelines, and emergency procedures. The remainder of the evening is yours to begin getting to know one another. (If you arrive late, please pick up your packet at the hotel front desk.) Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of any changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding! The historic Jekyll Island Club Hotel is not just our base of operations but part of our course of study. So much of significance took place in and around here that you will be amazed. The hotel is also Jekyll Island's only four star resort and National Historic Landmark.

DAY
2
Millionaire's Village Field Trip And Behind The Scenes Jekyll Island Club, Live Oak Walk, Optional Dance Lessons, Big Dance Band
Jekyll Island, GA
B,L
Jekyll Island Club Hotel

Breakfast: Breakfast in the Grand Dining Room.

Morning: PRESENTATION & FIELD TRIP: A local historian will tell you all about the social history of Jekyll Island and the Club. Following the presentation, we’ll go behind the scenes with an expert guide for views not available to the general public. At the turn of the century, tycoons, politicians, and socialites flocked to Jekyll Island to revel in their own luxury and America's burgeoning wealth. Their exclusive club was described in the February 1904 issue of Munsey's Magazine as "the richest, the most exclusive, the most inaccessible club in the world." Its members included such luminaries as J.P. Morgan, William Rockefeller, Vincent Astor, Joseph Pulitzer, William K. Vanderbilt. Other names on the roster included Macy, Goodyear, and Gould. You are staying in what was "their" exclusive club hotel. Board a tram to visit two of the millionaire "cottages" and Faith Chapel, all located next to your hotel.

Lunch: Lunch at the Jekyll Island Club.

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Maritime Forest Walk An expert led trip through the live oaks and the maritime forest will give you a chance to see first hand the enormous trees and to learn of their importance to the environment. Dance lessons are available from 4 - 5:30 pm for anyone that would like to take part. This is included in your dance week-end.

Dinner: Enjoy A Dessert Reception and Dancing leading up to the Saturday Dinner Dance with the Jekyll Island Big Dance Band. The Dessert Reception includes a band and dancing. We have left dinner on your own this evening in order to accommodate the dessert reception

Evening: Dance the night away with a special combo.

DAY
3
Georgia Sea Turtle Center Or Dance Lessons, Beach & Marsh Walk
Jekyll Island, GA
B,L,D
Jekyll Island Club Hotel

Activity note: Choose to go to dance lessons from 10 - 11:30 am and 2 - 3:30 pm. Field trips include GA Sea Turtle Center, which can be done on your free afternoon if you choose dance lessons.

Breakfast: Breakfast in the Grand Dining Room.

Morning: PRESENTATION & FIELD TRIP: A representative of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center will present some interesting facts about the turtle hospital and the turtle adoption program. She will prepare you for your field trip visit to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, which is located next to the hotel. At the Center, you’ll explore exhibits on sea turtle conservation, rehabilitation, and trace their amazing journey from egg to adulthood. Presentations by key staff will highlight Georgia’s unique coastal ecosystem and the mysterious world of these ancient reptiles. Going behind the scenes to the sea turtle hospital, you’ll be able to observe animals undergoing special treatment. You’ll also learn about the Center, its operations, and how it works to help save sea turtles.

Lunch: We'll have lunch at the hotel.

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Led by a naturalist, we’ll take a beach walk to compare and contrast the north and south end beaches. Discussions will focus on barrier island dynamics, natural erosion and accreation patterns, human impacts, and possible solutions. Visit Boneyard Beach and see the amazing transformation due to natural erosion.

Dinner: Join us for an evening of Dinner and Dancing to the Jekyll Island Big Band from 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.

Evening: Have fun dancing or just relaxing and listening to familiar music by the Jekyll Island Big Band. Having been around 30 years, the Jekyll Island Big Band has had the pleasure and advantage to amass a talented network of area musicians. The players are all professionally experienced from symphonic, club & cruise ship instrumentalist to music educators. There are 15 pieces in the Jekyll Island Big Band. The director conducts 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, 5 saxophones, bass, piano, & drums. Occasionally, they are joined by guitar, vocalist or congas & steel drums!

DAY
4
Full-Day Okefenokee Field Trip, Cook-Out, Boardwalk And Homestead
Jekyll Island, GA
B,L,D
Jekyll Island Club Hotel

Breakfast: Breakfast will be in the Grand Dining Room.

Morning: FIELD TRIP: A full day of nature you won’t see anywhere else! We will depart early for a full day in the amazing Okefenokee Swamp. Led by expert guides, we’ll ride pontoon boats into the heart of the swamp via the Suwannee Canal, surviving principal waterway. This pristine wilderness comprises more than 438,000 acres and covers approximately 700 square miles. More than 230 species of birds, 600 plants, 49 mammals, 64 reptiles, 37 amphibians and 39 fish have been identified in the swamp — living in seven different habitat types.

Lunch: Lunch will be a cook out at a landing in the swamp with peach cobbler and ice cream for dessert.

Afternoon: Chesser Island was named for the family who first settled this 592-acre island adjacent to the swamp. Visit the Chesser Homestead to see how the early settlers lived. Then take a walk on the Chesser Island Boardwalk to the Owls Roost Tower to get a great view of the Okefenokee Swamp. Your afternoon continues as we traverse the Swamp Walk — a 3/4 mile wooden walkway that leads to a 50-foot high observation tower overlooking Okefenokee Swamp. The boardwalk winds through dense swamp growth, open prairie, and ponds before reaching the observation tower overlooking Chesser Prairie and Seagrove Lake. Sandhill cranes may be spotted year-round, as can many species of egrets and herons. Pig frogs are perhaps the most vocal animal along the boardwalk, but rarely seen. Birds such as Northern parula and Prothonotary warblers are warm weather residents and may be seen and heard. There is a place to sit half way if you decide you do not want to go the entire way.

Dinner: Dinner will be in the Grand Dining Room.

Evening: Free evening to enjoy with friends or join the group leader.

DAY
5
Shrimp Trawl, Dolphin Cruise, Ring Shouters Gullah Evening Entertainment
Jekyll Island, GA
B,D
Jekyll Island Club Hotel

Activity note: Jekyll Island to Brunswick, Ga is approximately 20 minutes by motor coach.

Breakfast: Breakfast will be in the Grand Dining Room.

Morning: Travelling to Brunswick by motorcoach (a 20 minute ride), we will board the shrimp trawler “Lady Jane” for a study cruise. You’ll learn about the life cycle of this tasty and economically vital delicacy and the history of shrimping in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina, And you’ll actually see how it has been done for generations. As we cruise along the waterways banked by the Marshes of Glynn — made famous by Sidney Lanier’s poem — you’ll likely spot egrets, pelicans, seagulls, and dolphin. Entering St. Simon Sound, the captain will order the crew to drop the shrimp net over the stern. The crew will tell you about the types of shrimp they catch and of course lots of sea stories. While we are dragging the bottom for shrimp, dolphin often follow the net to pick up an easy meal. They are very curious and will hang-around until we empty the net anticipating additional morsels. As we bring in the net, you will see many different varieties of fish, crabs, and what shrimpers called the "by-catch". In addition to shrimp, the crew have brought up (and, of course, released) stingrays, squid, jellyfish, and shells. We'll put our catch on display where everyone can help identify it. By now, the dolphin are usually joined by seagulls and brown pelicans! The entire field trip is done in protected waters...so no need to be concerned if your "land-lubber" system is not quite up to the motion of the ocean. Should Mother Nature decide to test us with a Blowing Nor'easter, we'll just traverse the rivers and creeks where those tasty little crustaceans love to hide out.

Lunch: Lunch will be on your own in the Jekyll Island Historic District. Choose from a casual café with outdoor seating or fancier in the Grand Dining Room or walk across the street and have lunch on the water.

Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon on Jekyll. Bikes may be rented at the hotel. There are wonderful paved bicycle paths on flat and even terrain. Spend the afternoon at the beach. Jekyll Island Hotel has a pavilion with towels right on the beach or sit by the pool and enjoy a book. Choose to go to the afternoon high tea at your historic hotel. Tea begins at 4 pm.

Dinner: Dinner will be in the Grand Dining Room.

Evening: Sit back and enjoy a musical group of Gullah performers.

DAY
6
Commercial Shrimp Talk, Wrap-up Session, Program Concludes
Jekyll Island, GA
B

Breakfast: Breakfast will be the Grand Dining Room.

Morning: PRESENTATION: A local expert will discuss the commercial shrimp industry and its impact on the area. Then we’ll review what we’ve seen and learned as we wrap up a wonderful week of exploration and discovery and say farewell to new-found friends.