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Georgia

Biking Exploration on St. Simons and Jekyll Islands

Program No. 2181RJ
Bike St. Simons and Jekyll Islands with experts, exploring a historic lighthouse, learning about coastal ecosystems and enjoying authentic traditions of Southern culture and cuisine.
Length
6 days
Rating (4.81)
Activity Level
Starts at
1,599

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climate
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Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Feb 19 - Feb 24, 2023
Starting at
1,599
Mar 5 - Mar 10, 2023
Starting at
1,599
Apr 9 - Apr 14, 2023
Starting at
1,599
Apr 30 - May 5, 2023
Starting at
1,599
Oct 15 - Oct 20, 2023
Starting at
1,599
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Feb 19 - Feb 24, 2023
Starting at
2,049
Mar 5 - Mar 10, 2023
Starting at
2,049
Apr 9 - Apr 14, 2023
Starting at
2,049
Apr 30 - May 5, 2023
Starting at
2,049
Oct 15 - Oct 20, 2023
Starting at
2,049

At a Glance

Set amid coastal marshlands of swaying cordgrass and studded with lighthouses, former plantations and Gilded Age mansions, the Golden Isles of Georgia mark not only the meeting of the coast and the Atlantic, but also of the native peoples, Spanish missionaries, African slaves and wealthy vacationers who have all played parts in coastal Georgia’s history. From the Tiffany window in Faith Chapel to the historic Jekyll Island Club to the lush maritime forest, take in St. Simons and Jekyll islands by bike.
Activity Level
Outdoor: No Sweat
Novice to intermediate cyclists! Bicycling 13-20 miles per day at 9 miles per hour, moderate pace, concrete bike paths, flat terrain. One-speed, land cruiser bikes provided, foot brakes.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • See a 200-year-old working lighthouse, lovely Christ Church, Fort Frederica and slave cabins by bike.
  • Bike to the marshes and learn about Georgia's expansive estuarine and coastal ecosystems.
  • Explore more than 20 miles of winding bike trails on Jekyll Island, former playground of the Rockefellers and Morgans.

General Notes

Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
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.
Georgia Trilogy
by Eugenia Price
St. Simons Trilogy
by Eugenia Price
A compelling, vibrant saga of conflict, love, and a young man's search to fulfill his dreams. In this enthralling first novel of the St. Simons Trilogy, Eugenia Price shares the compelling story of James Gould, a young man with a passionate dream. Raised in post-Revolution Granville, Massachusetts, Gould could only imagine the beauty and warmth of lands to the south. It was there that he longed to build bridges and lighthouses from his very own design and plans. The gripping story unfolds as Gould follows his dream to the raw settlement of Bangor on the Penobscot River, to St. Simons Island off the coast of Georgia, to lawless Spanish East Florida, and back—at last and finally—to St. Simons. Along the way, he encounters hardship, peril, failure, and success, but it is the unwavering love of Janie Harris, an especially beautiful and strong-willed young woman, that fulfills his deep need for someone who can share the dream and the life he has chosen.
Freedom's Shore: Tunis Campbell and the Georgia Freedmen
by Russell Duncan
Jekyll Island Club, The (GA) (Images of America)
by Jekyll Island Museum
In the late nineteenth century, some of the wealthiest families in America joined together to form the Jekyll Island Club. The Club operated for 54 years, from 1888 until 1942, and attracted an elite membership. The families of Cyrus McCormick, J.P. Morgan, Joseph Pulitzer, and William Vanderbilt were among those who enjoyed the leisurely pace and recreational adventure of the Georgia coast. The Jekyll Island Club includes images of the architecture, clothing, transportation, and natural beauty unique to the island. This exquisite collection is sure to rekindle awe and wonder in the hearts of those who have visited the island, and will serve as a wonderful introduction for newcomers. The Jekyll Island Club is a fascinating look at a bygone period. Show More Show Less
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.
Rice Gold: James Hamilton Couper and Plantation Life on the Georgia Coast
by James E. Bagwell
Drawing from a wealth of information, particularly from primary sources such as diaries, letters, plantation records, etc., the author has recreated the story of James Hamilton Couper and his times into an exciting, interesting, and readable account. The work begins with an introductory chapter. The Georgia Coast, a land of sluggish rivers, murkey blackwater swamps, and studded with a string of islands, is the home of a special breed of people. The are as wild, reckless, exciting, beautiful, and contradictory as the land itself. Bagwell examines the Couper heritage, from kings, war, and intrigue in Scotland to their firm establishment on the Georgia Coast. As colonial times move into antebellum, the Coupers progress, especially with James Hamilton Couper of Hopeton Plantation. On his grand tour of Europe, many on that continent commented on the abilities and potential of this young man. Couper made quite a name for himself in the area of politics, plantation management, scientific agriculture, archaeology, and architectural design. In the sinking of the Pulaski, he was hailed the hero of the occasion. The publication of this volume will be a valuable addition to the history and culture of the South, especially Georgia and its coast.
Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839
by Frances Anne Kemble
The Jekyll Island Club
by Tyler E. Bagwell and The Jekyll Island Museum
In the late nineteenth century, some of the wealthiest families in America joined together to form the Jekyll Island Club. The Club operated for 54 years, from 1888 until 1942, and attracted an elite membership. The families of Cyrus McCormick, J.P. Morgan, Joseph Pulitzer, and William Vanderbilt were among those who enjoyed the leisurely pace and recreational adventure of the Georgia coast. The Jekyll Island Club includes images of the architecture, clothing, transportation, and natural beauty unique to the island. This exquisite collection is sure to rekindle awe and wonder in the hearts of those who have visited the island, and will serve as a wonderful introduction for newcomers. The Jekyll Island Club is a fascinating look at a bygone period.
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6 days
5 nights
11 meals
5 B 3 L 3 D
DAY
1
Arrival, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Jekyll Island, Georgia
D
Hampton Inn & Suites Jekyll Island

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 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 your up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. Upon check-in, your bike leader will have a bike fitting for each participant. After receiving your bike, you'll be asked to take a test ride around the parking lot to access your biking capability. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone with warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. We will also review COVID-19 protocols and will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and requirements throughout the program. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Evenings at leisure offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through personal independent exploration, engaging in available activities on your own, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow participants. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local conditions/circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the hotel.

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. Bicycling on St. Simons and Jekyll Islands is the best way to see both islands. Each day participants will be getting on their bike and heading out to some historical or ecological site. Everyday is a field trip of learning and riding with a history instructor or naturalist or both. The pace is not fast and we will be stopping at various spots getting on and off the bike for field trips. There are bathroom stops all along the way at some of the places we stop. A sag wagon is available in case of an emergency. We divide the group in half. Each group will have a leader in front of the bicyclers and a sweep at the rear. 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
Biking, Horton House, Clam Creek Marsh Walk, Black History
Jekyll Island, Georgia
B,L
Hampton Inn & Suites Jekyll Island

Activity note: Biking approximately 15 miles on Jekyll Island. Flat terrain with concrete biking paths. Walking up to 2 miles daily.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We'll start the day off exploring approximately 15 miles of winding trails, perfect for biking. These paved paths are a great way to explore Jekyll Island’s historic sites, beaches, marshes and maritime forests. Trails wind along the ocean and the interior maritime forest....breathtaking! We will ride to the Jekyll north end stopping at the Horton House, fishing pier, nature pond and Clam Creek Marsh Walk. Expect to see birds as well as other coastal life along the journey. We will learn about Georgia's expansive estuarine and coastal ecosystems, as well as the plants and animals that depend on them. We’ll stop along the way to take a marsh walk to better see and understand the salt marsh ecology with an expert from Driftwood Education Center.

Lunch: At historic Jekyll Island Club Hotel.

Afternoon: Our biking on Jekyll Island continues to the south end where we will stopover at the Wanderer Memorial and Wildlife Tower. We'll be back to the hotel around 4 pm.

Dinner: On your own.

Evening: This evening we will welcome a speaker from the island on the subject of black history of Jekyll Island. The vessel Wanderer achieved notoriety in the brutal and illegal transport of slaves to America as Georgia's last slave ship.

DAY
3
Biking, Horton Pond, Driftwood, Jekyll Museum, Sea Turtles
Jekyll Island, Georgia
B,L,D
Hampton Inn & Suites Jekyll Island

Activity note: Biking today approximately 15 miles. Walking on Driftwood Beach is on soft beach sand and uneven terrain for about 30 minutes. Getting on and off a tram to see two cottages on field trip. Time spent on tram is 60 minutes.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Today, we'll start out with a North Loop Ride on Jekyll Island. Stopping at Driftwood Beach or sometimes called Boneyard Beach, resembling a tree graveyard, you'll see the "most photographed beach". This is a textbook example of the effects of erosion on a barrier island. We'll continue our ride to the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, Jekyll Island's only four star resort and National Historic Landmark.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: After lunch, we'll ride our bikes over to the Mosaic Visitor's Center where we will have a presentation on Jekyll Island History at the historic Jekyll Island Museum. The Museum's many exhibitions feature objects and photographs from extensive collections and will introduce us to the rich heritage of Jekyll Island, whose social and architectural legacy is reflected in the Jekyll Island Club National Historic Landmark District. Afterwards, we will board the Museum trolley for a field trip that will include two stops along the way. Now that we have had time to rest on the trolley, we'll begin our biking from the museum to the south loop of Jekyll Island. We'll end our day of riding back to our hotel where we will load our bikes and be ready for our field trip on St. Simons Island the next day.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: We’ll gather for a lecture given by a local expert that will focus on sea turtles, their unique biological characteristics, and the efforts being made by organizations to preserve their population. These include, for instance, devices employed by the shrimping industry to avoid trapping these animals as bycatch. Known to be present in almost every ocean in the world, these speedy swimmers glide through the water on large flippers encased in smooth scaly skin and a hard shell to defend themselves from predators.

DAY
4
St. Simons Island, Ft. Frederica, Christ Church, Lighthouse
Jekyll Island, Georgia
B
Hampton Inn & Suites Jekyll Island

Activity note: Biking on St. Simons Island is approximately 10 miles. Stops along the way for history.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: The van will transport our bicycles to St. Simons Island, a 20 minute van ride from Jekyll Island. We'll meet at the Pier Village for a North end ride with stopover's at Harrington School House and Ft. Frederica. Harrington School served as the main educational structure for three African American communities on St. Simons Island. It hosted grades 1-7 until desegregation in the 1960s. At Ft. Frederica, we'll park our bikes and walk the paths of Fort Frederica, established in 1736 by James Oglethorpe. Ft. Frederica was made to defend Georgia’s southern border from the Floridian.

Lunch: On your own in the tiny seaside village of St. Simons Island.

Afternoon: We will continue to explore St. Simons Island. The island is the largest of Georgia’s Golden Isles and was originally developed by the slave-owning colonial English into plantations of cotton and other cash crops. Out of the widespread West African slave population in the southeast region of what is now the United States grew the distinctive Gullah and Geechee cultures. Since the turn of the 20th century, however, the island transformed into more of a resort community with a significant seasonal population. This afternoon we will ride to Christ Church and cemetery. This is the gravesite of Eugenia Price, best known for her historical novels which were set in the American South, especially, "The Trilogy" books. We'll ride through the Avenue of Oaks, once the entrance to Retreat Plantation. The Avenue of the Oaks is now the grand entrance to the Sea Island Golf Club. We will follow the drive around the magnificent double row of 160 year old live oak trees which create the Avenue of the Oaks. Moving on to our last stop, we will visit the historic St. Simons Lighthouse for an expert-led field trip. While here, we’ll explore the historic St. Simons Lighthouse campus which includes the Lighthouse, the Keeper's Dwelling Museum, the oil house and Victorian Gazebo. We'll board our bikes on the van and return to Jekyll Island after a long and glorious day on St. Simons Island.

Dinner: On your own.

Evening: At leisure. 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.

DAY
5
Jekyll Island South Dunes Nature, Free Time
Jekyll Island, Georgia
B,L,D
Hampton Inn & Suites Jekyll Island

Activity note: Optional afternoon ride is offered for anyone wanting to "Explore Jekyll Off The Path". The distance varies and can be up to 15 miles.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: This is our last day of biking. We will depart for the South Dunes for a nature program. This will include a beach walk and maritime forest walk.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Free time to enjoy what you like on your own. Your biking leader will offer an optional ride to explore Jekyll "off the path". By the end of the week, you may decide you've had enough riding and want to relax by the ocean pool or if you're still inclined to ride, you may go on this optional ride.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: Recall the fun trips you have taken during the week. Share stories and take home memories of a week you'll never forget.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Jekyll Island, Georgia
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This concludes are biking program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.