-We got up Friday morning and did some laundry at the nice bath and laundry house right across the street from our bus. Then we set out for St Simons Island. But Jared needed some shorts because it turned out the pair I brought for him was super uncomfortable and it was hotter there than I expected so we detoured and stopped at a Walmart. $200 later (haha!!) we had a bunch of other stuff and finally set out for St. Simon's Island. But by then it was a little after noon and the girls and I had a horseback riding session scheduled for 4pm back on Jeckyll Island so we figured since that was not too far off we should just go ahead to Jeckyll and then do a full day at St. Simon's the next day. So we went back to Jeckyll and stopped at the visitor's center to see where they might recommend to eat (our second meal out since covid started!) We wanted something with outdoor seating, that was family friendly and dog friendly. It turns out just about everywhere on Jeckyll is all those things- dogs are free to go to almost all the beaches, trails, and restaurants and there is tons of outdoor seating.
At the visitor's center they especially recommended Tortuga Jacks https://www.tortugajacks.com/ And what a win that was!!! The outdoor beach-side seating was just gorgeous!!! They were sweet to our puppy and took great care of our family. They made our meal out as least stressful as possible for some of us (me!!) that are still stressing about eating out during covid. The food was yummy too. We ordered the famous Georgia Shrimp peel and eat and gobbled it down before our meals came. I got the fish tacos which were delicious and light enough to head to the beach without a lead balloon in my tummy. Jared and the big kids went for burritos and the younger kids got chicken nuggets and French fries. Jenna has asked for French fries about 1,000 time over the last year! Homemade ones just aren't the same. So this really filled her happy bucket up.
After lunch we headed out to the Dunes Beach right beside the restaurant. The kids played in the water for a while.
I never get tired of taking pictures of my kids- especially of them playing in the ocean!
It was low tide and the sand bar was visible and they got to walk out on that. But as the tide came in the sand bar was gone by about 2:30 or so. Not long later the girls and had to go change clothes to get to our horseback riding appointment on the north side of the island at 4pm. We booked it at Three Oaks Farm, which I actually do not recommend. Although the horses and staff weren't well trained, we did see some breathtaking views and made a dream come true for my daughter, Katelyn, who has always wanted to go horseback riding on the beach. I mean, really, who hasn't dreamed of that one?!!
After riding for an hour we were ready to rejoin the boys at the beach. We swam for a while longer. The kids just couldn't get enough of the weather and the water!
Being that it's a barrier beach, the water is a little sandier and the breeze is a little stronger, but we didn't mind either of those things since it meant there weren't many people to contend with. There's also an $8 fee to get on the island. If that helps keep the crowds down too, then it's well worth it!!! Our tummies were starting to grumble so we decided to go to dinner at The Beach House http://www.jibeachhouse.com/, also outdoor seating overlooking the beach!! We put our names in and it was about an hour wait. So Coleson took Chase back to our bus at the RV park while we got the bikes out and did what I had been desperately wanting to do since we got there- which was hit those beautiful beach side bike paths. We had the most incredibly beautiful sunset beach ride ever as we rode from the Dunes Beach to the Boardwalk.
It was about 2 miles of nothing but beach, a clean bike trail and a few beachside bath houses. Normally "Boardwalk" to me implies a million people squeezed shoulder to shoulder (no thank you!) and a bunch of overpriced junk. Well not so at the Jeckyll Island Boardwalk. The Boardwalk was about a dozen nice clean well priced shops lining a courtyard. That's it. I really just love how the focus on Jeckyll Island is about the nature and not about the shopping and entertainment. Anyway, along our bike ride Owen really biffed it and scrapped up his knee really badly. Despite having multiple first aid kits, we didn't have a single bandaid with us right then. So Jared whipped up a bandage and wrap out of paper towels and a doggy bag (haha!) and Owen kept going. He was such a trooper! Then we made the trip back to the Dunes Beach for our dinner reservation at The Beach House. It's so nice how all those restaurants take your name and phone number so you can keep on playing and they'll call you when your table is ready. We pulled into the parking lot just as they were calling to say our table was ready.
The moon was up by then, so we ate outside by a full moon and listened to the waves splashing. Just. Incredible. Both restaurants that day (Tortuga Jacks and The Beach House) had great cuisine and great service. Very clean. Highly recommend. I wanted to try several things so I ordered an array of appetizers- crab cakes, fried green tomatoes, and seared tuna with seaweed. Jared ordered the fried grouper. Happily they were all just so yummy! It was late and finally time to head home for the night. Throughout the trip, Jared had been finishing little things in the bus each day as needed. Jenna took the first shower in the bus that night!!
Goodbye for now, Jekyll. We fell in love with your quiet beaches and natural, untouched beauty. We will be back for sure.