Overall Rating: 5/5
We have stayed on Jekyll Island before at the Days Inn back in 2018. At this point we have visited a couple of Georgia’s barrier islands: Tybee Island and Hilton Head, on normal family vacations. We didn’t really know what to expect. I didn’t research. I just assumed it would be like the others. To my delight, I was actually quite wrong. Not to knock the other islands, they have their pros for sure, but Jekyll is special. Jekyll island has a very large wildlife protected area where many species thrive, and sometimes too well. While driving on Jekyll it isn’t uncommon to have dear eating around you, racoons taking a hike, squirrels, rabbits, and many wonderful bird species. Of course Jekyll has a lot of swampy areas where gators and snakes live. Its low key. No loud party crowds. Its quiet. Peaceful. Rejuvenating. A great family place.
The campground here is gorgeous. We are nestled under the beautiful trees with their signature Spanish moss. Its almost like a jungle more than a forest. There is plenty of space between us and our neighbors. This is our second trip with our travel trailer and it has been amazing. The campground is very safe. The staff routinely and non-intrusively patrols the campground to make sure everyone is being respectful and following the rules. There are many amenities. There is free and open WIFI, I would recommend using a VPN. Its not the best internet, but we were able to stream live tv without problems. There are cable tv hookups for those who enjoy traditional live tv. Kids can safely ride their bikes around the campground as the speed limit is 5mph and strictly enforced. There is a “bird sanctuary” which is really just a bunch of bird feeders that also invite the squirrels, but its really nice to sit and watch. There is also a butterfly sanctuary. If you didn’t bring your bikes, they rent them. If you need firewood, they sell it! And they have propane refills, a laundry mat, and a small store for odds and ends. We have all of our hookups right at the site so no hauling off grey or black water. And I’m thankful after a few spills in the trailer I was able to wash our towels and linen at the laundry mat.
Weathering the Storm
This was the first time we experienced a rain storm in the travel trailer. What a beautiful place to be in the middle of a thunderstorm. I’m a wuss when it comes to severe weather, so I definitely wouldn’t want to experience a tornado while camping, but a heavy thunderstorm is welcome! Watching the rain and wind move through the Spanish moss on the trees. The cool breeze it brings through the screen door and the tapping of the drops on the top of the camper. Its almost as wonderful as sitting on the beach listening to the ocean waves crashing. I can only hope that I will get to experience a nice calm storm during bedtime. We were really enjoying all the splendor the storm brought to us, except when the campground lost power. Its not fun wondering how long the battery will last you, nor wondering how quickly they will restore power. That being said its great to have a board game or card game on hand to play to pass the time. It was only down for about an hour and the good news is that I got third place in Uno. The bad news is that there are only three of us. I lost.
Stuff To See & Do
There is guided beach horseback riding, bike trails, a fishing pier, and Driftwood beach all within walking/biking distance from the campground. Driftwood beach was one of my favorites and it is probably something you haven’t experienced before. As its name suggests, it is covered in beautiful pieces of driftwood and rock. Its not ideal for swimming, but we had just stumbled upon a gorgeous wedding, and people just enjoying the scenery. Photos will not do it justice. You must see it with your own eyes.
On the other hand, dining on the island is fairly limited, and many of the restaurants do not stay open past 9, with a couple of exceptions. Plan accordingly and make reservations when you can, especially during the peak summer season.
Red Bug Motors is a small golf cart rental service that allows you to drive around the island with ease, plus its just fun to have the open air, and it feels nice!
Jekyll is also known for their feral cats, as part of their wildlife. They are living their best life out here.
Last but certainly not least, one of the most exciting parts of the island is the sea turtle sanctuary and their nightly sea turtle walks that is a must have experience.
Oh, and of course there are plenty of little shops for all of your souvenir needs.
Hotel versus RV Experience
The Days Inn isn’t known for luxury, and at the time I was trying not to overspend on our vacation. In September of 2018, I got a room that I thought the husband would be ok with financially while still having a beachfront view. When we checked in, there was a large family party (maybe someone got married?) in a couple of neighboring rooms. Loud music and kids playing in the parking lot. I was like oh god, no. Then when we got to our room there was a very aloof couple sitting outside of their room with a karaoke machine. I felt their annoyance with our presence. Maybe they wanted to keep singing without interruption? The Days Inn A/C units would pool up water next to your room door. We always had to step over the puddle going in or out. It was a plain, but seemingly clean room. The walls were paper thin. We heard the couple next door fighting over staying or leaving very loudly. However, there were some enjoyable “features”. Near the maintenance shed there were a bunch of feral cats that I loved to watch, a resident trash panda at the dumpster, and a swarm of gorgeous dragon flies everywhere. I absolutely loved that. It wasn’t the Hilton, but we made the best of it, enjoyed the little perks, and had a great time.
Would I rather stay in a hotel here or RV here again? I think Its great having a little piece of your own property to come back to and stay in. I have a great since of privacy, I am sure of the cleanliness of my space, and I don’t feel bad leaving my dog in a place he is familiar with. Also, I am guaranteed a hammock, and don’t have to hope others aren’t using the ones at the hotel. So, I know I am partial, but RV is my choice.