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Dec 9, 2007 05:34 PM

Jekyll Island. - Please tell me there's something!

Okay, we're off to Jekyll Island for a soccer tournament this coming wknd. We're staying at a condo @ Villas by the sea (I hope they are decent... the hotels we checked out were horrid).

From the research I've done, it appears that the pickin's are slim on this island. Please correct me if I'm wrong. We're looking for casual dining, kid friendly w/ fresh seafood and adult beverages. No chains please. Just some local food. What about SeaJay's? Zachry's? What about takeout? Are we better to head back to the mainland for food in Brunswick? If so, how far of a drive is it? We will be tired from all the soccer (well, the kids will be anyway).

Also, are there any "not to be missed" sites on the island? The weather is supposed to be gorgeous!!! Any insider info would be greatly appreciated. CH's have yet to fail me!!!!

Thanks y'all!!!!

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  1. I was there for my brother's wedding this summer with two little ones. The food was pretty good at the Jekyll Island Club. Pricey though. The restaurant at Crane Cottage was nice and there's a place where you can buy sandwiches and stuff.

    There's a shrimp place out on the dock there that's great. The casual one but i forget the name. There's a place just to the right of the bridge that's not bad - i think it might be seajay's. nothing special but not terrible. blackbeard's is apparently terrible so avoid it.

    Also if the villas are the ones i think they are the place is nice - but i think they're all individually owned. The island itself is really great. Hope you like it.

    Oh and I heard that there are some decent places in Brunswick/ St Simons close by so you could go that route for better food. Check here for many threads.

    3 Replies
    1. re: AMFM

      I have been to Jekyll Island many times for conferences and conventions. The only good places I've been are near (or part of) the Jekyll Island Club and they can be expensive and not kid-friendly. You are better off by heading to St. Simons next door. About a 10 to 15 minute drive from Jekyll. I would do a post for St. Simons and you should get a better response. There are some good restaurants on St. Simons. They are hidden and not near the tourist area. The names escape me at the moment. Just make sure you buy a daypass (or multiday) when you first get there. To get on Jekyll you have to pay a fee each time you unless you have a pass. There are no passes needed for St. Simons.

      As for touring Jekyll, rent or take a bike. They have a great bike path that covers the entire Island. The Island is pretty small and basically only has two main roads. But the bike path weaves through some old ruins, wildnerss areas, and the like. Stuff that is very easy to miss with a car. With a bike, its also easier to navigate the historic area. The beach is great for looking for shark teeth. More sharkes live off the coast of Jekyll than anywhere in the world. Also, at night, the beach is pitch black. No big lights due to sea turtles nesting. So, take a flaslight and enjoy. Be careful as to remember where you came onto the beach. Its easy to get lost with no lights as landmarks.

      1. re: Modawg1991

        The closest kidfriendly place would be Spanky's Marshside In Brunswick as you come off of Jekyll. For Kid friendly Seafood Mudcat Charley's north of Brunswick on 17 is about as close as going to St Simons is cheaper & better than most seafood on St Simons. Christies in DOwntown Brunswick is great more fine dining, but they do have a kiddy menu, my 6 year old loves their cotton candy dessert. One of the top 10 in state by Georgia Trend. Jekyll does not offer much, they are hopefully going to redevelop the island, but there are too many people complaining it will be to expensive compared to the dumps over there now.

        1. re: beteez

          Wow, thanks y'all. So it really is as

    2. On Jekyll itself is SeaJays at the Marina (, which is very kid friendly in ambiance and food -- has a kids' menu. We love the low country boil at night but you can also order off the menu, sit outside, listen to music, watch the people come in from their boats and swim in the pool, etc. It's near the water park, towards the south end of the island. This is our usual hangout when we are there.

      Someone mentioned Spanky's, off-island, which is OK and has a big menu and lots of space. I think of it as an after-work meeting place, but I guess at some times of the day it might be a family spot. There's also the wonderful Gnat's Landing ( on St. Simon's, again with outdoor seating and a large menu. 'Downtown' St. Simon's has the always busy (lots of families) Barbara Jean's for home-cooked southern food, as well as four or five other places.

      Don't know what Brunswick has -- we've tried to eat there one or twice with not much luck, unless you're just looking for fast food.

      We love Jekyll!

      6 Replies
      1. re: mmwm

        Barbara Jeans I think is worth a special trip just to have the crab cakes. There some excellent choices in Brunswick. Christies is one and Cargo a good second choice.

        1. re: gashrink

          Please realize that Jekyll is not just 15 minutes from St Simons. I would double that for practical purposes, and I haven't factored in the soccer team factor. Just accept that Jekyll Island is a dump and eat at Huddle House and go home as soon as possible

          1. re: sarge

            BAAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Good news, CH's!!!! My husband just informed me that if I want to, I'm more than welcome to stay home by myself, sans the children! Wahoo! I've never been alone in my home for a wknd. I'm thrilled AND I'm taking him up on his most generous offer. So, thanks for the info, and I will pass all recs, or lack thereof, on to him!

            I'm off to Trader Joe's, etc. to stock for my food and wine extravaganza at home!

            1. re: lynnlato

              a weekend without the kids sounds great so i can't blame you. but while jekyll isn't chow-y (in fact i'd agree the food is pretty dreadful) it is by NO means a dump. it's gorgeous. i loved it - and have traveled all over. last summer was my first experience there. it's just so uncommercial. i would go back with my family in a heartbeat.

              1. re: AMFM

                I, too, love uncommercial. We used to love going to the outer banks, NC. Now, it's pretty much just like everywhere else... somebody let the cat out of the bag! :-)

                1. re: lynnlato

                  maybe you'll get another chance to go - without a soccer tournament. i brought my 1 and 4 1/2 year old (at the time this summer) to meals at the jekyll island club and they were fine with it. the club is old and gorgeous. it is very pricey but worth a visit.
                  enjoy the quiet too!