Looking for a budget-friendly family vacation spot on the Georgia coast? Look no further than the Holiday Inn Jekyll Island. It’s located directly on the Atlantic Ocean, with its own beach and pool. The property is smaller, but offers plenty for families to enjoy in a great location – being close to the island’s other attractions.
Jekyll Island is one of eight barrier island groups off the east coast of Georgia. It’s an hour north of Florida and five hours from Atlanta. Clay and sand sediments carried by incoming tides and rivers settle behind the barrier islands to form beautiful salt marshes. The expansive beaches with a bike-friendly community, built alongside live oaks and marshland, make it an amazing destination to visit.
I’ve grown to appreciate our home state of Georgia because of the diverse topography. The oak trees with Spanish moss blowing from the ocean breeze is unlike anything you can find in Florida. Call me biased, but Georgia has beautiful beaches that should be on your bucket list.
Unlike many of America’s shorelines whose beaches and barrier islands are being lost to development, many of Georgia’s islands still retain much of their native wilderness and beauty. The wildlife refugees, nearby state parks and trails attracted us to visit the area and stay at the Holiday Inn Resort Jekyll Island.
Related: Tybee Island Kayaking, Fishing Charter’s and Boaters Guide
Holiday Inn Jekyll Island Review For Families
While I’m very familiar with the Holiday Inn brand, I’m always surprised how their resorts vary depending on location. I can always expect the same quality service and comforts of home, with special touches that are unique to the location.
The Holiday Inn Resort Jekyll Island feels like an old-school roadside beach destination on the outside, but it’s completely fresh and modern on the inside. Upon check-in, we were greeted with a beautiful ocean view. The resort is located directly on the beach with several access points that are only a few steps away from guest rooms.
Types Of Rooms At Holiday Inn Jekyll Island
If you’re a long-term reader, you know our hotel needs have shifted upon having kids. I love that the Holiday Inn Resort Jekyll Island offers several types of rooms – including a kid suites. Notably, they also have pet-friendly rooms and connecting rooms.
The kids suites are complete with a separate bunk bed area for the kids, pull-out couch and a king bed. There was also a full refrigerator in the kitchenette space. It’s clean, well designed and comfortable for families. Family suites really make family travel easier on parents. Parents want their own space and need the room. Parents can relax on the porch while watching the sunset – giving them a little escape from the kids.
Property Amenities That Are Designed For Families
Jekyll Island is the perfect destination for families that want to wake up and go, then come back to resorts to relax in the afternoon. At the Holiday Inn Jekyll Island, you’re close to all of the great family island activities, but there’s no need to leave the resort if you’re feeling that vacation laziness kick in.
Whether you want to relax in an Adirondack chair, play on the beach or soak up the sun in the pool, they’ve got something for everyone. It’s really easy to spend hours around the pool with the kids. The Holiday Inn has a pool with a bar area, kiddie plash pad, playground, grilling areas and fire pits. If you need even more comforts from home, the resort offers a small business center and fitness area as well.
The Beach House Restaurant at Holiday Inn Jekyll Island
Second to the ocean view, this is what really sells the Holiday Inn Jekyll Island: KIDS EAT FREE AT THEIR RESTAURANT! Upon check-in, you receive kids meal vouchers to redeem at The Beach House. It’s the on-property restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating.
They offer a full breakfast buffet, lunch and dinner. You can order fresh salads, sandwiches, artisan pizzas and southern favorites. My Shrimp and Grits were delicious while my Husband enjoyed his filet. They also offer a full bar with a great martini menu.
There aren’t an abundant amount of dining options on the Jekyll Island, so it’s nice having a convenient on-property restaurant that you can walk to.
Nearby Island Attractions
Jekyll is the perfect weekend getaway. My only regret was not bringing along some bikes. The trails are such a great way to explore the island and experience the views. They’ve got a small shopping area, history museum, golf courses and seasonal waterpark.
The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is a can’t miss activity if you’re traveling with kids. It’s a rehabilitation center that educates guests with interactive exhibits. Our kids enjoyed watching them feed and clean a sea turtle. Be sure to check their event calendar because your admission is good all day long.
If you’re looking for something “off the beaten path” then you need to check out Horton Pond. You can find the trailhead at the Horton House historical landmark and walk through the woods, on a designated trail, to a pond area. It’s a serene spot that is home to turtles and alligators. Island guests can also sign up for Gatorology classes to learn more about the wildlife at Horton Pond.
There’s also the nearby St. Simons Island, which is the next barrier island over and a short drive away. Kids love visiting Fort Frederica National Monument for their Junior Ranger program.
Compared to the neighboring islands, Jekyll offers a relaxing retreat that’s perfect for a family getaway. I highly recommend the Holiday Inn Jekyll Island as a great family beach destination. I love that the resort is located directly on the water and located in close proximity to the island’s best tourism spots. It really makes it a cut above the rest of the competition, with a great price tag per night!