Before you play any of Jekyll’s three fine 18-hole courses, warm up with a trip back in time at the Great Dunes Golf Course. This little 9-hole charmer was built in 1898 (when a million dollars still meant something) as a classic links-style layout. It was revamped in the 1920s, and the combination of small greens and deep bunkers just may catch your fancy (if not your iron shots).
Bird-watching and beachcombing for shells are time-honored pastimes here, and most “walks” end up as nature strolls (deer, wild turkeys, alligators are among local residents). But for true Wild Kingdom fans, there is nothing like watching loggerhead turtles come ashore on summer nights to dig nests in the sand and lay as many as 100 eggs. Guided tours (including a 2-mile hike to the nesting grounds) are held from June through mid-August.
To see how the really rich and famous once spent their winters, take a carriage tour of the island’s historic district. Guided tours, which start at the Museum Visitors Center, take in several of the club’s 30 or so original buildings, including a Rockefeller “cottage” that dates to 1892. You don’t need a guide to visit the Goodyear cottage, which houses the local art association.