Jekyll Island is located off the coast of the U.S. state of Georgia, in Glynn County. It is one of the Sea Islands and one of the Golden Isles of Georgia barrier islands. The island is owned by the State of Georgia and run by a self-sustaining, self-governing body.
Long used seasonally by indigenous peoples of the region, beginning in the colonial era, some of its lands became privately owned. A few structures still stand made of tabby, a coastal building material of crushed oyster shells. The island was developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was evacuated during World War II by order of the US government. In 1947 the state of Georgia acquired all the property, for security and preservation.
A popular tourist destination, the island has beaches frequented by vacationers. Guided tours of the Landmark Historic District are available. Bike trails, walks along the beaches and sandbars, and Summer Waves, a water park, are among the active attractions. The historic district features numerous impressive and ambitious buildings from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The island is also full of wildlife, consisting of many different mammals, reptiles, and birds living and breeding in the island's inland salt marshes. In 2018, Architectural Digest named Jekyll Island the 11th most beautiful small town in America.