We finally made it to The Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island this weekend, with the kids in tow, because we’ve heard such great reviews.
We have to say, Georgia’s first sea turtle rehab, research and education facility lives up to all the kudos. A 90-minute drive from Savannah, the center provides state-of-art emergency care to sick and injured sea turtles.
My 3-year-old’s favorite part was looking through the treatment room window and seeing staff do various procedures on the sick or injured turtles. The one-story center, open since June 2007, also has just enough interactive exhibits to hold a preschooler’s attention and teach. In the Rehab Pavilion, kids can see the patients and learn about the various reasons why the turtles are sick or hurt (Caution: Your turtle-safety savvy kids will never again let you use a plastic bag after your visit as turtles are known to mistake discarded plastic bags for jellyfish and eat them).
Certain times of the year, you can take part in guided turtle and nest walks on the beach. A guided behind-the-scences tour is also available for an extra fee (but call ahead if you are interested as the behind-the-scence tour was not available on the day of our visit). The center also hosts special events, birthday parties and holiday celebrations like Turtle-ween. Summer programs are available for children, educators and seniors. Learn more by clicking here.
The Sea Turtle Center is in Jekyll’s pristine Historic District, where you can treat the kids to an ice cream at the nearby Sweet Shoppe or have lunch outdoors at Rah Bar on the Jekyll Historic Wharf, all within walking distance of the Center. Consider timing your visit to coincide with the Jekyll Island Beach Music Festival and BBQ Bash Aug. 21 or the Shrimp & Grits: Wild Georgia Shrimp Festival on Sept. 17. For more info on those festivals, click here.
Georgia Sea Turtle Center, 214 Stable Rd, Jekyll Island. Cost: $6 for adults (13+ years); $5 for Seniors (65+ years); $4 for children (4-12 years); FREE for children 3 and under. $5 for Active Duty Military Personnel, Students and Teachers (ID required). For more info, call 912.635.4444 or click here.