Discover the Beauty of Jekyll Island
Off the coast of our beloved Georgia is the remote, relaxing Golden Isle barrier Jekyll Island. Surrounded by tranquil marshes, endless beaches, and a dreamy oceanfront, we couldn’t think of a better environment to host the annual Whiskey, Wine & Wildlife event, presented by The Westin at Jekyll Island, February 8-11, 2018. But this small-island-escape is so much more than just a backdrop. With a vibrant history, diverse wildlife, and a foundation dedicated to its conservation, Jekyll Island provides visitors a natural beauty hard to find anywhere else.
Jekyll Island’s archaeological sites point to inhabitants dating back 3500 years. The earliest known were Native Americans, who often traveled to the island for hunting and fishing. But it wasn’t until 1562 that French explorers arrived, though they didn’t stay, and the first long-term settlers were British colonists staking out the land for England in the early 1700s.
What’s in a Name: When General James Oglethorpe founded the Georgia colony in 1733, he named Jekyll Island after Sir Joseph Jekyll, who financially supported the youthful colony.
A plantation was developed by Major William Horton and his indentured servants, and remained a plantation (with various owners) until 1886, when the island was purchased by a resort club. The Jekyll Island Club welcomed notable figures such as J.P. Morgan, Joseph Pulitzer, William Vanderbilt, and William Rockefeller and remained in service until World War II.
The park you know today didn’t come to be until 1947, when the island was finally sold to the state of Georgia. Now, the island is run by the Jekyll Island Authority, which keep the historic retreat open to all who wish to visit.
*Dates and historic timeline were accessed from jekyllisland.com
After digging into its historic past, it’s no surprise that Jekyll Island today is still ruled by the natural wildlife that call it home. Both marine and land animals can be seen along the sandy beaches, deep in the maritime forests, and even a few steps off the many trails and pathways. Keep your eyes peeled for any of the following:
- Sea turtles
- Various birds
The Jekyll Island Foundation
Every year we are honored to have our W3 events benefit a program that strives for good, and the Jekyll Island Foundation is one such organization. Dedicated to the conservation and education of the island, its wildlife and natural landscape, the foundation puts their heart and soul into all they do. In recent years, support has provided them the funding for a new wildlife viewing area, a trail at Horton Pond, and research for nesting shorebirds and Diamondback Terrapins.
At our event, the Jekyll Island Foundation will be joining us in educational and interactive programs to showcase coastal wildlife like sea turtles and alligators.
Jekyll Island and W3
The Whiskey, Wine & Wildlife event is a unique opportunity to reconnect with nature. Throughout our weekend’s schedule, you’ll have a chance to taste exquisite culinary bites, sample refined whiskeys and wines, and simply unwind and enjoy all of nature’s wonders found at Jekyll Island.