Jekyll Island, Georgia
Marine life: Though you won't find Mr. Rourke and Tattoo, Jekyll could be Fantasy Island, thanks to its array of fun-time activities. You can go horseback riding on the beach. There's kayaking and canoeing through salt marshes and estuaries, plus biking along 20 miles of trails along the sands, notching birds in the Audubon book, and visiting a water park to work off the kids' waffle- cone sugar highs. This bounty of outdoors options is matched by the historic district, a 240-acre compound on Jekyll Creek. Named in 1734 for a financial backer of the Georgia colony, the island long belonged to co-owners J.P. Morgan, Joseph Pulitzer, and William Rockefeller, and their moneyed manners still linger in elegant boutiques. But just about any budget can afford Blackbeard's Seafood Restaurant, where the fried oysters and flounder almondine are better than the restaurant name suggests.
The sanctuary: The Queen Anne–style Jekyll Island Club Hotel, with 157 rooms, has been hosting guests from Joseph Pulitzer to regular Joes since 1886. It's also where you'll find the four golf courses.
Jekyll Island Club Hotel
Tel: 912 635 2600 - Doubles from $189
Blackbeard's Seafood Restaurant
Tel: 912 635 3522