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  3. Jekyll Island

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Golden Isles of Georgia

The Golden Isles of Georgia are a group of four barrier islands on the 100-mile-long coast of Georgia on the Atlantic Ocean. They include St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Jekyll Island, and Little St. Simons Island. They are part of the Sea Islands. Nearby Sapelo Island and Cumberland Island are not considered part of the Golden Isles.

Since the American Civil War all the islands except for Little St. Simons Island have become elite resorts frequented by some of the nations wealthiest families. These three islands also have permanent residents with St. Simons Island being the most populated with 13,000 residents, according to the 2000 census. All the islands are located within Glynn County and make up the lower middle section of Georgia's eleven barrier islands. Annual temperatures average 66.5F, with January lows of 42 and August highs of 91. This pleasant climate has led to the islands becoming a major attraction for Northerners from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, who seek the mild winters the Golden Isles offer. The island's good weather and natural beauty have made the area an exclusive place to live. According to the latest statistics provided by the Glynn County Board of Realtors the average single-family dwelling on Sea Island sells for $3.4 million. St. Simons Island is more affordable with the average household selling for just under $300,000 at $299,850, and the most expensive house sold in 2004 went for $4.4 million. The most expensive house in the Golden Isles sold in 2004 was on Sea Island and was purchased for just over $12 million dollars. Jekyll Island is the least expensive with houses selling at an average of $208,000 dollars. With so many affluent residents the Golden Isles have been able to enjoy many of the finer retailers usually found in upscale neighborhoods in large cities such as Atlanta or Miami. The islands also hosted the 2004 G-8 Summit at the Cloister Resort and Hotel on Sea Island. Many other people come to the islands for their beaches, wetlands, sub-tropical forests, and water recreation every year.

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