The Jekyll Island Club dates to 1888. | Dan Scanlan, Jacksonville TodayThe Jekyll Island Club dates to 1888. | Dan Scanlan, Jacksonville Today
The Jekyll Island Club dates to 1888. | Dan Scanlan, Jacksonville Today

Two local islands rated the best in continental US

Published on July 11, 2024 at 11:47 am

Our area might be the best place in the country to retreat to an island, judging from a survey released this week.

Readers of Travel + Leisure magazine rated the Golden Isles in Georgia — consisting of Jekyll Island, Little St. Simons Island, Sea Island and St. Simons Island — as the best island in the continental U.S.

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Amelia Island was No. 2.

Others included the Florida Keys (No. 5), Cumberland Island, Georgia (No. 6), Sanibel Island (No. 10) and Captiva Island (No. 14).

More than 700,000 votes were cast in the Travel + Leisure survey, which included the best hotels, cities, cruise lines and others. Islands were rated on natural attractions and beaches, activities, restaurants, friendliness and value.

“Being voted into the No. 2 spot is a great honor and a testament to the incredible beauty, diverse offerings, and genuine hospitality that really set Amelia Island apart,” Gil Langley, president of the Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau, said in a news release.

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One reader wrote: “Amelia Island is a must-stop destination for anyone that appreciates history, small-town feel, and something off the beaten path. [It’s] the only place in America that’s been occupied by four district cultures: native Americans, French, Spanish and British, all of which can still be seen in the architecture and layout of the town.”

Of the Golden Isles, a reader wrote: ““Absolutely gorgeous islands! Some of the most beautiful I’ve been to.”

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island finished sixth among the top-rated resorts in Florida.

In May, Amelia Island was recognized as the best island in the U.S. in a poll by Global Traveler Magazine.


author image Senior News Editor

Randy comes to Jacksonville from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, where as metro editor, he led investigative coverage of the Parkland school shooting that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for public service. He has spent more than 40 years in reporting and editing positions in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Florida. 


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