Money magazine ranked Jekyll Island No. 1 among U.S. travel destinations on its list of “The 20 Best Places to Go in 2019.” This is just one of many accolades earned so far this year. Jekyll placed second on a list of “19 best beaches for families and kids” compiled by NBC-TV’s “Today” show. Driftwood Beach was designated as the No. 10 beach in the country in TripAdvisor’s 2019 Travelers’ Choice Awards.
Jekyll Island Authority Executive Director Jones Hooks said this kind of recognition affirms the work JIA has done to redevelop the island and make it more appealing to visitors and residents. It also reaffirms the value of the Carrying Capacity and Infrastructure Study, commissioned to determine the number of people, vehicles, and development that Jekyll can accommodate while still maintaining its unique character.
“We are pleased to see Jekyll Island continuing to garner national recognition for its blend of character, culture, history, and ecology,” he said. “It underscores the importance of our mission to preserve and protect the island’s historic and natural resources, while at the same time welcoming new and returning visitors.”
Money employed a rigorous methodology “featuring more than 43,000 data points collected from dozens of sources,” including the travel booking site Kayak. The cost and quality of nearly 750 popular destinations were evaluated to determine which offered value and “activities and amenities that make vacations memorable.” TripAdvisor’s Choice Award winners are based on millions of reviews and opinions collected from travelers worldwide.
The “Today” show coverage includes the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Corsair Beach Park, and Mosaic, the Jekyll Island Museum — which opened in April — among island amenities that are ideal for “making memories and keeping the kids occupied for hours on end.”
Additional recognition for Jekyll so far in 2019 includes being selected as one of the “Top 15 Beaches on the East Coast” (Town and Country), and “best weekend getaway” in Georgia (MSN Travel). In late 2018 Architectural Digest lauded the island as one of the “50 most beautiful small towns in America.”