driftwood beach

Jekyll Island was recently placed at the top of Money magazine’s “20 Best Plances to Go in 2019” list.

Jekyll Island’s enjoying a metaphorical — along with a literal — time in the sun as the calendar moves toward spring, placing on a number of “best of” lists, including topping Money magazine’s “20 Best Places to Go in 2019,” which the publication announced Monday.

Jekyll also claimed No. 2 on the “Today” show’s list of the “19 best beaches for families and kids,” and TripAdvisor put Driftwood Beach as the No. 10 beach in the country for its 2019 Travelers’ Choice Awards.

“Accolades like these demonstrate the significant amount of economic boost Jekyll provides not just to the Georgia coast, but to the entire region,” Jekyll Island Authority Executive Director Jones Hooks said in a statement. “We are pleased to see Jekyll Island continuing to garner national recognition for its unique blend of character, culture, history and ecology.

“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’s “Best in Travel” guide for this year drew from “43,706 data points for almost 750 of the most popular vacation spots: roughly 300 in the U.S. and 450 around the world.”

Money pegged average airfare into Jacksonville International Airport at $300, average hotel night on Jekyll as $242 and the cost of a three-day trip for two at $1,874, while saying Jekyll “packs a lot of action into its small seven-by-two-mile border.”

According to the listing, “Nature lovers will feel right at home with the eight miles of beaches, 20 miles of hiking trails and a flat landscape all well within reach, making are area idea for casual walking and biking. The Historic District surrounding the Jekyll Island Club — featuring 200 acres of buildings dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the town was developed — helped it join the ranks of the most beautiful small towns in America, according to Architectural Digest.”

The Jekyll Island Authority’s Shrimp & Grits Festival also won recognition Feb. 26 as the Best Festival in the Southeast at the Southeast Festivals & Events Association’s Kaleidoscope Awards. The festival also won gold awards for Best Festival or Event Website and Best Promotional Poster Award, along with a bronze award for Best Print Ad.

“We are honored to be selected for the Best Festival Award from among more than 200 festivals in five states,” Nancy Kring-Rowan, JIA director of events, said in a statement.

“Our team’s dedication and imagination make the Shrimp & Grits Festival a memorable event for our guests every year. It’s gratifying to see hard work recognized this way.”

The 2019 Shrimp & Grits Festival is slated for Sept. 20-22.

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