In the Golden Isles, the sea has always been full of treasure. Whether delicious shrimp and fish caught for the table, or beautiful shells and shark teeth used in home and personal décor, the water provides many treasures to locals and visitors alike.
On Jekyll Island, the tradition continues with the annual Island Treasures glass float hunt.
“In the early 1900s, fishermen used glass floats on their nets as markers,” said Jerod Myers, Jekyll Island Guest Information Center manager. “Occasionally, the floats would break loose and wash ashore for lucky beachcombers to find and keep. Collecting these rare, highly sought after glass floats became a hobby in the 1950s.”
Today, Jekyll Island hand-picks artists from across the country to create one-of-a-kind glass floats for its annual Island Treasures event.
The glass floats are part of a hide-and-seek style game played on Jekyll Island every day throughout January and February. Each day, volunteers called Beach Buddies hide two-to-five glass floats around the island for lucky guests to find and keep.
As in the 2016 treasure hunt, the Beach Buddies have doubled the number of floats hidden on the weekends in 2017. Now, friends from nearby places like Jacksonville, Savannah, Charleston, Orlando, and Atlanta, can drive to the island for a weekend of treasure hunting fun.
Each float is marked with a special tag and instructions for treasure finders to register their Island Treasures at the Jekyll Island Guest Information Center where they will receive a certificate of authenticity and artist biography for their one-of-a-kind float. The Center is open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sunday 1 - 5 p.m.
Island Treasures are always hidden in plain view, in public spaces. Beach Buddies will never place a treasure in the dunes, marshes, animal habitats or private property. A map highlighting the best hunting areas on Jekyll has been created to help first-time treasure hunters.