In the early 1900s, east coast fishermen used hollow glass balls, or floats, on their nets as markers. 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 throughout January and February. Each day, volunteers called Beach Buddies will hide clear globes around the island for lucky guests to find and redeem for a real glass float. Gather your friends and family to search for globes that can be exchanged for dazzling handcrafted glass floats.
Beach Buddies hide clear, plastic globes each day across the island in common areas, like the ones mentioned on the map below.
While exploring Jekyll Island, keep in mind that you will not find Island Treasures in beach dunes, marsh areas, residential properties, or golf courses. Entering these areas could be illegal and unsafe.
An Island Treasure is a glass float similar to the ones fishermen used to mark their nets in the early 1900s. Today, they are one-of-a-kind, hand-blown glass balls created by artists commissioned by Jekyll Island from around the country. The floats are part of a hide-and-seek style game played on Jekyll Island throughout January and February. Each day, volunteers called Beach Buddies hide clear globes around the island for lucky guests to find and redeem for a real glass float.
Jekyll Island Authority staff volunteer in a lottery drawing to become one of our “Beach Buddies” who hide the treasures each year. They receive training before the annual event, their identity is a secret, and they’re very sneaky! We kindly ask that for both the safety of our Beach Buddies and to ensure this special event is fair for everyone, please DO NOT FOLLOW Jekyll Island Authority employees or someone who you think might be hiding a plastic globe.
Nothing! The Jekyll Island Treasures hunt is free. Please note, there is a parking fee to get on the island, as it is a state park.
Congratulations! Take your globe to the Jekyll Island Guest Information Center from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. There, you’ll exchange it for the Island Treasure that matches the numbered tag in your plastic globe. You will complete a claim form, provide photo ID, and receive your Island Treasure. A photo ID is required to claim an Island Treasure. Only one Island Treasure can be claimed per household, per year.
The goal is to allow as many guests as possible to enjoy the hunt. With this in mind, only one Island Treasure may be claimed per household, per year.
Approximately 200 clear, plastic globes will be hidden from January 1- February 28. Each plastic globe represents a real Island Treasure. To receive your Island Treasure, turn your plastic globe in at the Jekyll Island Guest Information Center, open daily. Monday-Saturday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
In general, two (2) to five (5) globes can be hidden per day, however there could be more on the island at any given time, based on the number of Island Treasures that have been found.
Any time. Beach Buddies will hide plastic globes throughout the day, and the timeframes vary daily. This is a very difficult task for a Beach Buddy, as they have to navigate finding a spot while avoiding the many visitors on the island. We kindly ask that for both the safety of our Beach Buddies and to ensure this special event is fair for everyone, please DO NOT FOLLOW Jekyll Island Authority employees or someone who you think might be hiding a plastic globe.
Island Treasures runs January 1 through February 28.
While all Island Treasures will be hidden by February 28, there may still be some left to find after this date. If you find a plastic globe after February 28, you can turn it into the Jekyll Island Guest Information Center through March 31 to receive your one-of-a-kind glass float. After March 31, no plastic globes can be redeemed for an Island Treasure.
You can visit the Jekyll Island Guest Information Center to see the wall of treasures and count the number remaining. Please note, not all plastic globes found are turned in immediately. Many are found and brought back at a later visit, so the number visible on the treasures wall may not be 100% accurate at all times. Please do not call the Guest Information Center to ask how many have been claimed, as they do not update their counts daily.
All over Jekyll Island! Ok, not the WHOLE island… You will ONLY find them in common areas like the Beach Village, Historic District, Great Dunes Beach Park, etc. The plastic globes are “hidden” in plain sight and NEVER off-the-beaten-path. Globes will NEVER be hidden in the dunes, the marsh, off established paths, on the golf courses or driving range, or on residential property.
Even better question! You won’t find them in the dunes, the marsh, off established paths, on the golf courses or driving range, or on residential property. Beach Buddies always “hide” plastic globes in common areas, in plain sight.
No, Island Treasures is really about being at the right place at the right time. It comes down to luck and timing. Whether you find a globe or not, we hope you’ll enjoy the real treasure that is Jekyll Island and see the annual tradition as an opportunity to explore.
Bring your plastic globe to the Jekyll Island Guest Information Center to exchange for your Island Treasure.