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 hide floats around the island for lucky guests to find and keep. New for 2018, we’re mixing things up to give all seekers a better chance of finding their treasure. Gather your friends and family to search for floats that can be exchanged for dazzling handcrafted glass globes.
Jekyll Island Guest Information Center
901 Downing Musgrove Causeway
Jekyll Island, GA 31527
Open daily, 9.a.m-6 p.m.
2018 Island Treasures FAQ
Q: What is an Island Treasure?
A: 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 floats around the island for lucky guests to find and keep.
Q: What is new for 2018?
A: Rather than hiding the real glass floats, Beach Buddies will hide clear, plastic globes. Each plastic globe contains a numbered tag and instructions for how to claim your real Island Treasure. All Island Treasures will be kept at the Guest Information Center, and plastic globes can be exchanged for Island Treasures at the Center daily, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Only one Island Treasure per household, per year.
Q: Why did you make this change?
A: The goal is to make the activity fair, and allow more individuals to enjoy the hunt. The changes is a direct result of your feedback throughout the years.
Q: How much does it cost to hunt?
A: Nothing! The Jekyll Island Treasures hunt is free. Note, there is a parking fee to get on the island, which helps defray some of the cost of the roads upkeep.
Q: I found a plastic globe! What do I do now?
A: Congratulations! Take your globe to the Jekyll Island Guest Information Center any day from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. There, you’ll exchange it for the Island Treasure that matches the number in your plastic globe. You will complete a claim form, receive your Island Treasure, and then we’ll take your picture to share on our Facebook page. Only one Island Treasure per household, per year.
Q: How many Island Treasures may I claim?
A: The goal is to allow more guests to enjoy the hunt. With this in mind, only one Island Treasure may be claimed her household, per year.
Q: How many Island Treasures will be hidden in January & February?
A: 450! This year, we will hide a total of 450 clear, plastic globes from January 1 – February 28, 2018. 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 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Q: How many Island Treasures are hidden each day?
A: In general, two (2) to five (5) globes are hidden each day. On weekends – Friday through Sunday – Beach Buddies will hide four (4) to ten (10) each day.
Q: What time are they hidden?
A: Any time. Beach Buddies will hide plastic globes throughout the day, every day.
Q. What are the dates for this year’s Island Treasures hunt?
A. Island Treasures runs January 1 through February 28, 2018.
Q: Have all the Island Treasures been claimed?
A: Good question. Once a week, we’ll share the photos of all the winners from the previous week in a Facebook post, and give an update on the hunt.
Q: Where should I look for Island Treasures?
A: 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. Globes are always “hidden” in plain sight. Globes will never be hidden in the dunes, the marsh, off established paths, on the golf courses or driving range, or on residential property.
Q: Is there anywhere I should NOT look?
A: 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 plain sight.
Q: Is there a strategy I should employ?
A: 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.
Q: Who hides the globes? Can I help?
A: Volunteers selected from Jekyll Island Authority staff called “Beach Buddies” hide the treasures. Their identity is a secret, and they’re very sneaky! All Beach Buddies have been selected this year, but thanks for the offer.
Q: Can I buy an Island Treasure?
A: Yes! Official Jekyll Island Treasures are for sale at the Jekyll Island Guest Information Center. You can also purchase Island Treasures online.
Date: January and February