The Golden Isles was named number 4 in Travel + Leisure – The Top 10 Islands in the Continental U.S.Travel + Leisure

We can’t say we are surprised! According to Travel + Leisure’s Rebecca Ascher-Walsh “Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated islands according to their activities and sights, natural attractions and beaches, food, friendliness, and overall value.”

St. Simons Island and the surrounding Golden Isles are the true definition of paradise- a place of extreme beauty, delight, or happiness. The weather is close to perfect year-round, with highs in the 80s and lows in the 60’s. The beaches are kept in pristine condition, the area is rich with history, and there are more local restaurants with 5-star cuisine than we can count! If you want to experience all that this Top US island has to offer book your stay now with Hodnett Cooper!



In a Travel + Leisure readers’ poll released in May, 2014, St. Simons Island, Georgia was voted America’s Favorite Beach Town.” And St. Simons Island is not just among America’s Favorite Beach Towns, it is America’s #1 Favorite Beach Town!

St. Simons Island ranked above some pretty impressive beach towns, including Amelia Island, Carmel-by-the-Sea, St. Augustine, Key West, Martha’s Vineyard, Tybee Island, La Jolla and others.

Travel + Leisure readers cited St. Simons’ “triple threat of southern charm, serenity and affordability.” The Island also scored well with readers for good picnic spots, annual festivals, romance and activities like biking. The “white sand and live oaks” impressed as well.

This adds to the treasure trove of awards, accolades and national mentions St. Simons Island has been stacking on our trophy case:

–       #5 on the “Top 10 Islands in the United States” in the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards

–       #3 in the “America’s Favorite Towns” Travel + Leisure readers’ poll

–       #1 in the “America’s Most Romantic Towns” Travel + Leisure readers’ poll

–       Named a “Best Fall Beach Escape” by Outside Magazine’s online Adventure Adviser

–       Crowned “A New Capital for U.S. Golf” by The New York Times

–       Named an “Ultimate Spring Escape” by Southern Living magazine

To read more about St. Simons Island, visit the St. Simons Island section of our website. And to see more awards and links to the full stories, visit the Praise for St. Simons Island page at


Coastal Living Magazine’s Happiest Seaside Town

Coastal Living Magazine is currently conducting its third annual “Happiest Seaside Town” poll and St. Simons Island is in the running! Coastal Living Magazine describes St. Simons Island as a “dreamy Southern enclave with moss-draped oaks, marshes, pristine beaches, 99 holes of golf, excellent fishing and plenty of family fun.” That sounds like everything you’d find at the Happiest Seaside Town.

Please take a moment to vote for St. Simons Island and vote often. The site allows you to cast a vote every hour from February 10 through March 31. Simply click on the blue “vote” button below the picture of the lighthouse and the St. Simons Island, GA description.



Travel + Leisure 2014 World’s Best Awards Survey

Each year, travelers and dreamers participate in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards survey, voting on the best hotels, airlines and destinations. In 2013, St. Simons Island ranked #3 among “America’s Favorite Towns” and in a recent poll, was ranked #1 among “America’s Most Romantic Town.” We’re hoping for a three-peat to again rank among the America’s favorite Island destinations in 2014. Please take a moment to vote for St. Simons Island and the Golden Isles.

St. Simons Island needs your vote! The survey is live through March 31, 2014 and winners will be announced in August issue of Travel + Leisure.


Voting Instructions/Path:

1. Are you a Travel + Leisure Subscriber (yes/no) – hit enter

2. Tell Us about You: four required questions (gender, age, T+L readership, visits) and email address – hit submit

3. Check the “Islands” category  – click here to vote

4. Check the “United States” box – click continue

5. Check the “Golden Isles” box (Sea Island, St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island) – click continue

6. Rate on Natural Attractions, Activities/Sites, Restaurants/Food, People, Value, Romance + additional box for comments

Photo: James Schwabel / Alamy

Photo: James Schwabel / Alamy

You may remember the “America’s Favorite Towns” survey where St. Simons Island, Georgia ranked #3 for our beautiful natural setting, miles of sandy beaches, sprawling oaks, golf and historic sites.

As part of the “America’s Favorite Towns” poll, Travel + Leisure readers also scored towns on their romantic appeal for the “America’s Most Romantic Towns” list. To calculate the most romantic towns, Travel + Leisure looked at brunch spots, bakeries, wine scenes, scenic picnic-friendly parks and romantic hotels.

Based on these categories, we are pleased to report that St. Simons Island ranked as the #1 Most Romantic Town! We’ll just quote T+L directly:

“America’s top town for romance strikes the right balance between seclusion and accessibility. Located on one of Georgia’s Golden Isles, this southern-style beach town has both white sands and live oaks, and was a hit with readers in romance-friendly categories such as picnicking and charming cafés. You can rent bicycles, browse antique shops, and check out another undeniable marker of romantic destinations: the local lighthouse.”

As a bonus to those who are considering a romantic getaway, another top romantic town is just across the bridge—a quick 12-minute drive from St. Simons Island. Neighboring Brunswick, Georgia ranked #20 among Travel + Leisure readers:

“Established by the British in 1771, this romantic coastal spot is one of the few American towns that kept its colonial street names—a nod to longevity any couple can appreciate. Aside from quirky appeal to history buffs, Brunswick was ranked highly for its festivals, such as autumn’s Brunswick Rockin’ Stewbilee, where competitors cook up tomatoey pots of stew. Come December, a plethora of twinkly lights is a seasonal enchantment (even on the water, during the Christmas Boat Parade of Lights).”

Turns out, Coastal Georgia is for lovers! Take a look at the Hodnett Cooper St. Simons Island and Brunswick Area Guide for all sorts of activity ideas. For the romantic, a horseback ride on the beach, picnic at oceanfront Neptune Park, a long walk on the beach or a Tree Spirit treasure hunt.

St. Simons Island is once again proving to be a traveler favorite. In a recent poll, Travel + Leisure fans and followers nominated their favorite towns for consideration. Among the 744 towns nominated and after the final votes were cast, St. Simons Island ranked #3 in overall popularity. Below is the complete article. And click here for a link to other national accolades St. Simons Island has amassed.


America’s Favorite Towns

October 2013, by Sarah L. Stewart

The votes are in for T+L readers’ best-loved small towns, from Vermont to Utah.

As you watch the sun dip below 14,000-foot peaks from Allred’s restaurant, toast your craft beers to a vacation well spent in Telluride, CO, a historic ski town hip enough to host film and bluegrass festivals.

Telluride, rated No. 7, is just one of the small towns with outsize personalities that proved irresistible to the T+L community. For our first America’s Favorite Towns survey, we asked our fans and followers to nominate their favorites on social media with the hashtag #TLTowns—and then to vote for the 744 towns in 55 categories, including farmers’ markets, museums, adventure travel, and family-friendly hotels.

To determine the overall popularity results, we calculated each town’s average score. The results reveal that T+L readers have a soft spot for small towns in the Rockies, with the No. 1 title going to Aspen, CO, which scored highly for its attractive locals, beer scene, and Victorian-era Main Street.

What most winning towns have in common is a history dating back at least a century. Charlottesville, VA, for instance, still bears the imprint of Thomas Jefferson, who masterminded Monticello and the University of Virginia and also appreciated fine wine. The area makes a scenic wine-country getaway, with the Blue Ridge Mountains for a backdrop.

No. 3 St. Simons, GA


The ebb and flow of the Atlantic dictates life in this resort town on an 18-square-mile island off the Georgia coast. T+L readers gave St. Simons high marks for the caliber of its residents, scoring ninth place for most active and sixth for their intelligence. They’re lucky to live in a beautiful natural setting, with miles of sandy beaches and sprawling oaks. Attractions include golf courses and an 1872 lighthouse with sweeping views.

Photo: Georgia Tourism