850,000 votes are in and the people have spoken. The best island in America is one you may not suspect.

Your first thought might be to assume it’s Hawaii – nope.

Second guess might be Martha’s Vineyard to the east, or perhaps Catalina Island to the west.

Strike 2 and Strike 3. It’s actually Florida who claims the top island in the U.S.

Earlier this year, it was reported that the underrated city of Jacksonville had broken all-time tourism records.

Miami, Orlando, and even Tampa, which has become trendier to visit, often overshadow the Northeastern coastline of the “Sunshine State”.

However, the closer you are to the Florida-Georgia line, the closer you are to front porch sittin’, sweet tea sippin’ and highly underrated paradisal beaches.

Amelia Island, outside of Jacksonville, is the number one island destination where Southern charm meets white sand beaches.

13 Miles Of Pristine Beaches

Amelia Island sign

Florida beaches are in high demand year-round. Well, except during Hurricane Season, for obvious reasons.

Needless to say, Florida is the top escape for sun and sand for many Americans and international tourists as well.

Between stunning beaches wrapped around the oddly shaped state to world-renowned Disney World, it’s easy to see why it’s such a draw.

But, away from the iconic cities and fun-filled theme parks are some hidden gems not often discussed as legit vacation options.

White sand dunes of Amelia Island

Now that Amelia Island can claim top status with this new accolade from Global Traveler Magazine, it’s time to dig further into what Florida has to offer.

Less than an hour outside Jacksonville lies 13 miles of pristine beaches from the tip of Amelia Island State Park to the border of Georgia.

Soft white sand, stunning coastal views, and a plethora nice places to stay will have you wondering, “why have I been going to Miami?!”.

One perk exclusive to the island is the SunSetters Beach Service. No need to bring beach chairs or canopies, this service has you covered for set-up and take-down absolutely free of charge!

Warm Weather And Warmer Hospitality

Charming historic buildings of Amelia Island

Those seeking a vacation away from bright lights and busy streets should look no further than Amelia Island, especially the lovely town of Fernandina Beach.

Visitors will find a blend of centuries-old historic sites, small-town charm, and gorgeous beaches.

Major cities often lose their Southern Hospitality allure, but not here. Tourists find this region to be very welcoming from the delightful shops, Mom and Pop eateries, and vintage Bed and Breakfasts.

Even though Amelia Island is nestled against Georgia, the “Sunshine State” motto still holds true with phenomenal sunny weather, especially during summer, for many blissful beach days ahead.

Sunrise at Amelia Island pier

Not only can travelers look forward to a vacation spent at the beach, but there are fun events throughout the year like the popular Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival.

Living Your Best Life On Island Time

Amelia Island has it all and promotes fun for all ages.

On the one hand, the island doesn’t have to break the bank but it is perfectly suitable for a well-deserved vacation splurge as well.

Between an upscale dining scene jam-packed with goodies fresh from the Atlantic, along with upscale beachfront hotels and world-class spas.

Beach hotels on Amelia Island

Families can enjoy a night out with miniature golf or strolling the Seaside Park, or the grown-ups can easily bar-hop between beach bars and nice restaurants with breezy patios.

Without a doubt, the top places to stay are the luxe Omni Amelia Island Resort and the The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island.

Of course, this duo of ritzy accommodations can come at premium prices, but there are plenty of other comfortable options to choose from between timeless Bed and Breakfasts, boutique hotels, and beachside vacation rentals.

Aerial view of Amelia Island coast

With pretty beach destinations comes the irresistible temptation to go out on the water. There are many ways to do so with boat rentals, wildlife tours, and fishing excursions.

If that’s not your jam, perhaps horseback riding along the scenic beach is more up your alley.

Amelia Island has a very insightful tourism website to help visitors coordinate their trips.

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