Amelia Island Makes “World’s Best” List for Fourth Consecutive Year

Amelia Island has been voted No. 10 among the “Best Islands in the Continental United States” by readers of Travel + Leisure magazine, one of the world’s most popular travel publications. This is the fourth consecutive year Amelia Island has made the travel magazine’s “World’s Best Awards” list, now in its 27th year. The No. 10 finish in 2022 puts Amelia Island in good company, joining other destinations including the Golden Isles, Georgia; the Outer Banks, North Carolina; and Hilton Head, South Carolina.

“By once again voting Amelia Island among the best in the country, the discerning readers of Travel + Leisure have made it clear this destination has what they value most in an unforgettable island getaway,” said Gil Langley, President of the Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Beyond our remarkable natural beauty and growing list of amenities and attractions, it is our local tourism industry’s commitment to delivering the kind of memorable experiences that have made Amelia one of the world’s best places to travel.”

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, was also recognized by the readers of Travel + Leisure, being voted No. 9 among the “Best Resorts in Florida.”

To see the complete lists of the Best Islands in the Continental United States, and Florida’s Best Resorts, visit

The World’s Best Awards is a travel awards program run by Travel + Leisure and based on an annual reader survey. The prestigious annual awards honor the top travel destinations, hotels, and companies worldwide. This year’s winners will appear online and in the August 2022 issue of Travel + Leisure magazine.


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Nicholas Velvet
Nicholas Velvet (@guest_65852)
1 year ago

Bummer. The last thing Amelia Island needs is to be voted “best”, “Top Ten” in any advertising blitz. We have been “found” and are overrun. Best in beach side traffic is clearly “a winner” yes? I for one are soooo much happier knowing we’re “Top Ten”~~not.
The lead in of the article has a picture of a beach pier…..JAX beach NOT Amelia Island but the AI beaches are sure beginning to look like that with beach crowds.

Sandra Lerch
Sandra Lerch (@guest_65860)
1 year ago

These tourists are not given tickets for speeding, drinking while intoxicated, which are occurring all through the streets. They do not clean up after they leave the beach. I have to pay through my tax dollars to clean up after them and I pay for EMS for them. They are not charged to park at the beach. They are GIVEN amenities-discounts other beaches do not.
Why wouldn’t they come here. There are NO rules for them.The business’ want them here so they can make more money. I no longer take my visitors to local restaurants or downtown shopping. These places do not offer me a discount. City Hall has offered Carte Blanche to them. These so called people who are supposedly, supposed to be looking out for the residents, have done a very, very poor job. Amelia Island has a problem and are not containing it. You are getting the riff raff. It has become a mecca for lower income tourists.

Steve Vogel
Steve Vogel(@stevedec)
1 year ago
Reply to  Sandra Lerch

So I guess you have voted in the local elections for the folks who control those things? BTW, I visit Amelia and I’m not “lower income”.

Michaelene (@guest_65870)
1 year ago
Reply to  Sandra Lerch

Aren’t we so lucky! We have a front seat …up close and personal…ruin of a fragile land. The Death of Nana Dune.

Karen (@guest_65878)
1 year ago
Reply to  Sandra Lerch

You sound like Hilary Clinton!!
My husband nor I are NOT riff raft and we are not LOWER INCOME!
We enjoy going to the island for 3 days for our anniversary and enjoy eating at some of the restaurants.

Robert S. Warner, Jr.
Robert S. Warner, Jr. (@guest_65949)
1 year ago
Reply to  Karen

Hubris, Karen.

John Whitlow
John Whitlow (@guest_65880)
1 year ago

Hi Nicolas, If you have never experienced a Florida growth boom, hold onto your hat.
Just off the Island Trees are coming down like loose shorts in the surf.
Hundreds of new homes, further west greater expansion. Nassau County is growing
at an alarming rate. I hear we might have 7 tire stores without including the local guys
who have been here for years paying taxes. Big box stores kill local business.

The Casual Observer
The Casual Observer(@betsie-huben)
1 year ago
Reply to  John Whitlow

Elections have consequences. We now live in a county where car washes are replacing mattress stores on every corner.

Margo Story
Margo Story (@guest_65856)
1 year ago

Oh boy, now everyone knows we are here……s–t!!

Doug Mowery
Doug Mowery(@douglasm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Margo Story

I think that cat has been out of the bag for awhile.

1 year ago

So wishing it were not so! Enough already. There are literally dozens of projects and programs here on AI that would be a far better use of the bed tax money than the endless promotion of our island to others.

Last edited 1 year ago by Betsie Huben
Karen Thompson
Karen Thompson (@guest_65867)
1 year ago

Question….why does the county get all the money yet that money is earned almost entirely from bed taxes that are collected on venues on the island? What does the county do with all this money? As it stands, the city has to pay for police, water safety, beach cleanup, lifeguards, garbage pickup, wear and tear on city infrastructure while the county spends all its funds on projects in Hilliard, Callahan and other western parts of the county. I’d truly like to know why this continues to happen. Islanders put up with crowded beaches, congested streets and roads and many other results of too much growth. Also, why does the city commission contribute to the Tourism Council?

The Casual Observer
The Casual Observer(@betsie-huben)
1 year ago
Reply to  Karen Thompson

Because that is how the TDC/tourist development tax was crafted when it was created. The authorization to levy and administer Tourist Development Taxes of up to six percent is stated in Section 125.0104, Florida Statutes, and in Chapter 212, Florida Statutes. The tax is levied/collected by the local county government. Generally, the revenues may be used for capital construction of tourist-related facilities, tourist promotion, and beach and shoreline maintenance. The cash is how we got on folks lists and “radar”. Murals of our beaches have been on the walls of some of the largest airports in the country. The county will be of no help to you in this matter. They are the beneficiaries of all the cash. The only ones who can fix or end the inequities are the folks who created the mess. Time to reach out to your state house representatives. Even if they would not be willing to eliminate the TDT, they might listen to the argument that some of that revenue should go to the city. Might is the operative word in that last sentence…. 

Michaelene (@guest_65869)
1 year ago

Just say: NO! When this type of adulation happens….say goodbye to a place once special and beautiful. That beauty is also fragile. I witnessed this on the Charleston Sea Islands, Ruined…

Bill Anderson
Bill Anderson(@banderson)
1 year ago

Do you think AI dropped from 4th last year to 10th this year can be attributed to how we are now overcrowded, and overdeveloped without an adequate infrastructure to support either situation?

Rich Polk
Rich Polk(@rich-polk)
1 year ago

Our delicate fragile barrier island has become a destination for consumers. If the current rate of consumption continues we will be completely gone very soon.

The TDC needs to be abolished.

Environmental education must become our priority.

Save Amelia Island. Join Conserve Amelia Now.

The Casual Observer
The Casual Observer(@betsie-huben)
1 year ago
Reply to  Rich Polk

See my note above…

PerryLaspina (@guest_65874)
1 year ago

And a big-hand to Gil Langley, because he’s the one mostly responsible for all these great changes!!! The island was a nice, quite, fairly reasonable place to live and raise a family just 10-yrs ago, but NO more, as almost all those great things we moved here for are long GONE.