8 Best Beaches Near Macon, GA: Fun & Short Trips (2023)

Panama City Beach White Sand and Green Blue Water

Located in the Heart of Georgia, Macon is the fourth largest city in the Peach State. Being centrally located, Macon is near some of the best beach spots in the southeastern US.

Here are 8 of the best beaches closest to Macon, GA. I’ve looked at the closest beaches in Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida.

Georgia Beaches Closest to Macon, GA

The two closest Georgia beaches to Macon, GA are Tybee Island and St. Simons Island, which average a 3-hour and 10-minute drive (191 miles).

Both Tybee and St. Simons are among the most popular beach destinations in the Peach State and offer something unique for everyone in the family.

1. Tybee Island, GA

Aerial View of Tybee Island Georgia Beaches

Tybee Island is the closest beach to Macon at 183 miles, which is a 2-hour and 50-minute drive.

Beach Areas: Tybee Island has five main beach areas:

  • North Beach
  • Mid Beach
  • South Beach
  • Back River Beach
  • Little Tybee Beach

If you want to explore great restaurants or the arts in a historic downtown after hitting up the beach, I recommend this beach because it’s known as “Savannah’s Beach.”

It’s only a 20-minute drive from Georgia’s most historic city – Savannah, where there are plenty of activities for everyone.

Drive Time from Macon: 2 hours and 50-minutes

Distance from Macon: 183 miles

Vacation Rentals at Tybee Island

2. St. Simons Island, GA

Details on St. Simons Island Beaches Graph

St. Simons is near the Florida border and is a 3.5-hour drive from Macon, GA (200 miles). Although it’s a further drive than Tybee, St. Simons is worth a visit.

It is the largest of the barrier islands known as the Golden Isles, which are:

  1. St. Simons Island
  2. Sea Island
  3. Little St. Simons Island
  4. Jekyll Island

Linked is a more detailed guide on the 4 most popular beaches at St. Simons Island.

Drive Time from Macon, GA: 3 hours and 20 minutes

Distance from Macon, GA: 200 miles

Vacation Rentals at St. Simons Island

South Carolina Beaches Closest to Macon, GA

There are four popular beach destinations in South Carolina that average a 4-hour drive from Macon, GA.

  • Hilton Head Island (closest SC beach to Macon, GA)
  • Edisto Beach (2nd closest)
  • Folly Beach (Charleston area)
  • Isle of Palms (Charleston area)

3. Hilton Head Island, SC

Hilton Head Island is one of the most popular beach communities in South Carolina and is a 3-hour drive from Macon, GA (198 miles). It is also the closest beach in SC to Macon, GA.

You’ll find 8 points of access to public beach property. From the more secluded Alder Lane to Coligny Beach Park’s shops and restaurants, Hilton Head offers a lot of variety and plenty of ocean access for the public.

Hilton Head is known for its great shopping and golf courses. There’s something for the whole family here! For something a little different, try taking a camper to one of Hilton Head’s best RV parks.

Drive Time from Macon, GA: 3 hours

Distance from Macon GA: 198 miles

Visitors Website for Hilton Head Island

Vacation Rentals

4. Edisto Beach, SC

Edisto Beach is the second closest SC beach to Macon, GA at a 4-hour drive (264 miles). This choice is perfect for a quieter experience because Edisto Island is not as developed as many of the other South Carolina beaches.

The Town of Edisto Beach provides 37 public access points to the beach along Palmetto Boulevard.

Additionally, there is a 1,255-acre state park that borders the town and provides both camping and hiking trails. You can’t beat the views of the marsh and Southern Lowcountry feel here!

Drive Time from Macon, GA: 4 hours

Distance from Macon, GA: 264 miles

Visitors’ Website for Edisto Beach

Vacation Rentals at Edisto Beach

5. Folly Beach, SC

Folly Beach

Folly Beach is a 4.5-hour drive from Macon, GA (272 miles) and is well worth the extra drive if you’d like to visit the Charleston area.

Folly Beach is home to the Lighthouse Inlet Heritage, which is a perfect spot to take in some history and other activities such:

  • beachside strolls
  • wildlife observation
  • photography

Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Folly River, visitors can enjoy an array of beach activities from surfing, kayaking, and boating.

This beach is located on Folly Island and is a laid-back spot that offers one of the most popular surf spots on the east coast.

After a long day at the beach, check out Folly Beach’s eclectic shops or local cuisine. You could walk walk over to Chico Feo for fusion tacos, a cold drink, and live music on the patio!

Drive Time from Macon, GA: 4 hours and 30 minutes

Distance from Macon, GA: 272 miles

Visitors’ Website for Folly Beach

Vacation Rentals at Folly Beach

If you want to bring a kayak, here are some top picks from Amazon worth checking out too.

6. Isle of Palms, SC

The Isle of Palms is also in the Charleston area and is a 4-hour and 45-minute drive from Macon, GA (288 miles).

The Isle of Palms offers 50 beach access paths to visitors and is 18 miles from downtown Charleston. On the island, the Wild Dunes Resort has a golf course that can be played by the public and a beautiful pier that is fun to walk and relax at.

You can find additional shopping, entertainment, and dining in nearby Mt. Pleasant and the downtown Charleston area.

Don’t forget to bring plenty of sunscreen and a sturdy beach umbrella like this one that’s wind-resistant up to 34 miles per hour.

Drive Time from Macon, GA: 4 hours and 40 minutes

Distance from Macon, GA: 288 miles

Visitors’ Website for Isle of Palms 

Vacation Rentals at Isle of Palms

Florida Beaches Closest to Macon, GA

The two Florida beaches that are closest to Macon, GA are Amelia Island and Panama City Beach. They average a 4.5-hour drive or 270-mile trip.

7. Amelia Island, FL

Amelia Island is the closest Florida beach to Macon, GA in terms of overall drive time (4 hours).

With 13 miles of white sand and coastline along Amelia Island, there are 40+ public beach access points to explore! (List of public beach access points with directions here).

With a warm climate, Amelia Island’s waters average a warm 82o Fahrenheit during summertime. There are fun activities for the whole family, such as:

  • Skate park
  • Surfing
  • Oceanfront mini golf
  • Exploring the historic downtown

Drive Time from Macon, GA: 4 hours

Distance from Macon, GA: 273 miles

Visitors Website for Amelia Island

Vacation Rentals at Amelia Island

8. Panama City Beach, FL

Panama City Beach White Sand and Green Blue Water

Panama City Beach is one of the most popular beach destinations in the country takes 5 hours to drive from Macon, GA (268 miles).

With 27 miles of white, sandy beaches, you’ll find plenty to do at Panama City Beach. (Map of beach access points here).

In addition to relaxing on the beach, you’ll find plenty of other activities like:

  • Paddleboarding
  • Jet ski rentals
  • A Dog Beach
  • Nearby state parks
  • Luxury Spas

Drive Time from Macon, GA: 5 hours

Distance from Macon, GA: 268 miles

Visitors Website for Panama City Beach

Vacation Rentals at Panama City Beach (PCB)

Conclusion to Beaches Near Macon, GA

Centrally nestled in the state of Georgia, the city of Macon is a 3 to 5 hour drive from eight of the most popular beaches on the US east coast and Gulf of Mexico. Happy travels!

And if you’re interested in other beaches near Georgia cities, check out these posts too.

30 Beaches Near Atlanta

Beaches Closest to Columbus, GA

Augusta’s Closest Beaches


How far is Tybee Island from Charleston?

Tybee Island is a 124-mile drive from Charleston, which takes about 2.5 hours to drive.

How far is Hilton Head from Charleston?

Hilton Head is a 98-mile drive from Charleston, which takes about 2 hours to drive.

How far is Folly Beach from Charleston?

Folly Beach is 11.5 miles from downtown Charleston, which takes about 25-minutes to drive.

How far is Myrtle Beach from Hilton Head

Myrtle Beach is a 221-mile drive from Hilton Head, which takes about 4 hours and 20-minutes to drive.

How far is Hilton Head from Tybee Island?

Hilton Head is a 51-mile drive from Tybee Island, which takes about 1 hour and 15-minutes to drive.

How far is Isle of Palms from Myrtle Beach?

Isle of Palms is a 94-mile drive from Myrtle Beach, which takes about 2 hours and 10 minutes to drive.

How to pronounce Tybee Island?

Locals pronounce Tybee Island like the two words “Tie Bee.”

How far is Amelia Island from Savannah?

Amelia Island is a 144-mile drive from Savannah, GA, which takes about 2.5 hours to drive.

How far is Amelia Island from Orlando?

Amelia Island is a 175-mile drive from Orlanda, which takes almost 3 hours to drive.

How far is Amelia Island from St. Augustine?

Amelia Island is a 71-mile drive from St. Augustine, which takes about 1.5-hours to drive.

How far is Jacksonville from Amelia Island?

Jacksonville is a 34-mile drive, which takes about 45 minutes.

What timezone is Panama City Beach, Florida?

Panama City Beach is in the Eastern Time Zone (US).

How far is Panama City Beach from Atlanta?

Panama City Beach is a 300-mile drive from Atlanta, which takes about 5 hours to drive.

How far is the beach from Macon GA?

The closest ocean beach to Macon GA is Tybee Island, which is 183 miles away or a 2-hour and 50-minute drive.

Does Macon Georgia have beaches?

Macon, Georgia does not have any ocean beaches. However, there are over 35 miles of freshwater shoreline and beaches at Lake Tobesofkee, which is a 25-minute drive from downtown Macon.


My Favorite Tools for Planning a Trip


Booking.com. They have great deals and free cancellation usually.

Vacation Rentals

VRBO. I have been both a guest and renter for VRBO. 20+ experiences over the years. All great.


Viator. I’m newer to this, but it’s a great spot to get ideas or discounted tickets.

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