Centrally nestled 2.5 hours from the Atlantic Ocean, Augusta, Georgia is a central hub for day trips to an array of beaches. Since moving to Augusta twenty-two years ago, this close proximity has resulted in many a daytrip to or weekend getaway at the beach.
St. Simons, Tybee, Hilton Head, Isle of Palms, Edisto, and Myrtle Beach are six popular beaches that average a 3 hour and 8-minute drive one-way from Augusta, Georgia. These beaches run along the Atlantic coast and stretch from the Savannah, Georgia area up through the South Carolina coastal region. Tybee and Hilton Head’s beaches are the closest, at only a 2-hour and 30-minute drive, whereas St. Simons and Myrtle Beach are the furthest from Augusta at 3.5 and 4 hours respectively.
All six of these Georgia and South Carolina coastal areas offer something unique and are well worth the daytrip or weekend getaway.
Does Augusta have a beach?
While Augusta, GA is 130 miles inland from the Atlantic Coast and lacks saltwater beaches, there are over 1,200 miles of shoreline created by Clarks Hill Lake, which contains over a dozen recreational beach areas for the public.
East of the Mississippi River, Clarks Hill Lake (also known as Lake Strom Thurmond) is the third largest man-made lake and is within a forty-five minute drive from downtown Augusta, separating the counties of Columbia and Lincoln. Here you can find a lot of fun outdoor activities near and on the water.
And given how temperate Augusta’s climate is, the outdoor fun can be experienced throughout all four seasons. If you’re interested in what winters are like in Augusta, I encourage you to check out this article on our site that answers all your questions on snowfall in the area.
Is there an ocean in Georgia?
The state of Georgia has a coastline that runs 110 miles along the Atlantic Ocean on the eastern United States. Starting by the Georgia-Florida border and traveling up Interstate-95, the beaches extend from St. Marys to Savannah, Georgia.
As you traverse this coastline going north up I-95 from St. Marys, there are four barrier islands known as The Golden Isles, which are comprised of St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island, Sea Island, and Little St. Simons Island. Each one of these isles is worth a visit, with their unique histories, activities, and easy ocean access.
St. Simons Island Beach
St. Simons Island. As the largest of the four Golden Isles, St. Simons provides beach access at four primary locations: East Beach, Gould’s Inlet, Coast Guard Station Beach, and Massengale Park.
Drive from Augusta: 3 hours and 30 minutes
Distance: 199 miles
Visitors Website: St. Simons
Tybee Beach and Savannah Area
Tybee Island is among the closest beaches to Augusta. Tybee Island has five main beach areas which are the North, Mid, South, Back River, and Little Tybee beaches. As the easternmost location in Georgia, Tybee Island boasts easy access to Savannah, which was founded in 1733 and is currently the state’s fifth largest city.
If you want to explore great restaurants or the arts in a historic downtown after hitting up the beach, I recommend Tybee Island since it is only 18 miles from Savannah.
Drive from Augusta: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Distance: 140 miles
Visitors Website: Tybee Island
Also, make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and a sturdy beach umbrella like this one that is wind-resistant up to 34 miles per hour.
South Carolina Beaches
With over 187 miles of coastline, South Carolina has slightly more beach options than Georgia. The ones I have enjoyed most include Hilton Head, Isle of Palms, Edisto, and Myrtle Beach. These four beaches all offer slightly different experiences for visitors.
Hilton Head Beach
Hilton Head. As the closest South Carolina beach town to Augusta, Hilton Head provides eight separate 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.
Additionally, Hilton Head is only 31 miles to downtown Savannah for those wanting to explore the historic downtown atmosphere, along with the bustling arts and restaurant options.
Drive From Augusta: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Distance: 136 miles
Visitor’s Website: Hilton Head Island
Edisto Beach. 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. Edisto is not as developed as the other South Carolina beaches, which is a draw for those seeking a quieter experience.
Drive From Augusta: 2 hour and 30 minutes
Distance: 145 miles
Visitor’s Website: Edisto Beach
Isle of Palms: The Greater-Charleston Area
South Carolina’s largest city has a rich history (founded in 1670) and plenty of ocean access. There are many similarities between Savannah and Charleston, as both are historic coastal cities with bustling arts and dining experiences. If you plan to visit Charleston or Savannah, it is convenient to plan your beach trip with this in mind.
The Isle of Palms is 18 miles from downtown Charleston and offers 50 beach access paths to visitors. On the island, the Wild Dunes Resort has a golf course that can be played by the public. Additionally, the arts, shopping, and dining can be found on Mt. Pleasant and the downtown Charleston area.
Drive from Augusta: 3 hours (plus a few minutes)
Distance: 170 miles
Visitor’s Website: Isle of Palms
Myrtle Beach is the furthest from Augusta at a four-hour drive. However, if you make the trip, you will find there are three main beaches to choose from – Myrtle, North Myrtle, and Surfside. Given the size and tourism of Myrtle Beach, there are a lot of options for ocean activities like jet ski rentals, parasailing, and banana boat trips.
Drive from Augusta: 4 hours
Distance: 220 miles
Visitor’s Website: Myrtle Beach
Conclusion of 6 Beaches Closest to Augusta, Georgia
While Augusta has many hidden and transparent gems, immediate access to the ocean is not one of them. However, with an average drive of 3 hours and 8 minutes, you can be at one of six great beaches. If you want to explore historic Charleston or Savannah, check out Tybee, Hilton Head, and Isle of Palms’ beaches.
For the larger tourist experience, try Myrtle Beach. But if you prefer a smaller town experience, you may want to visit Edisto and St. Simons.
And if you’re looking for things to do closer to home, check out the Best Things to Do in Downtown Augusta, GA: A Guide.
Other beaches to visit near:
- 30 Best Beaches Near Atlanta, GA
- Macon, GA
- Athens, GA
- Columbus, GA
- Charleston, SC
- Columbia, SC
- Greenville, SC
- Spartanburg, SC
How far is Augusta, Georgia from the ocean?
Augusta, Georgia is 130 miles from the ocean
What is the closest ocean beach to Augusta, Georgia?
Hilton Head Island, SC is the closest ocean beach to Augusta, Georgia at a 136-mile drive away.
What Florida beach is closest to Augusta, Georgia?
Amelia Island is the closest Florida beach to Augusta at 238 miles, which is a 4-hour drive away.
What ocean is Augusta, Georgia closest to?
The Atlantic is the closest ocean to Augusta, which is 130 miles east of the city.
What beach is closest to North Augusta, SC?
Hilton Head Island, SC is the closest beach to North Augusta, SC at 131 miles, which is a 2.5-hour drive.
My Favorite Tools for Planning a Trip
Booking.com. They have great deals and free cancellation usually.
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.