Top 10 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Georgia (2023)

Dogs on the beach with their owner

Georgia is home to some of the best beaches in the South. In fact, the Peach State boasts over 110 miles of coastline, and  800+ miles if you include the 15 barrier islands. Many pet owners want to bring their furry friends to enjoy a day of sun, sand, and gorgeous waters that the Georgia coastline has to offer. This is a great way for dog owners to bond with their pets and provide exercise to wear out their extra energy! 

It is important to follow beach rules, as not all beaches are considered “dog-friendly.” Additionally, some beaches allow dogs, but only in non-summer months. Some of the most popular dog-friendly beaches in Georgia are East Beach, Driftwood Beach, and Great Dunes Park. 

In this article, I will break down the top 10 dog-friendly beaches in Georgia and the fun activities that come along with each location! Stay tuned to learn about some great spots for a day trip in the Peach State. 

Top 10 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Georgia

Georgia beaches are a great place to bring your four-legged friends. With miles of sandy beaches and area nature trails to frolic along, there’s no doubt that large and small dogs will have a great time at any of the beaches on today’s list. Take a look below: 

1. East Beach (St. Simons Island)

St. Simons Island Lighthouse
St. Simons Island Lighthouse

Why Visit East Beach: East Beach is one of the most popular beaches of St. Simons Island. This stretch of sandy shores is known for its hard packed sand that is ideal for biking or an early morning exercise session with your best friend. 

Rules for Dogs: Dogs are allowed to visit if they stay in close proximity to their owners and remain under immediate supervision. If dogs do not obey voice commands, they must stay on a leash that is 10 feet or shorter.

Location: 1st St, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522, USA

2. Driftwood Beach (Jekyll Island)

Why Visit Driftwood: Driftwood Beach is one of the best places to take your dog because the beach itself offers some interesting nature to sniff and explore. No need to worry about bringing tennis balls for your next trip to Driftwood, because the beach is covered with giant sticks!

Just like the name implies, giant pieces of driftwood that have washed ashore inhabit the soft sand.

Also, if you are looking for dog friendly beach camping options in Georgia, the Jekyll Island Campground is just a few minutes away from this beach.

Location: N Loop Trail, Jekyll Island, GA 31527

3. Great Dunes Park (Jekyll Island)

Mother and son biking on bike trail

Why Great Dunes Park: Great Dunes Park is a popular beach on Jekyll Island, because it’s a great place for dogs and dog owners to have fun together. At Great Dunes, you must keep your pup on a leash and clean up all waste. 

This beach offers amenities including public restrooms and bike racks and a perfect spot to eat lunch at the South Dunes picnic area just a few minutes away. A playground and a mini-golf course is in close proximity to the beach, so there are plenty of family-friendly activities to keep you busy. 

Location: Ocean View Trail, Jekyll Island, GA 31527 

4. Massengale Park (St. Simons Island)

Why Massengale Park: Massengale Park is packed with amenities that make a beach day with your furry friend as easy as can be, which makes it one of the best dog beaches on the East Coast.

Amenities Available: Here, you can find picnic tables, grills, public restroom facilities, and a children’s playground, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors and quality time spent with your pup. 

Location: Ocean Blvd, St Simons Island, GA 31522 

5. St. Andrew’s Beach (Jekyll Island)

About: This beach is one of the southernmost points on Jekyll Island. During the summer season, tourists come from all over the United States to observe the natural wildlife such as migratory birds and dolphins swimming in the water. 

Since Glory Beach and South Dunes Beach are the areas popular amongst the birds and sea turtles for nesting, pets are not allowed in these areas to protect the wildlife.

But, dog lovers can visit St. Andrews Beach which gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to a dog friendly beach and views of the stunning nature. 

Location: S Beachview Dr, Jekyll Island, GA 31527

6. Lake Winfield Scott (Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest)

Closest to Atlanta: Many visitors enjoy this 18-acre lake located in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, which is an easy drive from the Atlanta area.

The on-leash beach allows owners to swim, fish, hike and camp with their dog close by. 

Location: Lake Winfield Scott Rd, Suches, GA 30572 

7. Sapelo Island

Litle Lighthouse at Sapelo Island, GA
Litle Lighthouse at Sapelo Island, GA

Why Sapelo Island: Sapelo Island is a hidden gem that is accessible only by boat or plane. It is known for its long-standing Gullah community and peaceful atmosphere. The island is mostly untouched by urban construction, leaving the local wildlife to flourish.

While visiting the island, it is important to follow leash laws to protect your furry companion from any danger. 

If you are interested in learning about the history of the island, you can visit historical landmarks such as the Sapelo Lighthouse and Reynold’s Mansion, both dating back to the 1800s. 

Location: Beachfront, Sapelo Island, GA 31327

8. Tidwell Park at Lake Lanier

Tidwell Park is one of the many parks that encompass Lake Lanier. What’s special about this park is its small beach, which is the best way to escape the summer heat. There is a boat launching area if you want to set sail with your furry pal. 

Location: Pilgrim Mill Rd, Cumming, GA 30041

9. Little Tybee Island

The only way to access Little Tybee Island is by breezing across Tybee Creek. Boating and kayaking are popular for those bringing dogs.

This is a popular spot for pups since dogs are not allowed on the beach at Tybee Island. Visitors of the little island can enjoy bird watching, camping, and fishing.

Close by on Tybee Island is an off-leash dog park, Tybee Island Dog Park, where you’ll find plenty of other dogs for your pup to mingle with. 

Location: Tybee Island, Georgia 31328 

10. Gould’s Inlet Beach (St. Simons Island)

Gould’s Inlet is one of the most beautiful beaches among the Golden Isles, and one of the top locations on our list of dog friendly beaches. The beach is known as a bird watching, fishing and ocean observation area, rather than a true beach area. 

The beach access location offers a shower, water hose, community water station for pets, dog bag station, benches and a fishing pier. In order to maintain the nature preserve, the only places dogs are allowed is on wet sand – not the dunes. Check out Glynn County’s website for more information.

Pro Tip: The parking lot is quite small, so it’s best to go in the early mornings. 

Location: Bruce Dr, St Simons Island, GA 31522

Summary of Dog Friendly Beaches in Georgia

Georgia has plenty of dog-friendly beaches that visitors from all over can enjoy. Whether you want to enjoy swimming, a game of fetch, camping, or fishing, bringing your pup to the beach is a great way to bond and burn some energy in the beautiful outdoors. 

Some of the most popular dog friendly beaches in the Peach State are Gould’s Inlet Beach, Sapelo Island, St. Andrew’s Beach. No matter which beach you choose to visit, it is important to follow beach rules regarding leashes and leave only paw prints, no puppy waste. 

If you’re looking for a place to stay while visiting some of these beaches, check out a few of my favorite RV parks in the area, or explore some of the numerous beaches that lowcountry has to offer with the best South Carolina beaches near Charleston. 

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