When planning your next beach vacation, Georgia may not top your list at first. But I invite you to reconsider. Don’t miss out on Georgia’s beautiful coastline and barrier islands!
I’ve lived in Georgia for over 20 years. Here is a comprehensive list of the best Georgia beaches to visit and explore!
Georgia Beaches: My Favorites
My favorite beaches in Georgia are located at St. Simons Island. It’s family-friendly, a small beach town, and has 4 lovely beaches to choose from. Also, it’s near Savannah!
⭐Rating: 4.7 out of 5 Stars on Google
- Overview of Best Beaches in Georgia to Visit
- Beaches on St. Simons Island
- Beaches on Jekyll Island, GA
- Golden Isles’ Private Islands and Private Beach Resorts
- Tybee and Little Tybee Island, GA (Savannah Area Barrier Islands)
- Georgia State Parks and Nature Centers with Fun Beaches
- Georgia Lake Beaches
- Ultimate Table of Georgia State Beaches
- Conclusion to Best Georgia Beaches
Overview of Best Beaches in Georgia to Visit
The Peach State has 110 miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean with some amazing beachfront areas!
Georgia’s 15 barrier islands provide warm waters, sandy beaches, and lots of variety for vacationers!
Let’s start our journey 70 miles south of Savannah at Brunswick, Georgia.
Brunswick is known as “the Gateway to the Golden Isles” because you’ll be able to access four of Georgia’s largest and most beautiful barrier islands here.
These isles known for their golden beaches and sunny vacations.
The Golden Isles include St. Simons, Jekyll Island, Little St. Simons Island, and Sea Island. The city of Brunswick itself is known for its tourism and Brunswick Port.
This coastal city has a rich history and many buildings from the 1700 -1800s can be found and toured in the Brunswick Old Town Historic District.
Some other things to do in Brunswick include visiting the:
- Historic Ritz Theatre
- Mary Ross Waterfront Park and Brunswick Landing Marina
- Golden Isles Arts and Humanities Association
Now that you’ve gotten an overview of the Golden Isles, let’s talk a little more about their beautiful marshland, pristine golden beaches, luxury resorts, and fun vacation activities!
Here are the most popular Georgia beaches in the Golden Isles.
Beaches on St. Simons Island
St. Simons Island is a family-friendly beach town and is one of my favorite places to vacation! It is the largest Golden Isle and is right between Jacksonville, FL and Savannah, GA,
Downtown. In addition to the miles of beaches and the coastal beauty, St. Simons has a charming downtown on the south side of the island.
Known as the Pier Village District, St. Simons’ downtown hub is known for its ice cream shops and amazing restaurants.
Here’s a little more about the four beaches at St. Simons.
1. Massengale Park (St. Simons Island)
Massengale Park is the best spot on St. Simons to enjoy a picnic with family and friends! It’s also a very dog-friendly beach area.
Stroll the St. Simmons Island Pier and enjoy the shops and restaurants.
Massengale Park is located along Ocean Blvd closet to the historic King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort.
At the park you’ll find:
- perfectly-shaded picnic tables
- four grills
- a children’s playground
- clean public restrooms
Google Reviews: 4.7 Stars / 1,710+
2. Coast Guard Station (St. Simons Island)
This one is named after the historic coast guard station at the entrance. Coast Guard Station is also called “First Street Beach Access.”
You’ll find lots parking here and a boathouse that offers:
- a concession stand that offers treats during the summer
- public restrooms
- picnic tables
- bike racks
- water hoses
Google Reviews: 4.7 Stars / 500+ Reviews
3. East Beach (St. Simons Island)
East Beach is a treasure of St. Simons! At this public beach, you’ll find golden sand and warm waters.
It’s also a great place to ride your bike or run with your dog. And right by East Beach is the World War II Home Front Museum to explore with your family history buffs!
Location: 4202 1st St, St Simons Island, GA 31522
Google Reviews: 4.7 Stars / 1,570+ Reviews
4. Goulds Inlet (St. Simons Island)
Gould’s Inlet is the perfect place for bird watching and paddle boarding!
It’s located at the end of Bruce Drive, between St. Simons East Beach and the south tip of Sea Island.
This one is more secluded than the other beaches. Just remember that parking is rather limited here.
Location: 4309 16th St, St Simons Island, GA 31522
Google Reviews: 4.3 Stars / 40+
For a full list and map of places to access the beaches on St. Simons, you can find those here on Glynn County’s website.
Beaches on Jekyll Island, GA
Jekyll Island is the perfect Georgia beach for a return to nature through quiet, coastal getaway.
There ten miles of beautiful beaches and is 5,500-acres.
Jekyll Island’s Interesting History
Jekyll Island was named after one of Governor William Oglethorpe’s friends, Joseph Jekyll, in the early 1700s. Eventually, the island became known as a resort island for the world’s wealthiest families like the Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Goulds, Goodyears, and Morgans.
You can visit Jekyll Island National Historic Landmark District to learn more.
5. Driftwood Beach
Jekyll has some breathtaking beaches. One of the most popular beaches on Jekyll is Driftwood Beach.
Named after the driftwood that washes on the shores, this is an excellent location for photographs of local wildlife and broad stretches of the Atlantic coast.
If you’re interested in camping, there’s also an 18-acre campground on Jekyll Island!
Location: Parking Lot at N Loop Trail, Jekyll Island, GA 31527
Google Reviews: 4.8 Stars / 3,380+
6. St. Andrews Beach
St. Andrews Beach is located on the southernmost part of Jekyll Island.
Folks come from all over to watch dolphins and great bird migrations here! There’s also a lovely picnic area and park to enjoy along with the beach.
Google Reviews: 4.8 Stars / 410+
7. Great Dunes Park
Great Dunes Park is a great pick for family-friendly activities! You’ll find mini-golf and a nearby playground for kids.
Other amenities you’ll find are:
- Great Dunes Pavilion
- bike racks
- clean public restrooms
- South Dunes picnic area
Google Reviews: 4.7 Stars / 460+
8. Oceanview Beach Park
Oceanview Beach Park is the perfect, relaxed spot to take your kids!
There is hard-packed sand, so it’s easier to roll wagons and strollers along the shoreline.
In addition to calm waters, there are:
- picnic shelters
- clean boardwalks
- clean restrooms and outdoor showers
- handicap accessibility
- bike racks
- lots of parking (100+ spaces)
Google Reviews: 4.7 Stars / 240+
Golden Isles’ Private Islands and Private Beach Resorts
Little St. Simons and Sea Island are private resort islands! These are the perfect beach vacations for those who want a luxurious getaway!
9. Little St. Simons Island Beach
Little St. Simons Island is a privately owned beach resort. It is only accessible by boat from the north end St. Simons Island.
Private Resort. As the smallest of the Golden Isles, you’ll find The Lodge on Little St. Simons Island that has some charming cottages. As such, Little St. Simons is a great location for special events and large gatherings.
Also, because of its seclusion, it’s a great place for nature lovers. The wildlife is abundant due to the recent conservation efforts to have an uninhabited nature preserve on the island.
Some other ways to spend the day include:
- Guided nature walk tours
- Fishing or birding
Google Reviews: 4.8 Stars / 50+
10. Sea Island Beach
Sea Island, GA is a privately owned beach resort. Here, you’ll find a luxury, five-star resort town with two main places to stay:
- Cloister on Sea Island
- The Lodge at Sea Island.
Beaches. Sea Island has five-miles of private beaches and 50 acres of marshes, rivers and seaside views.
You and the family canenjoy the beauty of the Georgia coast and have all the extravagant amenities provided by the resort.
A stay at this resort will give you access to amenities like:
- A championship golf course
- Five-star eats
- Sailing, kayaking, and fishing
- Boutique shopping
Location: 100 Cloister Dr, Sea Island, GA 31561
Google Reviews: 4.8 Stars / 1,020+
Tybee and Little Tybee Island, GA (Savannah Area Barrier Islands)
Tybee Island is about a 20-minute drive from Savannah’s historic downtown and is known as “Savannah’s Beach.”
Tybee is the main public beach in the greater Savannah area and is famous for the iconic Tybee Island lighthouse and the Tybee Pier & Pavilion!
If you’re interested in exploring Savannah, here are just a few of the many things to check out:
- Amazing Savannah restaurants
- Savannah Breakfast and Brunch Spots
- Best rooftop bars in Savannah
- Championship golf courses in the area
- RV parks and campgrounds around Savannah
11. South Beach on Tybee Island
South Beach is Tybee Island’s most popular beach! You’ll find both Tybee Island Pier and Pavilion at this spot.
Tybee’s South Beach is a commercial hot-spot, with lots of restaurants and shops to checkout as well. You’ll also find sand volleyball courts and lots of watersport activities.
Location: Tybrisa St, Tybee Island, GA 31328
Google Reviews: 4.6 Stars / 14,640+
12. Mid Beach at Tybee Island
Mid Beach has a much more residential feel. And it’s the perfect spot to rent out a beach home, as houses line the shores of Mid Beach.
It’s the perfect spot to relax, walk, and go shelling!
Location: Tybee Island, GA 31328
Google Reviews: 4.6 Stars / 830+
13. North Beach at Tybee Island
If you want to go observe birds and experience nature, North Beach is the place to be!
North Beach is also right next to the Tybee Lighthouse and Museum and Visitor’s Center.
Be aware that it can get crowded, especially during peak months.
Location: Railwood Ave, Tybee Island, GA 31328
Google Reviews: 4.8 Stars / 1,460+
14. Little Tybee Island
Little Tybee Island is directly south of Tybee Island and is actually twice its size!
This uninhabited nature preserve is the perfect spot for anyone wanting a quiet retreat. Remember that this spot is only accessible by boat.
To get there, visitors can hire a charter boat like Tybee Island Charters or go kayaking. I
f you’re feeling particularly adventurous, maybe go camping under the stars and then explore the island’s lush forests, untouched beaches, and sparkling blue waters.
Location: Little Tybee Island, GA
Google Reviews: 4.1 Stars / 10+ Reviews
Georgia State Parks and Nature Centers with Fun Beaches
In addition to the bustling beach towns and resorts listed above, Georgia also has some beautiful beaches at our state parks and nature centers.
15. Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge
Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge is on barrier island just south of Little Tybee Island, separated by the ocean bay known as Wassaw Sound.
Wassaw Island is a hidden gem in Georgia for outdoor recreational activities, wildlife viewing, and general education. (Map of the refuge here.)
- Beachcombing: With about 10 miles of undeveloped beach, explore the beaches for driftwood, shells, and other treasures.
- Hiking: Choose from several trails that wind through a variety of ecosystems like the salt marshes, beaches, and maritime forests.
- Wildlife viewing: Observe alligators, white-tailed deer, loggerhead sea turtles, and many species of birds. Bird watching is especially good during Spring and Fall migrations.
- Fishing at select locations (fishing license required. Contact park for details)
Location: Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge
Google Reviews: 4.8 Stars / 120+
16. Ossabaw Island State Heritage Preserve (*application to visit required)
Travel south from Wasaw Island, across the Little Ogechee River estuary, and you’ll arrive at Ossabaw Island.
At 26,000 acres, Ossabaw is Georgia’s third largest barrier island.
Since it is a designated heritage preserved manged by the Department of Natural Resources, you’ll need to get approval to visit the island.
To visit, you’ll need to send a request application to the Ossabaw Island Foundation on their website and have a TOIF or DNR representative accompany you.
While at the island, you can explore and view:
- the diverse ecosystem: freshwater & brackish wetlands, salt marshes, live oak forests, meadows, and beaches and dunes
- the historic buildings from the 1800s
- the wildlife: free range donkeys, Ossabaw wild pigs, and sea turtles
Location: Ossabaw Island State Heritage Preserve
Google Reviews: 5 Stars / 5+
17. Nanny Goat Beach at Sapelo Island
Sapelo Island is a barrier also managed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
It’s accessible only by ferry ride. And there is a lot to learn about here, given the island’s rich history. There are still roughly 70 full-time residents on Sapelo, who are members of the Gullah Geechee community.
Some sites to see include:
- R.J. Reynolds Mansion – provides overnight accommodations and provides a public beach campground
- Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Google Reviews: 4.3 Stars / 20+
18. Cumberland Island
Only accessible via boat, Cumberland Island is also the largest barrier island off Georgia’s coastline with 9,800 acres of wilderness.
At Cumberland, you’ll find miles of salt marshes, unspoiled coastline, and sand dunes. You can learn about the island’s history by visiting sites like the Dungeness ruins pictured above. Plus, you can observe the wild horses that roam on the island!
Google Reviews: 4.7 Stars / 1,710+
Georgia Lake Beaches
19. Acworth Beach at Cauble Park
Don’t forget that Georgia has some amazing lake beaches worth visiting with your family!
Cauble Park is a hidden gem to explore in Atlanta area.
The park is an amazing spot to spend the day with your family. It includes:
- 25 acres of park
- sandy beachfront
- 2 playgrounds
- picnic pavilions
- an open play area
Location: 4425 Beach St, Acworth, GA 30101
Google Reviews: 4.6 Stars / 2,580+ Reviews
Ultimate Table of Georgia State Beaches
|Beach Name||Location||Google Star Review||Description|
|Massengale Park||St Simons Island, GA|
|Best spot on St. Simons for picnics. Very dog-friendly.|
|Coast Guard Station||St. Simons Island, GA||500+ Reviews||Named after the historic coast guard station. Offers lots of parking and amenities.|
|East Beach||St Simons Island, GA||1,570+ Reviews||A treasure with golden sand and warm waters. Great for biking and running.|
|Goulds Inlet||St Simons Island, GA|
|Perfect for bird watching and paddle boarding. More secluded.|
|Driftwood Beach||Jekyll Island, GA|
|Breathtaking beach known for its scenic driftwood. Great for photography.|
|St. Andrews Beach||Jekyll Island, GA||410+ Reviews||Popular for watching dolphins and bird migrations.|
|Great Dunes Park||Jekyll Island, GA||460+ Reviews||Family-friendly with mini-golf and a playground.|
|Oceanview Beach Park||Jekyll Island, GA||240+ Reviews||Relaxed spot with hard-packed sand, making it stroller-friendly.|
|Little St. Simons Island Beach||Little St. Simons Island, GA||50+ Reviews||Private beach resort accessible only by boat. Ideal for special events.|
|Sea Island Beach||Sea Island, GA||1,020+ Reviews||Private resort island with luxurious amenities and private beaches.|
|South Beach||Tybee Island, GA||14,640+ Reviews||Most popular beach on Tybee Island with commercial hot-spots.|
|Mid Beach||Tybee Island, GA||830+ Reviews||More residential feel, perfect for relaxation and shelling.|
|North Beach||Tybee Island, GA||1,460+ Reviews||Ideal for bird observation. Close to the Tybee Lighthouse and Museum.|
|Little Tybee Island||Little Tybee Island, GA|
|Uninhabited nature preserve, accessible only by boat.|
|Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge||Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge, GA||120+ Reviews||Hidden gem for outdoor activities and wildlife viewing.|
|Ossabaw Island State Heritage Preserve||Ossabaw Island|
|Requires application to visit. Rich in history and wildlife.|
|Nanny Goat Beach||Sapelo Island, GA||20+ Reviews||Managed by DNR with rich history. Home to the Gullah Geechee community.|
|Cumberland Island Beaches||Cumberland Island||1,710 Reviews||Largest barrier island off Georgia’s coastline. Known for wild horses.|
|Acworth Beach at Cauble Park||Acworth, GA||2,580+ Reviews||Lake beach in the Atlanta area. Offers a park, sandy beachfront, and playgrounds.|
Conclusion to Best Georgia Beaches
As you can see, Georgia has some incredible beaches for your next day trip or extended vacation! My favorites are the ever-popular and family-friendly St. Simons Island and Cumberland, with its rich history and wildlife. However, there’s something for everyone. Happy travels!
What beaches are in Georgia?
With over 110 miles of shoreline along the east coast, Georgia has dozens of popular beaches to visit, including the Golden Isles and Tybee Island.
What are the best beaches in Georgia?
The best beaches in Georgia are located on the state’s largest barrier islands, known as the Golden Isles, and on Tybee Island.
What are the most popular beaches in Georgia?
The most popular beaches in Georgia include South Beach on Tybee Island, Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, and Massengale Park Beach on St. Simons Island.
What are the east coast beaches in Georgia?
All beaches in Georgia are east coast beaches as Georgia’s border does not extend into the Gulf of Mexicao.
Are there any beaches in Atlanta, Georgia?
The only beaches in the Atlanta area are lake beaches such as Acworth Beach at Cauble Park and nearby Lake Lanier.
Can you swim in the ocean in Georgia?
Most Georgia beaches permit ocean swimming in designated areas. See local rules for any restrictions though.
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.