With a mix of coastal scenery, mountain peaks, peach trees, and southern charm, Georgia makes an ideal getaway for couples, families, friends, and solo travelers. Georgia may not be the first place you think of when planning a vacation, but the beaches dotting its roughly 110-mile shoreline encourage exploration and adventure. The state's 15 barrier islands reveal even more natural beauty, from moss-draped trees to coastal marshland. Whether you prefer to sunbathe, swim, build sandcastles, or explore diverse coastal ecosystems, Georgia's beaches are an escape from the rush of the city.
Tybee Island is a top choice for visitors and locals. Located near Savannah, this barrier island is one of only four that's accessible by car. It has plenty of local businesses, including shops and restaurants. The popular pier stands out along the island's South Beach, giving you a spot to enjoy the waves or have a picnic. If you need a break from the beach, Fort Screven and the Tybee Island Light Station offer lots of history to explore.
Jekyll Island's coastline features 10 miles of beaches. Driftwood Beach is perhaps the most iconic, with large pieces of driftwood and entire trees dotting the beach. Although swimming is prohibited due to the constant erosion in the area, Driftwood Beach is worth a visit for its photo-worthy views.
Dunes, marshland and wild horses make up just part of the ecologically diverse Cumberland Island. The largest of the Golden Isles, Cumberland Island's natural appeal draws visitors with a peaceful retreat from daily life. The island is only accessible by boat, with a ferry operating throughout the day. If a day trip doesn't feel like enough, camp on the island for an extended stay.
Hoping to catch a glimpse of wild dolphins from shore? Add St. Andrews Beach to your Georgia itinerary. Visitors often see dolphins playing in the water and shorebirds swooping along the beach. Scale the two-story observation tower for a better view of the island wildlife. Quieter than some Georgia beaches, this spot still has amenities to make your beach day enjoyable. A maritime forest lines the narrow beach, adding to the feeling of seclusion.
This barrier island serves up gorgeous coastal views from its popular East Beach. Fine white sand covers this beach, which stretches for miles, making it a popular spot for running, walking and biking. Bring your furry friends along to this dog-friendly beach while you soak in the sun or hunt for shells. It's also a popular location for kiteboarding and other watersports, and it's close to the town center, making it easy to grab a bite to eat or do some shopping.
It might be tiny, but this Golden Isle wows visitors with its unspoiled beauty. Accessible by boat and plane, this island offers a sense of solitude you get while being surrounded by sandy beaches, moss-draped oak trees, and marshland. This beach area is perfect for fishing, swimming, and canoeing. Since the island is privately owned, you'll need to book your visit through The Lodge, which offers day trips and overnight stays on the island.
Another Jeykll Island option, Glory Beach beckons visitors with its massive sand dunes and sea oats waving in the ocean breeze. Dogs are prohibited since many migratory birds use this beach as a nesting spot. Fun fact: the movie Glory was filmed on this beach. The producers built the long boardwalk that gives you access to the beach and great nature views.
Head to the Sapelo Island Visitors Center to hop on a ferry bound for this barrier island. Cabretta Beach along the eastern side of the island satisfies those seeking a peaceful, remote beach. Hard-packed sand makes this beach easy to navigate on foot. Nanny Goat Beach is another white sand beach area ideal for spotting birds and hunting for seashells.
A heavily residential area, Sea Island boasts an upscale atmosphere. The Sea Island Beach Club claims 5 miles of private Atlantic Ocean beach area. Dip your toes into the water with a refreshing swim, or swim oceanside in the club's swimming pools, complete with waterslides and a splash pad. You can also kayak, sail, kiteboard or paddleboard to explore the waves. If you prefer to stay on dry land, rent a bike from the full-service bicycle shop.
Looking for something other than an ocean beach? Georgia's many lakes deliver an alternative, and Lake Lanier Beach is a popular option. The 38,000-acre lake includes 20 designated swimming areas, so you can take your pick to find one that you love. Some of the lake's beaches have imported white sand to give you the ocean feel at a lake beach. Picnic areas and playgrounds near many of the beaches make them comfortable for your day at the lake.