Planning an oceanside getaway in Georgia? Savoring the delights of the best beaches in Savannah is a must. Nestled on Georgia’s eastern coast, this Peach State gem is renowned for its pristine beaches, stunning coastline, historic downtown, and vibrant culture.
Exuding Southern charm, pedestrian-friendly Savannah offers an intriguing blend of the contemporary and the traditional. And those lovely Atlantic Ocean sand dunes are just minutes away. Whether you’re swimming, strolling, bird watching, or bike riding, you’ll get into the laid-back groove.
Ready to enjoy some seaside Southern hospitality? Slip your feet into the warm sand at these best-loved Savannah beaches.
Must-visit Savannah beaches
Only got extra time in Savannah? Twenty minutes from downtown Savannah gets you to beautiful Tybee Island. A favorite local getaway, Tybee Island offers miles of beaches and unspoiled habitat for sea turtles, endangered birds, and dolphins.
Public beaches? Tybee Island has plenty. Feeling energetic? Hit bustling South Beach. This popular Tybee Island beach area features funky stores, popular bars, hotels, and restaurants. Around South Beach, all the amenities are just steps away from the sand and sea.
Craving a taste of history on Tybee Island? Trek out to North Beach. Around North Beach, you’ll take in some of the top attractions in Tybee Island like its historic lighthouse & museum and Fort Pulaski National Monument. Stroll the famed Tybee pier for spectacular ocean views.
Find a perfect blend of busy and bucolic at Mid Beach. Centrally located, the family-friendly beach community offers easy access to everything the island offers. Among the main three Tybee Island beaches, Mid Beach is a quieter alternative.
Want to escape the crowds? Discover Back River, the island’s “secret beach”. Press pause, relax, and take in the rolling waves and a stunning sunset at this beautiful sandy beach.
With miles of pristine shoreline, Jekyll Island is one of the top places to go if you’re heading to the Georgia coast. Nestled between Savannah and Jacksonville, FL, it’s one of Georgia’s treasured Golden Isles. (The islands were named for the Spanish explorers who came seeking gold four centuries ago.)
Go at your own speed. Take in the ocean breeze as you stroll Jekyll Island’s beautiful beaches. Take to the trails for a jog or a bike ride, or hit one of its world-class golf courses for a round.
Pull on your hiking shoes to trek the untouched marshlands, where you’ll get glimpses of sea turtles, birds, and other wildlife.
If you (and your companion) want to slow it down, amble over to Driftwood Beach. The atmospheric beach is often hailed as one of America’s top 10 romantic beaches.
Want more time on Jekyll Island? Settle in for the night at a cozy inn, a vacation rental—or maybe a 5-star hotel. Among the best places to stay on Jekyll Island, you’re always spoiled for choice!
St. Simons Island
Ready to pick up the pace? Jog over to St. Simons Island, and choose from a menu of lively beaches.
Massengale Park Beach and Coast Guard Station Beach are two popular spots, offering lifeguarded swimming, bathhouses, and abundant picnic spots. Or be a sport. Grab your clubs, or charter a fishing boat.
Trek to the island’s north end to take in Cannon’s Point Preserve, featuring acres of green space and an abundance of native wildlife. Bring your binoculars for close-up glimpses of aquatic life.
Marvel at the beauty of the island’s majestic, moss-draped Southern oaks. Seeing these icons, you’ll understand why St. Simons was named one of the top destinations in the United States for a romantic getaway.
Hit the beach town for a rich array of restaurants, galleries, and shops. Many of its sights, sounds, and tastes are inspired by the Gullah, the descendants of African slaves. Their proud legacy is alive in today’s vibrant cultural scene.
Little Tybee Island
Want to avoid bustling crowds and enjoy something a little more down-to-earth? Aim your boat’s bow for Little Tybee Island. This untouched and uninhabited nature preserve is another little-known gem of the Georgia coast. And the only way to get there is by water!
No boat? No worries. Just jump on the charter that trundles between the mainland and the island. Once there, explore the island’s beautiful dunes, salt marshes, and subtropical forests.
There’s plenty to see for wildlife enthusiasts. The star attraction has to be the groups of dolphins that frequently make Little Tybee Island’s surf their playground.
Have a picnic, cast a fishing line, hunt for shells.
You may not want to leave this serene spot—and you don’t have to! Camping out under the stars makes the perfect way to end your day in this natural paradise.
Hilton Head Island
Feel like venturing further afield? Hop over to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina’s coastal crown jewel. Its sugar sand beaches and impeccable golf greens make it one of the world’s favorite island vacation destinations.
Want to take it all in? The Hilton Head’s 60 miles of bike paths make it easy. Rent a kayak to explore waters, home to sea turtles, otters, dolphins, and manatees.
You’ve got plenty to choose from when it comes to beautiful beaches on Hilton Head. The busiest are located mid-island. For a more laid-back experience on quiet beaches, head to the island’s northern or southern tips.
Be sure to sample some of the delicious, fresh-from-the-boat seafood that South Carolina’s Lowcountry is famous for.
And don’t miss the iconic Hilton Head Lighthouse in Harbor Town. It’s one of the must-see attractions in Hilton Head. (Fun fact: this eye-catching “candy cane” structure was never a functioning lighthouse. It was built to be a tourist attraction. Mission accomplished!)
Looking for something really off the beaten path? Make Wassaw Island your destination. Just seven miles long, this National Wildlife Refuge is the least developed of Georgia’s barrier islands.
It was purchased by the Nature Conservancy on the condition that no bridge would ever be built to the mainland. To this day, Wassaw Island is only accessible by boat.
Wassaw Island boasts six miles of pristine beaches. It’s also got a striking 50-foot dune line, whipped up by a 19th-century hurricane. “X” marks the spot where you can see the tides washing over the remains of a fort built in 1898.
Wildlife enthusiasts: Pack your binoculars. Wassaw Island teems with herons, egrets, and migratory songbirds. Its marshes and freshwater ponds make for ideal nesting grounds.
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The island is also a haven for the endangered loggerhead turtle. The Cabretta Research Project monitors and tags nesting females, and relocates nests to protected hatching sites.
Just twenty miles south of Savannah, Ossabaw Island is the Georgia coast’s principal barrier island. Note to history buffs and naturalists: this by-boat-only trek is definitely worth making.
Over the years, this remote and undeveloped island has offered up fascinating artifacts of human occupation dating back to 2,000 B.C.
Ossabaw Island features acres of maritime forest, wetlands, and 13 miles of untouched beaches stretching along the Atlantic. It’s an ideal nesting haven for species like endangered sea turtles and wood storks.
Today, Ossabaw Island is an official heritage preserve for scientific study, education, and research. Want to learn more? Contact the Ossabaw Island Foundation or the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to find out about the educational programming offered right on the island.
Hunting Island State Park
A secluded and semitropical barrier island, Hunting Island State Park is South Carolina’s most popular state park. Looking for a family-friendly day trip from Savannah? This is it.
Along with a pristine beach, Hunting Island State Park features thousands of acres of marshland and maritime forest, an ocean inlet, and a saltwater lagoon. All of these make the park a natural draw for a wildlife population. On the island, keep on the lookout for dolphins, bald eagles, herons, and sea turtles.
Book a passage on the local eco-tour boat to get a close-up view of the island’s natural splendors. Or take to one of its many nature trails to explore inland.
The park’s campsites come complete with hook-ups, showers and restrooms, beach walkways, and a playground.
To get the big picture, stand atop the 130-foot tall Hunting Island Lighthouse for a one-of-a-kind view of the surrounding Atlantic surf.
Cumberland Island National Seashore
Cumberland Island is Georgia’s largest coastal island, home to 10,000 acres of officially designated wilderness.
Explore Cumberland Island’s fascinating, diverse ecosystems, ranging from estuaries and pristine beaches to oak forests and wetlands. They support an equally diverse plant and animal population. There are 30 mammal, 500 bird, and 400 plant species at last count!
Time it right, and you may get a glimpse of two of the island’s most noteworthy inhabitants: armadillos, a visitor favorite; and wild horses, a legacy of the 17th-century Spanish explorers.
Bird lovers, bring binoculars. The inland maritime forest encloses saltwater marshes and freshwater ponds, making an ideal shelter for migratory ducks and long-limbed wading birds.
Book a spot on the Lands and Legacies tour for a jaunt to historic locations along the shore. The top island’s top attractions include the Settlement (including the First African Baptist Church) and Cumberland Island Wharf.
Campers are welcome to stay on Cumberland Island. Just be sure to book ahead.
Thinking about beaches near Charleston? Folly Beach, just minutes away from downtown Charleston, is a good bet. The crown of Folly Island? It’s said to be one of the last remaining “true beach towns” in the U.S.
The vibe on Folly Island is laid-back, the pace leisurely, the Southern hospitality and charm abundant. The island may be just 12 square miles, but this popular spot is packed with six miles of beaches. And there are loads of things to do at Folly Beach.
Whatever outdoor activities you’re in the mood for—beachcombing, fishing, surfing, kayaking, boating, biking, eco-tours—it’s here.
Step away from the popular beach and you’re in “downtown” Folly Beach, with its unique array of eateries and shops. Pick up some funky clothing from a local vendor. Or cruise the surf shops for some fun beach knick-knacks.
Come evening, enjoy the Folly Island nightlife on Center Street as you sip a cocktail and watch the sun go down.
Are you ready to go the distance? To Florida, that is. Make Fernandina Beach your destination. Head two hours south of Savannah across the state line to Amelia Island, one of Florida’s highest-rated tourist destinations. On Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach is the star attraction.
Take in its 13 miles of beautiful beaches, diverse wildlife, and pristine waters. Here, experience the surf like never before—on horseback!
This “beach” is about more than sand. The Fernandina Beach Historic District is a must. This 200-year-old seaport town is steeped in history. It’s played host to pirates, bootleggers, and Gilded Age millionaires. Check out its colorful past at the Amelia Island History Museum.
Today, the town offers a diverse range of upscale boutiques, quaint shops, cozy inns, and luxury spas—and, of course, eateries to please any palate. Mix that in with a generous helping of fresh air and salty surf, and you’ve got the perfect spot for a beach getaway.