There are few states in the United States that exhibit a fluctuation of topographies like Georgia does. From the 4,000-foot heights of the Appalachian Blue Ridges in the north, the land descends to the Atlantic Ocean, where thousands of square miles of swamp-covered flatlands finally meet the sea. Here, nearly 100 miles of coast remains one of the state’s best kept secrets, offering some of America’s most untouched beaches and remote natural spots. But there’s energy too, with resort towns offering well-developed accommodation options and a real range of seaside activity, not to mention easy access to some of Georgia’s finest sands.
Here are five of the best beaches in the Peach state. Some offer remote getaways in the protected enclaves of the magnificent Golden Isles, others offer action packed holidaying near the sea, or even unique freshwater beachcombing amidst the beautiful hinterlands of Georgia’s heart.
Perched out into the Atlantic Ocean just east of the city of Savannah, picturesque Tybee Island is a patchwork of salt marshes, oscillating sand dunes and pristine beaches, all criss-crossed by Georgia’s iconic wetland waterways that run like capillaries through the flatlands behind the coast. In the day, head out on one of the many nature trails that weave their way in and out of the reserves on the island, in the night, enjoy some authentic Deep South Georgian cooking and the bustling energy of Savannah’s live-music bars.
Nature lovers flock to Georgia’s largest barrier reef island all year round to witness some of the state’s most magnificent coastal wildlife against a backdrop of raw and rugged nature. If you’re lucky enough to be one of the 300 people allowed to visit the island during the day, then be sure to check out its pristine and unspoilt beach front; unquestionably one of the wildest in all of America. Here, loggerhead turtles and freshwater gators meander their way across the sands, while the windswept dunes and crashing waves add a real sense of isolation that’s difficult to find anywhere else.
The John Tanner State Park is perfect for travellers looking for something a little different on their beach-hunting holiday. Located south of the Mount Zion community, it’s been a focal point for local recreation since the 1950s. Boasting a large campground and a well-cultivated web of winding nature trails, the park’s pièce de résistance is its freshwater beach and boating lake, where visitors can relax amidst the thick Georgian forests, rent pedal boats, and even play a round of mini golf!
Most people agree that the best way to see the surreal and enchanting Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island is on horseback. This way visitors can wind their way amongst the gnarled bones of washed up trees that cluster all along the shore, exploring every nook and cranny of this truly alien landscape. In the evening, the horizon adds an extra element of charm to the site, casting yellow and pink hues across the landscape as the day turns into night.
This all-in-one, action-packed resort destination is perfect for family travellers, thrill-seekers and individual explorers alike; so broad is its offering of activities! While many come here for the world-class golfing, high-quality hotel resorts, art galleries, entertainments, yacht charters or romantic atmosphere, St Simon’s undisputed jewel is its magnificent beachfront, where lines of undulating dunes frame some of the best sand stretches in all of the Golden Isles. For some of the best views of the ocean and to experience the island’s social vibe, check out the Pier Village on its south side; a hub of eateries and action all through the year.