Summer is here! This means it’s time to start planning summer trips (because we can’t really call it a “vacation” right?) to take with the family! Thankfully we live in the beautiful Peach State, where adventure is probably just a short car ride away. We even have a beautiful coastline with tons of history, activities, and beaches, just waiting to be discovered.
I’m breaking down the top 5 Georgia Coastal Beaches to explore this summer.
North Beach really has it all, and Tybee Island is definitely a must-visit as far as Georgia Coastal Beaches go. There’s shopping, history, adventure, and lots of good food! It’s also known for typically being a little quieter than South Beach.
- Attractions: Tybee Island Light Station, North Beach Birding Trail
- Kid-Friendly Restaurants to Try: Salt Island Fish & Beer, Breakfast Club, Huc-A-Poos Bites and Booze
- Where to Stay: There are tons of options on VRBO and Airbnb for Tybee Island that may be the best bet for a family vacation. We still have small kids so it’s nice to be able to sprawl out a little bit when we’re away. If a hotel is doable for your family, Hotel Tybee has some awesome reviews! Some of the rooms even have ocean views.
- Where to Park (Beach Access): Does anyone else despise trying to figure out where to park at a public beach? I’ve got you covered! At North Beach, there is a beachfront lot in Fort Screven immediately across from the Tybee Island Lighthouse.
Ok, the beautiful thing about Cumberland Island is, that it is an attraction! It’s probably best to work this day trip into your visit to another Georgia Coastal Beach on the list, however, if you would like to stay there are camping options, and the Greyfield Inn is also located on the Island. If only every Georgian could live this experience. I mean, you will completely forget that you’re in our little old state. The views are breathtaking, the history is amazing, and you get to take a ferry there so that’s pretty cool too!
- How to Prepare: Book your ferry and/or a motorized tour in advance of your trip, plan to bring a sack lunch, snacks, and plenty of water, bring walking shoes, and/or rent a bike, also just a heads up it would probably be a more enjoyable experience for older kids
This is yet another experience that you and your family won’t want to miss while you’re visiting the Georgia Coastal Beaches! BONUS: If you book at the right time you can score a stay at The Lodge on Little St. Simon’s which is an all-inclusive experience (you can also rent the entire island…if you know anyone getting married, that sounds like such a cool destination wedding). Little St. Simon’s Island only opened to the public in 1979, so for years it was untouched, and when you get there it still feels the same way. A day trip is a great option where you receive a guided tour, a delicious lunch (the island has its own garden), and a chance to explore the beach.
- How to Prepare: The activity on the island is operated through The Lodge, and they have a very comprehensive FAQ section on their website, linked here.
East Beach is one of the more popular Georgia Coastal Beaches, and for good reason! It’s a dog-friendly and bike-friendly beach with plenty of access points for parking. Not to mention, the activities on St. Simon’s Island are a history lover’s dream.
- Attractions: Georgia Sea Islands Festival (takes place annually in June), Fort Frederica National Monument, Cannon’s Point Preserve, World War 2 Home Front Museum
- Kid-Friendly Restaurants to Try: Porch, Palmer’s Village Cafe, Barbara Jean’s
- Where to Stay: The Inn at Sea Island (top recommendation)
- Where to Park (Beach Access): For my parking anxiety peeps, there’s a lot to unpack here. There are 37 beach access points, however the most popular is the U.S. Coast Guard Station which is also called “First Street Beach Access” because parking is on none other than…First Street, so that’s simple. There’s also a less popular and more secluded beach access point at Massengale Park which is located off of Ocean Blvd., and BONUS! this location also has a playground.
This is another great option for a quieter spot that you and your family can enjoy. St. Andrews Beach is well known for bird watching, dolphin sightings, and its 2 story wildlife viewing platform.
- Attractions: The main attraction at St. Andrews is the Wanderer Memorial Trail. This experience tells the story of the last known American slave ship through the eyes of a little boy who was aboard that ship. Talk about such an awesome history lesson for the kids!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this roundup! I’ve already started formulating our family trip for this summer. Not only do you get to enjoy some sand, sun, and fun on the Georgia coast but you can also get a pretty comprehensive history lesson at the same time.
Do you have any must-see/do activities while visiting the Georgia Coastal Beaches? Let us know!
Looking for other beaches close to Georgia? Be sure to check out this list of Florida Gulf Coast Beaches.