Beautiful beaches abound in Coastal Geogia – you don’t have to travel to Florida to find them – and four of the best can be found on Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island in the Golden Isles of Georgia.
The Golden Isles gets its name from the miles and miles of golden marshes you’ll find yourself traveling through as you make your way to the beaches of Jekyll and St. Simons. They are beautiful in and of themselves, but you’ll find another treasure when you reach each of these beaches.
St. Simons Island – East Beach
East Beach on St. Simons gets the nod for being the beach that most people are familiar with when they think of a beach vacation. This is where you’ll find the most people and the most amenities for enjoying a day in the sun.
Parking is convenient – if you get there early during tourist season – with a nice parking lot that is an easy walk to East Beach. New showers and restroom facilities are located on the way to/from the parking lot. There’s even a snack facility manned by Southern Soul Barbeque (one of the most popular restaurants on the island), stocked with typical beach fare as well as the food they’re famous for.
Need a break from the sun? You’ll find the Maritime Museum at the Historic Coast Guard Station at the other end of the parking lot. Very family friendly and a lot of fun.
This beach is the one you’ll find most populated, a favorite with local teens and families alike. So if you want to go indulge your inner architect with a sandcastle or two or boogie out on a boogie board, East Beach is the one for you.
St. Simons Island – The Beach at the Pier
Another option on St. Simons is the beach along the pier. This is a nice beach for the occasional dip on a hot day but is better for short visits because the shoreline disappears twice a day with the tides. In other words, I wouldn’t get absorbed in an engrossing book there, but it is perfect for a nice walk or for dipping your toes in the water.
Leave the beach for a visit to the lighthouse, the miniature golf course, the Pier Village, or just rock on the porch of the Casino Building and take it all in.
Jekyll Island – Main Beach
This is my favorite beach just because there is so much of it and it is underutilized for most of the time except for major holidays. In fact, on many days, you may be the only one in your little area of the beach – which is fine with me.
Currently, there are restrooms, showers, benches, and picnic tables spaced up and down the beach. You won’t find the cheesy beach snack shops and t-shirt shops here. However, Jekyll Island is undergoing a major sprucing up with new and updated hotels, and a new area of amenities that are supposed to showcase, not detract from, the beauty of this unspoiled beach. A major phase of this project will be completed by 2012, so come now and see how things are progressing.
Jekyll Island – Clam Creek and Driftwood Beach
On the north end of the main beach on Jekyll Island, you’ll find the Clam Creek Picnic Area. With a large pier for fishing and horseback riding, too, you’ll still find that the main draw to this beach are the large live oak trees that have been toppled in the sand by time and tide, leaving huge driftwood for climbing and taking unique photographs.
This is also a beautiful area for enjoying the views. Look across the water to the lighthouse at St. Simons Island and watch the shrimp boats and large ships from the port in Brunswick go by.
The Golden Isles of Georgia are located halfway between Jacksonville, Florida and Savannah, Georgia. Perfect for a day trip from either of these great cities or make Jekyll Island or St. Simons Island the main base of your vacation so you can explore the entire area.
Personal experience as a resident of the area.
Golden Isles Tourist Bureau