There may not be any beaches in Downtown Savannah (just some beautiful riverfront views!). However, there are plenty of beaches near Savannah, GA, just a short drive from the city along the Atlantic Coast.
Whether you're searching for a natural beach, saltwater lagoon, ocean inlet, or untouched island, you're sure to find the perfect beach getaway for your vacation to Savannah, Georgia, from this list!
Tybee Island, also known as Savannah's beach, is less than a 30-minute drive from Savannah's Historic District on the Georgia Coast, so it's the closest beach to Savannah. This heavily-developed barrier island offers three miles of sandy beaches — three oceanfront and two riverfront — with laid-back vibes.
North and South Beach are the most popular oceanfront beaches on Tybee Island, although North Beach tends to be the least busy of the two. On the beach, you'll find a public restroom, concession stand, plenty of parking, and vast sandy shores. While you’re here, check out Tybee Lighthouse, the island’s historic lighthouse, and the Tybee Post Theater.
Tybee Island's South Beach is the most popular beach on Tybee Island — and arguably, the best beach town to visit from Historic Savannah. You'll find plenty of surf shops and restaurants here, and can try fishing on the Tybee Island Pier. If this pier looks familiar, you've probably seen it in several movies and tv shows like Baywatch (2017) and The Girl From Plainville (2022). You can also go swimming in the ocean or even try surfing further south — just remember to steer clear of the pier!
Mid Beach, as you probably guessed, is between North Beach and South Beach on Tybee Island. It's usually less crowded than the other two oceanfront beaches and is home to popular condos and vacation rentals, so it has a more "residential" vibe. You will find the only oceanfront restaurant on Tybee Island — The Deck Beach Bar & Kitchen — on this beach, so that is a great reason to visit. Bathrooms are located at Memorial Park, just a short walk from the beach.
Known as Tybee Island's "secret beach," Back River Beach is located on Tybee Creek rather than the Atlantic Ocean. Because of its riverfront location, you will find smaller, gentle waves, making this beach ideal for families. Savannah River Beach is another quiet beach to consider checking out.
While exploring Back River Beach, spend some time exploring Little Tybee Island. This uninhabited nature preserve is only accessible by boat, so you can rent a boat, kayak, or other mode of transportation to explore!
Hilton Head Island is located just north of Tybee Island in South Carolina. It's about an hour-long drive from Savannah, so it's perfect for a day trip. While you'll mostly find gated resorts on Hilton Head, there are several gorgeous beaches with public access, including Coligny Beach Park and Burkes Beach.
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Coligny Beach Park is the most iconic beach destination on Hilton Head Island. It's one of the best Savannah beaches for a family vacation because of its white sand, peaceful waves, and stunning scenery. Right next to the beach, you'll also find outdoor showers, restrooms, and gazebos. There are plenty of restaurants and shops within walking distance from the beach and other things to do nearby, like golf courses, bike trails, shopping malls, museums, and more.
Georgia's Golden Isles — St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Jekyll Island, and Little St. Simons Island — are some of the best beaches to explore on a day trip from Savannah. These beautiful beaches are located on Georgia's South Coast, and they each offer their own unique vibe.
Jekyll Island is home to two stunning beaches — Driftwood Beach and St. Andrew Beach — with the Georgia Sea Turtle Center sandwiched between the two beaches. If you visit the sea turtle center, you'll be able to learn about the rescued and rehabilitated turtles before they are released back into the wild. On the island, you'll also have the chance to see alligators, deer, birds, and other rare wildlife.
Driftwood Beach is well-known for the driftwood trees on the sand that provide a picturesque backdrop, especially during sunrise or sunset. It is important to note that Jekyll Island operates as one of Georgia's state parks, so you will need to pay a small entry fee for access to the island.
East Beach, commonly referred to as St. Simons Island Beach, is the most famous beach on this island. This dog-friendly beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports and offers outdoor showers and restrooms. There are plenty of restaurants near East Beach and other attractions, like the St. Simons Island Lighthouse Museum and St. Simons Island Pier.
Folly Island is located just south of Charleston, South Carolina, and is about a two-hour drive from Savannah. On this barrier island, you'll find Folly Beach — one of the best places for a beach vacation near Savannah, GA!
Folly Beach has maintained its natural beauty while offering beachgoers access to modern amenities, including restaurants, bars, and shops. The Folly Beach Pier is a must-visit. This pier stretches more than 1,000 feet into the ocean and is a popular spot for fishing or watching the sunset. Folly Beach is one of the most publically accessible beaches in South Carolina and offers nearly 50 points of public access. Dogs are allowed on the beach during the fall, winter, and spring as long as they are leashed.
It's not easy to get to Cumberland Island from Savannah, but it’s absolutely worth it.
You'll need to drive about two hours from Savannah and then take a boat, like a ferry or private boat, to access the island. However, because the National Park System manages this national wildlife refuge, it's nearly untouched. You'll see wild horses roaming around, and you can only get around on a bike or your own two feet. You can enjoy the beaches all to yourself or go for a tour of Plum Orchard — the former home of the Carnegies — during your time on the island.
It's totally doable to squeeze in a beach day (or two!) during your vacation to Savannah, Georgia. The difficult choice is deciding which of these beautiful beaches to explore!
We hope you'll consider staying with us at South Key Management during your vacation to Savannah. We offer dozens of beautifully-furnished vacation rentals in the heart of the city, so you'll be conveniently located near all the best attractions in Savannah. If you have any questions about booking your stay, please reach out to us — we'd love to hear from you!
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