Golden Isles beaches are special to both residents and visitors from around the world. As shrimp boats work on the horizon, small craft (catamarans, windsurf boards, and kayaks) play closer to shore. Fishermen cast into the surf for whiting, amberjack, cobia and catfish. Dolphins feed along the rippled currents and sea birds tiptoe through the surf.
Golden Isles Beaches
The beaches of the Golden Isles are constantly changing. Dramatic tidal swings of seven to nine feet (7–9 ft), as opposed to one to three feet (1–3 ft) elsewhere on the East Coast, are caused by the islands’ position within the South Atlantic Bight, the large inward curve along the coast from North Carolina to South Florida. Our barrier islands naturally harbor a “sand-sharing” system whereby water and wind exchange sand between the beach and the offshore sandbars and spits.
At high tide, the line between sea and sand is crisply drawn; low tide creates sand bars and tidal pools that invite exploration. Look closely, and you may find hermit crabs, horseshoe crabs, or sand dollars. Our coastlines are fun to explore but please leave our natural surroundings and wildlife as you found them.
Whether you choose to relax at the private, 7-mile-long beach on Little St. Simons Island, go horseback riding on Sea Island's private beaches, explore the haunting Driftwood Beach or the pristine Glory Beach of Jekyll Island, or walk the length of St. Simons Island's East Beach, you are sure to appreciate the diversity of Golden Isles beaches.
Golden Isles Beach Activities
Whether you enjoy the serenity of a solo walk on the beach at sunrise, the romance of a simple picnic, or the excitement of kiting or windsurfing, the Golden Isles’ beaches await your arrival. Sun bathe, go for a run or build a sandcastle. No matter what activity you choose, we know you will enjoy our award-winning beaches. View top Golden Isles beach activity vendors listed at the bottom of this page.
The Golden Isles does have many dog-friendly beaches; however, you should always read posted signs before taking your dog on a beach. Here are some specific rules about dogs on beaches:
- St. Simons Island Dog-Friendly Beaches: East Beach allows dogs between 6 p.m. through 9 a.m from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and they do not need to be on a leash between these hours. Dogs must be in the owner's control. Dogs are not allowed on the beach, even on a leash, between 9 a.m. through 6 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labout day.
- Jekyll Island Dog-Friendly Beaches: Depending on which access point you use, dogs can be allowed on the beaches. No pets are allowed on Glory Beach, and some beach access points will require that dogs be kept on a short leash. Throughout Jekyll Island, unless otherwise posted, dogs are allowed on the beach, as long as they are under the owner's control or on a leash.
Don't forget: If your pet leaves more than it's prints in the sand, pick it up to help us keep our beaches clean. Enjoy Golden Isles playtime with your favorite pal!