Golden Isles

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Photography

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With its unspoiled coastline, powdery dunes and sinewy marshlands, the spectacular nature of the Golden Isles provides a dramatic backdrop for photographers of all stripes. Whether you like composing snapshots with your cell phone, or prefer to pack a 500mm lens and tripod for your trip, you’ll discover plenty of memorable moments on these islands. 

To help you out, we created a miniature guide on the top places to photograph this scenic stretch of the Georgia Coast.

Most Photogenic Beach

Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island

Situated at the northern tip of Jekyll Island, this pristine stretch of sand showcases the patient sculpting of nature like no other. Several stands of time-polished driftwood offer ample compositions for landscape, detail and portrait images.

Best Way to Photograph Wildlife

Take a Turtle Walk, Jekyll Island

Few scenes better embody the miraculous cycle of life than a tiny sea turtle making its way across the sand to a life in the sea. Every June and July, the beaches of Jekyll Island foster thousands of loggerhead turtle hatchlings as they emerge from their eggs and crawl to the surf. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center offers guided walks to witness the spectacle.

Best Place to Photograph Birds

Gould’s Inlet, St. Simon’s Island

Situated at the convergence of sea and marsh, Gould’s Inlet provides the perfect habitat for several bird species and is a key site along the Colonial Coast Birding Trail. Photograph herons, terns, skimmers, and — depending on the season — painted buntings and red-throated loons.

Where to Photograph a Beautiful Sunrise

East Beach, St. Simons Island

Many photographers believe that the best light conditions are in the early morning hours. If you’re keen to rise early, there is no better place in Georgia to witness a sunrise than from the long, wide sandy expanse of East Beach on St. Simons Island. As the sun appears over the Atlantic, bring a tripod for slow-shutter speed images of the rolling waves in the foreground.

Where to Photograph a Beautiful Sunset

St. Andrew’s Picnic Area & Beach, Jekyll Island

While most beaches in the Golden Isles are on the Atlantic — and therefore, face the east — the beach at St. Andrew’s Picnic Area on Jekyll Island faces west onto Jekyll Sound, making it the best place in Georgia to witness a sunset on the water. Look for passing flocks of pelicans and the occasional heron to spice up your sunset images.

Best Place for a Selfie

St. Simons Island Lighthouse, St. Simons Island

For the ultimate “wish you were here” selfie to post on Facebook, head to the Historic St. Simons Island Lighthouse. This 104-foot tall, pearl-white lighthouse has become the icon of the island, making it a perfect companion for any self-portrait.

Most Iconic Place to Photograph

Lover’s Oak, Brunswick

The great Lover’s Oak in Brunswick — a massive oak with a trunk measuring 13-feet in diameter — casts a long shadow and makes for a striking scene in early evening hours. A recent estimate pins the tree’s age at around 900 years old. In a way, any portrait taken under its stately branches makes you a part of its extraordinary history.

Need some inspiration? View our photo and video gallery.

Venues: 
Driftwood Beach

Driftwood Beach

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Address:

Jekyll Island, GA 31527
United States

Located on the north end of Jekyll Island, Driftwood beach will amaze you with the beautiful driftwood and trees that resemble a tree graveyard.  This is due to the north end of the island slowly eroding away and being deposited on the south

Georgia Sea Turtle Center Building

Georgia Sea Turtle Center

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This listing is a member of the Chamber of Commerce
912-635-4444

Address:

214 Stable Road, corner of Hopkins & Stable Rd.,
Jekyll Island, GA 31527
United States

The Georgia Sea Turtle Center—Georgia's first sea turtle rehabilitation, research, and education facility—provides state-of-the-art emergency care to sick and injured sea turtles. Explore the lives of sea turtles and other native animals through daily education programs and gallery exhibits.

Gould's Inlet

Gould's Inlet

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Address:

Fifteenth Street, Bruce Drive,
St. Simons Island, GA 31522
United States

On the northern tip of East Beach, at the end of Bruce Drive, is Gould’s Inlet.  Not primarily a beach destination, but rather a bird watching, fishing and ocean observation area.

East Beach

East Beach

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Address:

St. Simons Island, GA 31522
United States

“East Beach” is the name given to St. Simons Island Beach, the stretch of beach along the Oceanside of St. Simons Island.

St. Andrews Picnic Area

St. Andrews Picnic Area

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Address:

S. Beachview Drive,
Jekyll Island, GA 31527
United States

St.

St. Simons Lighthouse

St. Simons Lighthouse Museum

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912-638-4666

Address:

610 Beachview Drive,
St. Simons Island, GA 31522
United States

Located near the village and pier, the St. Simons Lighthouse is one of only five surviving light towers in Georgia.  An operational navigation aid for traffic entering St. Simons Sound, it casts its light as far as 23 miles out to sea.  Unlike many other operational lighthouses, the St.

Lover's Oak

Lover's Oak

Address:

Prince Street, at Albany Street,
Brunswick, GA 31520
United States

The Lover's Oak (said to date back to the 12th century) is located at the intersection of Albany and Prince Streets in Historic Downtown Brunswick. According to local legend, Native American braves and their maidens met under the majestic spreading limbs of this enormous oak.

Christ Church, Frederica SSI

Christ Church, Frederica

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912-638-8683

Address:

6329 Frederica Rd,
St. Simons Island, GA 31522
United States

Christ Church, Frederica is located in a serene setting formed by native live oaks, holly and cedar trees. On the site of Christ Church, nestled among huge oak trees on the scenic north end of St.

Colonial Coast Birding Trail

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Coastal Georgia is steeped in human and natural history. Since the first human inhabitants colonized the coast, man and the abundant natural resources found here have been inexorably linked.

Lovely Lane Chapel

Lovely Lane Chapel

912-638-8688

Address:

100 Arthur J. Moore Drive,
St. Simons Island, GA 31522
United States

The oldest standing Church building on St. Simons Island, Georgia is Lovely Lane Chapel. Formally named St. James Union Chapel, it was built by Norman W. Dodge in 1880.

Hofwyl Broadfield Plantation

Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation

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This listing is a member of the Chamber of Commerce
912-264-7333

Address:

5556 U.S. Hwy 17 N.,
Brunswick, GA 31525
United States

This beautiful plantation represents the history and culture of Georgia’s rice coast. In the early 1800s, William Brailsford of Charleston carved a rice plantation from marshes along the Altamaha River.

Fort Frederica Marsh

Fort Frederica National Monument

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912-638-3639

Address:

6515 Frederica Road,
St. Simons Island, GA 31522
United States

In the early 1700’s, Georgia was the epicenter of a centuries-old conflict between Spain and Britain. In 1736, three years after the founding of Savannah, James Oglethorpe established Fort Frederica to protect his southern boundary.