A Weekend Beach Getaway in the Golden Isles
Golden Isles beaches exemplify what we love the most about the region—laid-back vibes, untouched natural beauty, and blissful sunshine—making a weekend in the sun and sand the perfect getaway year-round. Whether you’re longing for a romantic seaside picnic, family kayaking adventure or hours of relaxation on the shore, the Golden Isles’ best beaches have got you covered. Use our itinerary below to plan the sandy retreat of your dreams to Georgia’s Atlantic coast.
Start your beach tour on Jekyll Island, where the eastern edge features one long, continuous stretch of sand. Snap some photographs at Driftwood Beach, an area studded with pieces of weathered, naturally sculpted driftwood (early birds rejoice: the views are even better at sunrise). Once you’ve soaked up the natural splendor, venture to Great Dunes Park, where you can wade into the water or explore the trails. If you still have any sunlight left, head to St. Andrews Beach, a popular destination for birding, shelling, and dolphin spotting.
If you’d like to stay right on the beach, there are plenty of hotels and resorts to choose from. Options include St. Simons Island’s pampering King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort and Jekyll Island’s all-suite Ocean Lodge and romantic Jekyll Ocean Club. For exclusive private beach access, book a room at the Lodge on Little St. Simons Island, the Lodge at Sea Island, or the Inn at Sea Island.
Fuel up at Mallery Street Cafe on St. Simons Island, a beloved early day restaurant featuring a menu of hearty breakfast fare. Try the homemade pancakes, eggs florentine, open-faced biscuits with sawmill gravy, or a specialty omelet. Then make your way to East Beach, where you can spend the rest of the morning biking amid breathtaking ocean views.
If you’re hankering to reel in a big one, go to Gould’s Inlet on East Beach’s northern tip. The spot is an excellent place to drop a line in the water and observe coastal birds. No trip to the Golden Isles would be complete without a waterfront meal (or two). Dinner calls for a trip to Echo for some quintessential Southern cuisine on the eatery’s sun-kissed beachside deck. Or, try the famous barbeque that brings in visitors from all over the world at Southern Soul.
Enjoy your final morning on the Golden Isles relaxing at Glory Beach, famously known as the filming site for the 1989 Civil War drama Glory. Stroll amid the sand dunes and freshwater pools before heading over to Massengale Park, a family-friendly area with a great playground for the kiddos and lots of areas to spread out in the soft sand.
If you want to get out in the water, opt for a tour with SouthEast Adventure Outfitters, which offers kayaking, boating, and fishing tours. Or connect with Jekyll Island Boat Tours to book a sunset boat cruise in search of dolphins and other wildlife. However you choose to spend the day, be sure to end it on St. Andrews Beach to catch the view of the sun as it slides into the waters of Jekyll Sound—the perfect ending to your beach getaway.