With a coast stretching around 110 miles, 15 barrier islands, with four of them becoming popular resort destinations accessible by car, and the others being unspoiled natural escapes reachable only by boat, Georgia can quickly earn the title of the "best beach" for exploring history, enjoying the fantastic nightlife, beholding the beauty of nature, and relaxing alone. The barrier islands off Georgia's coast are considered some of the most beautiful vacation destinations in the state. During the ice age, they were formed from rising sea levels and melting glaciers.
With stunning beaches on the seaward side, unique restaurants, hotels, and fantastic attractions, those islands are loved and frequented by many and make for the perfect summer and winter vacation. Here's a guide to visiting the most unique islands off Georgia's coast.
This Island In Georgia Was A Winter Retreat For The US's Richest Families
The Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, and Pulitzers used to visit Jekyll Island in Georgia during the winter to enjoy a long vacation. Today, the island serves as a playground for seaside lovers everywhere and provides visitors with various activities, including beach fun and environmental education.
- Where to stay: The Jekyll Island Club Resort is the perfect place for learning about the island's history and enjoying a game of croquet. Lovers of Oceanside lodging can stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites.
Jekyll Island in Georgia is home to a hospital for ill and injured turtles, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. The latter is also a place to witness the endangered creatures up close. Affordable kayak and canoe rentals and fantastic kids programs can be found at Tidelands Nature Center. Another unique destination on Jekyll Island is Driftwood Beach, home to weathered trees preserved in grey by the salt air. Summer Waves Water Park makes for a good destination for theme park fun on the island.
- Where to eat: There are plenty of places to eat tasty food on Jekyll Island in Georgia. At the marina, people can enjoy a yummy meal at The Wharf while listening to live music and beholding the beauty of mesmerizing marshland views. For more affordable options with family-friendly services, visitors to Jekyll Island are advised to try Driftwood Bistro.
This Island In Georgia Has More Permanent Residents Than Any Other In The State
St Simon Islands in Georgia attracts many visitors who come to enjoy its various dining, shopping, and unique activities available. The island is home to more permanent residents than any other barrier island in Georgia.
- Where to stay: When visiting St Simons Island in Georgia, people have the chance to stay at several attractive places. For instance, those looking to stay in a hotel room or condo on the beach can head to the historic The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort. The latter also offers access to golf and tennis. For a more authentic experience and a place frequented by locals, people can head to the pub at the boutique Village Inn and Pub. The latter is located downtown near the Pier Village area.
Lovers of history visit St Simons Island to witness one of Georgia's best Junior Ranger programs at the iconic Fort Frederica National Monument. The island is also home to the World War II Home Front Museum. This is where people can learn the story of how coastal Georgia contributed extraordinarily to winning WWII. In addition to being a destination for history lovers, St. Simon Island also has something to offer to nature lovers: kayak tours through the marshes with Southeast Adventure Outfitters.
- Where to eat: Anyone visiting St Simons Island in Georgia is recommended to try the Southern Soul BBQ. For tasty fried shrimps, people should visit Crabdaddy's on the island. Those who want more upscale meals should consider the unique seafood restaurant in St Simons Island, Halyards.
Families, Couples, Or Groups: Anyone Can Enjoy What This Island Has To Offer In Georgia
For decades, a multigenerational destination, anyone thought that Sea Island in Georgia was made for them, including families, couples, groups, and more.
- Where to stay: The AAA Five-Diamond Resort and Forbes Five-Star, Cloister at Sea Island, is a marvelous place to stay on this unique Georgian island. The resort offers large rooms, suites, and private cottages, with rooms having a minimum surface area of 700 square feet. On the other hand, a typical five-star hotel offers rooms of 400 to 450 square feet.
There are plenty of activities to enjoy at Sea Island. However, staying at the Cloister is among the best while enjoying the massive Beach Club in the resort, boasting a soda fountain, three pools, a private beach, and a playground. All of those are located within a few hundred feet.
People who want to enjoy the best island-hopping in Georgia should also visit Tybee Island, Cumberland Island, Little Raccoon Key, St Catherine's Island, and more.