Georgia is home to more than a dozen barrier islands, offering different unique beaches and activities. The barrier islands were created by geologic activity over 5,000 years ago. Whether into history, entertainment, and outdoor recreational activities, Georgia's barrier islands are the best destinations to experience day trips and excursions. Travelers should check the incredible nightlife spots, attractions, and restaurants to explore most of these stunning islands. Looking to escape to one of the state’s most charming islands? These are the most charming islands in Georgia.
10 Tybee Island
Located about a 20-minute drive from downtown Savannah, Tybee Island is of the state’s most famous destinations and is one of the family-friendliest islands in the state. It is recognized for its incredible white sandy beaches, top-notch restaurants, spectacular parks, sports grounds, and beautiful playgrounds, and has been receiving visitors since the 1800s. There is a lot to enjoy on this island other than the impressive beach life. Tourists can go hiking and explore some of the historic sites on the island, such as Fort Pulaski National Monument. When done with the activities, one can grab a meal at one of the island’s outstanding waterfront restaurants.
9 Hutchinson Island
Situated in Savannah River District, immediately north of downtown Savannah, Hutchinson Island is recognized for the role it played in American Civil War when the Union forces captured Savannah back in 1864. Not to be confused with Florida’s Hutchinson, the island now hosts incredible hotels and convention centers, including Westin Savannah, housing the Convention Center and the Savannah International Trade. With all these, Hutchinson is definitely a perfect destination for a weekend getaway.
8 Lake Lanier Islands
Covering 1,500 acres, Lake Lanier Islands are situated along Lake Sidney Lanier's shore. The area is incredible for a beach vacation and has a bunch of attractions to explore, including the Margaritaville family water park, an RV park, an 18-hole golf course, and numerous hotels and cabins for rentals. Situated about an hour north of Atlanta, Lanier Islands is definitely a nature lover's paradise, and one will definitely relish spending a vacation there. The accommodation in the area comes with many options, including pet-and-family friendly ones, each offering incredible amenities and a unique experience.
7 Jekyll Island
Known for being a playground for some of the wealthiest families in the United States, Jekyll Island offers breathtaking landscapes, fantastic wildlife experiences, lavish accommodations, and incredible historic mansions. While on the island, visitors can be assured of waking up with the sounds of birds chirping. Located about one hour and thirty minutes from the border of Georgia and Florida, this island provides the best beach experience, thanks to its incredible spots, such as Driftwood Beach.
6 Saint Simons Island
While today Saint Simons Island is a coastal paradise, it has remained untouched for several centuries. Boasting seven miles of coastline, the island is one of Georgia's largest and most preserved conservation areas and features an unspoiled wilderness waiting to be explored. When visiting with a large group of family or friends, booking the entire island for a private vacation is allowed. The island hosts beautiful accommodations, including the Lodge on Little St. Simons Island. The lavish cottage accommodations are surrounded by oaks and golden marshes.
5 Sea Island
Sea Island is privately owned, and it is one of Georgia's most accessible islands, as travelers can get there by simply driving or flying to the Brunswick Golden Isle airport, located about 18 miles away. The island has been receiving visitors since 1928. One of the most iconic attractions to explore on this island is the St. Simons lighthouse. One of the most interesting activities to enjoy on the island searching for the baby sea turtle hatchlings. The Sea Island Resort is the island's most famous hotel, but there are many other accommodation spots within the area.
4 Cumberland Island
Cumberland Island features a spectacular coastline with car-free roads and a quiet environment, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers. In 2000 B.C, when people started inhabiting the island, it was used mainly for fishing and hunting. Georgia’s largest barrier island now comes with more outdoor activities to enjoy, other fishing. Travelers can spend time swimming, bird watching, or just walking around the numerous trails on the island. While exploring the island, one is likely to spot wild horses, hogs, and loggerhead turtles.
3 Blackbeard Island
Blackbeard Island is open to the public, and visitors can explore it at any time of the year. The island is located off Georgia's coast and only be reached via a boat ride. It boasts incredible wildlife, including numerous shorebirds, seabirds, and turtles found everywhere on the beaches. Travelers visiting this island should be careful, as reports have been made about the American alligators being around. Hiking is another impressive activity not to miss on the island. Visitors exploring during the hunting season can experience the hunting of dear.
2 Cockspur Island
Sometimes referred to as the long island by the locals due to its length, Cockspur Island has a fascinating history dating from colonial times. Those visiting the island can learn how it played a role at the Fort Pulaski National Monument during the colonial period. Cockspur Island Lighthouse on the island is prohibited from public access, but travelers can view it from afar. The island is also reachable by driving. There are many hotels to stay in when exploring the island.
1 Sapelo Island
This is Georgia's fourth-largest coastal island, and an incredible beach life experience is awaiting on the island. Vacationers can only get to the island by ferry boat, and reservations are required to access the island. There is a white and red lighthouse mounted on the shore, which tourists should ensure they check out. The island is perfect for visitors looking for some of the most relaxed, calmest, remote, yet gorgeous beaches in the state. Don't leave the island without exploring the Reynolds Mansion, which has been in existence for over 200 years.