Best Beaches Near Savannah
With April drawing to a close, Savannah's beautiful spring weather has also started to become a bit hotter.
By May, you can expect Savannah to start getting very warm, with average highs in the mid 80s. But there's no need to worry. With beaches within easy access, you can still enjoy weekends in Savannah with your family and friends. Check out our recommended beaches here!
Savannah’s most popular beach for daytrippers is the small seafront town of Tybee Island, situated only a short drive away from the city. It is also is one of the most popular vacation and day trip destinations in Georgia and the southeast. Since Tybee is situated on a barrier island at the rim of a large marsh, the only road access will be along a single highway out of Savannah. If you're taking your car, the drive out of Savannah can be as little as 30 minutes in good traffic. Taxi and rideshare services are also available.
South Beach is the most visited of the island's beaches since it's nearest the main commercial area and the pier. Mid Beach and North Beach are also popular, but usually less crowded than South Beach. For beaches off the beaten path, you can try Back River Beach and Savannah River Beach, at the southern and northern tips of the island, but be warned that these beaches have minimal to no amenities.
St. Simons Island
St Simons and neighboring Jekyll Island form part of Georgia’s Golden Isles, a series of barrier islands (together with adjacent Brunswick) popular with summer vacationers. St Simons Island is the more developed of the two, with a wider range of shops and restaurants in addition to its several beaches, accessible via dozens of public accesses. It offers miles of beaches, outdoor activities such as kayaking and dolphin tours, and historic sights, including the ruins of one of the state’s oldest forts, a 19th-century lighthouse, and the remnants of former plantations.
Jekyll Island presents a quieter alternative to St Simons Island. Featuring miles of beautiful beaches, wildlife and birds, the island is accessible by car and is about an hour and a half's drive from Savannah. Access to the beaches is easy, with a choice of more developed beach parks and more natural alternatives such as the enchanting Driftwood Beach at Jekyll Island’s northern tip, popular with photographers for its extensive boneyard forest of petrified trees.
Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge
Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge, the second barrier island south of Tybee Island and fifteen miles southeast of Savannah, is one of the few nearly unspoiled natural areas in Georgia. It has over 10,000 acres of salt marsh, coastal forest and dunes, parts of which are open to the public for hiking and nature-watching, and as a destination for kayaking excursions. Most of the refuge’s salt marsh is not open to the public, but the large ocean-fronting area can be visited during daylight hours. Wassaw Island also has miles of beach front and maritime forest, providing an excellent environment for beach-combing, wildlife-watching or just for peaceful and secluded access to nature. Boat tours or charters are the easiest way to visit Wassaw (which has no road access), but this is also an ideal paddling destination for the more experienced kayaker.
Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head Island is around 30 miles from Savannah and 100 miles from Charleston, and is a popular barrier island vacation destination in lower South Carolina. It is the nearest easily-accessible alternative to Tybee Island and receives millions of vacationers each year. The easiest way to get to Hilton Head Island is to drive, and it is about 45 to 60 minutes from Savannah.
Most of the island is divided up into gated resorts, but the beaches are all accessible to the public. Coligny Beach is the most visited, near the tourist center of Hilton Head and offering a range of facilities and commercial establishments. A less crowded alternative is South Forest Beach. For a more natural environment, you can check out Mitcheville Beach at the northern end of the island, which offers opportunities for nature exploration, hiking along the beach and through the bordering forest, or kayaking.