Here are 10 beach options that don't often make the short-list for Atlanta's residents, but they are definitely worth a visit. Produced by Marin Guta/AJC
Photo: www.accessatlanta.com
Photo: www.accessatlanta.com

10 best Georgia beaches, according to Fodor’s

Many of these destinations are great for a quick getaway during the holidays

It’s never a bad time to plan a beach vacation, and Georgia has beaches by lakes and by the ocean.

To help with your planning, Fodor’s has compiled its 10 best beaches in Georgia. Most you probably know about, but some might surprise you. Although the lake beaches aren’t open during the colder months, you can head to the coast for some holiday fun before the crowds get too big.

Acworth Beach

Yes, there is a beach in Acworth, along Lake Acworth in Cauble Park. The 25-acre park contains fishing points, public restrooms, a boating ramp, a boardwalk, a beach and two playgrounds, plus four pavilions, a lakeside gazebo and a beach house that can be rented. The beach is open from the last Saturday in April through Labor Day Weekend.

» No ocean, no problem: 7 refreshing lake beaches near Atlanta

GEORGIA'S GOLDEN ISLES: The Golden Isles are made up of St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Jekyll Island (pictured, at driftwood Beach), Little St. Simons Island, and the port city of Brunswick. Contributed by Golden Isles CVB
Photo: HANDOUT

Driftwood Beach

Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island may not be the best place to sunbathe or play paddle ball, but its long narrow stretch of shoreline is littered with fallen, sun-baked trees, whittled by wind and salt into evocative driftwood sculptures. A great spot for picnicking and shutterbugs, it’s located on the north end of the island between Clam Creek Picnic Area and Villas By the Sea Resort. Just look for the pullovers and small parking lots along North Beachview Drive.

» Where to go for your next beach vacation

North Beach

Tybee Island’s North Beach is where Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Zac Efron filmed the latest “Baywatch” movie, so it might look familiar. It’s a short drive from Savannah, and the Tybee Beach Pier and Pavilion, one of the island’s most popular attractions, is just south of the beach.

A herd of wild horses walk the edge of Sea Camp Beach on Cumberland Island, Georgia's largest and southern-most barrier island where bands of feral horses roam the dunes and marshes. Made with a Canon EOS 1 DX camera, a 500 mm lens, 1/8000 second, F/5.6, ISO 400. CURTIS COMPTON / ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: Curtis Compton/Photo by Curtis Compton/staff

Sea Camp Beach

Sea Camp Beach on Cumberland Island is easily accessible for daytrippers. “Just take the ferry from St. Marys, get off at Sea Camp and stroll across the narrowest part of the island past the campground and over the boardwalk to an unparalleled expanse of powdery sand and shallow sea without a speck of civilization in sight,” the AJC reported in 2016.

East Beach

In July, nearly two dozen whales that had beached themselves were rescued near East Beach at St. Simons Island. But don’t let that deter you. The beach’s hard-packed sand makes it ideal not only for relaxing but also for bike riding.

» 10 often-overlooked beaches near Atlanta

Photo: Contributed by Callaway Gardens

Robin Lake Beach

Just 60 miles from Atlanta, Robin Lake Beach is part of Calloway Gardens. Enjoy a variety of activities, “from water skiing and tubing and action-packed Aqua Island, to simply basking in the white sand with a good book in your hand,” its website states. Access to the largest manmade beach in the U.S. is included in your Callaway Gardens admission.

Paradise Beach

Paradise Beach at Lake Lanier Islands is a must-visit during hot and cold months. It is part of Margaritaville, which has kicked off its winter festivities. “From the traditional Magical Nights of Lights to exciting new things to do at License to Chill Snow Island, there is something for everyone,” its website states.

Glory Beach

If Glory Beach on the south end of Jekyll Island looks familiar, then you’ve probably seen the 1989 movie “Glory,” parts of which were filmed here. Walkways built by the movie’s crew still span the freshwater pools and sand dunes.

St. Andrews Beach

Whales might prefer East Beach, but St. Andrews is where you’ll spot dolphins. The beach also has a two-story platform for bird watching and viewing wildlife. “A memorial in the picnic area honors the landing of one of the last American slave ships, The Wanderer,” Fodor’s wrote.

Coast Guard Station Beach

St. Simons is home to yet another of Fodor’s choices: Coast Guard Station Beach. The beach is named after the historic Coast Guard station that stands today as home to the World War II Home Front Museum. It also offers “the widest section of beach on St. Simons Island with the most parking,” its website states.

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