With 110 miles of coastline, Georgia is a beach lover’s dream. So, if you want to have a beach day, how do you know what beaches in Georgia are dog friendly? Many people who either move to Georgia or who take a vacation to the state are pleasantly surprised about the quality of the beaches along the Georgia coast. Most people think of Florida when they think about beach life in the Southeast United States. However, Georgia is not to be overlooked. So, if you want to visit some of the most amazing beaches in the US, how do you know which ones are the best beaches that allow dogs?
What are the best dog-friendly beaches in Georgia?
The best dog-friendly beaches in Georgia are
- Tidwell Park at Lake Lanier
- Saint Simons Island
- Beaches Driftwood Beach
- Jekyll Island Beach
- Great Dunes Beach Park
- St. Andrews Beach
- East Beach
- Massengale Park
- Little Tybee Island
- Sapelo Island
The Georgia coastline from Savannah to St. Mary’s is comprised of several barrier islands, hundreds of smaller islands, river deltas, and ecological preserves. All of this geographical structure is prime to produce some of the best beaches for you, your family, and your pet to enjoy.
Let us take a closer look at some of the best beaches to spend a day, a weekend getaway, or rent a beach house for the season where you can freely enjoy the beach, its natural beauty, and the refreshing waters of the Atlantic Ocean with your dog. Also, once you find an area you may want to explore, what else is there to do, see, and eat in and around the small towns nearby?
Best dog-friendly beaches in Georgia
There are many great beaches in Georgia where you can bring your dog. Georgia, like North Carolina, has made it a priority to ensure that dog owners have plenty of wonderful beaches that they can visit with their canine friends without the worry of receiving a citation.
Additionally, some popular dog beaches in Georgia have become epicenters for dog owners to bring their pets to a place where they can socialize with other pet owners and their dogs. These beaches can bring together people from all over the state and the US and create a sense of community among beach and dog lovers.
Another important aspect of these dog-friendly beaches is in the communities in and around the beach. The towns nearby often contain restaurants, bed and breakfasts, boutiques, adventure sports, and other sources of family entertainment that can provide excellent vacation opportunities.
Also, some beaches may even have vacation homes you can rent or homes that are rented as Air BnBs. A weekend Air BnB rental for a family and their pets can make an excellent weekend getaway from Atlanta or other metropolitan areas in the interior of the state or neighboring states.
Let us take a look at some of these dog-friendly beaches as well as some of the aspects of the surrounding areas that may provide some vacation opportunities for you, your family, and your furry friends.
Tidwell Park at Lake Lanier
Tidewell Park at Lake Lanier is a dog-friendly beach on a lake that provides over 700 miles of coastline. Many anglers visit this reservoir looking to catch some large striped bass. The lake is famous not only among anglers, but it is also popular among outdoor enthusiasts in general.
There are plenty of recreational opportunities on and around the lake and many places for camping, hiking, boating, kayaking, canoeing, and barbecuing.
Tidwell Park itself is not the best place for a family picnic with its lack of picnic tables, but if you are staying somewhere on Lake Lanier and you are looking for a place where you can let your dog run free and enjoy the cool waters of the lake, then the park is good for this. Tidwell Park is located on the west side of the lake and just outside of the town of Cumming, Georgia. Cumming, Georgia is only a short drive from the Atlanta metropolitan area and the town can provide a nice little weekend getaway for Atlanta residents looking for a quick escape.
Cumming, Georgia, is a small town surrounded by beautiful landscapes. If you like hiking, the Sawnee Mountain Preserve has several miles of hiking trails that take you through some beautiful Georgia forests and has some excellent lookout points where you can overlook the entire valley.
A day of hiking and taking in the natural beauty of the Sawnee Mountain Preserve is time well spent if you are an avid outdoor enthusiast.
Aside from the natural beauty of the region, Cumming, Georgia, has many farms you can visit, a trout hatchery, several breweries, and many dining establishments ranging from barbeque to fine dining.
Saint Simons Island Beaches
Saint Simons Island has many excellent beaches where dogs are welcome to freely frolic in the water and play with other dogs. Feel free to toss a tennis ball into the ocean and watch your lab happily jump into the water in pursuit. Aside from the wonderful beaches, there are plenty of resorts, restaurants, a golf course, and a picturesque lighthouse.
Spend the day on the island, at the beach, visiting the boutiques around the lighthouse, or spend the entire weekend relaxing at one of the many fine resorts.
Saint Simons Island is also home to many festivals throughout the year. Two main festivals are the Georgia Sea Islands Festival and the Sunshine Festival.
The Sunshine Festival takes place on the 4th of July at Pier Village where the lighthouse is located. Also, in November, the RSM Classic PGA Tour Event takes place every year. If you are a golf enthusiast, you may want to coordinate your time at Saint Simon’s Island so you can attend the golf outing
Driftwood Beach is one of the most photographed beaches in Georgia. The driftwood and eroded trees that line the beach make for a surreal landscape that is popular among tourists, wedding parties, and locals.
The beach has good sand and can provide an excellent place for your and your dog to swim and soak in the sun. Smaller pieces of the driftwood could even be used as a fetch toy to help your canine friend burn off some excess energy chasing and swimming down their target.
Things to do near Driftwood Beach
Driftwood Beach is located on Jekyll Island. The island is an official state park complete with campgrounds, picnic areas, the Summer Waves Water Park, The Georgia Sea Turtle Center, and Horton House.
Aside from the beach and some of the other amenities that can be found near Driftwood Beach, the town of Brunswick, Georgia is not too far away. Brunswick, Georgia offers some more opportunities for lodging, recreation, and dining.
Brunswick, Georgia is a quaint little colonial town with plenty of untouched Victorian architecture throughout the downtown area and beyond. Simply strolling through the town has a historic feel. The Fort Frederica National Monument is a fortification the British used in the 18th century to protect the colony of Georgia from Spanish ships. If you are into history, then a visit to the fort is an excellent way to spend an afternoon.
Jekyll Island Beach
Jekyll Island Beach is another one of the beaches on Jekyll Island where canines are welcome. Jekyll Island Beach is located near all the same attractions that Driftwood Beach and St. Andrews Beach are next to since all three beaches are on Jekyll Island.
Jekyll Island Beach is more of the official beach of the state park, and therefore there is more parking and the beach is located near the park office.
St. Andrews Beach
St. Andrews Beach is an additional beach on Jekyll Island where dogs are also allowed. The beach is located on the south side of the island and has some of the best beaches in all of Georgia.
The sand is ultra-soft and picturesque white in some places. The southside of Jekyll Island has not only St. Andrews Beach but also a large picnic area and several designated viewpoints where photographers from all over the state come at different times of the year to take some amazing photographs.
The St. Andrews Beach Picnic area is a popular spot for locals and tourists to gather to grill and picnic and take a cool dip in the water. Many people enjoy coming for sunrise since the scenery is incredible. Also, there is a rope swing located near the viewpoint where many people attempt to swing themselves out into the waters of Jekyll Sound.
Great Dunes Beach Park
If you are looking for a beautiful white sand beach with sand ridges and amazing swimming, then Great Dunes Beach Park, located on Jekyll Island, is a must-see. The beach has some of the best sand in Georgia. Dogs are allowed at the Great Dunes Beach Park as long as they are picked up after and no waste is left on the pristine sands.
Great Dunes Beach Park is also a favorite spot among local dog owners to go for a morning run and watch the sunrise over the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean.
Great Dunes Beach Park has several play areas, picnic pavilions, and volleyball courts where tournaments and leagues are often held. There is plenty of parking and shade spots for a family barbeque day at the beach.
East Beach, St. Simons Island
East Beach is officially St. Simons Island Beach, but for simplicity, locals simply call it East Beach. East Beach is also a dog-friendly beach where many dog owners come to run, jog, and bike along the ocean for exercise for themselves and their pets. Nearby there is the World War II Home Front Museum, a US Coast Guard Station, and a resort.
Massengale Park, St. Simons Island
This dog-friendly beach is a smaller beach located near East Beach. Massengale Park contains a playground, picnic pavilion, and four grills. There are also picnic tables, restrooms, outdoor showers, and plenty of shorelines for you and your furry friend to enjoy.
Little Tybee Island
If you like camping with your family, friends, and pet, then Little Tybee Island is a must-experience place to visit. The Island is only reachable by water, and there are no hotels or other establishments on the island. Everything you bring in, you must bring out, so if you are into roughing it, then you will love Little Tybee Island.
The Island is great for fishing as well. So, if you are an avid kayak angler or you like to canoe, then pack up the tent and a small cooler and explore the waters around the island. Once you reach the beach, you can set up camp, let the dog out for a refreshing swim and enjoy the seclusion and privacy of the beach and the surrounding areas.
If roughing it is not your thing, then there is a hotel on the main Tybee Island where you can relax and still enjoy the immense beauty of the surrounding area. There are plenty of places to hike, fish, birdwatch, and simply take everything in.
Sapelo Island is a fascinating place for you and your dog to visit. The history of the island is unique, and it is apparent when you visit. The only way you can reach the island, and its beaches are by ferry. The ferry travels to the island several times a day. Once you arrive on the island, there are incredible beaches, recreational areas, and places to spend the night or longer. For a unique lodging experience, the R.J. Reynolds Mansion can provide rooms for larger groups, otherwise, there is camping at the public beach at Cabretta.
One of the most interesting historical aspects of Sapelo Island is the existence of the Hog Hammock community on the island. The Hog Hammock community is a group of approximately 70 full-time residents who live on the island year-round. Many members of the community are actually descendants of slaves who left some of the plantations near the island to form their own free community after slavery was abolished in 1865.