3 of Georgia’s Most Beautiful Barrier Islands
Along Georgia’s coastline sit 15 major barrier islands. While the coastline itself isn’t terribly long, running only 100 miles, it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the southern United States and holds much history. From Tybee Island to Cumberland Island, you can find plenty to see. If you’re considering a trip south, spend some time soaking up the following three beautiful barrier islands.
Tybee Island is located only 18 miles from historic Savannah, Georgia. The island is frequently included on lists of the top beaches in the country and is perfect for a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or a relaxing retreat. The island is the easternmost point in Georgia, and as of 2010, it has a population of 2,990.
The Tybee Island Light Station, located near the Savannah River entrance, is the oldest and tallest lighthouse in Georgia and is a popular tourist destination and photo stop. For foodies who want to try some local cuisine, Tybee Island is also home to many highly rated seafood restaurants, such as The Crab Shack and CoCo’s Sunset Grille.
If you’re looking for outdoor adventures, Tybee Island has something for everyone. From kayaking and paddleboarding to sunset walks on the beach, you can soak up the salt and sun throughout your entire trip.
While Jekyll Island may be the smallest of the barrier islands, it doesn’t lack in things to do. From award-winning golf courses and year-round events to horseback riding and activities to do on 10 miles of beach, Jekyll Island is a popular destination for many travelers.
The island is owned by the State of Georgia and is managed by Jekyll Island Authority. This organization allows for only 35 percent of the island’s available land to be developed. Consequently, the island is a quiet retreat where visitors can enjoy the beauty of nature and hide out from the hustle and bustle of a big city.
Even though the area is protected from overdevelopment, you can still find plenty of places to stay along with delicious restaurants to enjoy and outdoor adventures waiting to be had. You can use a resource such as Hotel Planner to find comfortable Jekyll Island hotels in your price range.
Cumberland Island sits off of Georgia’s southeast coast and is home to protected beaches, wild horses and maritime forests. However, to reach the Island, you’ll need to take the ferry from St. Marys, or nearby Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island. Ferries run multiple times per day. Visitors can explore the area for the day, or they can choose to stay overnight and camp out with advance reservations.
You can also rent a bike to see the island in all of its glory. From the Dungeness Ruins to the one-room First African Baptist Church, and Cumberland Island is booming with history. You might also want to glimpse the remains of the former Cangegie Family winter retreat which was destroyed by fire, or the Greyfield Inn where JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette were married in 1996. You can explore on your own or take a 30-mile guided van tour of the island.
Travelers of all ages will find something to love on the above three barrier islands. Plan your next trip to Georgia and experience everything they have to offer.