The United States of America are home to some of the world’s finest beaches. Over on the East Coast, historic New England beaches offer world class fishing and calm environments. The Pacific Coast over to the west offers a myriad of surfing and sunbathing hotspots, with world-famous locations like Venice Beach and Malibu attracting stars, celebrities, and tourists from all over the globe. And then down to the south, the Gulf Coast is home to even more magnificent beaches like Clearwater in Florida or the Mississippi Gulf beaches of Biloxi and Gulfport.
Unfortunately, America is a large place and not everyone has the good fortune to live in a coastal city like Miami or Los Angeles. However, even if you live in an inland city like Atlanta, Georgia, beaches are never completely inaccessible, they just take a little longer to get to. Atlanta residents and tourists will have to drive a few hours to get to the coast, with the nearest beach being over 250 miles away from the city itself, but if you're looking for a summer weekend in the sun, it’s definitely a great idea to load up the car with some beach toys, cozy loungers, and maybe even a picnic and head off to the coast.
Best Beaches Near Atlanta Georgia
The closest beaches to Atlanta are found on the coast of Georgia, looking out onto the waters of the incredible Atlantic Ocean. It’ll take at least 4-5 hours to reach the nearest beach, but they’re definitely worth the trip. As well as the Georgia coast, Atlanta residents can also take a trip over the border into Florida for some other super coastal locations. If you’re living or traveling in Georgia’s capital and looking to spend a day on the sand, read on to learn all about the best beaches near Atlanta, Georgia.
- Jacksonville Beach
Over the state border into Florida, the city of Jacksonville can be reached within around five and a half hours by car from Atlanta and offers some of the best surfing conditions in the area. Jacksonville has three beaches in total: Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, and Jacksonville Beach. All three of these beaches are worth checking out and offer the same sorts of conditions and amenities, but Jacksonville Beach is the perfect first stop.
If you're a surfing enthusiasts, this is the best beach to head to from Atlanta, and it can also be fun for non-surfers to simply sit on the sand and admire the experts as they ride the waves. Surfing instructors can also be found here to offer guidance for newbies, and various rental stores are found nearby as well. Lots of good restaurants, bars, hotels, and inns are found locally and Jacksonville has a thriving nightlife scene too, so it's definitely a great place to spend some time if you're planning a beach trip from Atlanta.
- Tybee Island
This is technically the closest beach to Atlanta and is situated down on the Georgia coast. Tybee Island is a very historic site that has attracted large numbers of visitors for many decades now due to its unique beauty and charms. The beach runs for miles around the island and is a great spot for beach-goers of all kinds, as well as nature enthusiasts and even history buffs.
Tybee Island is known for its historic streets and unique architecture, as well as key landmarks like the Tybee Light Station and Fort Screven on the northern shore, so the whole island can be very interesting to explore for a lot of reasons. You can rent a private place to stay on Tybee Island too and there are some good seafood restaurants and grills in the local area.
- Cape San Blas
This beach is over in Florida and will take a little longer than five hours to get to. Who would want to visit this beach? Well, the main appeal of Cape San Blas is that it's a dog-friendly beach, and those can sometimes be quite tricky to find. If you're hoping to travel with a furry, four-legged friend for your Atlanta beach trip, this is one of the best options available to you. The beach runs for around ten miles in length, too, so there's a huge amount of space for you and your pet pup to run around and play games.
Due to the enormous length of this beach, it never gets crowded or busy, resulting in a very calm and peaceful atmosphere at all times of year. It's a nice place to come and sit while the sun goes down, but amenities are relatively limited here and you'll need to travel to a local town like Port St Joe if you want a good restaurant meal or a few drinks after a long lazy day on the sand.
- Jekyll Island
Jekyll Island is over 300 miles from Atlanta but it's most certainly one of the best beaches in the region. It used to be a deluxe, exclusive retreat reserved for the rich and famous but has since been transformed into a state park, open to all. You do have to pay a small fee to access the causeway and drive over to the island, but it's more than worth the price of admission, offering outstanding views and tons of amenities.
Lots of great activities can be enjoyed here, including several sports, and there's even a water park for families. The island is also home to a turtle rescue center which is open to visitors interested in learning more about these animals. The beaches here are soft and welcoming, with a lot of wide open spaces and lots of opportunities for all kinds of seafront activities like sunbathing and sunset strolls.