10 Best Beaches Near Atlanta, GA: Stunning Destinations Worth the Drive


Discovering beaches near Atlanta, a serene escape just a few hours’ drive from the city’s bustling streets. Here, the rhythm of waves replaces the constant hum of urban life, and soft, sandy shores stretch out like a welcoming embrace.

From the pristine sands of Hilton Head Island to the unique freshwater shores of Fort Yargo State Park Beach, these coastal paradises near Atlanta promise a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure, inviting you to uncover their allure.

Best Beaches near Atlanta

Imagine stepping onto the soft, warm sand, the ocean’s gentle breeze caressing your skin, and the soothing sound of waves rhythmically kissing the shore.

This is the essence of a beach vacation, an experience that offers a unique blend of relaxation and adventure. For residents of Atlanta, Georgia, the idea of a beach holiday might seem like a distant dream, but it’s a refreshing escape that is closer than you think.

The allure of a beach vacation lies not just in the picturesque views but also in the diverse activities it offers. From the early morning serenity of watching the sunrise over the horizon to the thrill of exploring marine life through snorkeling or scuba diving, there’s something for everyone.

Families revel in building sandcastles and playing beach volleyball, while others find solace in a quiet walk along the shore, feeling the waves gently lap at their feet.

Orange Beach

Nestled along the Gulf Coast, Orange Beach, Alabama, presents itself as a splendid retreat, just a five-hour drive from Atlanta. This coastal city, with its pristine white beaches and crystal-clear waters, is a haven for beach enthusiasts and remains somewhat of a hidden gem among Atlantans.

Orange Beach Alabama Near Atlanta Beaches

What makes Orange Beach stand out is its exciting combination of relaxation and adventure. The area caters to all, whether it’s families looking for fun on dolphin-sighting cruises or thrill-seekers eager to dive into deep-sea fishing and water sports. This variety ensures that every visitor finds something to love.

  • Visitors must not miss exploring The Wharf, a premier outdoor shopping and entertainment hub. It boasts an array of boutiques, dining experiences, and even a Ferris wheel, offering panoramic views of the area.
  • Another not-to-be-missed adventure is the Backcountry Trail, winding through diverse landscapes and offering glimpses into Alabama’s rich wildlife.

Pensacola Beach

A six-hour drive from Atlanta leads to the tranquil shores of Pensacola Beach, Florida. Situated on Santa Rosa Island, this beach is celebrated for its relaxed vibe, soft white sands, and warm emerald-green waters.

Pensacola Beach Florida Near Atlanta Beaches

Pensacola Beach is the epitome of simplicity and beauty. It’s a place where time slows, allowing visitors to bask in the sun and let the soothing waves melt away their worries. Despite its laid-back atmosphere, the area is not just about relaxation.

For those interested in history, nearby Historic Pensacola Village and the Pensacola Lighthouse offer a glimpse into the past. These sites provide an enriching experience, blending the area’s natural beauty with its historical significance.

  • A stroll along the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier is a must-do, offering stunning views and a chance to spot local marine life.
  • For the more adventurous, snorkeling and paddleboarding provide an immersive experience in the area’s natural beauty.
  • A visit to Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island reveals a historic military fort, adding another layer to this multifaceted destination.

Myrtle Beach

A mere six-hour drive from Atlanta lies the captivating Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, an integral part of the Grand Strand’s 60-mile stretch of beaches. Known for its vast sandy shores and the iconic SkyWheel, Myrtle Beach is a favorite among families and groups looking for a blend of relaxation and entertainment.

South Carolina Beaches Myrtle Beach Things To Do

Myrtle Beach offers much more than just a beach experience. It’s a vibrant resort city brimming with activities for every age and interest. From the adrenaline-pumping water parks to the live entertainment and award-winning dining options, there’s never a dull moment.

  • Be sure to take a ride on the SkyWheel for breathtaking views of the coastline.
  • The city also boasts attractions like Ripley’s Aquarium and Broadway at the Beach.
  • For those seeking a splash of fun, Myrtle Waves Water Park is a must-visit.
  • For an evening of entertainment, the Carolina Opry or Pirate’s Voyage Dinner & Show offer unforgettable experiences.

Henderson Beach State Park

Just about five hours away from Atlanta, Henderson Beach State Park in Destin, Florida, is a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of crowded beach resorts. With over a mile of sugar-white sands against the backdrop of sparkling emerald waters, this nature preserve epitomizes tranquility and natural beauty.

Henderson Beach State Park is the perfect destination for those who seek to enjoy the beach in its most natural and peaceful state. The sound of waves blending with birdsong creates a serene atmosphere, ideal for relaxation and rejuvenation.

  • The park offers a nature trail that meanders through the dunes, revealing the local flora and fauna.
  • It’s a great spot for nature photography or a peaceful walk. For those who enjoy fishing, picnicking, or camping, the park provides ample opportunities.
  • Plus, its pet-friendly campgrounds make it an excellent choice for the entire family, including furry members.

Panama City Beach

Situated a six-hour drive from Atlanta, Panama City Beach, Florida, stands out as a prime Gulf Coast destination. With its 27 miles of stunning white-sand beaches and a wide range of outdoor activities, it offers a perfect mix of exhilaration and relaxation.

Panama City Beach caters to both adrenaline enthusiasts and those in search of calm beachside leisure. Water sports enthusiasts will find plenty of thrills here, while those looking to unwind can bask in the soothing Florida sun.

The city is also famed for hosting one of the largest spring break celebrations in the country, adding to its vibrant atmosphere.

  • A visit to St. Andrews State Park is essential for snorkeling and fishing enthusiasts.
  • For a unique experience, take a boat trip to Shell Island.
  • Families and adventure seekers shouldn’t miss the fun at Shipwreck Island Waterpark.
  • Wildlife lovers will appreciate Gulf World Marine Park, offering close encounters with marine life.
  • As evening falls, Pier Park becomes the hub of shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Driftwood Beach

Just about a five-hour drive from Atlanta, Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, Georgia, offers a beach experience like no other. Known for its striking landscapes of sun-bleached driftwood and fallen trees, it presents a starkly beautiful and somewhat otherworldly scene.

Georgia Driftwood Beach Plaji Gun Dogumu

The surreal and haunting landscape of Driftwood Beach makes it a standout destination. It’s a photographer’s paradise and a perfect spot for those seeking solitude or a place for deep contemplation. The beach’s unique scenery gives visitors the feeling of stepping into an untouched, serene world.

  • Capturing a sunrise or sunset at Driftwood Beach is a must, as the views are exceptionally breathtaking in this unique setting.
  • The nearby Jekyll Island Club Resort offers horseback riding tours along the beach, providing an unforgettable way to explore this unique landscape.

St. Simon’s Island

St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, about a five-hour drive from Atlanta, epitomizes the serene beauty and charm of the state’s coastal towns. As one of the renowned ‘Golden Isles,’ St. Simon’s is an amalgamation of historic landmarks, natural splendor, and a quaint beach town atmosphere.

St. Simon’s Island not only offers a tranquil beach experience but also an enriching journey through history and culture. Visitors can bask in the sun, delve into the local art scene, or explore the historical narratives at the St. Simons Lighthouse Museum.

  • A visit to the St. Simon’s Island Pier is essential for a scenic overview of the area.
  • The historic Christ Church and Fort Frederica National Monument are must-visit landmarks, offering insights into the island’s past.
  • To truly appreciate the island’s beauty, a bike tour is recommended, as it allows you to immerse yourself in its lush landscapes and serene beaches.

Tybee Island

Tybee Island, Georgia, less than a five-hour drive from Atlanta, is a charming beach town that radiates a unique character. Known for its inviting sandy beaches, historical sites, and an iconic lighthouse, Tybee Island is a perfect coastal getaway.

Tybee Island provides a perfect setting to enjoy the warm Georgia sun and a range of activities. From engaging dolphin tours to exploring historic sites, there’s something for everyone. The island’s laid-back pace allows visitors to savor beach life in its purest form.

  • Top attractions include the Tybee Island Light Station and Museum and Fort Screven, offering panoramic views and historical insights.
  • The Marine Science Center is another intriguing spot, especially for those interested in marine biology.
  • A stroll on South Beach is ideal for sunbathing and dolphin watching, capturing the essence of a relaxed beach day.

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, just over four hours from Atlanta, stands out as an upscale beach destination. Renowned for its exceptional golf courses, tennis facilities, and stunning beaches, it’s a paradise for those who love the outdoors and enjoy a touch of luxury.

Hilton Head Island South Carolina Atlanta Beaches

Hilton Head Island is not just about its beaches; it offers a vibrant arts scene and a plethora of outdoor activities, making it suitable for both family vacations and romantic getaways. The island’s blend of natural beauty and refined amenities creates a unique coastal experience.

  • While on the island, be sure to visit Coligny Beach Park for its beautiful shores and Sea Pines Forest Preserve for a nature adventure.
  • The iconic Harbour Town Lighthouse is a must-see, offering picturesque views. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy biking, kayaking, and hiking on the island’s numerous trails.
  • Golfers can indulge in a round at one of the world-class golf courses, a hallmark of Hilton Head’s luxury.

Fort Yargo State Park Beach

Fort Yargo State Park Beach in Winder, Georgia, an hour’s drive from Atlanta, offers a unique freshwater beach experience. This man-made beach within the state park provides a refreshing alternative to ocean beaches, perfect for a day trip.

The park offers a swimming area, boat rentals, and picnic spots, making it an ideal location for family outings. The freshwater beach setting provides a tranquil environment for relaxation and recreation.

  • Beyond the beach, the park is equipped with hiking trails, camping sites, and opportunities for geocaching.
  • Renting a kayak or paddleboard is a great way to enjoy the lake, while the hiking trails offer scenic views and a chance to connect with nature.
  • For those who love camping, the park’s campsites offer a perfect setup for a night under the stars.


In the search for picturesque and tranquil beaches near Atlanta, one doesn’t need to look far. Whether it’s for a family outing, a romantic getaway, or a solitary retreat, the beaches near Atlanta offer a diverse range of experiences. From hidden gems to well-known coastal paradises, each beach provides a perfect escape from the city’s fast pace.