The Top 10 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Georgia

Georgia’s southern hospitality makes pets feel more than welcome when they join you on vacation to the “Peach State.” Georgia is plump with outdoor activities, including tubing fun on the Chattahoochee River, hiking the dog-friendly trails at Black Rock Mountain State Park, or lounging in the grassy fields at Atlanta’s Freedom Park. However, it’s hard not to hear the Atlantic Ocean coastline in the distance with more than 110-miles of coastline. It swells to 800+ miles when including the 15 barrier islands. And remember, whenever your dog is participating in a water activity, be sure to keep them safe with a dog life jacket or other flotation device.

 

Great Dunes Beach Park

Drive across the Ben Fortson Parkway and let your dog out for a bit of fresh beach air at the Great Dunes Beach Park. The dune-covered landscape on Jekyll Island is no short of activities. As you make your way to the pet-friendly shoreline, you’ll see people having picnics, playing volleyball, and bikers cycling the trails. Great Dunes Beach Park covers 20-acres of Jekyll Island, extending to the coast. Its shoreline is one of the tops on the island. Sand runs down from the dune summits seamlessly into the waters to give your pet incredible scenery while playing on the beach. Be sure to snap photos of your pet set against the dune backdrop lining the beach before they go for a swim! Pet owners can enjoy Great Dunes Beach Park all year long. The waters are always refreshing for your pet, and there’s plenty of space for your pet to claim their own bit of territory on this beachfront sandbox. Keeping the beach in order requires dogs to stay on leashes no longer than 16-ft. Address: Jekyll Island, GA 31527

 

Driftwood Beach

dog friendly Driftwood Beach The massive tree limbs on Driftwood Beach are sticks that you don’t have to worry about your dog fetching. Instead, these namesake branches are decorations for one of Jekyll Island’s best pet-friendly beaches. Georgia’s Driftwood Beach has been ranked among the top beaches for dogs by multiple media. And you’ve likely already seen images of the sculpted branches molded by nature’s creativity. You’ll see tons of pet owners doing impromptu photoshoots with their pets on the beach while others let their dogs explore the beautiful landscape. Your pet won’t be the first to mark its territory on the driftwood lining the beach. However, it’ll be tempting for them to do so anyway! Go for a walk on the beach to see the various limbs, some set in the water and others right on the border of the tide rolling in from the ocean. These trees provide shade for your pet while gazing out into the ocean vistas. Let your pet sniff out the perfect place to relax on the sand or dip their paws in the cool waters. The beach is open all year long and only requires dogs to be on a leash to take advantage of this unique beach. Address: N Loop Trail, Jekyll Island, GA 31527

 

East Beach

dog friendly east beach St. Simons is a gem in the Golden Isles, and your pet will love the golden sand shores on East Beach. Set on the oceanside of this barrier island off the coast of Georgia, it’s one of the few places to enjoy off-leash fun in the state. Keep an eye on your pet as they play in the sand, digging for buried treasure (or seashells) or pouncing around in the saltwater. Being off the leash will let them explore anywhere their doggy nose takes them. Just be sure that they’re trained and respond to your voice commands when called back to your side. Pets are prohibited on East Beach during the busy season from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Only the hours before 9 AM and after 6 PM are acceptable for them, perfect for a sunrise or sunset stroll on the shores. However, the months outside of the busy season welcome your pet at any time. Address: 4202 1st St, St Simons Island, GA 31522

 

Tidwell Park

Just an hour outside of Atlanta, you might not reach the Atlantic Coastline, but you’ll still discover one of the best pet-friendly beaches in Georgia. Lake Lanier is an artificial reservoir dammed off the Chattahoochee River. It was created for flood control but has become an outdoor recreation destination for more than eight million people annually, including pet owners! Tidwell Park is set on Lake Lanier’s nearly 700-miles of shoreline. While the southern beaches are always bustling with beachgoers and boaters, this region calls pet-owners looking to enjoy the waterfront with their furry friends. Lake Lanier is a large lake with scenic views of the woodlands on the other side. Get your pet suited up in their pet-sized life jackets and snap on their leash at the nearby benches before beginning your day at the beach. The coast is rugged with grassy areas and soil sloping into the lake waters. The life jacket will help them stay afloat in the 160-ft deep lake whenever they want to go swimming. Dogs are also welcome to join you as your first mate while paddling the lake surface in a kayak or fishing boat. Address: 4830 Pilgrim Mill Rd, Cumming,

 

Little Tybee Island

dog friendly little tybee island Tybee Island is a go-to island destination in Georgia with many resorts, beaches, and more. But if you’re looking to delight yourself in the island life with your pet, skip these crowded showers and retreat south to Little Tybee Island. Unlike its northern neighbor, Little Tybee Island remains undeveloped to give pet owners an unmatched beach experience as nature was designed. Little Tybee Island is protected as a nature preserve, leaving much of its natural state intact. The broad beaches are lined with wild-growing brush and dunes, offering a tranquil environment away from the bustling beach activity on Tybee Island. Pets and their owners will have the beach to themselves to enjoy swimming in the Atlantic Ocean or sunbathing while watching kayakers row by the shore. You can reach Little Tybee Island just 20-miles offshore of Savannah. Although there are no resorts here, the island permits camping with your pet so that you can wake up and be the first to leave your pawprints on the serene beach. Address: Georgia 31328

 

Gould’s Inlet Beach

dog friendly gould's inlet beach There are always more animals than people at Gould’s Inlet Beach, from the many birds flocking around the shores to the numerous pets that come here with their owners to enjoy a warm beach day. It’s one of the most dog-friendly beaches that even includes special perks for those visiting with their canines. Located on St. Simons Island, Gould’s Inlet Beach transforms with the tide. But you’ll always find a place on the shores for enjoying with your pet. Set down on a plot of land to gaze into the water with views of Sea Island or on the side of the fishing pier to bark at the lucky anglers reeling up their catches. Let them splash around in the water before relaxing on the sand to dry their fur in the sun. Gould’s Inlet Beach always stays clean thanks to the onsite stations dispensing dog bags. And your dog doesn’t have to taste the salt water when they get thirsty because the beach provides community water bowls. One of the best times to visit Gould’s Inlet Beach is during sunrise and sunset times. However, pets are welcome around the clock and all year long. Address: 2300 Bruce Dr, St Simons Island, GA 31522

 

St. Andrews Beach Park

The occasional dog barking at migratory birds or someone in the distance calling for their pet is likely to be the only thing interrupting the quiet setting at St. Andrews Beach Park. This tranquil stretch of white sand sits at the southern tip of Jekyll Point, where dogs are welcome to explore the historical shores. St. Andrews Beach Park is home to the Wanderer Memorial. Pet owners can also wander the Wanderer Memory Trail before stepping onto the shelly beach sloping into the cool Atlantic Ocean waters. During the summer, you’ll only find pets on the beach in the early morning before 9 AM and in the evening after 6 PM. Other times of the year, they can enjoy the beach even during the popular daytime hours, as long as they stay on a leash no longer than 10-feet long. But that’s plenty of leeway for them to strut along the surf or simply walk while enjoying the coastal views. Address: 100 St Andrews Dr, Jekyll Island, GA 31527

 

Lake Winfield Scott

dog friendly lake winfield scott Let your dog wake up and smell the fresh wildflowers while hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail en route to Lake Winfield Scott. This high elevated man-made lake is set in the Appalachian Mountains, where dogs can join you on an outdoor adventure rewarded by a trip to the lakeshore beach. Lake Winfield Scott Recreation Area preserves the lake scenery. Standing on the lake surfaces, you can see the coastline circling for 5.6-miles around the lake. The thick woodlands surrounding the 18-acre lake provide excellent scenery while soaking up the sun or retreating to the tree shade. Run with your leashed dog into the refreshing waters after one of the nearby trails. And don’t be shy to wave if other dog owners join you! When your pet is ready to dry off, take a walk on the lake loop trail to explore more of the lake shoreline. Later, treat them to a dog snack while dining at your picnic in the beachfront pavilion. Address: 439 Lake Winfield Scott Rd, Suches, GA 30572

 

Sapelo Island

dog friendly sapelo island Jump on the Sapelo Island Ferry with your dog to spend time on one of the largest barrier islands off the Georgia coast. The pet-friendly island has plenty of shoreline to explore, whether you’re visiting for the day or planning a multi-day beach vacation with your pup! Sapelo Island’s broad golden sand beaches extend for 5.5-miles. The untouched, natural beach setting sets you and your pet between the pure blue waters and grassy dunes. The mandatory leash policy is never an issue as your dog still finds a way to roll around in the warm sand before washing itself off in the cool ocean waters. Pet owners can find accommodations and rentals right on the island. Alternatively, camp in the dark sky at night, then wake up just a few paw steps away from the beach. You’ll be the first to claim your spot for the day. Address: 1766 Landing Road Southeast, Darien, GA 31305

 

Massengale Park St. Simons Island

Between the glistening sunsets and the shimmering sands, it’s easy to see why Massengale Park is part of the Golden Isles. The beach-lined shore part of St. Simons islands is one of the island’s favorites for dog owners. Bring out your beach chairs and grab a front row spot on a beach reverberating the sounds of the gentle saltwater ocean waves. Ships cruise past in the background, and neat lines of shorebirds flap overhead as your dog barks in excitement for the lively beach atmosphere. They’ll have plenty of other dogs to greet while walking on the water-stained sands and sniffing out tidal pools along the coast. Only during the months between Memorial Day to Labor Day are pets prohibited on the beach from 9 AM to 6 PM. So, start your day with an alluring morning sunrise with your pet before heading nearby to Frederica Park Dog Park to wait until the beach re-opens for pets in the evening. Address: 1350 Ocean Blvd, St Simons Island, GA 31522