Ultimate Guide to the St Simons Island Beaches

The Golden Isles are situated on the Georgia coast about halfway between Jacksonville, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia. They consist of four barrier island communities: St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island, Sea Island, and Little St. Simons Island — plus Brunswick on the mainland. 

When you visit the Golden Isles, you’re sure to spend lots of time at the beach, and St. Simons Island is the perfect place to start your oceanfront adventure! So once you’ve booked your vacation rental home, it’s time to start planning how you’ll spend those days in the sun.

Why Visit St. Simons Island Beaches?

We have three miles of contiguous beach, stretching from the pier/village area to East Beach. Windsurfing, kite-surfing, bicycling, sand sculpting, and lying in the sun soaking up rays are just a few of the most popular ways to enjoy a St. Simons beach vacation! The Atlantic horizon is scattered with shrimp boats, while adventure-seekers searching for outdoor recreation can test out catamarans, stand-up paddleboards, kiteboards, and kayaks closer to shore.

Dolphins are plentiful here, along with many varieties of sea birds and sea turtles. Book a charter for a sightseeing or fishing tour and get out on the water with local pros who can show you the best of the island region. For a unique treat, consider catching expansive views from above on a coastal biplane tour! Don’t forget to check for local happenings during your stay! The beaches host some of the region’s most popular annual festivals, like 4th of July celebrations, and family-friendly events. Visitors also love our oceanfront water parks and community parks for outdoor play and splash-filled fun of a different sort!

Without further ado, let’s look at some of the most popular beaches in and around St. Simons Island.

US Coast Guard Station / East Beach

US Coast Guard Station / East Beach

  • Address: 4100 First Street, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522
  • Amenities: Public beach access, restroom facilities, ADA-accessible beach access, seasonal concession facility

East Beach is one of two public beaches on St. Simons Island and is by far the most popular beach area. This spot features the widest beaches, public facilities, and plentiful parking. On the northern end of the beach is Gould’s Inlet, a popular spot for bird-watching and fishing, with views of Sea Island. Just south of the inlet, you’ll find the historic Coast Guard Station and World War II Home Front Museum.

The hard-packed sands of East Beach make for great biking and oceanside flat hikes. The southern end of East Beach at Pier Village offers access to the village shops and eateries, as well as great fishing at low tide, but this area is generally inaccessible at high tide.

The East Beach area is pet-friendly (with restrictions between Memorial Day and Labor Day from 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM daily). You’ll find the most abundant parking at the Coast Guard Station area — look for signs indicating “First Street Beach Access”.

Massengale Park

Photo Credit: birdinghotspots.org

  • Address: 1350 Ocean Blvd., Saint Simons Island, GA 31522
  • Amenities: ADA-accessible beach access, restroom facilities, picnic tables, grills, playgrounds

Massengale Park is the island’s second public beach and is a relaxed shady coastal spot that’s perfect for families with young children. The park is situated just south of East Beach along Ocean Boulevard between the Coast Guard Station and the King and Prince Beach Resort. Facilities here include a picnic area and grills shaded by mature live oaks, a children’s playground, public restrooms, open beach access, and plenty of parking. The park is pet-friendly so the entire family can join in on the fun.

There are also beach rental services next to the park where you can hire umbrellas and chairs plus kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, and lots of other equipment to help you make the most of your day out.

Neptune Park

Photo Credit: Evangelio Gonzalez via Flickr CC2.0

  • Address: 550 Beachview Drive, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522
  • Amenities: Playgrounds, restroom facilities, picnic tables, park benches, fishing pier, public beach access, Neptune Park Fun Zone

Located on the southern end of the island in the shadow of the St. Simons Lighthouse, this oceanfront, pet-friendly park is a great alternative option to the island’s two public beaches. Featuring a strolling path between the St. Simons Fishing Pier and Pier Village areas, it’s very easy to explore.

Neptune Park provides visitors with easy access to local historic sites like Fort Frederica National Monument — the site of the battles of Bloody Marsh and Gully Hole Creek.The beach and pier areas provide excellent swimming, fishing, crabbing, bird watching, and beachcombing opportunities. Or, for even more family fun, check out the Neptune Park Fun Zone area which includes swimming pools, waterslides, and a mini-golf course.

Driftwood Beach

  • Address: South of North Loop Trail on N. Beachview Drive, Jekyll Island, GA 31527
  • Amenities: Picnic tables, grills, fishing pier, restrooms, fishing shop (all amenities are located at Clam Creek)

Although not on St. Simons but next door on Jekyll Island, Driftwood Beach is well worth the visit. Famed for its iconic driftwood, this picturesque beach is the perfect place to enjoy a stunning sunset. This area was once a maritime forest, but hundreds of years of erosion have created a sandy shoreline that’s perfect for relaxing on.

The beach runs from the Clam Creek picnic area to the Villas By The Sea Resort and is very close to the Jekyll Island campground. There are several access points along the beach and plenty of designated parking areas along the road. The beach is pet-friendly.

Swimming Safety on Georgia’s Beaches

Whether you are a confident swimmer or are taking young children out on the water, safety is the most important thing. Here are some tips on how to stay safe off the St. Simons coast.

  • Lifeguards are only present from Memorial Day to Labor Day, from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM daily at  Coast Guard and Massengale beaches.
  • Rip currents are common. If caught in a rip current, do not fight it, swim parallel to the shore until you are free of the current.
  • Do not swim to the visible sand bars. The tide changes quickly and will submerge the sandbar, stranding swimmers in deep water.
  • View the NOAA tide charts for St. Simons Island to get a better understanding of what the water conditions will be during your visit.
  • From Memorial Day to Labor Day, there is a Warning Flag system in place to notify visitors of hazardous conditions — please take notice of this before getting into the water.

St. Simons Island Beach Rules

  • Dogs are prohibited on the beach from the Saturday before Memorial Day through Labor Day between the hours of 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM, except between Beach Access Points 1-6. During allowable times and in non-summer months, dogs are allowed on any portion of the beach but must be within close proximity and under the immediate control of the owner/handler. If the handler is unable to control their pet via voice command, a 10′ leash is required. Owners must clean up after their pets.
  • Vehicles are prohibited.
  • Fires are prohibited without a permit from the Glynn County Fire Dept.
  • Glass and hard plastic containers are prohibited.
  • For a full listing of beach rules, read the Glynn County Code of Ordinances.

Fun in the Sun at St. Simons Island

As you can see, there are some great options for getting out on the ocean or simply relaxing in the park or on the beach. And, since most spots are in close proximity to one another, there’s no reason not to beach-hop all weekend long!