10 Best Beach Resorts in Georgia
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From Savannah down to Jacksonville, Florida is a string of beautiful barrier islands off the coast of Georgia. These islands, known as the Golden Isles, are marked by stunning stretches of marshland, towering centuries-old oak trees draped in Spanish moss, and uninterrupted swaths of stunning Atlantic beaches. It is on these islands that visitors can discover the very best beach resorts in Georgia.
The islands, St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Jekyll Island, and Little St. Simons Island, have held a special place among well-heeled hunting circles of the upper echelon of Georgia throughout the early 20th century. Today, the Golden Isles are prime vacation real estate for both Georgia residents and visitors, who come for the historic landmarks, museums, art galleries, restaurants, golf, and the best beach resorts in Georgia.
From the most well-to-do, historic properties like The Cloister at Sea Island to budget, oceanfront hotels like the Holiday Inn Resort at Jekyll Island, the Golden Isles cater to a breadth of budgets, as well.
If you're ready to discover the very best of the Golden Isles, read on to learn more about the best beach resorts in Georgia.
Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.
1. The Cloister at Sea Island
The Cloister at Sea Island is, in a word, opulent. In another word? Grand. When you picture Southern grandeur, you're picturing this five-star, historic hotel.
Spread out on an extensive, 50-acre complex that consists of three separate sections, the property is a vast expanse of white stone cloistered walkways, balconies, manicured gardens, and stone archways. It starts with the arrival road, which is lined on either side with massive oak trees draped in Spanish moss. Every detail from there on out is one of thoughtful, regal touches and understated elegance.
Rooms at The Cloister are spread across three buildings: The Cloister Main Building and Wings, The Cloister Beach Club, or The Cloister Ocean Residences. Each offers its own vibe, but all are extremely elevated and elegant. For the easiest beach access, the Cloister Beach Club rooms are best. This building has three swimming pools and is steps from the five miles of oceanfront.
Whether traveling as a couple, with the family, or even solo, The Cloister is equipped to make it a memorable and relaxing getaway. Activities include everything from dock fishing and horseback riding to spa treatments and tennis. Three championship golf courses are on the property, and the hotel even has its own movie theater, and bike and water sports rentals.
Dining is spread across the three sections, as well. Fine dining can be found at The Cloister, from the Italian Tavola to the cozy River Bar.
Address: 100 Cloister Drive, Sea Island, Georgia
Accommodation: The Cloister at Sea Island
2. Jekyll Island Club Resort
Jekyll Island Club officially opened its doors in 1888, but its history can be traced back even farther to when Jekyll Island became a private hunting club for the wealthiest individuals in the country. The modern day resort manages to maintain its historic Southern charm, with an exclusive air that would make its founders proud.
The sprawling grounds offer nooks and hideaways to cater to every interest, whether it's a game of croquet or a quiet afternoon lounging with a book in a sumptuously decorated room. From sunny atriums with a nautical color palette to sweeping verandas lined with rocking chairs, and greens upon greens, there is always a place to play at the Jekyll Island Club.
Visitors should note that the property is not located directly on the beach - it is on Jekyll Island's river side - but a free shuttle takes visitors to the ocean club, which is just seven minutes away.
The rooms are Victorian in design, but modern in feel, from flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi to working fireplaces, private patios, and balconies. Resort amenities include five dining venues, a private beach pavilion, a swimming pool, spa, and salon.
Address: 371 Riverview Drive, Jekyll Island, Georgia
Accommodation: Jekyll Island Club Resort
3. Jekyll Ocean Club
Technically part of the Jekyll Island Club Resort complex, the Jekyll Ocean Club is like a hotel within a hotel and, unlike the Island Club, is perched directly on the ocean. The intimate 40-suite hotel has the most mesmerizing views of the Golden Isles.
Guests can choose from a Double Queen Suite or King Suite. Double Queens feature two beds with a large living area, as well as an oceanside patio or balcony. The King Suites are the same, except for a king bed.
The Ocean Club has its own restaurant, as well - Eight Ocean Kitchen & Bar, which serves up a revamped look at Lowcountry cooking. Of course, the most prominent feature at this resort is the beach access. Steps from the Ocean Club is the white sand of Jekyll Island's Atlantic coast. But guests can use the free shuttle to visit the Island Club side of the complex to take advantage of all the activities and dining that can be found at the more historic location.
Address: 80 Ocean Way, Jekyll Island, Georgia
Accommodation: Jekyll Ocean Club
4. The Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club
The 40-room luxury Lodge at Sea Island sits on the grounds of a former cotton plantation, and is steeped in Southern visuals, from the red terra cotta roofs, to the entryway lined with towering oak trees draped in Spanish moss. The Lodge at Sea Island is a throwback to the hunting lodges of the 1920s, which were popular on the Golden Isles throughout the turn of the 20th century.
The Lodge is the sister property of The Cloister, which is just a short stroll away. Still, The Lodge feels like another world away, particularly for golfers who will be surrounded by the spectacular greens. If you are not interested in golf, the nearby The Cloister has the beach, spa, and swimming pool.
The vibe at The Lodge swings decidedly Scottish, especially when it comes to the hunting lodge decor and nightly sunset bagpipe performance. Activities are golf, as mentioned, but also skeet shooting and trap shooting. Antiques and plush furniture warm up the lofty space, as does the massive wood-burning fireplace.
On-site dining includes the Oak Room for Southern cooking and Colt & Alison for grilled steaks.
Address: 100 Retreat Ave, St. Simons, Georgia
Accommodation: The Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club
5. The Westin Jekyll Island
The Westin Jekyll Island sits perched on the eastern coast of Jekyll Island. Designed in antebellum Plantation-style, the beachfront hotel has 187 guest rooms and 13 suites. Picture an airy, two-story lobby with wooden wall panels and tons of natural light.
The amenity-packed hotel affords an enviable location as part of the Beach Village complex, which has restaurants, shops, and the island's convention center. But it is also not far from the Great Dunes Park and the Ocean View Trail, putting guests in the heart of the island's rich nature.
Rooms are comfortable and spacious, many with ocean views. Some rooms have private balconies that overlook the beach. Amenities include flat-screen televisions, coffeemakers with Starbucks coffee, and White Tea toiletries.
While guests have nearby restaurants within walking distance, the hotel has quite a few dining options, as well, including The Reserve Steak House. Picture dark wood interiors with pops of golden yellow accents, where guests can dine inside or outdoors with an ocean view. A more casual option is Salty's Seasonal Poolside Bar & Grill, which serves laid-back cuisine like grilled sandwiches.
Additional amenities include an outdoor pool, open seasonally, as well as a 24-hour fitness center. The Westin brand offers its RunWESTIN program, as well, which includes guided runs or a customized three-mile run around the island.
Address: 110 Ocean Way, Jekyll Island, Georgia
Accommodation: The Westin Jekyll Island
6. The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, Saint Simons Island
What started as a seaside island dance club in 1935 has become one of the most beloved beach resorts in Georgia. The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, located on Saint Simons Island, is a historic seaside resort with nearly 200 rooms and amenities galore.
The King and Prince is one of the most beautiful and historic buildings in Georgia. In fact, the hotel has earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. The lobby is decked out in true Southern glamor, from wrought-iron chandeliers and a stone fireplace to lofty ceilings and an atrium that washes the entire lobby in natural light.
Guests can choose from a wide variety of room types, including standard rooms, suites, villas, and vacation condo units. Villas have separate kitchens, outdoor patios, and washers and dryers, which make them perfect for families or longer stays.
The resort has its own golf course, but guests should note that it's not on property. It's about a 30-minute drive away. On property guests will find a fitness center, tennis courts, a gift shop, and several pool areas. And, of course, there is the direct beach access.
As for dining, ECHO is the island's only oceanfront restaurant and is the feature restaurant at the hotel. It serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and guests can dine with beautiful ocean views.
Address: 201 Arnold Road, St. Simons, Georgia
Accommodation: The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, Saint Simons Island
7. Ocean Lodge Resort
What strikes visitors most upon visiting the Ocean Lodge is the stunning Spanish-Mediterranean architecture. Combine that with the fountain-like palms that dot the property (as well as actual gurgling fountains) and it's easy to imagine you've been transported to Barcelona, rather than the islands of Georgia. Still Georgia, it most certainly is, so expect all the Southern charm and hospitality.
The Renaissance-style villa, located on St. Simons Island has 15 rooms, each of which is a one-bedroom suite with a full kitchen, living room and bedroom, and private balconies. Suites are decorated in warm tones with stone accents, oil paintings, and decorative throw rugs, which really adds to the European vibe. Still, modern amenities abound, from the free Wi-Fi to the flat-screen TVs. Most suites have two bathrooms, one of which has a whirlpool bathtub. Be sure to book a room on a higher floor for a better view of the ocean.
All activity at the resort seems to happen at The Rooftop at Ocean Lodge, which is the main restaurant and has the very best views. The menu swings Southern classic, with French coastal influence. Breakfast is included in the room rate, as well.
Address: 935 Beachview Drive, St. Simons, Georgia
Accommodation: Ocean Lodge Resort
8. The Lodge on Little Saint Simons Island
If you've ever wanted a private island experience, this may be the beach resort for you. Little St. Simons Island is a stunning natural sanctuary that spans more than 11,000 acres. With seven miles of beachfront, it is a perfect island getaway off the coast of Georgia that puts visitors right in the heart of nature. What makes it so unique and secluded is that the island is only accessible by boat. The Lodge on Little St. Simons Island is the only accommodation on the island and one of the best beach resorts in Georgia.
The Lodge consists of guest rooms and cottages. The main lodge dates back to 1917 when it was built as a hunting lodge. Today it houses two guest rooms with private bathrooms. Two other houses, the Cedar House and River Lodge, each have four bedrooms. For those who want additional privacy, the property has a collection of one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom cottages.
Guests of The Lodge are activity lovers who appreciate the natural beauty, peace, and quiet. Activities include birding, fishing, and boating. Guests also have access to the seven miles of Atlantic Ocean beach, and can take guided excursions to explore the wildlife.
Address: 1000 Hampton River Club Marina Drive, St. Simons, Georgia
Accommodation: The Lodge on Little Saint Simons Island
9. Holiday Inn Resort at Jekyll Island
It may be a Holiday Inn, but don't be fooled - the Holiday Inn Resort Jekyll Island has one of the best locations in Georgia. The budget-friendly hotel chain is perched right on the beach at Jekyll Island, with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Guest rooms are bright, clean, and spacious, and most face the water. Suites are even more generously sized and all have oceanfront sitting areas that are separate from the bedrooms.
In addition to its beachfront access, the Holiday Inn has an expansive outdoor pool, as well as a fitness center that spans more than 1,000 square feet. It even has on-site dining from The Anchor, the seasonal restaurant which serves lunch and dinner; and the Beach House, which serves seafood, pizza, sandwiches, burgers, and salads.
Address: 701 Beachview Drive N, Jekyll Island, Georgia
Accommodation: Holiday Inn Resort at Jekyll Island
10. DeSoto Beach Hotel
One of Georgia's most beloved sea islands is Tybee Island, known for its historic homes, vibrant restaurants, and beautiful stretches of white-sand beach. Oddly, not many of the hotels are located on the beach, save for one - the DeSoto Beach Hotel.
A historic, family hotel, the DeSoto Beach Hotel was built in 1939 and quickly rose to fame as one of the most high-end spots for Savannah socialites. Today, it has 37 guest rooms, which range from Grand Deluxe Ocean Front rooms to the DeSoto Beach Garden Suites. The resort has a central communal garden, as well as an outdoor pool.
Guests staying at the hotel can rent beach chairs, umbrellas, and bikes for exploring the island, as well.
Address: 212 Butler Ave, Tybee Island, Georgia
Accommodation: DeSoto Beach Hotel