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Top 13 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Georgia: Off & On-Leash Places (2024 Update)

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on May 14, 2024 by Dogster Team

labrador retriever dog playing in the beach

Top 13 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Georgia: Off & On-Leash Places (2024 Update)

Georgia, the Peach State, is known for many things, including Atlanta Braves baseball, President Jimmy Carter, and being at the center of the Civil Rights movement. One thing you don’t hear about often, however, is Georgia’s fantastic beaches that dot its 100-mile coast. You also don’t hear about many of the equally amazing (albeit smaller) beaches in and around the Atlanta area. Many of the beaches in Georgia allow you to enjoy them with your dog.

If you and your dog are raring to hit the beach, play some frisbee, and splash around in the surf, the information below is ideal. You’ll find the addresses, hours, and more info to guide you to the best beaches in the state.

Top 13 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Georgia

Beaches Along the Georgia Coast

The following beaches are between South Carolina and Florida on the Georgia coast. Most are open 24/7, 365, and, thanks to Georgia’s beautiful weather, they’re comfortable for 10 to 11 months out of the year.

1. Burkes Beach

️ Address: 60 Burkes Beach Road, Hilton Head Island, SC, 29928
Open Times: Summer: 6 am to 9 pm, 7 days a week; Winter: 6 am to 6 pm
Cost: None
Off-Leash: Yes, between 5 pm and 10 am from Memorial Day through Labor Day
  • Located in South Carolina, minutes south of the Georgia border
  • Free parking and trails to the beach from Chaplin Community Park
  • Get around via the free trolley that will take you to all the best spots
  • Dog hours are somewhat restricted from Memorial Day through Labor Day (after that, dogs are allowed all day)

2. Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island

️ Address: South of the North Loop Trail on N. Beachview Drive · Jekyll Island, GA 31527
Open Times: 7 days a week from dawn until dusk
Cost: $8.00 to access Jekyll Island
Off-Leash: Depends on the time of year
  • Perfect beach if your dog loves chasing sticks and climbing
  • Most weekdays, you’ll find almost nobody else on the beach
  • You can fish with your pup from the nearby fishing pier
  • For lovers, you’ll be glad to know this beach is ranked one of America’s Top 10 “Most Romantic” beaches
  • Off-leash dogs are allowed during the winter and fall

3. East Beach, St. Simons Island

️ Address: 4202 1st St, St. Simons Island, GA 31522
Open Times: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Cost: None
Off-Leash: Yes
  • Well-trained dogs who obey commands are allowed off-leash
  • Island access and parking are both free, but parking is limited so get there early
  • Great beach for dogs who love to swim in the surf
  • If you’re with kids, there’s an amusement park nearby
  • Excellent beach for bike riding with hard-packed sand

4. Gould’s Inlet Beach

️ Address: 2300 Bruce Drive, St. Simons, Georgia
Open Times: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Cost: None
Off-Leash: Yes
  • One of the best beaches for dogs on the Georgia coast, with ample space to run and play
  • Beach has free parking, but getting there early is a must as spaces go fast, especially on weekends
  • Public restrooms and showers available at no cost
  • Dog station with community water bowls (or bring your own)
  • Perfect beach for shelling, long walks, and frisbee, but not so much for swimming

5. Great Dunes Beach, Jekyll Island

️ Address: Jekyll Island, GA 31527
Open Times: 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week
Cost: $8.00 to access Jekyll Island
Off-Leash: Yes, but only during off-season
  • Good beach for families with plenty of conveniences nearby, including restaurants and parks
  • You’ll find restrooms, showers, and parking, all of which are free
  • If your dog loves exploring, they’ll love the tidal pools all over the island
  • Like many of the beaches in Georgia, this one is perfect for biking with hard-packed sand
  • Off-season, your dog can be off-leash

6. Little Tybee Island Beach

️ Address: Tybee Island, GA, 31328
Open Times: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Cost: None
Off-Leash: Yes
  • During the week, the beach is almost deserted, especially before Memorial Day and after Labor Day
  • Camping is allowed, as well as fires on the beach
  • Many visitors come to kayak and fish with their dogs
  • You can only get to the beach via boat or ferry
  • Excellent beach for shelling with a wide variety brought in by the tide every day

7. Massengale Park, St. Simons Island

️ Address: 1350 Ocean Blvd., St. Simons Island, GA 31522
Open Times: From dawn until dusk, 7 days a week
Cost: None
Off-Leash: Yes
  • If your pup obeys commands, they can be off-leash, but uppies and unruly dogs must use a leash (up to 10 feet)
  • A laid-back beach with slow-moving water is excellent for older and smaller dogs
  • Picnic areas with grills are shaded
  • Plenty of free parking, public restrooms, and showers available

8. Sapelo Island Beach

️ Address: 1766 Landing Rd. SE, Sapelo Island, GA. 31305
Open Times: Wednesdays (8:30 am to 12:30 pm), Saturdays (9:00 am to 1:00 pm)
Cost: Adults: $15; Children 5 and older: $10
Off-Leash: No
  • The only way onto the beach is by ferry or plane
  • Reservations are necessary to visit the island
  • One of the best beaches for shelling on the east coast
  • During the week, the beach is practically deserted

9. St. Andrews Beach, Jekyll Island

️ Address: 100 St Andrews Dr, Jekyll Island, GA 31527
Open Times: 8:00 am until sundown
Cost: $6 parking fee
Off-Leash: No
  • Perfect beach if you and your dog want to spot dolphins
  • Several miles of walking paths you and your furry friend can investigate
  • A bird sanctuary, so you need to keep your dog leashed when walking
  • Many picnic tables with grills, as well as free public restrooms and showers
  • A popular beach for weddings

Beaches in and Around Atlanta

The final four beaches on today’s list are in or near Atlanta. All are accessible 365 days a year. Thankfully, winter in Georgia is short and sweet.

10. Herbert Taylor Park Beach

️ Address: 1795 Johnson Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
Open Times: 6 am to 11 pm, 7 days a week
Cost: None
Off-Leash: No
  • The beach is surrounded by dense forest, and it feels like you’re far from the city
  • The shallow water makes it convenient for older and smaller dogs
  • Very popular beach and often crowded on the weekends in spring and summer
  • Stray dogs from around the area seem to congregate here

11. Morningside Nature Preserve Dog Beach

️ Address: 2020 Lenox Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30324
Open Times:: All year, 24/7
Cost: None
Off-Leash: No
  • More of a beach for cooling off than swimming, as the water is quite shallow
  • The only beach located in the heart of Atlanta
  • The reason for leashes is that there are many wild animals
  • There’s a fun suspension bridge nearby that you have to check out with your pup!

12. Tidwell Park Beach on Lake Lanier

️ Address: 4900 Pilgrim Mill Road, Cumming, GA  30041
Open Times: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Cost: None
Off-Leash: Yes
  • Fantastic beach made for dogs and their humans an hour from downtown Atlanta, GA
  • The park has phenomenal views of Lake Lanier, the biggest in the Peach State
  • Many people with dogs visit, so expect to have company
  • Parking is free and there’s a boat launch and dock
  • The beach is rather small but very intimate

13. Whitewater Creek Trail Beach

️ Address: 4058 Whitewater Creek Rd NW, Atlanta, GA
Open Times: 5:30 AM – 9:00 PM, 7 days a week
Cost: None
Off-Leash: No
  • Getting to this beautiful beach requires a 20-minute hike
  • The beach is less than a half-hour from downtown Atlanta
  • This beach is also known as “Dog Beach” by many locals
  • There are miles of beautiful trails around the beach to explore with your pup, but a leash is required
  • Many shallow areas for dogs to sit and cool off on a hot day

Summing Up

All of the beaches we’ve looked at today would be perfect for spending with your friends and family, including your canine family members. All are fun, clean, safe, and inviting, and have no rules against canines having a good time. It would be helpful if your pup were well-trained but if not, be sure to bring a waterproof leash and collar.

Bring plenty of water, potty bags, and some snacks for you and your dog, especially on the more secluded beaches with no restaurants or convenience stores nearby. Besides that, you should be good to go and have a fun time in the surf and sand with your favorite beach hound!

See also:

Featured Image Credit: DragoNika, Shutterstock

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