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Planning a beach vacation is overwhelming. That’s why you need this St Simons Island Beaches ultimate guide! I’ve visited hundreds of times for day trips, stayed at the resorts and beach rentals, eaten the cuisine, and discovered the best things to do in St Simons Island. Here’s everything you need to know about this charming vacation island and the St Simons Island Georgia Beaches this year.
Btw, I’m on a mission to visit every Coastal Georgia town, beach, and lighthouse to share the good, bad, and the honest with you – so you can focus on what matters most – spending time with your people on those trips.
I know you’re wondering:
- Does St. Simons Island have nice beaches?
- What’s the best St Simons public beach?
- Do lifeguards work on Saint Simons?
- Can you swim in St. Simons Island?
- Are dogs allowed on the beach?
- What are the best St Simons Island beach hotels?
- How’s the weather?
THE OVERVIEW ST SIMONS ISLAND BEACH AREAS
Let me give you the big picture of the St Simons Island Georgia beaches situation to save you a lot of time and confusion…..
This Georgia sea island is about eighteen miles long and three miles wide. The totality of the St Simons Island shoreline is technically East Beach. However, the beach is called many names, depending on where you are along the shore and who you are talking to.
If you look at the St Simons Island beaches map below (or watch the awesome SSI video below, you’ll see that the three-mile-long shoreline reaches from the Pier Village to the Inlet.
In total, there are over 40 public beach accesses, but you can’t park at them all and they aren’t all equal. Watch the video first below before reading further for an great visual explantion of this.
As mentioned, the three large public beach areas with facilities are:
- The Pier Village
- Massengale Park
- Coast Guard Station
THE PIER VILLAGE
The Pier Village is an amazningly charming area along the waterfront. You can shop, eat at award-winning restaurants, or walk the length of the fishing pier or sidewalk to the St. Simons Island Lighthouse while watching the sunset.
Bring a blanket, book, and a picnic to relax under the shade of majestic oak trees at Neptune Park. Watch the kids on oceanside benches near Neptune Park’s playground.
Parking is free!
Insider Info: Don’t miss breakfast or brunch at Palmer’s Village Cafe at 223 Mallery St, SSI.
If you’d like to spend more time enjoying the beach atmosphere, visit Massengale Park. Here you’ll find plenty of park close to the bench access, a playground, picnic tables, and grills shaded by the oak trees. Large restroom facilities have a convenient outdoor shower to rinse off the sand.
Parking is free!
Insider Info: Massengale Park hours are Monday through Sunday 6 AM to 10 PM, and the address is 1350 Ocean Blvd, SSI.
COAST GUARD STATION
The other choice for a large public beach area with facilities is The Coast Guard Station. There is a huge parking area, large bathhouse, and concession stands seasonally. Lifeguards patrol this end of the beach and are typically present from Memorial Day to Labor Day. However, swimming at your own risk is a must.
This is normally the most populated beach and is adjacent to the World War II Home Front Museum. It’s the widest beach with hard-packed sand that makes it perfect for riding bikes, long hikes, and beachcombing.
Parking is free!
Insider Info: 4100 First Street, SSI.
TIDE CONTINGENT BEACHES & TIDE CHARTS
Because the island’s geography sets it as the most westernmost point, the shoreline has more of a lake effect. Big waves are not typical, but there are very strong currents. Some beach access points are tide contingent, which means at certain beach accesses, high tide happens twice a day and completely covers the sand. Therefore, at low tide, all beaches are exposed.
It’s a great idea to check the St Simons tide charts before heading to the sand. Below are the tide contigent details:
Access Points 1-23 – Public beach access points 1-23 are tide contingent. These stretch from the southwest end of the Island at Wyley Street (#1) to the southeast end of the Island at Arnold Road (#23)
Access Points 24-37 – On the Eastern side of the Island, beach access points from Massengale Park (#24) to Gould’s Inlet/16th Street (#37) have all-day beach access
BEACH SAFETY & SOME RULES
Because St. Simons Island is the westernmost point on the East Coast, the shoreline has a lake effect and big waves are not typical. But, strong currents and significant differences between high and low tides are a thing, therefore visitors must swim at their own risk.
The water often looks deceptively calm and swimmers should exercise caution. Don’t ever swim to sand bars as the tide can change and submerge them, trapping people. Lifeguards are typically present from Memorial Day throughout Labor Day and use a warning flag system to warm beachgoers of changing conditions.
- No glass containers, hard plastic containers, or littering is allowed on the beaches
- Motorized vehicles are prohibited as well.
- Building fires on the sand is not OK.
- If you stumble upon sea turtles, back away and do not disturb.
- See rules about whether or not dogs are allowed on the beach below
- Refer to rules at Glynn County
ARE DOGS ALLOWED ON THE BEACH?
St Simons Island is a dog-friendly place. Many restaurants with outdoor spaces and other businesses welcome your furry friend. However, there are specific rules like that one about dogs not being allowed on the fishing pier. Here are the other rules…..
According to Glynn County Recreation & Parks:
Dogs are prohibited on the beach from 16th St. (East Beach South) to Mallery St. (Pier) from the Saturday before Memorial Day through Labor Day between the hours of 9:00 am and 6:00 pm. 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 the pet via voice command, a 10′ leash is required. Owners must clean up after their pets.
So if fido leaves a little bit more than his paw prints on the sand anywhere on the island, especially the beach, you must pick it up (doggie bags are typically provided at Massengale & Coast Guard access points).
WHERE TO STAY?
BEST TIMES TO VISIT GEORGIA BEACHES?
Unless you like crowds, it’s advisable to avoid the island during these times:
- typical long weekend holidays
- Spring Break
- Georgia Florida football weekend
- week of RSM Classic Golf Tournament
- Labor Day weekend
ST SIMONS ISLAND BEACH WEATHER
The Golden Isles are famous for their mild climate with frequent breezes from the ocean. The average temperature overall is just below 70 degrees farenheight. July, August, and the start of September have an ungodly amount of humidity and warmth.
The winter season is mild as well with daytime temps typically reaching the 50s and 60s. January tends to be the coldest but it’s still fun. To me, riding bikes around the island in January and February are the most fun! I do not advise it in July or August!
Spring and Fall seasons, of course, bringing the most comfortable, plesant weather of all in my opinion. But that’s how it is within the entire south.
OTHER BEACHES NEAR ST SIMONS ISLAND GA
There are many beaches that dot the Georgia Coast and intriguing surrounding areas:
Don’t forget to join the GURU CREW!