Choose among a wide variety of accommodations along the 100-mile Georgia Coast, from rustic to luxurious, city-central to remote.
By Hope S. Philbrick
From the state’s oldest city to its secluded islands, the Georgia Coast offers a diverse range of tourism experiences: historic sites to outdoor adventures, remote retreats to popular city streets, golf courses to national wildlife refuges and more. Play as hard as you desire or just sit and watch waves. Then sleep easy: Accommodation options include upscale modern hotels, historic inns, quaint bed and breakfasts, lodges and campsites. Choose one or mix it up over the course of several days.
Here are just a few of the options we’ve tested (so far—check back, we’ll feature Coastal Georgia again in future issues):
Communities along the Georgia Coast are listed from north to south; lodging recommendations within each community are alphabetized.
Georgia’s oldest city may look familiar even if you’ve never visited Savannah before: It has set the stage for 87 movies, including the hits Forrest Gump, Something to Talk About, Glory, The Legend of Bagger Vance and Midnight of the Garden of Good and Evil. Take a guided tour to learn historic facts, funny legends and oddball trivia. Then explore the city on your own to savor its unique charms.
Andaz Savannah Hotel
14 Barnard St.
Savannah, GA 31401
Feel pampered and posh at this luxurious boutique hotel, which is conveniently located in the historic district and within walking distance of major attractions. Each of the 151 guest rooms offers plush beds, spa-like bathrooms, state-of-the-art technology, excellent service and upscale amenities. This high-style contemporary hotel was formerly known as the Avia and is now part of the Hyatt family.
- Free Internet access for all guests (wired and wireless)
- Some guestrooms have bathtubs
- Each guestroom is equipped with a coffee maker. There are also complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and snacks available.
- The “market to table” restaurant 22 Square is located on site.
- The hotel has its own on-site parking, a real perk in Savannah, though it does incur a separate fee.
- The hotel is 100% smoke-free and pet-free.
- Children are welcome, yet they’re not as commonly seen here as they are at some national chains.
Ever dream of owning beachfront property? Who hasn’t!
Feel the special glory of being able to wiggle your toes in the sand after walking just a few yards out the door. It’s a thrilling lifestyle experience that you may not be able to afford full-time (few can!), but you can make your dreams come true for a night or longer. Whether you’re looking for a condo or a mansion, the friendly, knowledgeable staffers at two Tybee Island rental companies help make the reservation and check-in/-out process as simple and pleasant as possible. Tybee Island has few hotels but hundreds of fully furnished vacation properties ready to accommodate from one to 16 people, offered at a range of budget-friendly to luxury prices. So bring your Real Estate dreams to life while vacationing on Georgia’s funky and fun Tybee Island.
Multiple companies rent beachfront properties on Tybee Island, including:
Oceanfront Cottage Rentals, LLC
800-786-5889 or 912-786-0054
Tybee Vacation Rentals
- Amenities vary by property, so specify your needs and requirements when making a reservation. Some properties do offer wi-fi, pools, hot tubs, luxury bathrooms and more. Most offer basic kitchen supplies including coffee makers and tea pots–but not food or supplies such as shampoo and blow dryers that are standard at most hotels, so plan accordingly.
- Rates vary by season, property, location (e.g., proximity to the beach) as well as included amenities. Sample pricing for weekly rentals include $1,000 for a one-bedroom condo with a pool and $6,350 for a beach house that sleeps 16 to 18 people. A minimal three-night stay may be required.
- Summer is typically the busiest season for Tybee Island tourism. Fall and spring are usually less popular. The south end of the island is more commercial than the north end.
- Odds of Encountering Children: Rental houses and cottages are free of children, unless you bring your own; a rented condo may or may not be adjacent to vacationing families. Tybee Island is a vacation destination that’s very family-friendly. Visit during the week and/or during the school year to most easily stake out a private stretch of beach.
This seafood capital, located midway along Georgia’s coastline, houses one of the largest shrimp fleets on the East Coast. A worthy destination in its own right, the adorable town serves as a gateway to Sapelo Island.
Blue Heron Inn, a Bed & Breakfast
1346 Blue Heron Lane SE
Darien, GA 31305
This respite offers marsh views guaranteed to reduce stress, excellent bird-watching opportunities, friendly hosts, cozy beds, tasty breakfasts and a convenient central Georgia Coast location.
Owners Jan and Bill Chamberlain will spoil you with gourmet breakfasts, sunset wine and cheese parties and, depending on your preferences, either stay out of your way while you lounge on their dock overlooking the salt marsh or help organize all the details of an action-packed itinerary.
- Internet access is free.
- Some guest bathrooms have bathtubs; all have showers.
- Coffee and tea are readily available in the main-level lounge and dining area.
- Breakfast is included with your stay.
- Parking is free.
- Odds of Encountering Children: Possible; if you want to avoid it, let the owners know your preferences and ask when to visit (they can recommend dates accordingly based on their other bookings).
- Rooms and cottages are available. Rates from $125/night.
Darien Waterfront Inn
711 Fort King George Drive
Clean, cozy and cute, it’s operated by Jan’s equally friendly sister. The inn opened in a new location in 2018.
- Continential breakfast is included with your stay.
- Parking is free.
- Odds of Encountering Children: Possible. For the best odds, visit when school is in session.
- Rates from $95/night
St. Simons Island
Brunswick is the port city gateway to four barrier islands—St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island—all of which draw tourists year-round. Georgians routinely debate the merits of their personal favorite among these destinations and exploring the unique vibe of each island is fun. But you can’t go wrong making St. Simons Island your home base.
The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort
201 Arnold Rd.
St. Simons Island, GA 31522
Wearing one of the paper crowns available at check-in is purely optional, since feeling like royalty comes naturally at The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort. From its stunning beach to spectacular amenities, guests have been lured to this St. Simons Island location since it first opened its doors in 1935 as a private dance club. Transitioning into a resort before World War II, it has built a reputation for elegance and warm Southern hospitality while serving as a haven for dignitaries, celebrities and discerning business and recreational travelers. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a member of Historic Hotels of America, The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 2010. The golf course, which occupies dramatic low-country acreage and has been called the ‘best marsh front course,’ recently received a $3.6 million transformation. A regal vibe reverberates from the tee box to the pool, from the breakfast buffet to each cozy bed.
The resort boasts a spectacular oceanfront setting, an expansive tri-pool recreation area, 18-hole golf course, on-site spa, multiple dining options, premium conference facilities and several different types of comfortable guestrooms, including standard, suites and two- and three-bedroom villas.
- Bathtubs are standard.
- Coffee makers are available in each guestroom.
- On-site parking is included with the price of an overnight stay.
- 21 Plus Salute! In addition to a sandy beach, the property boasts several outdoor pools—including one reserved exclusively for adults.
- Odds of Encountering Children: High. Decrease the odds by booking your stay for weekdays during the school year.
- Rates from $119/night.
The small town gateway to Cumberland Island is a worthy destination in its own right, with quaint shops and a spectacular waterfront park with views of Amelia Island, Florida.
Spencer House Inn Bed & Breakfast
200 Osborne St.
St. Marys, GA 31558
This historic house (circa 1872) is now an Inn and Bed & Breakfast that offers gracious service, friendly hosts, cushy beds and delicious breakfasts. Located in the historic district of St. Marys, it’s a convenient base for daytrips to the remote Cumberland Island. An impressive library and DVD collection provide relaxed entertainment options. The 14 spacious guestrooms have been tastefully decorated; some bathrooms feature deep clawfoot soaking bathtubs. Staying here feels like being welcomed into the family and, like the draw of a favorite aunt, you’ll feel compelled to return.
- Complimentary wi-fi
- All guestrooms have private bathrooms, most of which have bathtubs.
- A full breakfast buffet is served each morning. Signature peach iced tea and sweet treats are offered every afternoon.
- Free on-site parking
- 100% smoke-free
- Rates from $135/night
- Be sure to get to Lang’s Marina Seafood Market Restaurant [307 W. St. Marys St., 912-882-4432] to feast on rock shrimp, crab legs and more.
This rural Georgia town isn’t directly on the Coast, but it’s near the spectacular Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and Swamp making it an ideal choice if you want to visit that natural wonder—trust us, you do—yet don’t want to kayak and camp in the swamp (which is an option, though one we opted not to test out ourselves. If you camp overnight in the swamp, please post a comment and share your experience).
Folkston, GA 31537
Get away from it all at this remote lodge that’s nestled in 60-acre woodlands and accessed by driving down a long unpaved road.
An unexpected taste of the Wild West in the Deep South, this ranch serves as a luxurious reminder that pioneers settled the South long before getting wild in the West.
Learn to ride horseback, trot down trails through wilderness, help herd cattle, take a buggy ride, play horse shoes, go fishing or just relax in the gazebo.
Upscale cabins are available for rent as overnight accommodations, just in case you aren’t looking to exactly replicate the cowboy fireside camping experience. But if that’s your goal, the owners will be happy to oblige. (Just remember that alligators frequent these parts.)
- Upscale cabins provide all the comforts an overnight guest could need. RV and camp sites are also available.
- Guest bathrooms in the upscale cabins do offer bathtubs.
- Coffee makers are available in the upscale cabins, which include a fully-functional kitchen.
- On-site parking is free.
- All ages are allowed here. Accommodations include stand-alone cabins, where the odds of being awakened by cries for 2:00 a.m. feedings are minimal unless the baby is yours.
What To Do…
Where To Eat…
Brunswick & The Golden Isles
Okefenokee Chamber of Commerce
St. Marys Tourism Board
Tybee Island Tourism Council
1-877-SAVANNAH or 912-944-0455
–—Photos Courtesy Visit Savannah, The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort, Spencer House Inn Bed & Breakfast, Newell Lodge; Tybee and Blue Heron photos © HSP Media LLC
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion.