6 Best Beach Towns in Georgia for Boaters to Explore
Georgia, with its diverse coastal plain, holds a world of boating adventures. With 110 miles of Atlantic coastline and 15 barrier islands, there’s lots of saltwater boating to be had, but inland, there are lots of large lakes and river systems near major metropolitan areas that are fun to explore as well. Here are six of the best beach towns to cruise around:
- Savannah, GA
- Brunswick, GA
- St. Mary’s, GA
- Atlanta, GA
- Augusta, GA
- Greensboro/Eatonton, GA
1. Savannah, GA
Although technically not on the coast, this city is on the Savannah River that empties into the Atlantic Ocean so there’s quite a bit of boating nearby. You can tour the historic district by trolley or take a river cruise.
For a boating experience all your own, rent a boat through a service like Boatsetter and head out to Tybee Island and Georgia’s tallest lighthouse.
2. Brunswick, GA
A well-known port and shrimping town, Brunswick is home to lots of marinas where local as well as transient boats are docked. The historic downtown is worth a tour, or charter a boat and head out to Jekyll Island, where the wealthy used to spend mild winters.
Check out Driftwood Beach with weathered trees and try some of the local Brunswick stew. Alternatively, you can visit St. Simons Island with its Fort Frederica National Monument or browse the many art and antique shops and farmer’s markets.
3. St. Mary’s, GA
Shops, restaurants, and the Crooked River State Park on the Intercoastal Waterway will give you lots to do in St. Mary’s near the Georgia/Florida border.
Take a boat out to Cumberland Island, a mostly undeveloped area where you can camp, hike, see wild horses, and check out the Dungeness ruins of an old Carnegie estate.
4. Atlanta, GA
There’s no end to all the things you can do in the state’s capitol of Georgia, but one of those is to go boating on Lake Lanier. This reservoir northeast of Atlanta is 44 miles long and is chock full of islands.
Resorts and sand beaches dot the shoreline, and marinas are everywhere, so it’s easy to find a pontoon or tow boat to rent for the day and then enjoy Atlanta’s nightlife after.
5. Augusta, GA
Right on the Georgia/South Carolina border, the city of Augusta is just 15 miles southeast of Clark’s Hill Lake, where the fishing is off the hook.
The lake is formed by the Savannah River that flows through on its way south to the Atlantic. Augusta is known for its very walkable downtown and loads of museums.
6. Greensboro, GA & Eatonton, GA
Greensboro and Eatonton are charming southern towns, both at an equal distance from Lake Oconee, a major boating destination in this part of the state! Keep it simple by camping or going posh and staying at the Ritz Carlton.
Play as much golf as you like or rent a boat and get a water view of the luxury homes on the shoreline. Anglers will love the fish selection in this large lake which includes largemouth and striped bass and a wide variety of catfish.
So much to do in Georgia
Georgia has coastline, lakes, rivers, and mountains so you could spend an entire summer touring the state and never run out of things to do whether on town or out in the wilderness.
And with so much water around, be sure to get on a boat that will make it easy for the whole family to explore each place together.
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Zuzana Prochazka is an award-winning freelance journalist and photographer with regular contributions to more than a dozen sailing and powerboating magazines and online publications including Southern Boating, SEA, Latitudes & Attitudes and SAIL. She is SAIL magazines Charter Editor and the Executive Director of Boating Writers International. Zuzana serves as judge for SAIL’s Best Boats awards and for Europe’s Best of Boats in Berlin.
A USCG 100 Ton Master, Zuzana founded and manages a flotilla charter organization called Zescapes that takes guests adventure sailing at destinations worldwide.
Zuzana has lived in Europe, Africa and the United States and has traveled extensively in South America, the islands of the South Pacific and Mexico.