Jekyll Island’s Driftwood Beach: What You Need to Know Before You Go

Girl walking on fallen tree at Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, Georgia.

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We recently took a trip down to Georgia. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all for fun, but we did manage to make a little time for some fun things, like seeing Driftwood Beach!

We made the quick drive from Brunswick to Jekyll Island, which required an $8.00 entry fee. Then found our way to this ‘secret’ beach. (It’s definitely not a secret, but it’s off the beaten path and feels tucked away compared to the beaches that we’re used to.)

Here’s what you need to know before you go:

(With its beautiful light and textures, its a photographer’s paradise.)

How to Find It

Thankfully, this beach was easy to find. Located right off of North Beachview Drive, the GPS on my iPhone took us right to it. (I just typed in ‘Driftwood Beach’ and it popped right up.) Positioned at the northern tip of Jekyll Island, Driftwood Beach is truly unlike any beach we have ever seen.

There is a small parking area near the road. It was full, but we were able to park on the side of the road without any issues. It is also within walking distance of the Jekyll Island Campground. So, if you’re camping it might be easier to walk or ride bikes.

After parking, you have to find the trail to the beach. I honestly can’t remember if there is a sign or marker, but the path was well-traveled and easy to find. It’s a sandy trail, so it might be difficult for strollers or wagons, but not impossible.

The wooded trail to the beach on Jekyll Island.
(This little trail made us feel like we discovered a secret beach.)

Why Is It Called Driftwood Beach?

Over time, erosion and rising tides have slowly encroached on the trees lining the beaches of Jekyll Island. The Atlantic Ocean’s salt water killed the trees, but they remain {mostly} preserved as driftwood.

Driftwood is defined as any wood that has washed ashore along a lake, sea, or river. The wind and water wear away the outer bark of the tree, exposing the grain and whorls beneath.

Cool knots on a tree at Driftwood Beach in Georgia.

(All the amazing texture of the driftwood.)

On average, driftwood decays within 2 years. But depending on the size and conditions, it can last much longer. It can even stay afloat in the ocean for up to 17 months!

The sun-bleached skeletons of dead trees fill Driftwood Beach to create a haunting scene.

Just a cursory glance at the hashtag #driftwoodbeach on Instagram shows breathtaking bridal portraits and travel blogger photos.

Driftwood Beach was the perfect backdrop for pictures!

(They’re nothing fancy, but I thought the pictures of the girls turned out pretty!)

Can You Swim?

Technically, yes. There is nothing prohibiting you from swimming at Driftwood Beach. However, unlike other beaches in the area, Driftwood Beach is more for exploring than swimming.

The driftwood stretches out into the water even at low tide. To swim, you would have to maneuver your way around it. Although the water is pretty clear, it would be easy to trip over the slippery logs in the water.

We did see one family playing in the edge of the water, but for the most part, people were wearing dry clothes and playing on land.

Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, Georgia.

There were plenty of people lounging in hammocks, taking pictures, climbing trees, and playing with their pups.

Walking down the beach will require a little bit of navigating across the bare bones of the trees depending on the tide. We were there at low tide and saw several people riding bikes and setting up for bonfires with no issues.

Driftwood beach
(Even my husband was climbing the trees!)
A conch we found on Driftwood Beach.
(Despite the low tide, we found a conch in his shell.)
(We put him back in the water to continue on his way.)

Seeing this beach was the highlight of our whole trip!

It is truly a unique experience and I hope we get a chance to visit again in the future.

You can see more of our other family adventures here:

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