One of my favorite features about north Florida and southeast Georgia are the variety of beaches you can find on any given day. Each location is a new adventure, a new vibe and a new way to see the charming vitality of the east coast. You can head to Ponte Vedra for that rich caramel sand stocked with beautiful shells and shark teeth, or head to the Jacksonville Beach Pier for a classic white sand beach with bars, shops and surfers galore. Or you can head even further north to Amelia Island or Jekyll Island for some truly unique and serene beaches covered in wild sea oats, winding bike paths and pristine tree lined coastlines. This is where I’d like to take you in this blog.
There is a majestic beach at the north end of Jekyll Island called Driftwood Beach. Its personality is unlike any other beach and changes with the seasons. Most locals and tourists flock to this area during the spring and summer months, while kids are out of school and the water and air turn warm and inviting. However, my favorite time of the year to put my toes in this sand is during the quiet transition into the cooler temperatures of fall and winter, where the energy becomes a bit more romantic and mystical.
During these chillier months, the crowds are less and the serenity is much, much more. The holiday weeks/weekends can be a bit more crowded because of all that Jekyll Island offers around the holiday season, and I’ll chat more about all of the island happenings in my next blog. But for now, I wanted to focus on Driftwood Beach, how to get there and where to stay.
If you live in southern Georgia or northern Florida, a day trip is very possible. But I recommend staying a night if you can and really enjoying your day and evening. We’ve done both. My new favorite experience has quickly become camping at nearby Jekyll Island campground. But this place books fast, so you’ll want to book way in advance or keep checking for cancelations. We went on a non-holiday weekend so it wasn’t completely impossible to snag a spot. We also drove an RV, to really feel like bougie campers (it’s going to be very hard to go back to a tent after that).
The tree covered campground was really nice, camping and RV lots were a pretty good size and it was overall really peaceful. All of our fellow campers were super friendly and kind and many of them brought their pups. There’s a very small shop at the campground where they sell some basic essentials along with some souvenirs. There is one quaint grocery store on the island, Jekyll Market, where you can get almost everything you need. It also has some really scrumptious items like chocolate covered nuts, fresh baked items, a variety of beer on tap and a yummy BBQ walk up restaurant. It’s also right in the small town square where you’ll find restaurants, bars, shops, a giant fire pit with Adirondack chairs and lots and lots of bike paths. We brought a few essentials from home (coffee, chips, s’mores, etc.) but they have a good selection and some unique things you’ll want to try. They also sell a special bug spray specifically for gnats that really works, and if you’re camping you’re going to need this.
Now back to Driftwood Beach. You can either drive to the beach, there is parking for visitors and it’s only a short walk to the beach from the designated parking areas. Or, if you’re staying at the campground I recommend taking a bike ride or walking. There are various paths you’ll wander down on your way there. The bike ride is my favorite part (because you know, Sublime Rides). If you’re an early riser, go around sunrise for an even more special experience. Our last trip, we woke up at the crack of dawn and rode our bikes right as the sun was rising. The beauty of the calm, sparkling, diamond lined water is indescribable at that time of day.
Once you arrive to Driftwood Beach, you’ll know it. The trees are unlike anything else. Somehow creepy (because they’re mostly dead) while also holding so much beauty with its juxtaposition to the moving ocean, birds and the deep greens of the surrounding trees that line the dunes. It’s pretty surreal. The kids love to climb, hide, duck and play throughout the twisting, winding branches of the trees and there are countless areas to hide, perch and sit. Sometimes there are gnats, so remember to grab that spray from the market I told you about. But as it gets cooler and if there’s a breeze it’s soooo (*big sigh*) dreamy.
You’ll see lots of engagement photos on social medial with this beach as the backdrop because it’s a pretty romantic and unique spot. Most visitors tend to just walk along the shore, observe, sit and take in the scenery. But you’ll also find some people with chairs, toys and a picnic who make an afternoon of it. We tend to go back and forth at different times of the day to see the various phases of the sun and shadows at this spot and enjoy the walk and biking aspect of it.
I highly recommend checking out this truly enchanting spot, put it on your fall/winter (or whenever) list of amazing things to do. And if you want to make a weekend out of it during the holiday season, well they’ve got some pretty cool seasoning offers I’ll get into next time.
But for now…
10 things to pack to camp & visit Driftwood Beach:
- Backpack for biking supplies and water bottles.
- Shoes for walking along the branch covered beach.
- A good camera for those beach shots.
- Bug spray (get the kind for gnats).
- Folding chairs for camp site.
- S’mores for camping.
- Sublime Rides shirts/hoodies, hats & gear (hoodies for night time).
- Games and jam box for hanging at the camp site.
- First Aid kit & lighters/matches/starter log for fire pit.
Go to: jekyllisland.com for more information on the campground and to check their available sites.
Stay tuned to learn more about Jekyll Island adventures and all the charm it has to offer.