If dogs had the ability to keep beach resort bucket lists, Jekyll Island, a wild and wonderful jewel of the Georgia coast, would definitely place in the top five. Although popular — the annual Shrimp and Grits Festival really packs ’em in — the 5,700-acre island’s laid-back, semi-developed nature means that its beaches, all 10 miles of them, aren’t perpetually packed with people and their pets.
With only a few nesting bird areas off limits, pooches are welcome on Jekyll Island’s pristine beaches year-round with no time restrictions. Dogs must be leashed at all times, although during off-season and on more remote expanses of sand, you might see a well-behaved pooch or two freely frolicking in the surf. The otherworldly and hugely photogenic Driftwood Beach, on the north end of Jekyll Island, is particularly popular with dog owners given that their four-legged companions could literally spend hours sniffing about this so-called “Gothic tree graveyard” without getting restless.