Georgia is known for a lot of cool things, but the word "island" probably isn't top-of-mind in a discussion about The Peach State. Most likely, the only three islands that come to mind are St. Simons, Jekyll and Tybee Island. But, what if we told you there is a hidden Georgia island with palm trees and 15 miles of white sandy beaches? We wouldn't be lying and it's so beautiful you won't even believe you're in Georgia.
Ossabaw Island, Georgia's third largest barrier island, is about 20 miles (by water) from Savannah. The 26,000-acre island is breathtakingly gorgeous and many don't know of its public access or even existence. Although the cherished island is protected for its environmental and ecological value, 13 miles of its awe-striking beaches are open to the public.
The only way to access Ossabaw Island is by boat, which you can rent from Tybee Island in Savannah. You can also hop on one of Tybee's boat tours that take excursions to the island as well, including Bull River Cruises and Savannah Coastal Ecotours. If you're feeling adventurous, you can travel by kayak.
You and your friends can sink in the sand, soak up the sun and splash in the water all day on this island getaway. The inland areas beyond the dunes, however, are completely off-limits; Ossabaw is a heritage preserved island used mainly for research and study.
You are in luck though, because day trips and overnight stays can be arranged by the Ossabaw Island Foundation. On these trips, you will take in the island's rich history when you witness restored slave cabins and a pink spanish-style mansion from the 1920s.
You can also participate in events like archaeology day trips, turtle walk overnight trips and the annual pig roast.
The island is known for its eerily iconic trees that have fallen due to the rise of the Atlantic Ocean. They add a strangely beautiful aesthetic to the already mysterious hidden island. You'll be lucky to see some of the free-roaming animals on your visit to the nearly-untouched treasure.
Wild boars and alligators roam, so keep an eye out for safety. Logger-head turtles are prominent on the beach and further inland are lots of deer, donkeys and armadillos. Day trips are $180 for 1-6 people and $30 for each additional person (30 person max).
It's not too late for a last minute summer adventure, so let your friends in on the secret and plan your trip to the intriguing Ossabaw Island. Discover more hidden beaches in Georgia by renting this entire island for cheap.
Price: Free! (or $180 for inland trips)
Address: Chatham County, Georgia
Why you should go: To take a Caribbean staycation with friends right here in Georgia to enjoy gorgeous pristine beaches on a preserved island.