Central Dunes is the Perfect Georgia Beach for Family Fun in the Sun

If you like to people-watch, Jekyll Island's Central Dunes is the perfect Georgia beach to practice ogling your fellow man.

Central Dunes may be the busiest beach on Jekyll Island. Note I didn't say crowded. Acres of wide, packed sand lead to the sea, and there's always plenty of room for either active play or just lolling around in the sand and surf, vegging out and enjoying the scenery.

And the scenery is awesome. The great Atlantic Ocean stretches away to the horizon (and beyond - yonder lies Africa).

North of you is more beach, bordered by maritime forest, with a few hotels peeking through the trees, but mostly buffered from sight.

South is South Dunes Beach - even more sand, wider still, with not as many folks around.

And inland are pristine dunes adorned with sea oats, Southern Wax Myrtle, and maritime forest.


The air is fresh here, scented by the sea, and the sea breeze brisk and refreshing. This Georgia beach lies just north of the Convention Center. Close by, there's a finger of sandbar pointing from the beach towards Africa. It's a popular attraction for beach-comers at low-tide, but beware - the sandbar can be dangerous.

The wind can be strong at times, but that just brings out the kite boarders, adventurous souls who jump (literally) at the chance to zip over the waves on a skinny board with a huge kite attached. These folks can grab big air when the wind is up, and resemble elegant seabirds skimming the whitecaps - until they wipe out, when they look more like an ungainly albatross.

Offshore, look for dolphins trolling for fish in the shallows, or pelicans flying inches above the wave tops. Further out, shrimp boat silhouettes ply the waters, seining for Wild Georgia Shrimp.

If you like to walk, there's plenty of sand to walk on. It's mostly firm packed and easy to negotiate. Wear plenty of sunblock. Time can get away from you here, and you might walk further than you think - it can be a long way back to your access point when you're tired and foot sore.

Watch for sea shells along the way. And, if your lucky, you might find the odd shark's tooth lying at your feet. (If you're unlucky, you could find the odd shark's tooth - still attached to the shark - clamped onto your foot - just kidding!).


Access to Central Dunes is easy. There's a big public parking lot adjacent to Tortuga Jacks. When my boys were little, we used to come here on bikes after a rain and ride through the puddles - the boys loved it! Such simple pleasures...

There's also parking at the Jekyll Island Convention Center. A nice picnic area lies before the dunes, along with a boardwalk with showers at the inland side. Bring a picnic lunch, and take a load off.

Don't care to drive? Ride your bike to this Georgia beach. Bike trails parallel the sand (though they twist a bit to navigate around Tortuga Jacks and the Convention Center). You'll find benches at strategic spots along the bike trail in case you need to stop and rest, or just want to enjoy the fantastic ocean panorama.


Central Dunes is the perfect Georgia beach and, along with all the other Jekyll Island beaches, provide a wonderland of adventure for fun-loving families. Come for the sun, sand, and surf. And stay for the people watching. Just remember - they're watching you, too!

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