Public beach access to Jekyll Island beaches is easy. There are many places where the family can easily cross to the beach. As all the hotels have their own beach access points, I'm not listing them with the public entrances. Hotel parking lots are for hotel guests.
I don't really think anyone would complain if you parked in one of their lots temporarily, but there are so many other places for public beach access, why tempt fate? If bike riding, however, go ahead, use a hotel access point if you come to one and want to hit the beach for a bit.
I've listed the following beach access points from roughly north traveling south.
Clam Creek Picnic Area -
Park in the picnic area. Cross Clam Creek via the pedestrian bridge, and walk down to the sand. You can walk around the point to a mostly deserted beach fronting the sound.
Driftwood Beach Access -
Keep walking south and you'll hit Jekyll Island's famed Driftwood Beach - but it's a long walk, especially if you're hauling beach chairs, toys and kids along.
The best way to find beach access to Driftwood Beach is to travel on Riverview Drive left from Clam Creek till you reach the Marsh Trail access. You can park on the left just past there.
Grab your beach toys and head to the Marsh Trail trail-head access point. The paved Marsh Trail heads off to the left. Pass it and keep going straight ahead, through the brush and trees. You'll come out on Driftwood Beach.
Neighborhood Crossovers -
Head further south along Beachview Drive, past Villas-by-the-Sea and the Jekyll Oceanfront Clarion Resort. You'll reach a primarily residential area on the left, where several streets branch off from Beachview. Public beach access from these streets are as follows:
These are the streets with public beach access that I'm aware of - there may be a few more. They provide easy access from the residential rental properties off Beachview Drive and on either side of it, as well as interior homes. The beach is just a short walk away from most rental properties on Jekyll Island.
The Jekyll Island Club Beach Pavilion -
We've reached the beach from here many a time. You can park in their parking lot when the pavilion has not been reserved for parties or weddings. Take time to buy a frozen yogurt or a drink while there.
The perfect public beach access if you have to drive. Park in the large parking lot adjacent to the Convention Center, cross the boardwalk, and you're on the beach. Great Dunes Park has restrooms, too, as well as beach showers.
The Convention Center -
in the Convention Center lot, and it's just a short walk to the Great Dunes Park, a perfect place for parties or wedding photography. Walkways here
take you right to the beach. There are also direct-access walkways from the Convention Center itself.
South Dunes Picnic Area -
Park under the shade of the spreading live oaks. At South Dunes there are several boardwalks that cross the high dunes and wind through maritime forest, southern wax myrtle and dune grasses to reach the sand. South Dunes also has restrooms and showers available.
Head further south along Beachview Drive. Turn left at the Soccer Complex and you can reach the beach via the Glory Boardwalk. This boardwalk was built to help move equipment and personnel during the filming of the Civil War movie Glory. It's now one of the best places to view wildlife on Jekyll Island.
4-H Club Camp -
If camp is not in session, park in their lot and access St. Andrew's Beach from the camp.
St. Andrew's Picnic Area -
Park in the picnic area and you can easily reach the uncrowded St. Andrews Beach, one of the best places for island bird watching.
Family beach fun is easy to find on Jekyll Island because there are so many public beach access points. There never seems to be too many people on the beach, and you can reach the beach from almost anywhere.
And Jekyll Island beaches are not only kid-friendly. They're dog friendly beaches as well.
So grab the kids and the sun block, find your most convenient public beach access, and hit the sand for an afternoon of family beach fun!