Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island is one of Georgia’s gems and easily one of my favorite places to experience while traveling. The beach has been created by erosion of the sand which has caused the trees to uproot and die. The result is a stunning, otherworldly landscape that is popular among photographers. ” One of the benefits of van camping without an itinerary is that you can stop anywhere that catches your eye, which is how my husband and I came to be at Jekyll Island. When researching things to do near Savannah, Georgia, I stumbled upon an article by Atlas Obscura which mentioned the beach. I knew then that I wanted to stop.
By the time I found out about Driftwood Beach, we had already driven past the Golden Isles. My husband isn’t a fan of backtracking so we vowed to stop on our return trip to Ohio.
Jekyll Island was well-worth the wait. We were also able to rent a campground for the night which allowed us to visit Driftwood Beach in the evening and at sunrise. Both offer beautiful views.
The Jekyll Island Campground is located across the road from Clam Creek and a short walk to Driftwood Beach. To reach the beach, we walked across the street to the entrance of Clam Creek and walked along the paved trail that runs along Riverview Drive. The walk to the beach entrance is just over 1/2 a mile from the campground. You’ll find a small parking area along the road which fits about 4-6 vehicles (if I remember correctly). Note: Our Dodge Promaster van was too long to fit in the spaces properly so if you drive an oversized vehicle you may be better off heading to Clam Creek, parking and accessing the beach from there.
You’ll see a short paved trail that turns to the left to continue to the bike path. To reach the beach, continue on the sandy trail and you’ll find the beach straight ahead.
Driftwood Beach nearly took my breath away. Incredible does not describe how amazing it is. The various brown hues of the dead wood, some dry, some wet from the tide, the gray sand and blue skies combine to create a beautiful color pallette.
Some trees appear to emerge from the sand.
While others have been ripped out of the sand, revealing their shallow roots.
The beach is a jumbled mass of stumps, trunks, and limbs contorted and weathered by the wind.
You’ll find hints of color and interesting patterns if you take your time and look for it.
We spent about an hour to an hour and a half on the beach the first night we arrived.
My husband thought the beach was fascinating so he didn’t mind that I wanted to take a million photos.
The beach is mainly flat, but you’ll find some areas that are pretty rocky.
I photographed everything. From the lichen…
to the red berries that stood out as a stark contrast to the rest of the beach.
Finally, my husband could stand it no more.
The good news is, he had agreed to accompany me the next morning for sunrise photos.
He wasn’t up for strolling along the beach so he grabbed his reclining camp chair, bundled up with his favorite fleece blanket and settled in for a front row seat of the sunrise while I wandered down the beach and back.
Early on, I identified this tree as my focus but so did several other photographers. So I trekked down the beach to see if something else caught my eye.
While I had packed my tripod for our van camping trip, I didn’t take it to the beach with me. It would have been a good idea.
We were there just over an hour to capture the sunrise.
It was so worth it!
I really could have stayed at Driftwood Beach all day but we had other places to explore on the island.
Have you been to Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island?
© 2019, Tonya Prater. All rights reserved.