Blackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuge Beach

Sandy beach
GQPX+F5 Shellman Bluff, GA, USA
38 miles from Savannah, GA
Water quality
Grades suggested by our reviewer
Water Quality
Unknown (read more)
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About this beach

Warnings and hazards

No pets are allowed.

No camping.

Fireworks are prohibited on the beach.

With the beach, marsh, and maritime forest habitats, Blackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuge is a scenic destination for fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing, birdwatching, strolling, hiking, and beach recreation.

In the old days, this island was used by the infamous British pirate “Blackbeard” as a hiding-and-waiting place for his ships; then the US Navy used it as a quarantine station and source of lumber. Now it is one of the most secluded barrier islands in the state – a perfect place to enjoy the nature of Georgia away from crowds.

Location and Access

Midway down the Georgia coast, Blackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuge is located 40 miles south of Savannah and just north of Sapelo Island. It is conveniently reached from Brunswick, Darien, or St. Simons Island. As there is no road bridge, access to the island is only by water (boat or kayak). You can go by yourself or take a guided tour.

The refuge features free admission and is open from sunrise to sunset daily all year round, with the exception of two several-day deer hunts in fall and winter (check out the official website for more information).


In addition to the saltwater and freshwater marsh and forest-covered dunes, the refuge includes miles of sandy beach. It is peaceful, unspoiled, and stunning, with a great “boneyard” area. The sand is good for shelling – there are many sand dollars, horseshoe crabs, whelk, etc. The beach is mostly deserted. It is so long that it seems never-ending.

Hiking, Biking, and Wildlife Viewing

There are several designated hike and bike trails running through maritime forest and marsh. Please follow the marked trails in order to protect wildlife and not to get lost.

Since the island is home to many species of wildlife and birds, it is a good destination for wildlife observation and birdwatching. Local species include songbirds, shorebirds, bald eagles, wood storks, American oystercatcher, piping plover, and waterfowl. Alligators, loggerhead sea turtles, deer, and smaller wildlife can also be seen.


Saltwater and creek fishing is allowed while freshwater fishing in the ponds is prohibited. They say fishing is especially good in the area between Blackbeard and Sapelo Islands.

Driving Time

You can drive till Brunswick, Darien, or St. Simons Island, leave your car and take a boat trip till Blackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Driving time till Brunswick:

  • 1 hour 5 minutes from Jacksonville, FL
  • 1 hour 15 minutes from Savannah, GA
  • 2 hours 50 minutes from Charleston, SC

Driving time till Darien:

  • 1 hour from Savannah, GA
  • 1 hour 10 minutes from Jacksonville, FL
  • 2 hours 40 minutes from Charleston, SC

Driving time till St. Simons Island:

  • 1 hour 20 minutes from Jacksonville, FL
  • 1 hour 30 minutes from Savannah, GA
  • 3 hours 10 minutes from Charleston, SC


Hotels and rentals

If you're considering staying for one or even a few nights, there are plenty of options available near the beach. Chose your preferred accomodation type and your favourite room provider:

Beaches nearby

Additionally, there's a number of beaches near Blackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuge Beach which you can visit:

Beach reviewed by:
Photos from Google Maps
Driftwood on the beachSand dollars and other sea shellsBlackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuge BeachSandcastle with two American flagsMan in a kayakDriftwood with enormous roots on the beachBlackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuge
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Blackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuge Beach videos

A relaxing flight over Blackbeard Creek
A serene drone made video of the island
Wildlife on Blackbeard Island
An astonishing video of birds and animals inhabiting the island

Weather conditions

Current weather at the beach and 3 day forecast

Best times to visit

Average temperature (°F)
Beach map and directions
The beach is located in Savannah, Georgia GQPX+F5 Shellman Bluff, GA, USA (Open on Google Maps)
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Blackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuge Beach reviews and photos
Reviewed on: April 7, 2020