Driftwood Beach Named #1 Beach in U.S. by Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet has announced their Top 12 Best Beaches in the U.S. in 2024 — and a Georgia beach is #1!

Driftwood Beach Named #1 Beach in U.S. by Lonely Planet

#1: Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island

Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island has been named by Lonely Planet as the Best Beach in the U.S. in 2024…and we are not surprised.

The gnarled oaks, the amazing views, the sunsets, the fun tide pools…there is so much to enjoy on Driftwood Beach. Whether you visit on a sunny day to enjoy the water with the trees as your backdrop, or you visit on a gloomy day to enjoy the haunting views of the trees in the mist — it’s always a beautiful time to visit.

Driftwood Beach is located on the north end of Jekyll Island. The weathered and sun-bleached trees are left behind from years of erosion — some may be hundreds of years old, while others are more recent.

If you haven’t been to Jekyll Island to see Driftwood Beach — you must add it to your list! Jekyll Island is only 5 hours from Atlanta, but Driftwood Beach will make you feel like you’re worlds away.

Jekyll Island is a favorite of ours, and we know you’ll love it too. Want to head down there soon? Check out our list of 7+ Great Things To Do on Jekyll Island for Spring Break.

Other U.S. Beaches on the List

So now you know Driftwood Beach is #1 on the list…but what about the rest? Quite a few of the “Best Beaches in the U.S.” are found out west or in Hawaii — but there’s also a couple of Florida beaches too. Here are the other beaches that made Lonely Planet’s Top 12…

  • #2 – Grayton Beach at Grayton Beach State Park (Florida). White beaches, beautiful water, and some really cool dune lakes make Grayton Beach an amazing spot. Bonus: It’s only 6 hours from Atlanta.
  • #3 – South Beach in Miami (Florida). South Beach is all about the fun and beauty. You’ll find white sand, beautiful water, Art Deco buildings, an awesome nightlife, and plenty of things to do.
  • #4 – Venice Beach in LA (California). Venice Beach is all about the sights. Not only will you have beautiful ocean views, but plenty of action will be happening on the Venice Beach Boardwalk that will be sure to entertain.
  • #5 – El Matador State Beach in Malibu (California). This tiny beach in Malibu offers big-time views with an awesome cliff as a backdrop and amazing sunset views. Arches, caves and tide pools make this a photographer’s dream.
  • #6 – Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur (California). Head to this beach in Big Sur at the right time in December, and you’ll be able to see the sunset through the Keyhole Arch!
  • #7 – Cannon Beach (Oregon). If you’ve seen The Goonies, you’ll recognize Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach. Haystack Rock is a haven for tufted puffins, seals and sea lions, the tide pools on Cannon Beach are amazing and full of sea life, and you can even see whales in the winter and spring. Truffle Shuffle not required.
  • #8 – Sand Harbor in Lake Tahoe (Nevada). The crystal clear waters in Lake Tahoe are a huge draw, making this the perfect place for kayaking or paddleboarding.
  • #9 – Assateague Island National Seashore (Maryland and Virginia). Wild horses, camping on the beach, kayaking the marshes, and hiking the nature trails are big draws here.
  • #10 – Hanalei Bay in Kaua‘i (Hawaii). Surfing, swimming, and snorkeling in the soft blue waters in Hanalei Bay are a must, as well as soaking up the sun on the golden sand.
  • #11 – Oneloa Beach/Big Beach on Maui (Hawaii). This Maui beach is part of Makena State Park, and you’ll find plenty of sand, surf, and nature surrounding you here.
  • #12 – Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park (Washington). Tree trunks and sea stacks dot this Washington State beach, and along the way you’ll find sea glass, tide pools, caves, arches, and so much more to explore.

Find Lonely Planet’s complete list and write-up here.

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Driftwood Beach Named #1 Beach in U.S. by Lonely Planet