Golden Isles Film Tour

These favorite vacation spots for generations of families are also favorites for filmmakers.

Savannah may be known for its film ties, especially the iconic film "Forrest Gump," but the rest of the Georgia Coast, including the Golden Isles, have also left their mark on Hollywood. The white sand beaches and small towns have been captured on film, standing in for coastal Virginia and 1920s Florida. Come, explore the area’s best filming locations.

  • Golden Isles
    Jekyll Island Club Resort Holiday Lights

These coastal film locations are stars on screen and off

Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island

Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, Georgia. Photo by Lisa Westberry

This beach on the northern end of Jekyll Island is a favorite of visitors because of the warped sun-bleached trees that create other-worldly scenes. Photographers love snapping pictures here, as does the film community. In "The Walking Dead" season 7, Tara washes up on this beach on a scavenging mission and is taken in by the Oceanside community. "X-Men: First Class," starring Kevin Bacon, January Jones and Jennifer Lawrence, also used Jekyll Island’s beaches. In that prequel, a group of mutants tries to stop a 1960s dictator while growing into their unique abilities. The cast is rumored to have stayed on a nearby island during filming.

Glory Boardwalk, Jekyll Island

Boardwalk on Jekyll Island, Georgia

The boardwalk at Glory Beach south of the South Dunes picnic area has public beach access, sand dunes and freshwater pools. Portions of the 1989 Civil War drama "Glory," starring Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington and Cary Elwes, used the area for filming. The story tells of the real-life first all-black volunteer regiment organized in the northern states during the Civil War. Colonel Shaw and his soldiers must overcome their own prejudices to lead their regiment to victory.

Jekyll Island Club Resort

Jekyll Island Club Resort

Originally a private club for the well-to-do of the Gilded Age, the Jekyll Island Club Resort has a history all its own. The first transcontinental telephone call took place here, as well as a meeting that led to the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank. Now a Historic Hotel of America, the resort was the setting of the film "The Legend of Bagger Vance," which tells of a former soldier turned struggling golfer that teams up with a caddy who helps his game. Matt Damon, Charlize Theron and Matt Damon star. The on-set bar used for the film was so popular that a permanent version was created for guests.

Historic Brunswick

Historic Brunswick, Georgia

Brunswick’s historic downtown dates back to 1771 and has a number of historically significant buildings. It is now seeing a new life with popular restaurants and shops. This gateway to the Golden Isles was transformed for the film "Live by Night," starring Ben Affleck, into a 1920s coastal Florida community. In the movie, the son of a police officer becomes involved in organized crime. But the thrills don’t last when he sees the dark side of his new life. Zoe Saldana, Elle Fanning, Scott Eastwood and Sienna Miller also star.

St. Simons Island

St. Simons Island Pier

Originally inhabited by Creek tribes, English colonists settled on St. Simons in the 1700s. Revolutionary War and Civil War battles took place on the island. In modern times, the island is popular with vacationers for its abundance of restaurants and beaches. In the follow up to the favorite Will Ferrell film, "Anchorman 2" shot on location on the island. Ron Burgundy wrestles with a shark near the St. Simons Island Pier. The crew created a replica of the iconic St. Simons Island Lighthouse to use on set.

Mentioned in this Itinerary