On the Beach
Our crowning jewel at Fripp Island is the magnificent white sand beach that stretches for 3-1/2 miles that invites you to relax, unwind, and discover a new clock, one that is run by tides and sunrises and sunsets.
Here you can catch a wave, walk along the quiet shore, collect shells, and search for the sand dollars that are found in abundance. As a barrier island eastern shore along the Atlantic Ocean there the beach is always changing. New tidal pools and dunes appear and then may disappear overnight.
The Fripp beach is a place that merits constant exploration and discovery.
View the Tide Chart.
Day and night, the beach beckons for discovery or quiet contemplation. Dolphins frolic while shorebirds compete for nature's spotlight and endangered loggerhead turtles wisely return to the island to create nesting grounds each summer. At Fripp, there's nothing quite like the ebb and flow of the tides that are in synch with the soothing sounds of the sea.
Fripp Island is known for its expanse of gradually-sloping beach with wet sand exposed to the tides. This is the area that is perfect for wading and building sandcastles. Along much of the beach, there is an upper area with white, powdery sand that forms impressive dunes. Held together by deeply-rooted plants and grasses, these mounds of sand anchor the coast, providing an important coastal ecosystem. Sand dune systems contribute to and provide a unique habitat full of biodiversity. Many of them are protected as nature reserves, and some are parts of larger conservation areas, incorporating other coastal habitats like salt marshes, mudflats, and maritime forests.
One can almost watch a dune grow as the wind gathers sand around an obstacle, which is often dead cordgrass, on the beach, that has washed in from the marsh. The sand dunes are also home to sea oats, and spartina grass which provides key protection from flooding and erosion. These supple stalks catch and hold the sand, ensuring that the dunes grow-several feet high in fact! The dunes are a vital part of our natural beauty, please help protect the dunes by not walking on them.
Walk, bike, or ride your way to any of 32 access points conveniently located along the shore.
Beach Access is dictated by Fripp Island's topography and access points are clearly marked by white posts with blue number markers. In the following you can select the Beach Access Number to see what parking and amenities are available at each access point. Parking is strictly enforced! Read all signage as citations will be issued for violations.
Handicap Access is available at Access 15 on Rock Beauty Road. There is dedicated handicapped parking and a level sand path. Visitors need to go to the security office at 225 Tarpon Boulevard to register for a handicap sticker to park at Rock Beauty. Homeowners can fill out the form (in the following) to acquire a key to the gate. Symbols of features unique to each access are shown in the following. Special thanks to island resident Kelly Taylor for her photography.
We happen to think there’s nothing better than time spent at the beach, but we ask you to please be safe as you enjoy. Please read Dos and Don’ts of Living with Alligators (PDF) about alligator Do's and Dont's.
- There are no lifeguards on duty.
- Dangerous rip currents may form in the surf.
- Tides change swiftly. Keep off of sandbars.
- Alligators may be present in beach wetlands and tidal pools. Do Not wade in standing water on the beach or dune system.
- Do not use private property to gain access to the beach.
- Do not climb rock revetments as rocks may shift and are slippery.
- Boardwalks and crossovers are for pedestrian use only. No golf carts!
Learn about Rip Current Safety.
Beach First Aid
- Stingray: Use hot water as stingray venom is neutralized by heat. You may need a tetanus booster.
- Jellyfish: Do not use tap or bottled water! Use ocean water to flush away stingers. A credit card can be used to scrape away stingers. Then, use cool, diluted white vinegar compresses to soothe.
- Shark: Call 911. Rescue is on the island. Apply continuous pressure to the wound. Stay calm.
- The beach is a critical area habitat. Respect beach wildlife and their habitat.
- Stay off the dunes.
- Do not disturb nesting birds or sea turtles. It is a federal offense to disturb a nest.
- Fill in holes and knock down sandcastles.
- Help us keep the beach beautiful for others by removing your trash and belongings.
- Tents, chairs and belongings left overnight will be discarded.
View All Rules.