Take a deep breath. Do you smell the salt water? Can you feel the sun on your face? If you’re dreaming of the beach, it’s time to dust off those flip-flops, dig out the sunscreen and plan for some island time. The kids, grandkids and even your dogs are welcome in this beautiful beach town. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Tybee Island.
Located 18 miles east of Savannah, Georgia, on U.S. Route 80, Tybee Island is known as Savannah’s Beach. It usually takes about a half-hour to drive there from Savannah’s historic district. As the name implies, Tybee Island is cut off from the mainland by the Savannah River to the north and the Bull River to the west. It is on the northern tip of Georgia’s barrier islands and once served as a strategic position for U.S. military forces guarding the entrance to the Port of Savannah. The beautiful beach town offers visitors 3 miles of warm beaches, year-round beach weather and sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean that will take your breath away.
Outdoors and Recreation
Tybee Island boasts a scenic trail that circles the island that you can walk or bike. If you brought your kayak, or need to rent one, you can paddle on some of Georgia’s most unspoiled waterways. Stand-up paddleboarding is another popular pastime. You can take your personal watercraft out on the Savannah River or just go for a swim. Maybe you want to do some deep-sea fishing or dolphin watching as well.
Tybee Island, which once served as a hunting ground for Native Americans, has been occupied by the Spanish, French, English, Confederate and Union troops. Even pirates have called Tybee Island home for a time. The area’s military past is preserved at Fort Pulaski National Monument, a coastal fortification overlooking the Savannah River that saw action during the Civil War. Today, visitors can explore the still-formidable brick walls of the well-preserved cannon positions. Equally compelling is Fort Screven, located on the Atlantic coast and dating back to the mid-1800s.
Tybee Island serves up the entertainment. Every April, wine connoisseurs can sample some of the region’s finest wine and food pairings at the Tybee Wine Festival. Independence Day always brings the area’s best fireworks, and you won’t want to miss the annual Labor Day Beach Bash. In October, you can practice your best “arrrgh” to get ready for the annual Tybee Island Pirate Fest. Year-round, the Tybee Post Theater puts on plays and shows popular films.
Tybee’s Guiding Lights
Tybee Island has two lighthouses that are sure to please lovers of nautical beacons. The Tybee Island Light Station and Museum is a stoic black-and-white tower that has guided mariners into the Savannah River for nearly 300 years and still functions as a navigational aid. On the south channel of the Savannah River stands a smaller lighthouse called the Cockspur Island Lighthouse. At high tide, this lighthouse appears to be floating on water.
For More Information
Visit Tybee Island
Georgia Department of Economic Development