Located less than 20 miles east of Savannah, Georgia, Tybee Island is the easternmost point of the state, jutting out into the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. Three miles of beautiful beaches and sand dunes, along with the quiet small town appeal, makes Tybee Island rentals a favorite vacation destination for Savannah natives and thousands of tourists throughout the year. The laid back atmosphere of Tybee Island is what draws people in, where visitors kick off their heels and business suits in exchange for flip-flops, tank tops and Bermuda shorts.
Tybee Island offers many opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Take a chartered dolphin tour, go on a private fishing excursion, or enjoy a sunset cruise along the Atlantic coast. Rent equipment for water sports and go parasailing, ride the waves on some jet skis, or relax in a kayak along the shore. Bird watchers will love to observe the beautiful birds that visit Tybee Island's 500,000 acres of salt marshes and the nature trails. Sand dunes, beaches and subtropical forests are ideal for anyone to explore on foot or with a bicycle rental.
Tybee Island Marine Science Center
The Tybee Island Marine Science Center (TIMSC) offers exhibits of marine life from all along the Georgia coast including fish, coral, reptiles and invertebrates. Children can feel shark skin or a whale bone in the discovery room and meet hermit crabs and other harmless creatures in the touch tank.
Tybee Island Pier and Pavilion
The Tybee Island Pier offers a great view of the ocean and a spectacular fishing location. Picnic tables, a pavilion, a snack bar and public restrooms are available for patrons. Throughout the year various events occur on the pier such as festivals, musical performances and dances. Additionally, individuals or groups can rent the pier through the Chatham County Recreation Department as a beautiful venue for weddings or other social events.
Tybee Island Museum
Tourists interested in learning of the history of Tybee Island should visit the island museum. You can find the museum off of US-80 Highway at Fort Screven. There are relics, collectibles and art that document approximately 400 years of Tybee Island history. The museum is open daily, except Tuesdays, St. Patrick’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Little Tybee Island
Little Tybee Island is a nature preserve, uninhabited and only accessible by boat. It’s a beautiful place to explore coastal salt marshes, natural sand dunes and glorious subtropical forests. You can camp on Little Tybee Island, or simply enjoy a picnic lunch and explore, observing the wildlife and taking beautiful pictures.
Less than 20 miles from Tybee Island is the active city atmosphere of Savannah, Georgia. Take a day trip into the city to enjoy a variety of activities and attractions. Journey back over 275 years into American history when you venture into Savannah’s Landmark Historic District. Tour beautiful old mansions throughout town or wander through old railroad structures at the Roundhouse Railroad Museum. Savannah is just as famous for its culinary offerings as anything else. Ride the trolley, shop on every corner, and eat your fill, then return to your Tybee Island vacation rental for a relaxing evening.
The Tybee Lighthouse is the tallest and oldest lighthouse in the state of Georgia, though it has undergone restoration a few times. In use for more than 270 years, the lighthouse still provides services for those navigating the Atlantic, easily seen up to 18 miles from shore. Tourists can climb the 178 steps to the top of the newly restored lighthouse and get a spectacular view of the entire island. The lighthouse is open daily, except Tuesdays, St. Patrick’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Fort Pulaski National Monument
Located on the northern shore of Tybee Island, on Cockspur Island, is the Fort Pulaski National Monument. The military constructed Fort Pulaski between 1829 and 1847 as a defense for the city of Savannah. Today the fort serves as an example of military strategy in the 19th century available to tourists.
Cockspur Island Lighthouse
Part of the Fort Pulaski National Monument, the Cockspur Island Lighthouse, built in 1854, is one of five lighthouses in Georgia that are the original historical buildings still standing. While Cockspur Lighthouse is open to the public, there is no official tour or accommodations available. Those wishing to explore the inside of the lighthouse should access it by boat for safety reasons, since high tide submerges the lower portions of the lighthouse.
Tybee Island has over 30 privately owned restaurants, most of which sit right along the beach, providing a beautiful ocean view and some with outdoor seating. Many of the restaurants offer fresh fish and coruscations caught in the Atlantic less than 24 hours before serving. The laid back atmosphere makes dining on Tybee Island ideal for the whole family. There are, of course, a few fine dining establishments for those more romantic evenings. Cuisine choices include American, Caribbean, Southern and International flair.
Stop at the local grocery store to pick up a few snacks and other supplies for your Tybee Island vacation. A convenience store, beach wear shops and sporting good stores are also available to help you obtain anything you might have forgotten to pack for your trip. Most importantly, there are several art galleries featuring work from local artists and great souvenir shops destined to send you home with a memento of your Tybee Island travel.
The eastern coast of the United States is a prime spot for hurricane weather. It’s important to know when you plan your Tybee Island vacation that hurricane season in the Atlantic runs from June first to November 30th each year, but tends to be most prominent from August to October. Hurricane activity differs each year, so it’s important to do your research to find out the hurricane season expectations when planning a trip to Tybee Island.
If you like turtles and the beauty of nature, then you’ll want to visit Tybee Island during the nesting season of endangered sea turtles. Georgia beaches are home to these turtles every year between May first and October 31. Bring your camera and, who knows, you may get lucky and see little turtle hatchlings returning to the water.
As with any beach vacation, be sure to bring the sunscreen along to use daily. Pack appropriately for the time of year you plan to visit. The coolest months during the year are December and January with average highs during the day near 60 degrees and evening lows around 40 degrees, which means a jacket and pants might be a good idea. On average, the warmest months are June through August, with highs in the upper 80’s and lows near 70 degrees. You’ll see an average of over eight inches of rainfall in August – over twice as much as most every other month throughout the year – so be sure to bring an umbrella and other rain gear if you plan to visit during that time.
For a more detailed look at available places to shop and eat on Tybee Island, patrons can pick up the free “Where to Eat at the Beach” guide available in display boxes throughout the town of Tybee. The guide not only has restaurant menus, but a map of the island and coupons to various locations.
There’s nothing like getting a massage while the cool beach air flows past you. Tybee Island offers several massage parlors, spas and salons to help guide you into a world of tranquility while enjoying your Tybee Island vacation.
Tybee Island government always has the safety of its natives and tourists in mind. Not only are police and fire departments available, but also an Ocean Rescue Division, patrolling beaches on ATVs and occupying beach lifeguard towers starting at the end of April for the busy summer season.
The Ocean Rescue Division of Tybee Island warns everyone to avoid walking across the sand bar located at the south end of Tybee Island, near the crossovers of 18th Street, 19th Street and Chatham Avenue. While this sand bar appears to be an easy walk over to Little Tybee, the tide turns quickly, long before waders reach the other side of the sand bar. The current from this high tide poses a grand drowning risk, so it is best to avoid it and travel to Little Tybee by boat.
It’s also important to note that local law prohibits anyone from swimming more than 50 yards from the water’s edge on Tybee Island beaches and coastline. Pets and motorized vehicles are also prohibited on Tybee Island beaches. Those operating motorized watercraft must do so at least 1,000 feet from the waterline on the beach between the south and north rock jetties. Additionally, fires, beer kegs and the disobeying of lifeguard instructions are prohibited on Tybee Island beaches.
If you’re flying for your Tybee Island vacation, then you will have to take a flight to the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, which connects with 16 non-stop flight destinations. At this point you will need to either take a taxi to the Island or rent a car. Greyhouse Bus Lines and Amtrak Trains also provide access to Tybee Island.
If you’re driving to Tybee Island, then you will need to take Interstate 95 from north/south destinations or Interstate 16 heading east/west, both of which will take you into Savannah. Tybee Island is a 20 minute drive from Savannah’s Historic District. Take Interstate 16 east. Turn left onto Martin Luther King Boulevard from I-16. Turn right on Bay Street until it dead ends and then turn left on President Street/Islands Expressway. Merge onto US-80 Highway East onto Tybee Island.
A Tybee Island vacation rental provides the ideal setting so that you can truly experience the beauty and laid back atmosphere of Tybee Island. Staying in a crowded hotel marks you as a tourist, while a vacation rental gives you the opportunity to feel right at home in the area. Not to mention the great amenities available. Most Tybee Island vacation rentals come with a fully-equipped kitchen. Go to the local market, pick up a bit of fresh ocean catch and save on travel expenses by dining in occasionally during your trip. Many rentals also have a washer and dryer, private parking for your rental car and immediate access to the beach.
Save on Tybee Island Travel
Once you arrive, be sure to pick up a free copy of “Where to Eat at the Beach.” This guide, available in displays all over Tybee town, provides coupons for a variety of area restaurants and attractions. Visit the tybeevisit.com website to sign up for the events newsletter that often includes area discounts. Additionally, many attractions offer discounts for groups or for purchasing tickets in advance.
Many vacation rentals have discounted rates during the off season. Most travelers visit during the summer months of June to August. An early spring or late fall Tybee Island vacation makes it easy to save on your accommodations.