Often referred to as "Savannah's beach," Georgia's barrier island is a casual beach town that is full of charm and personality, maintaining a laid-back lifestyle and unhurried pace that make it a special destination year-round.
Tybee Island, Georgia, is a barrier island on the Georgia coast, 20 minutes east of Savannah. Offering a laid back lifestyle within an unspoiled habitat, Tybee has miles of beaches, salt marshes, and other natural resources and wildlife to explore, including sea turtles, endangered birds, and nature trails for hiking.
While there are no golf courses located on Tybee Island itself, nearby Savannah, Georgia is home to more than 30 golf courses within a 30-minute radius from Tybee. From lush country clubs to scenic and challenging public courses, there's a golf course for any handicap. You don't have to drive far, to drive far.
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Tybee Island's terrain is relatively flat and the island itself is only 4.5 miles long, so bicycyling or walking are the best ways to easily get around, especially when you've got warm ocean breezes at your back. There are a number of bicycle shops and dealers on Tybee that can offer you bike rentals, bicycle repair and service, and everything you need to keep your wheels turning. Bicycling on the beach is a popular pasttime, and the wide, open beaches of Tybee make for a great time playing in the sand and surf.
There are plenty of natural trails and scenic pathways for visitors to explore Tybee's pristine environment. Located just off Highway 80 (the main road onto Tybee) are easy-to-walk nature trails winding through an ancient maritime forest and wetlands area, with a variety of bird species, dolphins and other noteworthy siteseeing adventures.
Fort Pulaski and the surrounding areas offer an excellent place to spot migratory birds from spring to fall. The salt marshes and upland areas of Fort Pulaski National Monument support many species of wildlife. If lucky you may catch a glimpse of one of the 11 Protected Species that have been identified at the park. These are: American oystercatcher, bald eagle, gull-billed tern, least tern, loggerhead sea turtle, manatee, peregrine falcon, piping plover, swallow-tailed kite, Wilson's plover and woodstork.
Nature trails and the old railroad trail are all near Highway 80, with bike rentals available.
Accessible only by boat, Little Tybee Island is an unspoiled, uninhabited nature preserve. Visible from the south end of Tybee Island, "Little" Tybee is actually more than twice Tybee Island's size. Between the islands is Tybee Creek and Inlet. Williamson is at the southern end of this island complex, and its southern end looks over to Wassaw Sound and Wassaw Island about 4 miles away. Little Tybee Island is located south of Tybee Island, and its size is 6,780 total acres including marsh. It is home to a number of endangered species of birds.
This unique wilderness preserve is abundant with rich coastal salt marshes; pristine beaches; natural dunes and subtropical forests of live oak, pine, and palm. Wildlife includes egrets, herons, white ibis and the endangered woodstork. Roseate spoonbills, ospreys and bald eagles are also often seen. Natural communities on the islands include tidal creeks, salt marsh, hammock, and beach. Spartina is found in the marshes, while maritime forests of Live Oaks, cabbage palms, and saw palmetto are found on the upland sand ridges. Pines, cedars, and wax myrtles colonize the high ground, and dune plants and sea oats are found trapping blowing sands and growing the dunes.
The Tybee Island Light Station, built in 1773, is Georgia's oldest and tallest lighthouse, and one of America's most complete historic light stations. For more than 270 years, the Tybee Lighthouse has been guiding mariners safely into the Savannah River harbor. Throughout its history it has been rebuilt several times. All of its original support buildings are still located on the five-acre site off US-80 at Fort Screven. Still a functioning navigational aid, the station's light, courtesy of a first order Fresnel lens, can be seen 18 miles out to sea. Visitors willing to climb the 178 steps to the top of the recently restored lighthouse will enjoy a spectacular view of the entire island. The newly renovated head keeper's cottage, the Tybee Museum and gift shop are also on site.
Fort Pulaski National Monument is a Civil War landmark with ranger tours, musket and canon firings plus riverfront hiking and biking trails. Visitors can experience many interesting and exciting activities year-round. Fort Pulaski itself is a large-scale outdoor exhibit. The main structure, together with outlying works including demilune, drawbridges, ditches, and dikes, is a fine example of historic military architecture.
In 1855, the government approved building Fort Screven on the north end of Tybee to provide modern seacoast defense. Six poured-concrete, low-profile gun batteries (named for war heroes) and a minefield were ordered for Tybee along with hundreds of other military buildings. From 1897 to 1947, the fort was an integral part of America's Coastal Defense system. Troops stood guard on Tybee through the Spanish American War of 1898, World War I and World War II. In 1947, the Fort was closed and sold to the Town of Tybee and tourism returned as a major part of Tybee's history.
The coast of Georgia offers a vast ecosystem of salt marshes, tidal creeks, winding rivers, sounds and the Atlantic Ocean is unspoiled, healthy, and brimming with fish of all types. For deep sea fishing charters and offshore angling, there are a number of fishing charters and skilled captains who can help you navigate Tybee's vast ecosystem of salt marshes, tidal creeks, winding rivers, and the expansive Atlantic ocean. View fishing charters in Tybee »
Tybee Island has miles of expansive beaches that can stretch for as far as the eye can see at low tide. Tybee high tide has ample beach for body surfing and our low tide expands the beach to hundreds of yards wide to allow for bicycling and paddle sports. The five miles of beach are wide and clean, with gentle waves and warm water, and granite sand that is perfect for making sandcastles. There are five major beaches on Tybee, including South Beach, Mid Beach, North Beach, Savannah River Beach, and Back River Beach. Be sure to check out our local tides chart and weather forecast before heading out.
See more about Tybee Island beaches »
Located at the end of Tybrisa Street near South Beach, the Tybee Pier & Pavillion is the epicenter of island activity and a popular gathering spot for fishing and people watching. Offering a spectacular view and great saltwater fishing, it's also a meeting place used for dances, musical performances and special events. Amenities include picnic tables, snack bar, and public restrooms. The Tybee Pier & Pavillion is open daily and admission is free, with various festivals and events held here throughout the year.
See More About the Tybee Pier & Pavillion »
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