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Tybee Island Light Station : The Lighthouse History

An introduction to guided tours and history of the Tybee Island Lighthouse on Tybee Island, GA.

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.

Ordered by General James Oglethorpe, Governor of the 13th colony, in 1732, the Tybee Island Light Station has been guiding mariners safe entrance into the Savannah River for over 270 years. The Tybee Island Light Station is one of America's most intact having all of its historic support buildings on its five-acre site. Rebuilt several times the current lightstation displays its 1916 day mark with 178 stairs and a First Order Fresnel lens (nine feet tall).
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Tybee Island Light Station

Tybee Island Light Station

30 Meddin Dr
Tybee Island, GA 31328
Tybee Island Light Station

Keeping the Watch

Under the watchful eye of Light Station Keeper Cullen Chambers and his staff, The Tybee Island Light Station stands as one of North America's most beautifully renovated Light Stations. A must see for everyone.

Visiting the Tybee Lighthouse

The Lightstation and Museum are surely a stop you do not want to miss. We welcome individuals, families, and groups here. While you are here for an extended stay, look into volunteering at the Light Station. The information gained while on your duty will give you an appreciation of the Light Station you will not be able to obtain elsewhere. We encourage you to visit our Gift Shops to support our efforts. We also look forward to seeing you after your journey up our 178 steps to the top.

Tours are self guided. At the Lighthouse and Head Keepers Cottage there are volunteers on hand to answer questions.

Visiting the Lighthouse as a Group

If your are bringing a group of more than 10 people you will need a scheduled time. You should allow an hour and a half for the visit.

It is important you come at your scheduled time. Volunteers and staff have planned for your arrival. Please call if you are going to be late.

Guided Tours

Guided Tours are available for groups of twenty five or more. It is likely a volunteer will greet your group when you arrive. The earlier you make your reservation the better. The Lighthouse stands 154 ft. high, there is no elevator. Groups of children need 2 adults for every 10 children.


Tybee Island is 18 miles east of Savannah. Going east on Victory Drive, once you exit Thunderbolt, Victory Drive becomes Highway 80 East. Highway 80 East ends on Tybee Island. When you come onto the island, you will take a left at the first stop light, which is Campbell Avenue

Look for the brown Tybee Lighthouse signs and follow them. Campbell Avenue dead ends at Van Horne. Take a left onto Van Horne. Your first right is Meddin Drive. Take a right and stay on Meddin Drive until you pass the Light Station. Public parking is available on the north side of the Light Station beside the Gift Shop.

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Tybee Island Beaches

Tybee Island Beaches

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.
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Map of Tybee Island Light Station