When many people think of a Georgia vacation, they think of old plantations, magnolia trees lining cobblestone roads, and sweet tea. Just 13 miles east of Savannah, GA you can immerse yourself in a whole different kind of Georgia. A short 30 minute drive and you can find yourself cruising along streets lined by painted sea turtle signs, dotted with little whole-in-the-wall restaurants with the best food you never knew about, and miles of sandy beaches along the Atlantic coastline. This is Tybee Island, Georgia, well-known to locals, but virtually unknown to many out-of-state visitors. (This post contains affiliate links that may provide compensation for clicks and/or bookings made through the links I’ve provided.)
I’ve visited Tybee Island twice in the last few years so I think that makes me like some kind of honorary resident now, right? No , not really but I know where to go, what to eat, and what to do. I’ve compiled my list of the top 10 reasons to visit Tybee Island, Georgia, one of the best island destinations in the United States.
1. Sunrise – Tybee South Beach is a great vantage point to witness some of the most breathtaking sunrises you will ever see.
2. Explore the marshlands, inlets, and rivers of Tybee – Going on a half-day or full-day tour with Sea Kayak Georgia was one of the best ways to get a unique vantage point of the island from the water.We saw an abundance of shorebirds, paddle through oyster beds, and maybe even spot a dolphin. I highly recommend taking advantage of one of the great tours they offer year-round. Read all about our kayaking adventure in detail on Outdoor Families Magazine.
3.Visit Tybee Island Lighthouse – Climb the 178 stairs to the top of the lighthouse for amazing views. We learned about the interesting history of how the lighthouse came to be and saw relics from the past in the keeper’s house, preserved to look like the way of life in the early part of the 20th century. With our ticket for entry to the lighthouse we also explored the Tybee Lighthouse Museum across the street in what used be Fort Screven.
4. Pizza at Huc-A-Poos Bites and Booze – This is a funky a little pizza joint/bar/live music/cornhole tournament hang out spot popular with locals and tourists. It’s bar far some of the best pizza I’ve ever had anywhere. The ingredients are fresh and the pizza is really amazing. Huc-A-Poos is an island right of passage that you just have to experience for yourself.
5. Amazing Breakfast at The Breakfast Club – This family owned legendary morning hot spot is one of the best breakfast meals you will ever eat. From the simplest breakfast dish to the house specialties, everything is divine. They make their own sausage in-house and it is amazing. I highly recommend the Helen’s Solidarity, “a healthy portion of diced potatoes, Polish Sausage, green peppers and onions tossed on a hot griddle, scrambled with 2 eggs, topped with melted Monterey Jack and American cheese. Grits and toast too”.
6. Explore Fort Pulaski National Monument– Fort Pulaski is a designated U.S. National Monument and a great place to #FindYourPark to celebrate the centennial celebration of our National Parks this year! We enjoyed exploring the fort, surrounded by a moat, and it’s very interesting architecture while learning about the pivotal role this landmark site played in the Civil War.
7. Stay at Hotel Tybee – If you want a room with a view of the ocean, Hotel Tybee is your best option. They have recently undergone renovations to give the hotel a much more modern look. We were very comfortable with all of the amenities you need, including a microwave and refrigerator! Check for rates for Hotel Tybee.
Image Credit: HotelTybee.com
8. Eat at the North Beach Bar and Grill – This is a small, unassuming restaurant directly across the street from the lighthouse and a stone’s throw away from the beach. They describe themselves as Caribbean fusion with a gourmet flair. Our food was spectacular! I highly recommend the lobster roll and the crawfish tails but expect a wait for your table if you go at peak lunch or dinner hours.
9. The Beach – Many will flock to the shores of Tybee Island to enjoy the beautiful stretches of beach. In fact, the beach is so beautiful it was selected to play as the backdrop for scenes from the new Baywatch movie that is being filmed with Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) and Zac Efron. Sand that The Rock walked on? Count me in!!
10. Close to Savannah – If it’s still the classic old world southern Georgia charm you crave, you’re only 30 minutes away from Savannah’s historic riverfront, beautiful parks, and abundant well manicured squares. We drove into town and enjoyed dinner and a ghost tour and returned to our peaceful beachfront room in no time at all. The Visit Savannah website is a great resource to plan a tour or find things to do in the city.
With so much beauty and just enough to do to not get bored but still be able to relax, Tybee Island has become one of my favorite destinations for a quick getaway. Give Tybee a try! Special thanks to Visit Tybee for arranging complimentary accommodations with Hotel Tybee and our kayaking excursion with Sea Kayak Georgia. (Full Disclosure)
Have you heard of Tybee Island before reading my post? Share with me in the comments other hidden gems for domestic getaways that you recommend!