Planning a trip to Tybee Island (or investigating the possibility of a trip)? Read on to learn about the best things to do in Tybee Island!
Tybee Island, which is just a short drive from picturesque Savannah, is one of the most delightful beach towns in the US. A colorful and quirky area, Tybee Island is complete with white sand beaches, local entertainment, outdoor recreation opportunities, historical sites, and dining, making this island an ideal getaway spot.
If you’ve never heard of Tybee Island before, you may find yourself wondering, “Is Tybee Island worth visiting?” After having the chance to finally visit the island myself, I can tell you that without a doubt, yes, this island is 100% worth your time!
I had always heard how amazing it was, but I recently got to see first-hand its beautiful beaches, family (and dog)-friendly atmosphere, and rich historical attractions. With almost 3 miles of wide, sandy, post-card-worthy beaches, Tybee Island is a dream spot for swimming, kayaking, water sports, fishing, and unbelievable salt marshes.
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Things To Do In Tybee Island
Trust me, there is no shortage of things to do in Tybee Island, so if you crave relaxing sunbathing, fun in the sun, or immersing yourself in history, arts or shopping, this one destination has you covered.
Entertainment and Attractions
Turtle Season – visitors may come from near and far to visit Tybee Island, but its most famous guests are the Loggerhead turtles that lay their eggs in the soft sand during sea turtle nesting season. The season runs from May 1st to the end of October, and you can learn more at Visit Tybee Island.
Fossil Hunting Tours – the waters surrounding Tybee Island are filled with interesting and unique fossils. Take a tour and go fossil hunting!
Outdoors and Recreation
Tybee Island is basically the beach for Savannah. I loved that because it meant I could make a day trip into Savannah for a visit (which is only about 30 minutes away) but I still have the beach right there for most of our trip.
Tybee Island is known for its wide beaches with plenty of room for everyone. Since the island is only about 3.2 square miles the beach is super convenient from just about any home. There are 3 main sections of beach:
- North Beach – this is the quietest area due to being primarily residential and limited parking.
- Mid Beach – has mild waves and soft sand which makes it perfect for families.
- South Beach – this is where the Tybee Island pier is located. South Beach has the most parking and restaurants.
Note about parking: Our cottage was located Mid Beach so it is a quick walk or bike ride up there. There are a few parking spots on each street at Mid Beach, but they fill up quickly! All parking in Tybee has a fee from 8 AM to 8 PM unless it’s on private property.
Tybee Island North Beach
Tybee Lighthouse – We visited North Beach to check out the Tybee Lighthouse! The Tybee Light Station was built in 1732 and stands 145 feet tall and is the oldest and tallest lighthouse in Georgia. Climb the 178 steps to the top yourself to take in views of the entire island.
Dog Park – the island is so dog-friendly that boasts 2 dog parks, one for small dogs and one for larger dogs.
Fort Screven – houses the Tybee Island Museum, home to over 400 years of the island’s history
Tybee Island South Beach
South Beach (extending southward from 14th Street) is the busiest spot on Tybee Island. It’s the perfect combination of sands, waves, ocean breezes, and constant lifeguards that make this the perfect place for swimmers, families, and everyone wanting to have a lot of fun.
The two main streets, Strand Avenue and Tybrisa Street, are loaded with restaurants, hotels, and shops. This area is very popular so get their early to find a parking spot.
Take Chatham Avenue to the southernmost point of the island where you’ll find the spot where the creek meets the Atlantic. We saw kiteboarders tearing it up on the waves!
Little Tybee Island
This pristine nature preserve is often overlooked by visitors. Accessible only by water, Little Tybee Island is an untouched paradise that’s surprisingly twice the size of Tybee Island.
Many people will attempt to walk across to Little Tybee Island however, the tide will come in before you can make it back. Be sure not to go too far!
Tours and Historical Sites
Tybee Island is rich in history! If you want to immerse yourself in some of our country’s history, check out:
Fort Pulaski is a National Park with beautiful walking trails that go all around the property, and it’s totally pet-friendly (Bo-Approved) except for the small visitor’s center. The guard informed us that the park is pet-friendly and our tickets were good for our entire stay (so we could come back if we wanted to).
Fort Pulaski was built to protect the shores of Georgia. The park is open year-round and you can do self-guided or hosted tours. The ticket cost at the time of this article was a reasonable $7 per adult and children under 15 are free. There were a couple of schools there the day we went headed out on the trails.
The fort is very impressive! They still have some original cannons and original damage from some battles! They have maintained the fort and its history where you can see authentic rooms of the soldiers who lived there.
A mere 18 miles from Tybee Island is historic Savannah, Georgia. A shuttle service is offered between the two spots 3 times a day, but you can easily drive if you have your own vehicle with you.
We wanted to spend one day in Savannah while we were in the area. It has been a long time goal of mine to get there, but my love of the beach and mountains tends to keep me headed in other directions. Savannah is an incredible city that you just can not pass up!
We chose Old Savannah Tours and our tour guide for this amazing city. Old Savannah Tours is pet-friendly and has a tour that allows you to get on and off the trolley at any point to see the sights at your leisure. If you park at their headquarters your parking will be free for the day!
Savannah, of course, has beautiful historic homes, parks, and museums. You get the full inside scoop on the rich local history when you take a tour with Old Savannah Tours.
Art and Culture
If you want to check out the art scene of Tybee Island, be sure to visit the many maker’s shops and galleries all around. Plus, plan your visit during one of the many festivals and other events the island holds.
We decided to continue our walk on Highway 80 to see what the town had to offer. This area caters more to folks looking for the more eclectic shopping experience and is only a brief walk to get to the other shops in the area.
Whether you’re looking for handmade jewelry, gourmet foods, apparel, paintings, photography, pottery, a stroll along Tybrisa Street or some time at The Shoppes at 1207 will help you find just what you’re looking for.
From outdoor dining to ultra-satisfying brunch options, Tybee’s locally-owned restaurants serve up specialties (seafood and otherwise) that will make your mouth water!
Be sure to check out a few of our favorite Tybee Island restaurants from our trip:
- The Crab Shack – a favorite casual dining spot where guests can order heaping trays of low country dishes: crawfish, shrimp, potatoes, crab, sausages, and much more.
- Coco’s Sunset Grille – offers incredible sunset views along with its ultra-satisfying seafood. You can find Coco’s off the docks of Lazaretto Creek and watch the shrimp boats come in while enjoying your dish.
- A-J’s Dockside Restaurant – offers a fun and colorful patio inspired by the colorful sunsets you can watch while eating their delicious sandwiches and seafood fare.
If you are looking for things to do in Tybee Island, there is no shortage of possibilities! Tybee Island has so many activities and things to offer visitors that it definitely belongs on your “must-see” list!