Tybee Island – Savannah’s Beach
Just a short half-hour drive from Savannah, Tybee Island is the region’s top recreational destination, with a beach, surf and kayak shops, nature trails, cool restaurants, dolphin tours and bunch of hotels.
Tybee was our first excursion outside of Savannah. The drive is easy, a straight shot east along Victory Road, and gorgeous. You go across Whitemarsh Island, and follow the course of the Savannah River past Fort Pulaski until reaching the island. Of course, it might take you a long time to actually arrive at Tybee, as you’ll be tempted to stop frequently for photos of Georgia’s picturesque coastal region.
Our initial visit to Tybee’s beach was a quick one. We had brought our dog, without realizing that they’re prohibited, since turtles use the sand for nesting. So we cracked the windows, paid for parking, left our dog in the car, and took a short walk. Not short enough, unfortunately — we got back five minutes after our parking had expired, and saw a cop already writing a ticket. Tybee’s parking enforcement is notoriously thorough; don’t leave your car parked illegally for even a moment.
Tybee Island was originally inhabited by the Yuchi Indians, in whose language “Tybee” means “salt”. For a brief period at the end of the 50s, it was renamed “Savannah Beach,” and although the original name has been restored, that’s basically what it is. The majority of visitors are hear on day trips from the city. Only about 3000 people live on Tybee full-time, and I would guess that almost all of them are in the tourism business.
If you’d like to learn more about Tybee Island, head toward its most prominent landmark. The Tybee Island Lighthouse can be visited, and includes a small museum dedicated to the history of the island.
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That picture of the bird with the deep blue behind it is crazy. I heard they have some great sports bars on Tybee, too.
Two words: Cafe Loco (follow the signs just after you cross the bridge onto the island – it’s where the locals go)
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Thanks for presenting Savannah and the surrounding areas so beautifully ! Awesome words and images!
I guess it’s because you visited during the winter, but it’s so surreal to see the beach empty! It’s a really fun place to visit in the summer; the beach and boardwalk are packed with people.
Did you ever go out on the pier at night? It fills up with all of these fisherman who basically set up camp all along the edges of the end of the pier. Once when I was out there someone caught a shark that was maybe three feet long… everyone started going crazy, it got slapped on this table that had measurements marked out on it, and within five minutes an old Asian lady had come out of nowhere and swiftly negotiated a price for it with the fisherman that caught it. I guess that’s why they have a sign. 😛