Top 10 Things to Do in Tybee Island
One might think that on a small barrier island only two miles wide and five miles long there would not be much to do but spend lazy days on long stretches of pristine unspoiled beaches, well think again! Tybee Island is a haven for the creative mind, a treasure trove for history lovers, a tranquil escape for nature lovers and a vibrant community of laid-back locals who love the little beach town they call home.
Tybee’s beaches are by far the biggest tourist attraction, yet once you have settled in to your home-away-from-home and begin to explore, you will find plenty of fun things to do in Tybee Island, from the Pier on the south end of Tybee to the lighthouse in the North, stretching further beyond to the spectacular scenic maze of barrier islets. Hopefully, our suggested top 10 things to do in Tybee Island, Georgia will give you a good head start!
Tybee Island is known for its great watersports, everything from parasailing over the blue ocean waters to jet-skiing, charter fishing, surfing, stand-up-paddling and simply sunbathing. The five-mile stretch of beach includes North Beach, a quiet beach with pretty seashells, beautiful views of the lighthouse and a bird viewing area, the busy yet gentle shores of South Beach just a stone’s throw from excellent fishing on the iconic Tybee Pier and the bustling cafés and shops at Back Beach, a quieter stretch of sandy shoreline, a favorite nesting spot of herons and egrets where anglers will find a quiet fishing spot to cast a line. Slip away into seclusion or enjoy great entertainment at the Tybee Pier & Pavilion, either way, there is a spot for you on our beautiful beaches!
The Iconic Tybee Lighthouse & Museum
Climb to the top of one of the nation’s oldest and tallest lighthouses, originally built in 1736, today one of seven surviving colonial-era lighthouse towers. Set on the grounds of Fort Screven, enjoy panoramic views of Tybee Island from the top of the lighthouse, explore the history at the Tybee Island Lighthouse Museum and take a tour of Battery Garland, one of the remaining gun batteries at Fort Screven.
Tybee Island Marine Science Center
Delight the kids and your inner child with a trip to the Tybee Island Marine Science Center. Explore the creatures and plant life of the touch tank, learn about the Tybee Island Sea Turtle Project, or head to the saltwater marshes and ocean waters on an ever-popular beach walk. From sea turtles and sharks to terrapins and tortoises, this is a great way to learn about the local sea life of Tybee Island.
Tybee Island Trails
Tybee Island is part of the Colonial Coast Birding Trail, home to egrets, herons, white ibis and the endangered wood stork. There are three trails for bird-watchers to view the seabirds and shorebirds. The North Beach Birding Trail, near the Tybee Island Lighthouse, The Sally Pearce Nature Trail at Fifth Avenue and across the road, the Blue Heron Trail. Another favorite of nature lovers and history buffs is the McQueen’s Island Historic Trail that runs six miles along a stretch of the Savannah & Atlantic Railroad line along the south channel of the Savannah River.
Our beautiful barrier islands impress our guests year after year. Cockspur Island lies in the south channel of the Savannah River, northwest of Tybee Island, a haven for nature lovers with biking, walking and birding and home to the smallest lighthouse in Georgia, The Cockspur Island Lighthouse. Once a beacon warning ships of the rugged coastline, the lighthouse today lies in an active ecological restoration area and can only be viewed from a distance. The lighthouse falls within the boundaries of the famous Fort Pulaski National Monument, another island attraction, and civil war landmark, with daily tours and demonstrations giving a glimpse into this civil war battleground.
If remote pristine beaches, salt marshes, hardwood hammocks, birdlife, and wildlife appeals to you, then Little Tybee, Williamson, and Cabbage islands await. Accessible only by boat or kayak, these unspoiled and uninhabited barrier islands promise first-class bird-watching, fishing, hiking, and shelling.
Mix a little more history into your adventure with a trip to nearby Historic Savannah. Tour Savannah’s 22 historic squares, browse the art galleries of City Market, shop the antique markets, walk beneath the iconic Live Oaks at the colonial Wormsloe Plantation and witness the eerie stories of Savannah’s infamous reputation as “America’s Most Haunted City” on a walking Ghost Tour. All you need are good walking shoes and a map!
Take a Tour
Maybe you prefer to explore Savannah on a guided tour. Well, you can! There are plenty of tours offered on Tybee Island. Time spent with a professional guide is time well spent. Add to your fishing stories on a deep-sea charter, ride the waves with the wild bottlenose dolphins, pedal along the water’s edge on a fat bike or go fossil hunting and crabbing on the barrier islands. If you are looking for something laid back, fun and entertaining, start with some steamed seafood samplers and margaritas before enjoying a tour of the Crab Shack’s alligator-filled lagoon! The ultimate Tybee Island Tour is the Tybee Island Ecology trip with marine biologist Dr. Joe Richardson. Explore the tidal pools, discover beach treasures and learn about local marine life. The perfect fun and educational tour for the entire family.
Events & Festivals
Living on Tybee Time is always fun and festive! For hundreds of year’s pirates used our inland waterways to hide, you may spot one at Tybee Island Pirate Fest, a unique and festive Tybee Island Festival. From New Year’s Polar Bear Plunges and Mardi Gras to fireworks and Wine Festivals, there is always something on the go in Tybee Island. And if you are relaxing after a long beach day and feel like a pick me up, the weekly toe-tapping musical jams at Doc’s, Social Club and Sandbar are our favorites! We’ll keep you busy here in Tybee Island.
For some it’s rest and relaxation, for others it’s rum and raspberry! Either way Tybee Island is the best vacation destination to simply unwind and do nothing in one of America’s most “charming, happiest, coolest, beautiful and perfect little beach towns”. We have the ideal Tybee vacation rental for you to slip off your shoes, put your feet up and settle down into Tybee Time! After all, doing nothing should definitely be on your vacation list of things to do.