25 Best Things to Do in Tybee Island, GA - Travel Lens (2024)

Located in Georgia’s Chatham County, Tybee Island is a lovely city and island barrier with clean beaches, salty breezes, and a fantastic atmosphere.

While they share a name, the island and city are not one and the same, as only a portion of the island lies within the city’s boundaries.

The lovely city is only a 20-minute scenic drive away from the historic and gorgeous Savannah.

Tybee Island is rich in culture, heritage, and nature.

It’s a small city covering an area of only 2.7 square miles, with a population of nearly 3,000.

This charming beach city boasts access to the Atlantic Ocean, with five miles of sandy beaches where you can enjoy the golden sunshine and appreciate the impressive views of the waters.

Tybee Island also has excellent hiking and biking trails surrounded by lush nature.

Along with natural sites, this beautiful city is home to many exciting attractions, including museums, galleries, and lighthouses.

The city is also famous for its fresh and delicious seafood, which is sold at the many waterfront restaurants along the beach.

Tybee Island has tons for visitors to explore and see.

Here are the best things to do in Tybee Island, Georgia:

Stroll around and Discover Tybee Island’s Hidden Gems

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Tybee Island is a tiny city with an area of about three square miles, so it is the perfect place to explore on foot.

This charming city is awe-inspiring, with a vibrant culture and stunning views all around—its streets ooze with its energetic lifestyle.

Stroll around the picturesque city to see it in all its glory.

You will also discover lesser-known gems that only locals know about while roaming around.

Taking long walks around the city’s serene environment and appreciating its incredible beauty will clear your head and fill you with joy.

Visit the Iconic Tybee Island Light Station & Museum

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Tybee Island Light Station & Museum is located on the city’s northeast end.

This lighthouse was built in 1773 and is one of the only seven surviving lighthouses from the colonial era.

It is the country’s most well-preserved, most intact, and most complete historic lighthouse.

This active lighthouse offers various tours, wherein you can climb to the top while the guide tells you all about its history and other interesting tidbits.

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From the top, you can see stunning views of the whole city and the waters surrounding it.

The museum is located across the street in a converted coastal artillery battery and showcases the local history and contains various artifacts.

It is pretty informative and includes a lot of information about local heritage.

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Meet the Animals at the Tybee Island Marine Science Center

The Tybee Island Marine Science Center is a non-profit organization that aims to create awareness of protecting coastal Georgia’s natural resources.

It offers programs for locals and visitors all year round.

The center also works actively toward preserving marine life and researches it.

The exhibits feature live animals, including reptiles, fishes, and invertebrates from the local Georgian coastline.

You can enjoy the beach and marsh by walking or hiking.

Moreover, you will have the chance to spot animals like fiddler crabs, snails, and more in the muddy marshes.

The staff and guides are accommodating and knowledgeable and will answer all of your questions.

There is a gift shop on the premises where you can buy gifts and souvenirs.

Visit the Tybee Island Marine Science Center to spend a few hours being fascinated and learning about the precious local marine life.

See Dolphins up Close with Captain Mike’s Dolphin Tours

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Captain Mike’s Dolphin Tours has been continuously voted the best adventure tour of Tybee Island for nine years.

The company provides the best-narrated dolphin tours.

You can watch the dolphins and other animals frolicking around in their natural habitat.

The dolphins often come right up to the boat, and you can see them from up close.

Your tour guide will tell you all about these intelligent creatures and briefly recount Tybee Island’s history.

The views of the endless water and the city from the boat are incredible, too.

Along with dolphin tours, you also have the options of deep sea fishing tours and sunset cruises.

Make sure to join a dolphin tour when you visit this delightful city.

Watch the Breathtaking Sunrise at South Beach

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South Beach is located at the southern tip of Tybee Island, near the city’s downtown area.

It is the most active beach in the city and is popular among locals and tourists.

The views from the beach are splendid; you can see the everlasting water from the sandy shores.

As it is located downtown, you can access the shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, and much more by just walking to them.

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The beach’s beauty is on another level during the sunrise.

The otherwise crowded beach is tranquil, with only seagulls trotting beside you.

Don’t forget to carry your camera with you, and you’ll thank yourself later.

The orange sky’s spectacular beauty will blow your mind.

Explore Tybee Island on a Bicycle

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Are you looking for a different way to experience Tybee Island?

Tybee Island is a certified bike-friendly island that accommodates bikers around the city.

You can borrow bikes for cheap rates from any nearby bike rental place.

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Cycle around the city to view it from a different perspective.

You will see several beautiful places and attractions while cycling along Tybee Island’s bike-friendly routes.

If you are visiting this quaint city for the first time and do not know the first thing about it, you can join guided biking tours and learn all about the city and its gems.

Enjoy the Scenic Views from Tybee Pier and Pavilion

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The Tybee Pier and Pavilion is located just by South Beach and serves sweeping views of the gorgeous surroundings.

You can see several lovely seabirds from the pier as well.

There are designated picnic tables in a covered area where you can enjoy a picnic while relishing impressive views from the dock.

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If you like fishing, you can rent fishing poles and tackle right on the pavilion.

Alternatively, you can simply walk along the pier to best enjoy its tranquil environment.

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Embark on a Boat Tour with Sundial Charters

Sundial Charters was first established in 1996 and has since been providing nature and fishing tours to visitors.

The knowledgeable guides will tell you all about the area’s fascinating history and will show you the stunning beauty of the Georgian coastline.

The company offers dolphin watching tours, fossil hunting, light tackle fishing, birding, and much more.

All the trips are planned according to the weather and tides to capture the best possible beauty of the natural attractions and to ensure safety.

The customized trips only accommodate one party at a time to ensure that you fully enjoy the beauty of your surroundings with privacy and without any disturbances.

Relax in the Serene Environment at North Beach

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Unlike South Beach, North Beach is not very crowded at all times.

This beach takes up a large portion of Tybee Island.

It is located across the Tybee Lighthouse and serves terrific views of the water and the lighthouse.

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The beach is tranquil and pristine and is perfect for relaxing and basking in the sun while reading your favorite book.

At the same time, it’s an ideal place to enjoy water sports activities like surfing or jet skiing.

North Beach is also filled with historical attractions, restaurants, and local boutiques.

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Dine with a Perfect View at CoCo’s Sunset Grille

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CoCo’s Sunset Grille is located on the shores of Lazaretto Creek and serves fresh seafood and traditional American comfort food.

The restaurant also offers vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options to cater to a diverse customer base.

The view from this restaurant is perfect and will make you swoon.

You dine on roof decks to fully appreciate the stunning view.

The menu is full of delicious dishes, but do not forget to try the calamari, blackened flounder wrap, and hush puppies when you dine at this delightful eatery.

Eat Mouth-Watering Seafood at The Crab Shack

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The Crab Shack is a renowned seafood restaurant and bar on Tybee Island.

The seafood served in the restaurant is mouth-watering, and it is a favorite spot among locals and tourists.

It is located right along the water and offers stunning views to accompany your meal.

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The restaurant sometimes gets crowded, so make sure to reserve a table, or you may end up waiting for hours.

Everything on the menu is fantastic, but make sure to try the delicious steamed seafood samplers, crawfish, crabs, and excellent margaritas.

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Try the Delicious Daiquiris at Wet Willie’s

Are you looking for somewhere to kick back and relax after a long day of sightseeing?

Wet Willies is a bar near the Tybee Pier, and it serves the best daiquiris and alcoholic slushies along with premium beer, shots, and mixed drinks.

Besides drinks, the bar also serves delicious food, including delectable burgers and fries.

You can choose your alcoholic beverage from a wide variety of options.

Before ordering one, you can sample their excellent selection.

Book an Overnight Stay at the DeSoto Beach Hotel

The DeSoto Beach Hotel is the one and only oceanfront hotel on Tybee Island.

The hotel provides rooms, suites, and vacation rentals with several amenities and stunning views to make your view as worthwhile as possible.

The amenities include bicycle rentals, barbeque facilities, pools, private balconies, and more.

It has been voted the best place to stay in the city for seven consecutive years.

The hotel provides a relaxed atmosphere with loads of amenities to make your vacation perfect.

See more Tybee Island Hotels.

Tybee Island Images

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Drop by the Tybee Island Visitor Center

All tourists can benefit significantly from the Tybee Island Visitor Center.

Their knowledgeable team will be pleased to help you, whether you’re arranging a trip to Tybee Island or are currently in the area and need a guide on things to do and attractions to see.

You’ll find the Tybee Island Visitor Center at the first stoplight on Tybee, at the intersection of Campbell Avenue and Highway 80.

The lobby’s rack is filled with pamphlets for their guests.

Have a Seafood Feast at Bubba Gumbo’s

Bubba Gumbo’s is a family-run restaurant serving the finest seafood with the nicest view in the area on Tybee Island’s Lazaretto Creek.

They provide both excellent renditions of traditional fare and audacious forays into the unexplored waters of seafood.

Bubba Gumbo’s 1940s-era decor is beautiful and old-fashioned, yet it reflects Caitlin’s penchant for modern things.

The indoor-outdoor eating space allows guests to hang out in the dining room and watch animals through the marsh bar.

Both tourists and residents enjoy dining at this seaside restaurant on the southeast coast.

Enjoy the Breathtaking Views at Back River Beach

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John Wijsman / Shutterstock.com

Tybee’s Back River Beach is nestled away at the end of Highway 80, on the borders of a peaceful community.

This expansive length of sand, which is frequently referred to as the island’s hidden beach, provides moderate rolling waves, dolphin sightings, and breathtaking sunsets.

The beach provides the ideal place to kick back, relax, and simply take in the views.

Staying at this beach offers several benefits, including private docks and breathtaking sunset views.

Back River Beach is a haven for people seeking to experience the great outdoors.

Stroll around the Sands of Mid Beach

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Mid Beach combines the legendary excitement of South Beach with the calm allure of North Beach to create a setting that appeals to tourists of all kinds.

You can get to this ideally situated coastal neighborhood by following Highway 80 just south of Lovell Avenue.

This neighborhood offers lovely beachfront housing and delectable restaurants and is tucked in the center of the island, offering easy access to everything.

These Mid Beach restaurants serve delicious seafood and artisan beverages to keep you cool on the warmest beach days.

Freshly caught seafood must be enjoyed on any vacation to Tybee Island.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Learn about the Fascinating History of Fort Pulaski

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Fort Pulaski is located on co*ckspur Island, only five miles from Tybee Island.

This national monument is a brick fortification from the 19th century and was used during the American Civil War and the Union Army.

After being rendered obsolete, it was used as a prisoner-of-war camp.

Guided tours are available daily, and these will tell you everything about the fort and its history.

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You can visit the fort’s bunkers, earthworks, and other fascinating places.

There is a functional cannon on the parade ground, and it is fired during live reenactments of the times when the fort was used.

There are also trails on the grounds where you can enjoy a peaceful walk.

You can take a self-guided tour of the fort; however, a guided tour is recommended for you to learn about the castle’s fascinating history.

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Take a Photo of the co*ckspur Island Lighthouse

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The co*ckspur Lighthouse is conveniently located miles east of the port of Savannah, which marks the South Channel of the Savannah River.

The islet is made of oyster shells and marsh vegetation and is frequently submerged by high tides.

A New York architect named John Norris was hired to oversee the building of a lighted station in 1848.

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Matthew Rigsby / Shutterstock.com

Norris’ responsibilities were to “repair, modify, and set up lanterns and lights on co*ckspur Island and to create an appropriate keeper’s home.”

The focal plane of the first tower was 25 feet above sea level.

The beacon had five 14-inch reflector lights that produced a constant white light that could be seen for about nine miles.

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Final Thoughts

Tybee Island is the ideal getaway for anyone in need of a good dose of sand, sun, and seaside joy since it is home to large, pristine beaches with warm and moderate waves.

The best things to do on Tybee Island include traditional coastal features, including lovely beaches, a noteworthy lighthouse, and a famous pier.

Visitors swarm to Tybee in the summertime to embrace the beach season because of its unending sunlight and refreshing seaside breezes.

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25 Best Things to Do in Tybee Island, GA - Travel Lens (2024)

FAQs

What is the secret beach on Tybee Island? ›

Tucked away at the end of Highway 80, on the outskirts of a quiet neighborhood, lies Tybee's Back River Beach. Often referred to as the island's secret beach, this wide stretch of sand offers gentle rolling waves, dolphin sightings and show-stopping sunsets.

What is the best month to visit Tybee Island? ›

From early April to late May, visitors can enjoy warm weather without the extreme heat that is sometimes experienced during the summer months. In the spring, average temperatures hover comfortably in the mid-70s. Consider packing a light jacket and clothes that can be easily layered.

What is Tybee best known for? ›

Throughout Tybee Island's history, it has been known as a recreational and healing haven, its soothing saltwater air has brought many visitors seeking a remedy to respiratory ailments (a practice once known as “taking the slats”) and its peaceful beaches offer mental and emotional rejuvenation.

Which side of Tybee Island beach is best? ›

The beaches on Tybee's north end have calmer water than most other beaches, though the sand is not as soft as you might find on Tybee's South Beach. Tybee Island's North Beach area is also home to the historic Tybee Island Lighthouse and Museum and the Tybee Marine Science Center.

Is Tybee beach clothing optional? ›

no nudity on beaches.

Is Tybee Island worth it? ›

Best Reasons To Visit Tybee Island!

With nearly 3 miles of sandy beaches, Tybee Island is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, water sports, kayaking, and fishing. So, don't forget to pack a bottle of sunscreen! Tybee is a bike-friendly community with trails and bike paths throughout the island.

Is the North or South beach better at Tybee Island? ›

South Beach is the island's busiest spot and has the biggest parking lot, between 14th and 18th streets. North Beach is located across from Tybee Lighthouse and is the closest beach to Savannah. It's a great place to do some nature walking with a lot of marsh areas.

What should I wear to Tybee Island? ›

Stick with staple pieces like long sleeve shirts and shorts for your daytime activities like climbing to the top of the Tybee Island Lighthouse. A sweater or light jacket will keep you warm even with the cool ocean breeze.

What are 3 facts about Tybee Island? ›

Tybee is the Euchee word for "salt". In 1520, the Spanish laid claim to what is now Tybee Island and named it Los Bajos. It was at the northern end of the Guale missionary province of Spanish Florida. During that time the island was frequented by pirates who used the island to hide from those who pursued them.

Is Tybee beach expensive? ›

You won't have to pay to access the beach or the pier, but some other attractions and water sports rentals will cost you. You'll also have to pay to park; expect to pay $4 an hour no matter where you park on Tybee Island.

How much does it cost to go to Tybee Island Lighthouse? ›

All tickets will be $10.00 except for children 4 and under.

What celebrity lives on Tybee Island? ›

Sandra Bullock isn't the only celebrity to discover the tranquility of Tybee. Other stars have also been keeping it under their hat such as musician-actor John Mellencamp and best-selling-author Mary Kay Andrews who also have homes on the island.

Can you swim in the ocean at Tybee Island? ›

The City of Tybee Island's Ocean Rescue provides seasonal Lifeguard Services between April and September, and we encourage the public to swim in life-guard protected areas.

What is there to do in Tybee Island at night? ›

So grab your pals and head out to experience Tybee Island after dark!
  • tybee island sting ray. Wet Willie's. ...
  • sting ray. Sting Ray's Seafood. ...
  • sting ray. North Beach Bar & Grill. ...
  • sting ray. Tybee Time. ...
  • Rock House. Rock House. ...
  • sting ray. Fannie's on the Beach.

What is Hidden Beach known for? ›

Hidden Beach is known to be a haven for the endangered clownfish, which is made popular by the animated film Finding Nemo. Your tour guides can show you where to spot them. There are around three seaweed havens where you can find these fishes.

Can you find sea glass on Tybee Island? ›

The best times to look are during spring tides (especially the perigean and proxigean tides) and during the first low tide after a storm. Glass found on Tybee is most likely left behind by littering tourists.

Where is the hidden beach in Georgia? ›

If you've ever wanted a totally private day on the beach, Little St. Simons is your spot. On a trip to this beach, chances are, you won't encounter another person unless there's a naturalist activity going on. Time to find out what lurks just below the surface on the Georgia coast!

What has been filmed at Tybee Island? ›

Filmed on Tybee
  • The Girl From Plainville (2022) (also in Savannah)
  • Devotion (2022) (also in Savannah)
  • Gemini Man (2019) (also in Savannah)
  • Cobra Kai (2019)
  • Galveston (2018)
  • The Beach House (2018)
  • ​​​Love at the Shore (2017)
  • Baywatch (2017)

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