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Savannah Sights

Tybee Island

Updated 10/10/2012

Fodor's Review

Tybee is an Indian word meaning "salt." The Yamacraw Indians came to this island in the Atlantic Ocean to hunt and fish. These days, the island is chock-full of seafood restaurants, chain motels, condos, and shops—most of which sprang up during the 1950s and haven't changed much since. Fun-loving locals still host big annual parties like fall's Pirate Festival and spring's Beach Bum Parade. Tybee Island's entire expanse of taupe sand is divided into three public

beach stretches: North Beach, the Pier and Pavillion, and the south end. Beach activities abound, including swimming, boating, fishing, Jet Skiing, sea kayaking, and parasailing. Newer water sports have gained popularity, including kiteboarding and stand-up paddle boarding.

Tybee Island Lighthouse and Museum. Well restored and considered one of North America's most beautifully renovated lighthouses, the Tybee Light Station has been guiding Savannah River mariners for more than 270 years. This is actually the fourth lighthouse on this site; the original was built on orders of General Oglethorpe in 1732. You can walk up 178 steps for amazing views at the top. The lighthouse keeper's cottage houses a small theater showing a video about the lighthouse. The nearby museum is housed in a gun battery constructed for the Spanish-American War. Check their website for information on the monthly Friday Sunset Tours. 30 Meddin Dr., 31328. 912/786–5801. www.tybeelighthouse.org. $9. Weds.–Mon. 9–5:30, last tickets sold at 4:30.

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Sight Information

Address:

U.S. 80, 18 miles east of Savannah, Tybee Island, Georgia, 31328, USA

Phone:

800-868–2322

Website: tybeeisland.com

Updated 10/10/2012

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By suzy48

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Jun 10, 2012

Tybee Island Review

Tybee Island is a quaint beautiful place filled with ornate beach cottages and colorful locals. I found this Island via a visit to Savannah. Never hearing of it before my husband and I decided to make it part of our trip. We booked a property we found on tybeeislandvacationrentals.com for a weekend stay. The beach is amazing, there is an actual beach hammock on the southern end of the island where our condo was located. The tide came in so

fast a lifeguard came to our rescue. That was the first part of what we call the "Tybee Adventure." Next, we rented kayaks on the north end and rowed our way to an old deserted lighthouse called "The Cockspur Island Lighthouse." Anyway, enough about our adventure. I would have to say the only negative thing about Tybee is that the water is brown, but the locals told us that is what supports their abundant wildlife that extends into an vast estuary. Overall, on our next trip to Savannah we plan to stay on Tybee Island and take the short twenty minute commute to Savannah for the eats and entertainment.

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Feb 9, 2012

Tybee Island Review

I want you to envision the beach of your dreams. Now I’m going to tell you where that place is, Tybee Island, Georgia. Tybee Island is a small coastal island just outside of Savannah, Ga. The beaches are smooth and soft, the water is warm and the amounts of hours you can spend relaxing are endless. There is something on this island for everyone. Such as walking the beach with your family or loved ones, discovering the battles and history of Fort

Pulaski, or even seeing one of the greatest lighthouses in all of America. So what are you waiting for? Tybee Island, the place of dreams. Tybee Island is just a small place outside of Savannah, Ga. The name Tybee is believed to be derived from the Native American word Euchee, which means salt. Tybee Island has a very rich history. It all started when the Spanish explorers found the island and claimed it as part of their new land in 1520. In 1605, the French went to the island in search of sassafras roots. The Spanish and French would end up fighting a naval battle, with the Spanish being the victors. Tybee was also visited by many pirates looking for places to hide their treasure and refill their supplies. In 1733, the surrounding Savannah area was settled by General James Oglethorpe. Soon after being settled and founded Oglethorpe had a lighthouse and a fort placed on the island to ensure its protection. The history of Tybee is so extensive that I can’t describe it all. Tybee Island has the Atlantic Ocean to one side and has the Savannah River running between it and Savannah. Tybee had many ships and harbors on it. So seeing that they had many ships going through, Tybee had lighthouses to clear the way for the ships. One of the oldest lighthouses still standing in the nation is the Cockspur Lighthouse. It was built in 1854 on its own little inlet. The positioning of the lighthouse was directly in front of Fort Pulaski. Even though the positioning of the lighthouse was bad it survived many battles and many years of the sea. When I went to Tybee and went through the lighthouse, it was amazing the view that it had. I saw the original bulb that was in the lighthouse in 1854, and saw sections of the lighthouse that are still original. The house they have next to the lighthouse is just as historic as the lighthouse itself. The main subject of the historic, Tybee Island, is Fort Pulaski. The fort was placed on Cockspur Island to protect the port city of Savannah. The fort was built somewhere between the years of 1829-1847. In 1862 Fort Pulaski became part of military history, the Union army was marching on Savannah and they were using the first rifled projectiles to be fired from cannons. After only 30 minutes the 7.5 inch thick walls of Fort Pulaski were penetrated and the Confederates were flushed from the fort. I went to the fort and when you get there they provide your group with a tour guide. The first thing they show you is the damage to the wall on the opposite side of the fort. That wall is original from the battle it was in. Just going through the fort was something to behold. They have the original dungeons and chambers where slaves were kept and also had some of the original cannons. The tight-knit family feel of Tybee Island is helped along by 25 privately owned restaurants on the island. One of my personal favorites is “The Crab Shack.” This restaurant sits on Chimney Creek and has a great view of the Creek from the dining areas. The menu is very diverse and offers any kind of seafood on the menu. When I went to The Crab Shack with my family they immediately helped us to our seats and made sure that my grandparents had access to whatever they needed. The menu isn’t too extensive, but they make sure it is cooked and prepared to the best possible condition. I ordered crab legs and they came on a huge plate with steam coming off of them. The atmosphere at the restaurant was just like a local family diner. The one thing that is not on their menu that I would’ve liked to try was alligator, but that is because they have 75 live alligators within their premises. Tybee Island is a place where all ages of people can go to have fun and relax in this easy going town. The people are always friendly and they all have the southern hospitality trait. The city of Tybee isn’t a late night party type of city. It’s the kind of city where you go to relax and enjoy life. Live a little and learn some history about the great country you live in. Walking the beach is what people do for fun there and if you need more excitement then Savannah is 10 minutes away. If you’re having trouble figuring out a place for your next vacation, look no further than Tybee Island, Ga.

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Mar 31, 2007

If you love retro

Tybee Island to me is a great compliment to Savannah since both harken to earlier days and exemplifiy the better side of the genteel southern traditions. While Savannah exemplfies the 1800s, Tybee reminds me of the Florida beahes I knew as a child in the 1960s- before they all were covered in high rise hotels and condos. It is a little cheesy but in a very good way if you like a retro experience, the beach is beautiful. Don't expect the Ritz, think

more of a beach motel - if you love the beach and plan to spend your time there and just need a place to sleep - you will not be disappointed. And you can enjoy the expereinces in Savannah at night and yet feel a hundred miles away when at Tybee.

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By Jessica

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Aug 12, 2005

incredible view from top

the view from the top of the lightis incredible i could not believe it . it was well worth the climb. the dolphin tour by captain mike is very cool u see the dolphins up close make sure to bring ur camera

By Jesse

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Apr 20, 2005

Savannah's beauty is here! See the beach!!

The beach is the best part of Savannah. As soon as it's warm, Savannians flock to the beach in huge numbers. Make sure you go there to enjoy the beauty of Savannah, and while your at it, check out the pier and visit the Tybee Island Marine Science Center. We Savannians appreciate our beach and we've shown it through this museum.

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