Beachin': Tybee Island

Tybee is Savannah’s beach, and as such, it draws an eclectic crowd—you’re just as likely to spot a movie star as a Civil War re-enactor in full period garb. History buffs will be happy to discover that pieces of the island’s past are scattered all over, from the old lighthouse, where $8 and a climb of 178 steps rewards you with spectacular views, to Fort Pulaski, a national monument and Civil War-era fort that played a large role during the war. But if your primary goal is to spend as much time as possible on the beach, don’t worry—this little island town also has five miles of beach, which means plenty of places to park your towel. —A. A.

Photo: Savannah Morning News

What’s New:
Beachview Bed and Breakfast, located in a beautifully restored historic home at the south end of the island, is the newest B&B to host Tybee visitors. Rates start at $149. 912-786-5500, beachviewbbtybee.com

Stay Here:
The Georgianne Inn, a small, quaint inn built in 1901. A kitchenette in each suite makes it a lovely home away from home; early risers get first dibs on the inn’s bikes and beach gear. From $75 October to March and $125 April to September. 912-786-8710, georgianneinn.com

Or Here:
If you can’t stand being even a few steps away from the waves, stay at the DeSoto Beach Hotel, Tybee’s only beachfront hotel—for a little extra, you can even book a room with direct private beach access. On rainy days, kids can hang out in the hotel’s game room. From $99 in the spring and $179 in the summer. 877-786-4542, desotobeachhotel.com
 

Where to Drink:
Laidback beach bungalow meets plantation home at Social Safari. There are plenty of delicious food options on the menu, but the inspired cocktails steal the show—try The Scientist, a concoction made with rosemary syrup, Bluecoat Gin, chase elderflower liqueur, and fresh-squeezed lemon and lime juices ($9). 912-472-4044, tybeeislandsocialclub.com

Where to Shop:
Browse local art, American-made crafts, home furnishings, and gifts at Seaside Sisters, a gift shop that’s as eclectic as Tybee itself. 912-786-9216, seasidesisterstybee.com

Fun in The Sun:
Kids of all ages will enjoy a cruise with Captain Mike’s Dolphin Tours. You’re guaranteed to see dolphins and sometimes you can spot sea turtles, too. 912-786-5848, tybeedolphins.com

Where to satisfy your sweet tooth:
The Sugar Shack started as a walk-up ice cream stand more than thirty years ago. Today it serves a full menu, but still dishes out great, chilly treats. Order an Old-Fashioned Banana Split ($10) and get two spoons—it comes with three scoops. 912-786-4482, tybeesugarshack.com

What to do with Fido:
Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach at Tybee, but there is a large dog park at the intersection of Van Horne and Fort streets to help get your pup some exercise in the salty air.

 

 

 

 

Eat Like a Local

A-J’s Dockside is a favorite for the panoramic sunset views from its elevated patio. Try the Gumbo with sausage, chicken, shrimp, and vegetables ($14.95) or the Crispy Scored Flounder, a whole fish fried and topped with a sweet chili glaze ($26.95). 912-786-9533, ajsdocksidetybee.com