Tybee Island Beaches: Picking the Perfect Spot for Some Fun in the Sun
Outside of historic Savannah lies the white sand paradise that is Tybee Island, Georgia. With five beaches boasting a variety of amenities, there's a beach for every vacationer's wants and needs.
Tybee Island, Georgia has long been a popular seaside getaway for tourists and locals alike looking to escape from the crowded streets of Savannah, Georgia. With its locally owned shops and restaurants offering fresh caught seafood and handmade goods, museums, Civil War-era forts, and a historic, picturesque lighthouse, there is always something to do. But the island's main attractions are its beaches, and with five main beaches offering a variety of amenities and natural enticements, there is certainly a beach to fit the needs of any visitor.
Tybee Island's most popular beach, South Beach is located right in the heart of the island's business district, and stretches from 14th street south to 18th street. This area boasts most of the islands hotels and motels, as well as restaurants, shops, and bars. Large oceanfront parking lots and restroom facilities make this an easily accessible beach for families.
The Tybee Island Pier and Pavilion is located on South Beach, and is the perfect place for fishermen to cast a line, for families to pack a picnic lunch to enjoy on the pier's picnic tables, or for photographers to get that perfect shot of the beach. The pier is free to visit, and has a snack bar and restroom facilities available. South Beach is also the only beach on the island open to surfers, but go early to avoid the crowds of swimmers.
Stretching from the Savannah River to 1st Street is Tybee Island's North Beach. Parking and restroom facilities are located on this beach, but restaurants and hotels are not as close in proximity as they are at South Beach.
Sheltered from the winds and rougher waters of the Atlantic because of its proximity to the main land, this beach is ideal for dolphin watching or looking for shells that will be more plentiful due to the gentler waves on this part of the island. The beach is also the perfect place to watch large container ships traveling up and down the river to the International ports of Savannah.
The North Beach Bird Watching area and the Tybee Island Light Station and Museum offer some out of the water fun as well. Bring along some binoculars and a guidebook to do some free bird watching. Tours at the lighthouse are self guided, and tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for children, seniors, and members of the U.S. military, and are offered from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.
Savannah River Beach
Savannah River Beach stretches from Lazaretto Creek to the North Jetty, and while it isn't directly accessible by car, can be walked to by parking in the North Beach lot and walking to it along the beach towards the river. The beach doesn't have its own restrooms, but North Beach's facilities are just a short walk away.
While the low waves mean no surfing and less seashells, it makes it an ideal place for families with younger children or those looking for a less crowded, quieter escape. This is another excellent place to watch for dolphins or to see container ships traveling upriver.
Pack some yoga gear and enjoy the quiet, or bring a camera and capture a memory of this picturesque locale. This is also a great place to bring a couple kayaks and make your way upriver, watching for cranes and heroins along the shoreline. You can also book a dolphin tour up the river from one of the many tour guides in town.
Back River Beach
The smallest of Tybee Island's five beaches, Back River Beach is located between 18th Street and the Back River Fishing Pier. Limited parking is available near the beach and a restroom facility is located at the fishing pier.
This beach offers low waves that are excellent for families and for dolphin watching. The pier is ideal for fishermen or photographers looking to avoid the crowds at the main pier. With the Back River close by, this is another great spot for launching kayaks and exploring the marshes that are located across the river on Little Tybee Island.
This beach is also popular among tourists and locals as a quiet and uncrowded place to watch one of Georgia's brilliant watercolor sunsets.
The most popular beach among locals, parts of the shoreline along Mid Beach are privately owned, but public beach access is offered at every numbered street. The beach stretches from The Curve to 14th Street, and offer just two hotels and one restaurant in the area. Parking areas are located in various locations along the beach, and public restrooms are in Memorial Park on 4th Street. Its more primitive location means that crowds are rare. However, this beach is ocean side, so the waves will be larger than they are on Back River, Savannah River or North Beach.
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