Updated: Jul 19, 2021
The perfect addition to your Savannah trip. Where to stay, what to eat, and what to see.
Less than a 30-minute drive east of Savannah, you'll find a relaxing beach town that's been hosting vacationers in droves for over 130 years. In 1887 the Central of Georgia Railroad completed a line to Tybee Island, making it a destination for those looking for a weekend away ever since.
You'll enjoy an absolutely beautiful drive over right next to the tracks the entire way there. It's definitely a drive you'll want to roll the windows down for!
You'll often hear about the resort-focused Hilton Head Island to the north, and while it's certainly a destination worth visiting, Tybee is a much more relaxed and affordable option that deserves your attention. If you're looking for a relaxing beach weekend away in a clean town right outside of the city while feeling worlds away, this is the place.
After 2 days in Savannah, we tacked on 2 days to unwind at the beach and to explore. Here's everything I'd suggest. We've done this twice now, and each time it's the perfect relaxing end to our time away.
Looking for info on Savannah? Check out this travel guide to pair these 2 destinations together for a great trip!
Where to stay
My advice in this realm is usually the same: Save money on where you stay so you can live it up in your destination! Make sure you're close to all the activities and skip the frills, because you won't be spending much time in your room anyways.
I recently learned that we actually got there RIGHT before high season started, so our hotel rates were surprisingly good.
Where we stayed: A budget option during off-season
I'm a budget traveler by nature, and snagging this hotel right across from the beach for only $80 a night was perfect for us! Not only were we able to walk to the pier in a matter of minutes, but the savings allowed us to splurge on excursions and great food!
I was pretty shocked that for this price, our hotel came with a small pool and patio area out back, and the rooms had all been recently remodeled. The showers were a bit strange (a waterfall shower head and a removable wand that didn't seem to work at the same time...in our room at least), but we thought it was a great deal!
Disclaimer: During peak season, these rates skyrocket, so book early!
This cute bed and breakfast has amazing views and is located away from the crowds you might run into right next to the pier. There are bikes on the property that you can use to explore the island.
It's located near the Tybee Island Light Station right next to North Beach. You'll find plenty of unique shops and food options if you stay here.
Luxury Airbnb: Joan's Seaside Retreat
This is a 4 bed/3 bath rental with tons of open space for you and your family to enjoy. It's pretty pricey, but is perfectly located on South Beach and has tons of great reviews. It comes with parking for 4 and tons of great entertaining space for you and your travel group.
Being right across from the pier means that you've got prime access to the best pastel sunsets the island has to offer.
Where to eat
My Top Pick: The Crab Shack
This is the perfect spot to end your day at the beach. We've been twice, and each time I've been super happy with the Snow Country Boil. That's 1lb of snow crab with peel n' eat shrimp, sausage, corn, and potatoes. YUM.
I've been told that this is the only meal I'm silent for. I'm so busy cracking crab legs and enjoying the payoff that I generally just don't have time to talk. Make sure you get lots of butter on the side!
Aside from the food, which is delicious, the atmosphere is perfect for Tybee. You're right on the water in the open under a canopy of trees and string lights. The place has such a unique vibe with live gators, birds, and even some resident felines.
Day or night, it's a great pick. Definitely check it out!
Perfect for lunch: Fannies on the Beach
If you're looking for something easy and with a view on the beach, this is your spot. Nothing too fancy on the menu, but it's a step up from a plain burger and fries if you're looking for a bit more (although they do have that too).
Make sure to grab a seat on the 2nd floor for a sweeping view of the beach!
Dessert: Beau and Arrow's Frozen Yogurt
There are tons of spots near the pier to grab some ice cream. Personally, I prefer fro-yo on a hot day to really cool me down and to find an easy way to add some refreshing fruit. Any way I can get boba in my life, I'll take it, and this place has a large topping bar that you'd expect at a fro-yo shop.
We also had a chance to meet the owner of this shop, along with her mother-in-law during our visit. She told us proudly of her store and how she opened it after the chaos of the pandemic. The store is actually named after her 2 dogs, which are pictured in the store. She's managed to stay in business and has become a local staple even during the low-season of 2020 on Tybee.
Stop by and say hi to her, and grab a cup of fro-yo!
Things to Do & Places to See
With a great set of options for where to stay, and a bunch of food places to check out that are events in their own right, what else is there to do in Tybee? Plenty!
Here's what I'd suggest.
Grab some time on the beach!
So this is the obvious choice of course if you're here for a beach weekend, you've got to get some time in over by the water.
Our preference is South Beach, mainly because it's where we've spent the most time and we really enjoy the pier. It's close to where we stayed, there are plenty of options for food right there, and it feels worlds away. Grab your towel, stroll on over, and enjoy the water!
There are a few distint beach areas, and you can check out the others here on the dedicated blog for Tybee. Once we get to enjoy more of them, I'll update the blog here as well!
Shop along Tybrisa Street
Right across from the pier you'll find Tybrisa Street. If you checked out my recommendation for dessert (Beau & Arrow's Frozen Yogurt), you'll find yourself strolling along this street to get there.
Along the way you'll run into tons of cute beach shops that are full of beachy decor, swimsuits, unique gifts, and beach toys for the kiddos. We grabbed out own perfectly fitting souvenir here on the way out.
Enjoy a Sunset
So I hope you've got at least 2 sunsets to spend on Tybee, because there's 2 great options that I don't think you'll want to have to choose between.
1.) Head to the pier at sunset
Head over to the pier for sunset to enjoy the pastels that start cropping up across the sky as the sun goes down. We were lucky enough to enjoy the sunset with a full moon high in the sky, and it made for some truly gorggeous and relaxing views.
2.) Go on a Sunset Dolphin Cruise
We took our tour with Captain Derek's Dolphin Adventure Tour, and I have to say, this was our favorite activity of the weekend! They have dolphin tours throughout the day, but the sunset cruise is particularly special because of the one-of a kind views you'll get of the sunset over Tybee. This is a view that you can't get from the beach, you have to be on the water.
Enjoying the sea breeze with some nice country music in the background while you make your way away from the dock and into the ocean is a perfect way to relax after sight-seeing. The crew is fun, tells tons of dad jokes, and is full of all kinds of dolphin facts while you're out looking for them. It's fun for the entire family, as a couples event, or even if you're just looking for something to keep yourself busy as you're exploring Tybee solo.
I'd suggest this to anyone and everyone visiting.
A nice perk is that if you don't see dolphins, you get your money back. So you won't have to worry about whether or not you'll see them. To give you an idea, we saw TONS!
It's also not just dolphins that you'll spot along the way. You'll learn a lot about the history of the island on your way out, get to see lighthouses up close, and listen to some music made by the locals about the island itself.
Spending a few days in Tybee at the end of our trip to Savannah was perfect, and I hope that you found something useful for any kind of trip you've got coming up! Whether it's a day trip, a weekend, or an entire week to relax, Tybee is a great choice to unwind.
Thanks for reading!
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