9 Can't-Miss Things to Do on Tybee Island, Georgia

If you're planning a trip to Savannah, Georgia, any time soon, visiting Tybee Island, GA, should absolutely be on your itinerary. This charming barrier island on the Atlantic Ocean is one of the best beach destinations in Georgia (and the East Coast, in general!).

Tybee Island offers many fun things to do, including outdoor activities, beautiful beaches, nature walks, popular restaurants, historic attractions, gorgeous views, and much, much more.

Top Tybee Island Attractions & Activities

Before planning a trip to Savannah and Tybee Island, plan a day (or more!) on Tybee Island, GA, to enjoy these fabulous things to do on this iconic barrier island in Georgia.

1. Climb the Tybee Island Light Station

A tall, black and white lighthouse with a red-roofed entry stands next to a traditional white house with a wooden porch, surrounded by a white picket fence.

Tybee Island Light Station (Tybee Island Lighthouse) is undoubtedly one of the best things to do on Tybee Island. This significant lighthouse was built in 1732 and is the oldest lighthouse in Georgia.

Tybee Island Light Station is also the tallest lighthouse in the state, standing at 145 feet tall, and includes 178 steps to the top. From this vantage point, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the ocean, beaches, and coastline on Tybee Island.

2. Explore the Tybee Island Museum

The accompanying Tybee Island Museum next to the Tybee Island Lighthouse is a fantastic place to learn about the island's rich history. The museum is located in Battery Garland and allows first-time visitors to learn about the history of Fort Screven, the Euchee Tribe, and Tybee's Golden Era.

Tickets to the lighthouse and museum are $12 for adults and $10 for children. Both attractions are closed on Tuesdays, so plan your trip accordingly!

3. Hang out at a Tybee Beach

Tybee's beaches are the main attraction on Tybee Island, so whether you prefer surfing or sunbathing, you should plan to spend some time at the beach while on the island!

Choose from these beaches in Tybee Island, each with its own personality and flair, to find the best match for your beachgoing style:

  • South Beach — South Beach is the most popular beach on Tybee Island and offers the Tybee Island Pier, restaurants, shopping, and other attractions right next to the beach.
  • North Beach — North Beach tends to be quieter than South Beach and offers a public restroom and parking. This is also the location of the Tybee Island Lighthouse and Tybee Post Theater.
  • Mid Beach — This beach isn't frequented by day trippers as much as North and South Beach, but it is where you'll find the only beachfront restaurant on Tybee Island, making it worth a visit!
  • Back River Beach — Located on Tybee Creek, this "hidden beach" is known for smaller, gentler waves and even the occasional dolphin sighting!

4. Check out the Tybee Island Pier and Pavilion

A serene beach scene with a wooden pier extending into the calm sea. The pier features a large structure, possibly a pavilion, at the end. The shoreline is covered with a scattering of seashells and foam from gentle waves.

Tybee Island Pier and Pavilion is a must-visit spot for anyone paying a visit to Tybee Island. The pier stretches out into the Atlantic Ocean at the end of Tybrisa Street — the hub for shopping and dining in Downtown Tybee — and is a popular spot to go fishing and enjoy stunning views of South Beach.

The pavilion at the end of the pier is actually a popular spot to rent for events (including wedding ceremonies). It’s easy to see why — the picture-perfect sunset backdrop is hard to beat!

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5. Go on a Boat Ride

Tybee Island offers ample opportunity for ocean adventures — particularly those involving a boat! Here are just a few of the unique boating opportunities on Tybee Island:

  • Sunset Cruises — Unwind on a romantic and peaceful sunset cruise on the Atlantic Ocean, where you'll often be able to enjoy snacks and drinks while watching the sun sink below the horizon.
  • Fishing Charters — Go on a deep-sea adventure for the chance to catch trout, flounder, bass, red drum, black drum, and even the occasional stingray or shark!
  • Dolphin Tours — Dolphin sightings are not unusual on Tybee Island. You can book a dolphin tour at dawn or dusk with a popular provider, like Sundial Charters, for a chance to spot these playful creatures out on the water.

6. Kayak to Little Tybee Island

Two people are kayaking on a clear, sunny day in a vibrant blue sea. The view is from behind, showing them paddling with black oars in bright yellow kayaks. The sky is a clear blue with a few scattered clouds on the horizon.

Little Tybee Island is an uninhabited island twice the size of Tybee Island and is only reachable by boat. Since this island requires a bit more work to get to and few visitors know about it, exploring this peaceful nature preserve is an excellent break from the hustle on Tybee Island.

The best way to explore Little Tybee Island is to rent a kayak on Back River Beach and paddle on over across Tybee Creek. However, some visitors prefer to take a boat or even jet ski to the island. Remember to bring water, snacks, and lunch, as there are no restaurants on Little Tybee Island.

7. Learn at Tybee Island Marine Science Center

Tybee Island Marine Science Center, located near North Beach and Fort Screven, is a fantastic spot to visit if you'd like to learn more about the island's unique environment.

The renovated building is home to rehabilitated animals local to Tybee, including alligators, sea turtles, jellyfish, snakes, and crabs. It offers permanent exhibits, like the Coastal Georgia Gallery, where island visitors can learn more about Tybee’s local flora and fauna.

You can also join other educational events like beach walks, marsh treks, and sift & seine if you prefer a hands-on learning experience. Admission to the science center is $12 per person, but children four and under can visit for free. Some of the educational events do require an additional fee.

8. Explore Tybee Island on Bike

A vintage-style turquoise bicycle with a brown wicker basket on the front and a black wire basket on the rear is parked on a sandy beach. The bicycle stands leaning against a wooden post with a rope barrier, and in the background, there are beach grasses and palm trees.

Trade your car for a bike and cruise down Tybee Island's bike-friendly roads and trails. This is often an easier way to get around the island than by car. During busy seasons, the roads can get crowded!

Rent a bike (or bring your own) to travel to and from the beaches, restaurants, and shops across Tybee Island with ease while enjoying the beautiful views along the way.

9. Visit Fort Pulaski National Monument

Fort Pulaski National Monument is located on Cockspur Island, between Tybee Island and Savannah along the Savannah River. This fort was considered one of the most impressive harbor defense structures in the United States and protected Savannah from attacks at sea.

During the American Civil War in 1862, the Union Army took control of Fort Pulaski from the Confederate Army and maintained control of it through the end of the war. While visiting the fort and accompanying museum, you can learn about its unique history by watching an educational film, exploring the indoor exhibits, and enjoying other outdoor activities, like hiking, kayaking, biking, and more. Admission is $10 per person, and cash is not accepted, so bring a credit or debit card.

Plan an Adventurous Getaway to Tybee Island and Explore Savannah's Favorite Beach Town

As you can see, there are tons of great things to do on Tybee Island for all ages and interests — making it a must-visit beach getaway during any vacation to Savannah.

You don't need to stay on Tybee Island to enjoy all the best this island has to offer. In fact, we recommend staying in the heart of Savannah's Historic District to be close to all the city's most prominent attractions and planning a day trip to Tybee Island instead. Without traffic, Tybee Island is less than a 30-minute drive from Savannah, making a day trip a no-brainer!

Browse our charming vacation rentals in Savannah, Georgia, to find the perfect place to stay during your trip to Savannah — and have fun exploring all this lovely city (and nearby island!) has to offer.

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