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Georgia's Barrier Islands - Tybee

Updated on April 19, 2011
Tybee Island Beach and Bridge.
Tybee Island Beach and Bridge. | Source

I love the state of Georgia! The Georgia that is in the southern region of the United States not to be confused with it's European counterpart. From the north to the southern most tip of the state there is something unique to do, and the landscape is vastly different. Whatever you fancy, you can find it in the state of Georgia.

Whenever, i hear people talk about or bemoaning the fact that they would like to visit far off exotic places, i always groan because there is no place like the United States to get a myriad of vacation spots. I tell those who don't travel that they have no excuse as far as i am concerned not to take a trip somewhere because they can be in a totally foreign environment within a few hours.

It's just a matter of when, a little bit of planning and saving then jumping into a car if need be, or on a train, a plane or bus to get where you want to go to experience what you are looking for, and you don't even have to have a passport or know a foreign language!

I feel this way about Georgia, there is no reason to leave the state to experience, beaches, the island life, mountains or zip lining cause you can get it all right here. Georgia offers large city life in Atlanta - the ATL and small island life, on it Barrier islands like Tybee.

You can experience everything imaginable in between. Georgia has kangaroos in the north, a European village called Helen, mountains with faces of presidents carved on them, chateaus, and just about anything you can think to visit around the world you can find in Georgia.

So, if you are interested in saving some money and still enjoying the island experience, how about visiting the Georgia Barrier Coast. Tybee island in particular!

I love Tybee! It reminds you of a different time and place and embodies the very idea of the laid back life. What is even better than strolling on the beach is the idea that you are helping with the survival of the turtle species on the Georgia coast when you are spending your money on Tybee.

On my visit to Tybee, i tried alligator as an appetizer at the Dolphin Reef, i was thrilled and it tasted great, not like chicken - sorry! I also got to try foods that reminded me so much of how historically island life is so very similar wherever it is found because of the teeming abundance of the ocean.

If you have the opportunity go to the Breakfast club and order their Shrimp and grits. If you like good eating i can recommend this, and the happy face pancakes according to the kids!

How to get to Tybee, Georgia.

Getting to Tybee island is not very hard at all. In fact, it is easy, if you are anywhere in the state of Georgia you just get on I-75 SOUTH headed for Savannah, Georgia. Savannah is the closest city to Tybee Island. That is why a lot of people will talk about Savannah and Tybee or some of the other islands on Georgia's coast in one breath.

This is because you have to go through Savannah, hit U.S. Highway 80 entering and exiting from there which then takes you onto the island from the mainland. There are several ways to get to Savannah, you can catch the Greyhound bus, Amtrak, by plane to Savannah International Airport and of course by car.

I always prefer to travel by car, you get to enjoy so much of the scenery that way and if you plan it well it is one of the best ways to learn about the country, get a feel for the people, experience different cultures and foods. To me that is what traveling is about!

Tybee, now what?

Once you leave Savannah, and hit the bridge you will be headed into the heart of Tybee. I suggest while you are driving roll down the windows, take in a few deep breaths, slow down the car and start to relax.

At this moment you can start exploring, feasting on the waterways, and marshes. This is your first introduction that you are no longer on solid Terra Firma, what an exhilarating feeling. You will be entering the island on a two way street that makes you wonder "where am i going?".

Fort Pulaski National Monument is tucked away off of this two way street. I suggest it even if you are not a history buff, it is worth the time and effort.

Of course you should head to the beach, that is why you made a trip to Tybee island. But go and see the light house and the residential area in which it is located. Take note of the way the houses are built, their differences and uniqueness.

If you are interested in marine life Tybee offers opportunities to get up close and personal.

Tybee's lighthouse, it is a museum as well, so don't miss it, make sure you do this early enough in the day so that you don't miss anything. It is known for it's marvelous view.

Once you are on the beach stop in on a few of the surrounding vendors. Don't forget to buy something at the souvenir shop that also funds the survival of the turtles that inhabit Tybee and Georgia's coast.

Stop at the local restaurants, try the local fare and immerse yourself into the local, slow paced rhythm of the island.

Where to stay?

Tybee has lots of choices about how to live while on the island, from luxury hotels to home rentals. It all depends on how much money you want to spend or don't want to spend. Remember Savannah is only 18 miles away and you may be able to find cheaper accommodations.

Being able to stay on the island and close to the beach is ideal if you can afford it or find a place to stay. This adds to the ambiance of the local life and all that the island has to offer. If you are interested in relaxing remaining on the island is the best way to live while visiting Tybee.

Luxury beach front home properties are excellent for several people starting from around $250.00 a night and up, depending on the size and number of people you would like to sleep in bedrooms.

So, don't worry about planning a trip to some foreign land, go to Tybee island instead especially if you are looking for a quick weekend getaway. It is close to home!

Brief history

The word, "Tybee" is apparently from the local Euchee Indians meaning "salt", which was one of the natural resources of the island. It has been touched by the Spanish for it's natural resources, the French for Sassafras, Pirates as a safe haven, and by the British that eventually laid claim to the island in the name of King George.

It has been instrumental in several wars, and battles, British trying to capture it to the Spanish American war. Then after the Civil war it became a resort specifically to thousands of locals from Savannah trying to escape the heat.

It's history is a major part of the attraction!

A markerTybee island georgia -
Tybee Island, GA, USA
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