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Tybee Island is a barrier island on the coast of Georgia. If you are traveling to Savannah for an extended period, Tybee will be worth at least a day of your time.
Begin your day with a tour of the Tybee Light Station. Built in 1773, the Tybee lighthouse is Georgia’s oldest and tallest lighthouse. All of the original support buildings are located at the site, making it one of America’s most complete historic light stations. Still operational, the lighthouse can be seen up to 18 miles out at sea. Visitors are welcome to climb 178 steps for a spectacular view. The lighthouse is open for visitors every day except Tuesdays (and a few holidays).
After leaving the lighthouse behind, take some time out for nature. Park at the North Beach Parking Area, located just across from the Tybee Island Lighthouse. Enjoy a walk on the beach, admire the Georgia coastline, and perhaps pick up a few shell souvenirs. Tybee beach is very quiet and peaceful.
Head to Fort Pulaski National Monument for a picnic lunch. Fort Pulaski was constructed between 1829 and 1847 to defend the port city of Savannah from invasion. In 1862, during the Civil War, Confederate soldiers surrendered to Union forces after only 30 hours. As an example of historical military architecture (there are even drawbridges!), this Fort is a must-see. Beware, though—alligators are native to coastal Georgia, and it’s not uncommon to find them sunning themselves around the fort.
If you haven’t had your fill of lighthouses yet, trek from Fort Pulaski over to view the Cockspur Lighthouse. Shipworms, waves, and tides are slowly eroding this lighthouse, making it desperately in need of restoration.
Before heading back to your camp site, check out The Crab Shack for your evening meal. Eat in close proximity to exotic birds and even alligators (yes, if you failed to see one at the Fort, you’ll find them here). For $3, you can even feed the alligators!
If this resource article has piqued your interest, and you are considering a visit, consider Little Tybee Island for a way to REALLY get back to nature. This uninhabited nature preserve is accessible only by boat. Expect beautiful beaches and wildlife like herons, bald eagles and osprey. Camping is allowed on the island.