Just a 30-minute drive from Downtown Savannah, Tybee Island is the perfect spot for a quick getaway. Visitors can kayak, bike, visit the historic forts (or the lighthouse) and camp on the beautiful island. Of course, the main attractions are the peaceful, mile-long beaches that stretch throughout the Georgia coast. Tybee Island boasts three public oceanfront beaches and two river beaches, each appealing to a different kind of visitor. Find your match and drive out to Tybee!
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Tybee Island’s busiest spot, South Beach, extends southward from 14th Street. Soft sands, mild waves and constant lifeguards make this the ideal place for families, light swimmers and anyone looking to have a good time. Those wanting to surf can go past 19th Street, where the waves are just right for a sunny day on a board, while looking to make a catch can head out on the Tybee Pier & Pavilion, a prime spot for fishing. Concerts and festivals are also held at the pavilion, where visitors can use the restrooms, grab a cold drink or ice cream to cool off or a quick bite to eat.
South Beach is the most active beach on Tybee and has the biggest parking lot of all the beaches, located between 14th and 18th streets, in which all of the spaces are numbered and must be paid for from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, using the Pay & Display Stations. Restaurants, shops, bars, hotels and motels are all just a few steps away from the beach, so whether you’re looking to eat out, shop for t-shirts or grab some sunscreen before hitting the beach, South Beach is the place to do it all. Just be sure to follow all the beach rules and regulations while you’re out having fun!
Address: 1603 Strand Ave., Tybee Island, GA 31328
Mid Beach encompasses everything from “the Curve” on 1st Street to South Beach on 14th Street. There is not a designated parking lot for this stretch of the beach, just street parking with meters.
This area is generally less crowded, with less amenities on hand, because it is where several vacation rentals and hotels and one restaurant, The Deck Beach Bar & Kitchen, Tybee Island’s only beachfront bar & restaurant! It is usually frequented by those staying nearby and is just as beautiful as any other Tybee Island has to offer. Street parking is available at every numbered street, with easily accessible crossovers onto the beach. Restrooms can be found half a block away from the beach, at Memorial Park on 4th Street.
Located across the road from the Tybee Lighthouse and Fort Screven, North Beach is the closest beach to Savannah, that many of the locals from Savannah head over to. The sand might not be as soft as it is on South Beach, but the beach itself is much quieter. It’s the perfect place to go if you’re planning to read a book and relax.
The sand is peppered with seashells, the mouth of the Savannah River waits nearby and, on low tide, you can walk over to the marshier areas nearby and watch birds feed. The surrounding areas are mostly residential with a few restaurants to pick from—North Beach Grill is the only one that’s right on the beach. North Beach has a parking lot with numbered spaces that must be paid for, as well as restrooms and foot washing stations.
If you park in the North Beach parking lot, head over the northernmost bridge (the one on the far left if you’re facing the ocean), turn left and walk on the beach around the curve and past the jetties, you will find the more secluded Savannah River Beach.
Address: 33 Meddin Dr., Tybee Island, GA 31328
Tybee boasts of two river beaches: the Savannah River Beach and the Back River Beach, each located on opposite ends of the island. The Savannah River Beach is the quieter alternative to North Beach which opens up to the Savannah River, while the Back River Beach, located by on the southern end of the island past South Beach off Tybee Creek, is the perfect point to start a kayaking adventure to Little Tybee Island.
Though they are not as easily accessible as the oceanfront beaches, the river beaches provide a beautiful atmosphere where visitors can spot dolphins, enjoy the orange Georgia sunset and launch their kayaks to make the trip over to Little Tybee Island. There are no lifeguards available at these beaches, however, so be as safe as you can. There is limited parking available at the Back River Beach, located off of Chatham Avenue, at the end of Fishermans Walk, and restrooms are available.
For more Tybee Island beach information, call the Tybee Island Visitor Center at (912) 786-5444.