Although I love tourist activities when on vacation, I do enjoy spending time on the beach whenever possible. When I visited Savannah, Georgia on a press trip in August (before TMS in Dekalb County Georgia), I was thrilled that the agenda included a trip to Tybee Island, Georgia. This barrier island is known as Savannah’s beach, and it’s a great place to visit either for a beach day or a full family vacation. There are many things to do in Tybee Island Georgia with kids – here’s what you need to know.
Disclosure: My trip to Savannah and Tybee Island was part of a complimentary pre-FAM through Travel Media Showcase at no expense to me. This post contains affiliate links. A purchase/click through one of these links may result in a commission paid to us at no additional cost to you. All opinions are our own.
Location of Tybee Island
Tybee Island is a barrier island located about 20 minutes from the center of Savannah. As a barrier island, it’s accessible via car, so you won’t need to take a ferry to get there. A causeway connects Tybee Island to the mainland.
While driving is definitely the quickest way, there’s also a shuttle offered. This shuttle runs from downtown Savannah to Tybee, three times a day, six days per week. If you don’t have a rental car, or don’t want to worry about parking, this could be a great option.
Things to Do in Tybee Island GA With Kids
Go to the Beach
As a barrier island, Tybee Island is known for great beaches. There are five different beaches, covering three miles. These include two River beaches and three Atlantic Ocean beaches.
South Beach is an active beach area and is home to both the Tybee Island Pier and Pavilion as well as Tybrisa Street. There, you’ll find restaurants, shops, and bars offering drinks and live music.
We had a chance to explore the Tybee Pier area during our visit. The pier offers a nice shady area, as well as food and drink booths. There’s also a restroom and a fishing pier.
If you are visiting the beach without any of your beach supplies, these can either be purchased at the nearby shops, or rented from a local vendor. Bikes can also be rented.
The Tybee Island Light Station And Museum is the oldest and tallest lighthouse in Georgia. It sits on the northeast part of the island, by Fort Screven.
Guests are able to visit the Light Station – it’s open six days per week 9am-5:30pm, and is closed on Tuesdays. Admission includes access to the Light Station, Tybee Raised Cottage, and the Tybee Museum. Backpacks aren’t permitted, so keep that in mind as you pack for the day.
While we didn’t have time to go up in the museum, we did visit the area so that we could see the exterior. It’s a beautiful spot, and definitely worth the trip, even if you don’t tour the lighthouse.
Tybee Island Marine Science Center
The Tybee Island Science Center is located right at South Beach, outside the pavillion. Guests to the island can book various programs, including a South Beach walk, sea turtle nest excavation, marsh trek, and turtle talk.
There’s also a Coastal Georgia Gallery, offering exhibits showcasing the sea life of the area. There’s a separate admission fee for the exhibits, and this includes mini-programs, a touch tank, and more.
If you’d prefer to be adventurous on the water rather than (or in addition to) doing some sunbathing, you’ll have lots of options on Tybee Island. There are several different companies offering rentals of jet skis, kayaks, and more. Kayak tours are also offered if you’d like to go in a group on a guided tour.
You can also book a fishing charter. These include deep sea fishing charters as well as kayak fishing charters.
Prefer to do a dolphin tour on your vacation? There are also several companies on Tybee Island offering boat tours where you can see dolphins playing in the water around Tybee.
Festivals on Tybee Island
Tybee Island is also home to several festivals throughout the year. In the fall, guests can enjoy the Tybee Island Pirate Fest, which takes place over a few days in October.
Other festivals and events hosted on the island include the Tybee Island Labor Day Beach Bash and the Irish Heritage Parade.
Eat at the Crab Shack
We only had the opportunity to have one meal on Tybee Island, and luckily it was a great one. The Crab Shack on Tybee Island is definitely a must-visit, especially if you love seafood.
There’s ample seating located throughout the restaurant, including outdoor (covered) and indoor seating. During our visit, the weather was beautiful with a slight threat of rain, so the covered outdoor seating was perfect.
The Crab Shack is very casual, with paper and plastic serving utensils and holes leading to the garbage can built right into the tables. That way, you can throw your shells right into the trash.
For our visit, we had the Captain Crab’s Sampler Platter, which includes snow and rock crab, shrimp, mussels, crawfish, potatoes, sausage, and corn. The food was absolutely delicious, and the platters include so much food.
The Crab Shack also has a small lagoon with alligators that you can feed. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, but there is a lot of seating, even though it’s a popular spot on Tybee Island.
Where to Stay on Tybee Island
You can easily stay in Savannah and travel to Tybee Island for the day. However, if you’d like to stay right on island, there are a few different options.
In general, there aren’t too many hotels right on Tybee. Many guests choose to stay at a vacation rental, where they’ll have more space to spread out, as well as a kitchen to prepare meals.
Hotel options on Tybee Island include the following:
Have you been to Tybee Island? What is your favorite thing to do on Tybee Island with kids?