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We’ve been visiting Tybee Island for years. It’s only a 4 hour drive from Atlanta, so it’s one of the closest beaches around. It’s a small island with a family-friendly atmosphere. There aren’t a ton of attractions or restaurants, but the few they do have are wonderful! And it’s a quick drive to Savannah, where you can find tons of great restaurants, shopping, and nightlife.
Here are a few of my family’s favorite places to eat, play, and stay on Tybee Island.
If you’ve visiting Tybee Island, your trip won’t be complete without eating at The Crab Shack. Don’t expect a fine-dinning seafood experience here. The restaurant has a lot of…character, as you’ll see from my pictures below. Every table has a hole in the middle with a trashcan underneath, so you can throw away your seafood shells while you’re chowing down. I’m a HUGE fan of crab legs, and their’s are amazing. There’s also a “Gator Lagoon” with live baby alligators that you can feed with fishing poles and an aviary with rescued exotic birds. I know what you’re thinking – this place sounds crazy!! But it’s so much fun and the food is really tasty! Take my word for it – you have to experience the Crab Shack.
We also love:
AJ’s Dockside has the best bloody marys, live music, and a great deck.
Coco’s has a great patio where you can watch the shimp boats and see the sunset while listening to live music.
The Breakfast Club has a delicious breakfast, but be prepared to wait in line outside – this place is popular!
The Sugar Shack – their ice cream is delicious!
Stingray’s is walking distance from the beach and has amazing fried fish.
Last year, we took the kiddos on one of Captain Mike’s Dolphin Tours. We did a sunset cruise and it was a blast! We saw SO many dolphins. They would swim up really close to the boat and were almost showing off for us – jumping and playing. So cute! My kid’s LOVED it. We also got to learn more about the history of Tybee Island. I totally recommend taking one of the tours!
We’ve also visited the Tybee Island Marine Science Center a few times. It’s all indoors, so it makes for a great rainy day activity. Graham is really into science and discovering things, and Maddie loves animals – so this place is perfect for my kids. They have a touch-tank that Graham always has to check out, and Maddie could watch the turtles swimming all day. The science center is on the smaller side, so don’t expect to spend hours there. But if you’re looking for a fun, kid-friendly activity, check it out!
You should also check out:
All of the cute, kitschy souvenir shops near the pier, like T.S. Chu’s Department Store.
My favorite store on Tybee – Seaside Sisters. They have the cutest stuff, including home decor, candles, clothing, lotion, jewelry, and antiques.
We haven’t toured the Tybee Lighthouse yet, but I’ve heard it’s great. We’re waiting until the kids are old enough to climb all those steps by themselves!
We also haven’t checked out Fort Pulaski, but it’s on my bucket list!
We stayed at Hotel Tybee during our last trip to the Island and it was great! But I’ll be honest with you – the other hotel options at Tybee are lacking. The reviews of some of the other hotels were terrible! Hotel Tybee is super close to the beach and the room was clean. We also enjoyed the pool!
My advice is to check out a vacation rental on vrbo.com. We stayed in a great condo last summer that was right next door to Hotel Tybee. It was perfect for our family and had a beautiful pool.
My top pick though, would be to check out the Mermaid Cottages on Tybee Island. When Graham was a baby, we stayed at the most beautiful beach house with my parents and Josh’s parents. I really just wanted to live there forever – it was that gorgeous. The Mermaid Cottages are all beautifully decorated and furnished with everything that you might need for a week at the shore.
We love the beach!
Have you been to Tybee Island? What are your top picks for places to eat, play, and stay?