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Tybee Island

 Located directly on the Atlantic Ocean, Tybee provides a true “Savannah Beach” experience. 

Tybee has a rich and very long history dating back to Spanish explorers in the 1500’s.  Tybee was the northern-most point of the province of Spanish Florida.  Pirates were common during this time and used Tybee as a hiding place to elude capture.  The Spanish retreated back to Florida around 1700 after an invasion by James Moore of neighboring South Carolina.  In 1733, the English re-populated Tybee in conjunction with the founding of Georgia and Savannah.  

The island is located at the mouth of the Savannah River, and is known for its famous lighthouse.  The original lighthouse was constructed in 1736 and stood 90 ft.  Today’s lighthouse was built in 1773.  This is one of the oldest lighthouses still operating in North America today, and is open to visitors year-round. 

During the Civil War, the Union army placed “siege batteries” along Tybee’s northern shore resulting in the capture of Ft. Pulaski in the early 1860’s.  In 1899, the Army commissioned Fort Screven and it served as a defensive fort until decommissioned in the late 1940’s.  “Officers Row” is an amazing group of homes built during this time.  With their charm, large lots, and open views to the Atlantic, these homes today bring well over a million dollars. 

In the late 1800’s, Tybee became a resort.  With nearby Savannah growing at a rapid pace, Tybee was a natural to become Savannah’s summer playground.  During these early days of Tybee’s tourist trade,  a railroad was built from Savannah and by the turn of the twentieth century several hundred cottages had been built.  Today, Tybee is home to just under 5000 year-round residents.  The island offers a free public pier, many dining options, a post office and YMCA. 

The beach has been voted as having some of the cleanest water in the US.  For this reason, the Island prides itself on keeping the beaches clean and safe for all to enjoy.  The island is known for its eccentric ways and fun-loving locals.  Counted among this eclectic group are a rock star, a famous actress, and a number of others who have previously been in the public spotlight.  

Many homes are oceanfront, but the island also offers many non-waterfront homes.  In addition, over the years many condos have been built.  These provide for an excellent alternative to a single family home.   The island prides itself on year around festivals including the famous Tybee Pirate Festival held every October.  The island has a thriving art community.