Sand, sea and salty breezes combined with a dash of history, fresh local cuisine and an array of outdoor family adventures. Tybee Island is a history buff's dream! Tybee's location in the southern coast made the island an important defense during many American wars. The north end offers Fort Screven - the site of Spanish-American War-era fortifications. Stay and Play in GA!
Fun Places to Visit at Tybee Island
The Tybee Museum is in an 1898 coastal artillery battery at Fort Screven circa 1875. The Tybee Museum has historical exhibits showing island life from colonial days and on through World War II. The Tybee Museum is open year round to the public. Even during the winter month visitors frequent trips to come and view artifacts, and to learn more about the history of our island, with a particular focus on the civil war era.
Fort Pulaski National Monument is named for Cassimere Pulaski. The Battle for Fort Pulaski in April 1862 marked a turning point in military history. It featured the first significant use of rifled cannons in combat. These accurate, long-range weapons shattered Fort Pulaski's walls from over a mile away. After 30-hours of bombardment, the fort surrendered. The battle surprised military strategists worldwide, signaling the end of masonry fortifications.
This fort was built between 1829 and 1844 on Cockspur Island (located just before entering Tybee Island) to guard the sea approach to Savannah. Towering walls, artillery tunnels, to moats and a wide drawbridge are special features. One of the engineers for the fort was a special features. One of the engineers for the fort was West Point graduate: Robert E. Lee.
The defining events of Fort Pulaski occurred during the American Civil War. In April of 1862, Union troops directed rifled cannon fire at the fort breaching the southeast angle. The quick success of this experimental cannon surprised military strategists. The accuracy and range of the rifled cannon rendered brick fortifications obsolete. On October 15, 1924, by Executive Order, Fort Pulaski became a National Monument. In 1933, the National Park Service accepted transfer of the site from the War Department.
Open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission fee.Phone: 912-786-5787 Location: Hwy 80 East, Savannah Georgia 31410
Fort Screven in Tybee Island - This beach fort was built about 1875 and manned during the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II. Fort Screven was built for the Spanish American War and was used until the end of World War II. Fort Screven is combined with the Tybee Island Lighthouse. Amenities: Parking, Public Restrooms. Phone: 912-786-5877– Address: 30 Meddin Dr., Tybee Island Georgia 31328
The Tybee Lighthouse is located off U.S. Highway 80 at Fort Screven, visitors can climb 178 steps to the top of America's third oldest, and Georgia's lighthouse that is still working today. Enjoy a spectacular view of the entire island! The original Tybee Island lighthouse was built in 1736. At 90 foot high, it was the tallest structure of its kind in America.
A storm destroyed the original. A new one standing 94 feet high was completed in 1742. It was replaced in 1773, standing 100 feet high, but was almost destroyed by Confederate troops from Fort Pulaski in 1862.
The lower 60 feet however was undamaged, and the lighthouse was rebuilt from that point. In 1869 the lighthouse was moved back a 164 feet from it's original location to protect it from increasing tides.
The Cockspur Lighthouse marks the South Channel of the Savannah River. It was originally constructed in 1848 and stood 25' above sea level and possessed 5 lamps which enabled it to be visible for nine miles. In 1854 the structure was destroyed by a hurricane. The tower was rebuilt and enlarged on the same foundation the next year.
During the 1862 battle at Fort Pulaski, the Cockspur Beacon was constantly directly in the line of fire, but the little beacon suffered a minimal amount of damage. Theories abound as to why the tower escaped destruction. The reason being, it is assumed, is because the Union artillerists had to fire shots at such a high angle to hit the fort that the artillery flew over the tower!
On June 1, 1909, the Cockspur Lighthouse retired from service to the military. By presidential proclamation, the Cockspur Beacon was transferred from the U. S. Coast Guard to the National Park Service in 1958, and dedication to preservation of this historic landmark began.
The Tybee Island Marine Science Center features Marine education programs with beach walks and seining. The Tybee Marine Science Center opened its doors in May of 1988. Both efforts were to provide marine education programs for the public.
Join the Tybee Island Marine Science Center for Sea Camp! Each Sea Camp program involves a variety of hands-on activities centered around a specific ocean theme. Marine educators use nets, microscopes, a touch tank, crafts and more to engage your child in a fun-filled learning experience. Programs are available for children ages three through twelve.
Marine educators lead one-hour guided Discovery Walks on the Tybee Beach. All ages are welcome to join in for shoreline discoveries. Learn about shells, sand dunes, geology, tides, and inhabitants of the beach on Tybee Island. Participants will sift the wet sand to find creatures that live beneath their feet and pull a seine net (weather dependent) to see what lives in the surf.
Old Savannah-Tybee Railroad Trailis located along US Hwy 80, this historic 6.5 mile crushed-stone trail follows a portion of the roadbed of a rail line that connected Tybee Island to Savannah during the late 1800's. Walkers, joggers and bicyclists enjoy a scenic tree-lined trail with excellent river views and wildlife along the waterway and marsh.
Tybee Island Pier & Pavilion is freely open to the public. Besides its spectacular view and great fishing location, it also a is a meeting place used for dances, musical performances and special events. On the premises are picnic tables, snack bar, and public restrooms. The original Tybee Island Pier and Pavilion was a very popular location in the early 1900's before it had burned down in a great fire in the 1920's.
Tybee National Wildlife Refuge - Tybee NWR was established on May 9, 1938 as a breeding area for migratory birds and other wildlife. The majority of the 100-acre refuge is covered with sand deposits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' dredging activities in the Savannah River. Tybee NWR is one of seven refuges administered by the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex.