The cutest, quirkiest beach town you’ve never heard of...
“…and, Tybee Island is only 20 minutes from downtown Savannah, so we can totally take an Uber to go out downtown at night,” I told my friends.
Am I trying to oversell them? I thought to myself. I considered this possibility for a moment. No, I concluded. Even though Tybee is a quick four-hour drive from Atlanta and we LOVE the beach, it was going to be tough to squeeze in a girls trip in December. The holiday season is a crazy time of year for everyone between family and social commitments, not to mention the end of the year crunch for us as attorneys.
Okay, so maybe I am selling them a TINY bit, but only because I’m trying to intercept the inevitable question: “What’s there to do in Tybee…in winter?”
TBH, I wasn’t really sure what there was to do there ANY time of the year aside from beaching it up…which sounds delightful in summer. I would be lying if I didn’t say this worried me a bit. Obviously, December isn’t ideal weather to frolic in the ocean and soak up some vitamin D.
I’d been to Tybee very briefly a time or two many years ago, but it was only to squeeze a few hours of beach time in while I visited one of my favorite southern cities, Savannah.
Why didn’t I make time for a beach trip in fall? I thought about how Georgia’s coast has amazing beach weather even in October.
“That weekend totally works – I can’t wait!” Angie responded.
Surprisingly, we had a couple others friends who manipulated their hectic schedules and jumped on the bandwagon when they heard about the trip. Before I knew it the weekend had turned into a legit bonafide full-on girls trip.
First things first, I know what some of you dear readers may be thinking… where the heck is Tybee Island? Tybee is one of Georgia’s coastal barrier islands. Given its location in South Georgia, Tybee has beach trip worthy weather most of the year, with the exception of winter. #VacayVibes are strong most months, which leads me back to my December trip and my above referenced concerns…
Here’s a few things I realized about the island after visiting last month and why I’ve come to the conclusion that Tybee makes an AWESOME girls trip destination:
Let’s start with, arguably, the most important: There’s a lot of things for you and your girlfriends to do on Tybee Island… like, WAAAAAAY more than I thought there’d be and way more than most small-ish beach communities.
The number of things to do and places to eat, drink and shop (even in winter!) shocked us.
I’m going to reign in my ADHD and focus on the two most important categories for any memorable girlfriends getaway – the nightlife and shopping!
Nightlife: Well, for starters, there is one. (WHEW). Even though we love downtown Savannah, we chose not to leave the island to go out because we had a blast in Tybee. Our fave spot was Huck-A-Poos – there was always a crowd and great live music.
Shopping: Downtown Tybee is home to the cutest shops and local-owned small businesses! Don’t miss The Shoppes at 1207 and Tybrisa Street. We had totally intended to just do some window shopping and failed miserably. Our purchases included several pieces of jewelry from Island Gypseas, a photography print from Casey Jones Photography & Tybee Gallery, a hodgepodge of Christmas gifts from Seaside Sisters and a bow tie for my well-dressed little pup, Bruce Willis.
The city has the cutest, quirkiest, beachy vibe.
“Beachy” is self-explanatory, but IDK if my idea of “cute” and “quirky” lines up with yours, so I’ll explain myself. The first thing we noticed as we drove onto Tybee is the brightly colored businesses and beach bungalows. It was impossible not to feel like I needed a margarita and my toes in the sand – even on a blistery December day. (Unfortunately, my pictures don’t do the cuteness justice since we happened to choose an unusually wet weekend where it had been raining for days both on Tybee Island and in the city we all call home, Atlanta).
Once we spent a few hours in town it was impossible not to notice that the island has an unpretentious quirky sense of humor. For example, the sign on one unisex bathroom door had a unicorn on one side and a dragon on the other (rather than the typical male and female symbols) with text stating, “Whatever. Just wash your hands.” The sign near our rental’s fire pit read, “Welcome to our fire pit – where friends and marshmallows get toasted at the same time.”
Speaking of our accommodations, we LOVED our beach bungalow rented through Mermaid Cottages. The cute, quirky, beachy decor was on point and the company’s attention to detail made the spacious bungalow the perfect home away from home. We also loved the great location and the fact that we could walk to so many places… like the beach a block away. I would highly recommend considering one of the rentals from Mermaid Cottages when you visit Tybee Island.
Tybee is oozing with Southern small town charm while brimming with the history, culture and FANTASTIC food. (Oh, and did I mention there’s also a beach?!)
My friends and I didn’t expect more than a couple restaurants on the island (and wondered whether they would close early given the fact that it was slow season for tourists). We were def wrong. Tybee Island has a ton of stuff to do. We caught a Friday night movie at the Tybee Post Theater (which may possibly be THE cutest historic theater ever!) and walked around the Tybee Island lighthouse and museum grounds on Saturday afternoon. We stopped there (aside from eating, drinking, shopping and chilling out around our fire pit with s’mores and red wine) because we didn’t want to cram too much into our island girls getaway; however, a quick check online showed us all the fun we could have on our next trip back.
We were also super impressed by the number of dining options we had on the island. We didn’t have a single bad meal, but our favorite was at Salt Island Fish & Beer. By the name of the place we figured we were in for a typical casual beach meal of, well, fish and beer. NOPE. The atmosphere was casual (as everything at the beach should be, IMO) but the food was unexpected – the menu was filled with all sorts of unique diverse deliciousness. It took us forever to finally decide what we wanted and ended up ordering the restaurant’s signature Mediterranean mezze platter, a Kalua Pig (yep, you read that right – a slow roasted and basted pig served just like you were at a Hawaiian luau) and, of course, fish and chips. Everything was super tasty.
We also enjoyed our meals at The Deck, CoCo’s Sunset Grille and Chamacos Tacos & Surf. Sundae Café was recommended to us several times and is also apparently delicious, but sadly we ran out of time (and space in our stomachs) to try a meal there.
Like most legit beach towns, Tybee Island offers a ton of outdoor activities and water sports that can enjoyed when the weather is warmer. You can read about your options here if you end up visiting outside of the winter months.
Location, location, location, people!
My friends and I are lucky enough to be driving distance from Tybee. If you’re not, the island is just 15 miles from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.
Tybee Island can hold its own as a standalone beach destination for you and your girls, but it’s also easy-peasy to hit up both Tybee and historic Savannah if you want to combine the two into the same trip.
Suffice to say, Tybee Island was a TON of fun… more than we bargained for.
I had envisioned a sleepy weekend (read: NOT sleepless). Yeah…NO. We ate, we drank, we were delightfully merry, and we will definitely be back.
I was invited to the island by Visit Tybee and was compensated for my time to create content, but my opinions in this post are 100% all me.
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