A serene seaside haven just 18 miles east of Savannah, Tybee Island has been a cherished vacation spot since the late 19th century. Once you sink your feet into the warm taupe sand beside the glistening Atlantic, it's easy to understand why. The three-mile beach is ideal for sunbathing, swimming, shelling, parasailing and jet skiing, but beachgoers can also fish off the pier or climb the 1773-era lighthouse for a breathtaking coastal view.
Accessible only by boat or kayak, this strikingly pristine beach is an unspoiled and uninhabited nature preserve that, despite its misleading moniker, is actually twice the size of Tybee Island. The preserve's salt marshes, spotless beaches, subtropical forests and graceful natural dunes are home to a host of elegant birds, while the surrounding surf is a playground for frolicking dolphins. Recreational opportunities include picnicking, fishing, shelling and even camping for more adventurous seafarers.