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Terrific Tybee Island
by Caitlin Moore

Just east of Savannah, GA sits an island abuzz with activity and overflowing with wildlife and history. You wouldn't think that so many intriguing sights could fit into a sandy stretch of a few miles, but a visit to this privileged place will prove you decidedly wrong. If you've never made it down to this little corner of the world, then prepare to be dazzled and delighted as you explore the marshy, exotic, and fun-loving atmosphere that is Tybee Island.

The southern charm and fine weather of Georgia are definitely present on Tybee Island, but there is so much more that makes this a distinctive vacation destination. For example, if you happen to be a nature-lover, then your vacation will be filled with endless activities and thrillingly unfamiliar sightings of birds, animals, and plant life. Tybee Island is known for its protective, conservationist attitudes, so you'll be pleased to see nature in its untamed state as well as endangered species that are receiving the proper respect and attention. In short, there's plenty to admire here.

Bird-watchers in particular are in luck, as they will have their senses nearly overloaded by encounters with the feathery inhabitants of the island. The salt marshes, dunes, and dense subtropical forests provide the ideal conditions for a number of birds seeking warm weather during the winter months as well as year-round homes. Piping plovers, sandpipers, loons, oystercatchers, and black skimmers are just a few of the possible types you'll see. From seabirds to shorebirds, the view through your binoculars will be continuously exciting as you make your tour of the island.

Stepping in or near the ocean will probably bring you in contact with the dolphins that make Tybee their home. Chartered boats will take you out for a tour and will provide the best chance to see the bottle nosed wave-jumpers in their natural habitat. And, from the month of May through October, sea turtles make nightly pilgrimages to the beach in order to lay their eggs. As the turtles are endangered, the Marine Science Center has done its best to educate the public about how to enjoy this amazing sight without bothering the magnificent creatures as they do their best to keep the species alive.

If you're more interested in human stories than the animal kingdom, be assured that Tybee Island is a history lover's paradise. There's the Tybee lighthouse for one, which you may have seen depicted on a postage stamp, has been guiding ships into the Savannah River port since 1732. Renovations have returned it to its original, impressive state, and it makes for a fascinating place to visit. If you have the energy, be sure to climb the 178 stairs for a spectacular view of the surrounding coastline.

Those familiar with the Civil War will recognize the name Fort Pulaski. This is the site of a battle that proved the dominating powers of both cannon fire and the Union Army, and stands as a reminder of all that America has overcome and improved upon since the days of slavery. The Cockspur Beacon is another great photo-op/landmark, so head south to visit this daymark tower with a most colorful history.

There's still more to tell about Tybee Island. Like any good vacation spot, it of course has plenty of shopping, dining, and opportunities to get active. Before enjoying a meal of seafood as you overlook the sea (or whatever floats your boat) fill your day with souvenir shopping, gallery browsing, spa-going, and tennis, golf, or the heart-pumping activity of your choice. Tybee Island Pier and Pavilion is the place to go for any sort of leisure activity you can imagine; you know, the kinds of things you daydream about while sitting in traffic or staring at your computer screen. These might include fishing, picnicking, catching a live music performance, dancing with that special someone, or sitting beneath a parasol and watching the crowds go by. By the way, this whirling center of energy is open daily and charges no admission fee.

To make your Tybee Island vacation complete, think about renting a vacation property to take care of all your needs as you relish your relaxation time. The amenities of a condo or beachside cottage are usually tops, so before you book a room in a plain old hotel, think about reserving a true home away from home. With all the energy you save by not having to stress out about feeling cramped and far away from the cool stuff, you'll find yourself able to zoom around the island, productive and carefree.

Start planning your vacation today, and don't forget to look into all the Tybee Island Vacation Rental options. All you'll need is your swimsuit and your flip-flops, so pack them up and prepare for you journey to this jewel of a destination.

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