Guide to Tybee Island’s Ocean Beaches
Tybee Island, Georgia has become one of our new favorite places to visit as a family!
We had such an enjoyable time playing at the beach, eating good food (check out my post all about Savannah/Tybee Eats), and spending time as a family making new memories. It’s always such a shock how much warmer the Atlantic Ocean is compared to the Pacific, which we’re used to! It makes for some great time spent playing in the water, though.
Being as it was our first time to Tybee Island, we didn’t know what to expect or which beach we would enjoy the most. So, we decided to just start trying them out one by one and decide from there! I have to say, it’s hard to go wrong at really any beach, as long as there are waves, sand and sunshine, but we did end up having a favorite beach that we will probably go back to the most next time we’re in Tybee.
So, with out further ado, our guide to Tybee Island’s beaches!
Our first beach we visited, and played at, was Mid Beach. We got there on a Saturday afternoon, expecting it to be busy and crowded, but we were pleasantly surprised to find plenty of space on the sand and in the water.
This beach ended up being our favorite!
Mid Beach is considered everything between 1st Street and 14th Street. There isn’t a specific parking area for this beach, but you can find metered parking spaces on every numbered street anywhere throughout town. Parking on Tybee is $2 an hour wherever you go. The city has made it easy for you to pay at designated parking stations by entering your parking space number, and they take cash or card. We found plenty of available spaces behind the City Hall at Memorial Park, at Butler Avenue and 4th Street. After parking, it was a short walk across the street and onto the beach. They also have public bathrooms right by the parking lot, which are the only ones close enough to this beach area. Very convenient for families to change and use the restroom before walking over to play.
We ended up loving this beach for a couple of reasons;
- Expansive beach area for little ones to play
- Smaller waves for first time wave riders
- Not as busy
Sis doesn’t mind the water but would rather playing on the sand and search for seashells. Bubs, on the other hand, could play in the water all day! Mid beach was perfect for our family, because with the wide beach area and soft sand Sis had plenty of room to dig without being too close to the water, but we weren’t far away from Bubs splashing about like a little fish.
The sand was soft and fine. Perfect for little feet and hands to walk on and dig in. There wasn’t much drift wood or broken shells to poke us, but still plenty of shells and treasures to collect.
We were at the beach from mid afternoon until about 5:30pm. The waves were never too big that we were worried about the kids. Bubs could walk out quite a ways and keep his head above water, but he was content to hang out right where the waves crested.
The boys were hilarious to watch trying to “jump” over waves! I’m pretty sure Troy biffed it more than Bubs did, though 😉
-I do want to mention, there are not lifeguards on duty at Mid Beach.
Considered the most popular/busiest area on Tybee Island, South Beach is designated from 14th Street and south. This is where the main shopping, restaurants, and pier are located. There is also a large parking area right off of the beach, but parking can still be tricky. We ended up finding a space on the street a few blocks away, then walked over. Restrooms are located on the pier and in the parking lot on the north side of the pier.
We were at South Beach on Sunday afternoon, and we could tell! It was packed, but we were still able to find a spot for our shade tent and had plenty of space near the water for the kids to play.
What we liked about this beach;
- Being close to food and restrooms
- Hanging out on the pier
- Better opportunity to see dolphins and watch surfers
We thought the sand wasn’t as soft here, though. It was more shelly (broken shells) which poked little feet, and the waves were a little larger at certain times of the day. With it being more busy, it was harder to relax more than Mid Beach, because we were having to keep a closer eye on the kids.
It was still a very enjoyable time playing and soaking up the sun! We were lucky enough to see dolphins in the distance, and even spotted a SHARK about 200 yards off the beach!
Of course, the traditional “buried in the sand” picture!
-There are official lifeguards on duty at South Beach.
At one point, we walked over to the pier for some beautiful views of the Atlantic. We watched the fisherman cast their lines and scanned the horizon for more dolphins. There are a couple of little shops with souvenirs and food at the beginning of the pier, but make sure to bring cash because they don’t take anything else! We were greatly disappointed because we were unprepared.
We didn’t actually visit North Beach, but got a great view of it from the top of the Tybee Lighthouse.
It was the least busy looking beach by far, but we were told the sand is not as soft as the others, even South Beach. There are showers and restrooms right off the beach near the Fort Screven museum, with its own parking lot off of Gulick Street. It’s also a great beach for wildlife viewing and maybe a glimpse of dolphins!
-There are not lifeguards on duty at North Beach.
All in all, you can’t go wrong with any of the beaches. You’re at the beach! But, we recommend Mid Beach for young families who like to play in the sand and the waves.
Stay tuned for more from our Savannah/Tybee Island vacation and more family friendly activities!
But before you go…