Savannah was amazing but everyone knows that to be a gypsy you’ve got to go off the beaten path. After a few days exploring the city we moved on down the road to Tybee Island.
Tybee is great because it’s only about 20 minutes from Savannah but feels like you’re in a whole new place. No longer are you deep in Southern history with spirits, monuments, cobblestone, and gas lanterns… now you’re on the bright island beach with pastel shacks and cottages and nothing to think about other than what drink you’re taking down to the beach and if you remembered to pack your sunscreen.
We rented an airbnb right on the water. Again I can’t rave enough about Airbnb due to their unique and cheap travel homes/experiences. They have homes all across the world in big busy cities and in po-dunk nowhere. The people renting their homes are REAL people, not a hotel chain so it always feels personal. Look for yourself today and use my link ( www.airbnb.com/c/rachelm2854 ) - you’ll save $40 on your first trip!
Our house for the next couple of days was called the “Peach Penthouse” and was full of all things beachy. They had a bowl of HUGE shells and sand dollars that people had written memories and stories on.. One shell was for a couple who got engaged, one was for a family there to spread their mother’s ashes, one was from an ex-marine who was struggling with PTSD and found peace while staying here by the water, one was for a family on their first vacation all together. People poured their hearts out onto these shells- happy moments, sad moments and everything in between. It was a special feeling reading through all of their stories and made me feel really connected to these fellow travelers who had stayed in the house.
Each morning I woke up (coffee first, then mimosas) and would head to the beach. The water was so warm that there was no hesitation running in. It was the perfect combination of waves that are fun to play in but aren’t going to you know, smash you into the ground so hard that you get a giant headache and sand in every crevice of your body. ALSO public beaches also allow for alcohol to be on the beach as long as it is not in a glass container.
Of course the beach is a main draw to this tiny island, but there are some other hidden gems as well. They advertise that they have a bright down town with colorful shops… however the address it gives takes you to the tourist strip. Novelty neon t-shirts, hermit crabs, and shot glasses shown bright from within the shops. The bars that appeared fun from the outside but once you went in, it was quickly apparent that they have no character, crappy food, are dirty and are serving unoriginal overpriced drinks. BUT there is a tucked away section of Tybee that isn’t highly advertised but houses the soul of the island. It’s called the "Shops at Tybee Oaks". If you're coming into town from Savannah you'll see it on the left hand side. It was a little area within the moss trees that had a strip of brightly colored cottages that were unique boutiques, candy stores, coffee shops,and art galleries. It was so fun wandering in and out of these shops and talking with the people running the stores. You could tell there was a very strong sense of community amongst the owners and I was happy to support their businesses. There was even a store called "Swizzle and Shake" which sold antique bar tools and glassware. MY HEAVEN.
Within Tybee Oaks there is a restaurant, Huc A Poos, that will really put you on "Tybee Time". The place is very laid back with casual food that's good for the soul (maybe not so good for the scale - but hey it's vacation right?). Their outdoor patio is shaded by old sails and the inside has a rustic eclectic decor. It's a great place to come as you are from the beach, grab a bite, chill out and meet some locals.
Just past Tybee Oaks is a gelato "truck" called "Sweetie Pie" with some of the most flavorful, smooth gelato I've ever tasted. I got coconut banana and it truly felt like paradise. Tybee Oaks really felt like the heart of the island and I'm so glad we stumbled upon it. As I said, they don't advertise it much, probably to keep it's integrity and not get over touristy but it is absolutely worth your time if you're on the island.