The Best Summer Getaways: Tybee Island, Georgia

Roam the Coast

Tybee's coastline

Tybee's coastline     Photo: Imke Lass/Redux

It’s no surprise that Georgia’s coast has Civil War-era forts and amazing seafood. What’s shocking is the amount of wilderness. From Tybee Island, a village of 3,500 that dangles into the Atlantic just 18 miles east of Savannah, there are endless opportunities to get lost in 1,200 or so nearby barrier islands. Rent boats from Savannah Canoe and Kayak ($60 per day for a sea kayak, skirt, and paddle), a funky shop on the route to Tybee. From Alley Three, a public dock, paddle southwest and circumnavigate the 7,000-acre Little Tybee on a beginner-friendly trip through sheltered waters. With a stress-free half-mile crossing, free wilderness camp spots beneath live oaks (try the forested ridgeline on Beach Hammock), and easy access to the turtle-filled Wassaw Island Wildlife Sanctuary, it’s quintessential Georgian paddling that requires only a three-day commitment. Stock up beforehand at Charlie Teeple Sea Products (912-352-4031), a seafood market two miles from Savannah Canoe and Kayak that sells everything you need for a Low Country boil, Georgia’s signature dish of shrimp, potatoes, corn, sausage, and Old Bay Seasoning. Stow food and a gallon of freshwater per person per day in your boat, cook over the fire, and eat with your hands.

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