The 7 Wonders of Tybee Island
You’ve heard of the Seven Wonders of the World, but are you familiar with Tybee Island’s seven wonders? Read on to find out which spots on our quaint island are must-see stops.
Georgia’s oldest and tallest lighthouse has major appeal as a historic building and gorgeous beacon of days past. Climb the 178 steps to the top of the lighthouse and catch the best panoramic view of the island. In the adjacent Tybee Island Museum you’ll find centuries of stories about pirates, soldiers and everything in between.
Constructed in 1930 as a movie house for soldiers stationed at the Army base, this gem has quite a history. Dwight D. Eisenhower was even known to frequent the theater with his wife when visiting his favorite beach house! The Post Theater went dark in the mid-1960s, but opened again as a performing arts and movie venue in September 2015.
3. Fort Pulaski
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This preserved fort forever changed defensive strategies worldwide and is a prime example of 19th century military architecture. In 1862, after only 30 hours of bombardment, the 7.5 foot thick brick walls of the fort were breached and the Confederates surrendered to Union troops. Today, visitors can take guided or self-guided tours, watch daily cannon firings and walk the perimeter’s nature trails.
4. Fort Screven
In 1855, the government approved building Fort Screven on the North end of Tybee to provide modern coastal defense. Six poured-concrete, low-profile gun batteries and a minefield were ordered for Tybee along with hundreds of other military buildings. To this day, lavish neighborhoods atop fort walls and sloping embankments intermingle with war relics to form Tybee’s Historic District.
Tybee’s only known cemetery is small — it contains only 36 burial plots — but full of mystique and history. The headstones date back as far as the 1870s and mark the graves of some of the island’s first families, including that of George Wortham, who first farmed the land. One of the oldest markers inside the boundary lists three names – C.M. Rotureau, J.C. Rotureau and C. Rotureau – the date 1876 and the words “washed ashore.” None of them were “washed ashore,” and none of them died in 1876, but that fate has now become part of local legend.
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The original Tybee Pier and Pavilion was built in 1891 by the Central of Georgia Railroad. Known then as the Tybrisa Pavilion, it was a hot spot for beach goers escaping the scorching summer heat in Savannah. It attracted big bands and other entertainment for the hundreds of visitors coming in on the railroad. In 1967, the Tybrisa Pavilion burned down in a massive fire. Rebuilt in 1996 for the Olympic Games, today’s Pier and Pavilion is one of the most visited and visible attractions on the island.
The Tybee Island Marine Science Center’s mission is to shape a responsible stewardship of Coastal Georgia’s natural resources through marine science-based education, conservation and research. They offer year-round programs for island visitors, scouts and school groups on the beach, in the marsh, on the water, in the classroom and the Coastal Gallery. It’s a real hands-on experience you can’t miss!
Jess Brannen is Visit Tybee’s Social Media Coordinator. She graduated from Armstrong State University with her BA in English and Professional Communications. Jess is a Savannah native and loves playing with Sir Charles Barkley, her neurotic golden retriever, and watching reruns of Martha Stewart’s cooking shows while eating chocolate.