Tybee Island in 16,063 Steps...

Needing to get our toes in the sand, we headed to the closet beach possible, Tybee Island, Georgia. We rolled in last night and pretty much just set up camp and walked to a cool Shrimp Shack for dinner.

Officially renamed "Savannah Beach" in a publicity move at the end of the 1950s, the city of Tybee Island has since reverted to its original name. The small island, which has long been a quiet getaway for the residents of Savannah, has become a popular vacation spot with tourists from outside the Savannah metropolitan area. Tybee Island is home to the first of what would eventually become the Days Inn chain of hotels, the oft-photographed Tybee Island Light Station, and the Fort Screven Historic District.
It was intriguing to meander through town and come across Battery Garland (built in 1899) in the Fort Screven Historic District. This fort was first commissioned in 1899 and served as a valuable part of coastal defense until it was decommissioned in 1947.
Beaches here are different than we are use to and people have known that since the late 19th century. At the height of the Industrial Revolution, residents in large, polluted cities frequently sought out remote beaches for summertime getaways. Clear, saltwater breezes were thought to be remedies for numerous ailments, including asthma and certain allergies. Steamships began carrying patients and tourists to Tybee Island just after the Civil War. We definitely felt an "old world charm" as we strolled through historic neighborhoods.
It's amazing to feel the warm, soft waves as well.
As we beachcombed, we encountered unique sea creatures. This was the first time we had found live sand dollars.
While this horseshoe crab was not alive, he was intriguing to look at anyway. Because of their origin 450 million years ago, these massive crabs are considered living fossils.
We watched as a fisherman tried to decide what to do with this catch. 

The sand dunes that lie along the ocean shore are a beautiful sight; but not many people know that these dunes actually have their origin on the opposite (marshland) side of the islands. Dead marsh grass from these areas between the barrier islands and the mainland are loosened and carried out toward the sea by the force of receding tides. The grasses then wash up on the beaches where they provide shelter for very hearty species of grasses to grow. These plants hold the sand and make it less susceptible to movement by wind and surf.  Eventually, small ridges of sand form and as the process continues, new generations of plants hold more and more layers of sand. As a result, dunes slowly grow larger and larger.

If the citizens of Savannah Georgia had to choose a single, iconic image to represents the city, you would be hard pressed to find a Savannahian that would not choose photographer Jack Leigh’s 1993 image titled Midnight. Leigh’s photograph is of the “Bird Girl” statue originally cast in 1936 by sculpture Sylvia Shaw Judson. A local family purchased the sculpture and named it “Little Wendy” and placed it in their family plot in Bonaventure Cemetery. Long story short, Leigh's photograph was used for the cover of the highly successful book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Out of concern about possible vandalism or theft of the statue, not to mention increased foot traffic the grave plot was receiving, the family removed Little Wendy from Bonaventure, and donated her to the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah for public display. It was fortuitous to discover a copy in a garden in Tybee.

Tybee Island's strategic position near the mouth of the Savannah River has made the island's northern tip the ideal location for a lighthouse since Georgia's early settlement period (1736). Today, the Tybee Light Station is a popular tourist destination, having all of its support buildings on the 5-acre site historically preserved and is one of just a handful of 18th-century lighthouses still in operation in North America.

When one needs to get to the sea... who knows what will be a part of the discovery!

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Nick and Deb's Excellent Adventure said...

Truly one of my favorite places! So glad you took my suggestion and loved it too!

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