During World Wars I and II, Fort Screven on Tybee Island played a vital role in safeguarding North America's eastern seaboard from potential invaders. Amid the fort's imposing military buildings, there’s a Victorian cottage where off-duty soldiers went to rest up and enjoy the beachside scenery. Today, that cottage is home to the Tybee Island Inn, an inviting bed and breakfast. Years ago, Cathy and Lloyd Kilday were married here—now they own the property.
The theme here is relaxation. Many guests spend the afternoon soaking up rays in the inn's tropical gardens or taking a stroll along the nearby private beach. On the inn's front porch, rocking chairs and wooden swings sway beneath a tin roof. Lush tropical plants line a cobblestone walkway leading to the front door, and moss hangs from live oak trees. In the morning, head to the dining room for a hot breakfast supplemented with homemade pastries.
Inside, each guest room's decor evokes the nearby sea—you can find dolphin lamps, life preservers, and Tiger Beat posters from Davy Jones's locker. In the Lighthouse guest room, sunlight filters in from a skylight over the bed, and on a private deck you can get views of the iconic Tybee Island lighthouse. There's a large copper tub in the bathroom of the two-level Captains Quarters suite, which has access to a private courtyard.
Tybee Island, Georgia: Quaint Island Retreat Minutes from Downtown Savannah
Tybee Island lies about a 30-minute drive east of Savannah. The small barrier islet is home to a 3-mile stretch of beach backed by sand dunes covered in sea oats. Visitors and residents head to the shore year-round for kayak trips and dolphin tours and to fish off the piers. Along the dockside, there's a string of outdoor grills that serve up beer-battered fish, steamed oysters, and shrimp right off the boat.
You can learn about the town's rich maritime history at a number of nearby forts, cottages, and landmarks, such as Tybee Island lighthouse, which offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Just a 30-minute shuttle ride away is downtown Savannah, where cobblestone streets buzz with lively buskers and energetic nightlife.