Whether buying a house, picking a hotel, or maybe even starting a business, being centrally located is definitely a big check in the pros column when you’re making a decision. And while there is an abundance of things to do during your stay in Savannah, you might be interested to know that while you’re here, you’re also centrally located to some amazing adventures that are surprisingly close by.
Tybee Island Lighthouse
Just outside of historic downtown Savannah is the authentic beach town of Tybee Island, Georgia. A short 40-minute drive will transport you worlds away with warm ocean breezes, sand between your toes, and the chance to tour Georgia’s oldest and tallest lighthouse. As part of an original light station whose history dates back to 1736, the 145-foot tall tower is a must-see during your jaunt to Tybee and offers breathtaking 360-degree views from the catwalk at its top; an apex that can only be reached by climbing the lighthouse’s 178 steps.
The good news is, there are resting platforms every 25 steps complete with a viewing area so even if the foot-powered ascension seems daunting all at once, with a break here or there, you’ll scale it like a pro. In addition to the lighthouse, your ticket also gives you access to historic cottages on the ground that were once occupied by the lighthouse’s keepers as well as Battery Garland, where the Tybee Museum is housed.
The Daufuskie Difference
Now that you’ve seen Tybee from the ‘top’ we invite you to come back down to sea level and ride a few waves aboard the Daufuskie Difference ferry to an historic island like no other. With a history that dates back 10,000 years to Indians who inhabited the island until the 1800s, Daufuskie, which means “point of a feather” or “point of an arrow” according to the Yammacraw tribe, remains rich in history and nature yet still so secluded that you can only reach it by boat. “Our spring ferry service typically starts every March, weather depending, and usually runs through the end of November when the fog picks up,” explained Mary Ward of DaufuskieDifference.com.
For visitors to Savannah, the ferry is conveniently located on River Street and takes passengers straight to the Freeport Marina on the island. “The Marina is also home to the Old Daufuskie Crab Company that serves a variety of local favorites including a drink called the Scrap Iron that’s made from moonshine,” described Ward. “The restaurant has live music most Saturdays and Sundays and there’s also a nearby general store, children’s playground and golf cart rentals.” You are highly encouraged to reserve your golf cart ahead of time. With only two paved roads on the entire island, cruising through forest canopies is best enjoyed via motorized golf cart.
So, you’re on Daufuskie, you eat a little lunch, browse the general store, and hop on a golf cart. Now you get to explore the true beauty of this island gem using a map with 14 points of interest that includes the Bloody Point Lighthouse, Silver Dew Winery, Undertakers House, Mary Fields School, Iron Fish Gallery….well, let’s just say there’s plenty to do and see. “It takes a little less than an hour, one way, to travel from Savannah to Daufuskie,” said Ward, “and it’s a great chance to view salt marshes and see dolphins and wildlife along the way. Once you’re here, give yourself about 4 hours on the island to enjoy a self-guided tour.” There are guided tours also available and for that along with any other information you may need, a wonderful resource to help you make the most of your experience.
Georgia Sea Turtle Center
For an excursion to enjoy on the mainland, you should set aside an afternoon to explore the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on nearby Jekyll Island, Georgia. “Jekyll is only about an hour, hour-and-a-half from Savannah so it’s an easy (and beautiful) drive to see the only sea turtle hospital in Georgia,” stated Nicki Thomas, Education Program Manager for the Jekyll Island Authority, Georgia Sea Turtle Center. “As a renowned and innovative facility, visitors get a chance to see the rehabilitation process up close and learn about one of the most recognizable species in the world.” According to Thomas, most visitors and families spend about an hour at the hospital facility and then they make a day of being on Jekyll by enjoying nature-based activities, amazing history tours and the Island’s iconic beaches.
The Georgia Sea Turtle Center also offers behind-the-scenes tours of its facilities, taking guests back into the working parts of the hospital guided by a member of their education staff. This exclusive peak includes a visit to the food prep areas, animal holding areas and the treatment room for an in-depth view of sea turtle rehabilitation (but plan accordingly as size is limited to six participants ages 10+ and advance reservations are required).
One thing is certain: during your stay in Savannah, you’ll never ever have to ask the age-old question, “what are we going to do today?” Immersed in the history of Savannah and surrounded by the intrigue of worldly excursions that are all mere minutes away, the better question may be, “how do we do it all?” Then again, that’s what return visits are for. And we do hope you’ll return again and again.
Ready for your next adventure? Book your stay in Savannah!