With more than five miles of beach to explore along the Atlantic Ocean, Tybee Island is a paradise for beach bums, sand castle architects, and shell collectors. But unlike most other coastal destinations, Tybee Island has two beaches that don’t face the ocean: the Tybee Back River Beach and the Savannah River Beach, located at the southern and northern ends of Tybee Island respectively. Read on to learn more about each of Tybee’s river beaches!
Learn more about the beaches on Tybee Island.
About Tybee’s Back River Beach
Tybee’s Back River Beach is located at the south end of Tybee Island, at the very end of Highway 80. The Back River beach is home to some of the best sunsets on the island, and offers wide stretches of sand, gentle waves, and plenty of opportunities for dolphin sightings. The Back River beach overlooks Little Tybee Island and the Tybee Creek, offering a perfect location for waterfront dining, drinks, and entertainment.
Back River beach is one of the quieter beaches on Tybee Island. Beachgoers have the chance to enjoy a quiet day away from crowds or take a nice stroll to hunt for shells. The sand is nearly white, and softer than you’ll find at Tybee’s other beaches. And the waves are calm enough for anyone looking to paddleboard or kayak. Anglers also love this particular stretch of beach, as the beach and Fisherman’s Walk Pier are great spots to fish. Some of the more common catches are red drum, black drum, and sheepshead, but you may also find some Spanish mackerel, flounder, speckled trout, and maybe even a stingray!
There is limited parking available at Fisherman’s Walk pier located off of Chatham Avenue, but there is also $2/hour metered parking available throughout the area.
With its laid-back beach vibes and world-class sunsets, it only makes sense that Tybee’s Back River would also be home to waterfront bars & restaurants serving up the freshest seafood and southern comfort staples. While Tybee Island only has one oceanfront restaurant, there are several waterfront restaurants here in the Back River- many of which with parking for cars and boats alike. A-J’s Dockside is a Tybee Island staple, serving up some of the best food on the island with views that are second to none. The Crab Shack is best known for its classic Lowcountry boil dishes. From their BBQ options to the kid’s menu, there’s no going wrong here. If you’re looking for something sweet we recommend heading to Seaside Sweets for some great homemade ice cream and gelato.
Check out more of Tybee Island’s best restaurants and bars!
About Savannah River Beach
While Back River beach is located on the southern end of Tybee Island, the Savannah River beach is located at the north end. Just a short walk from North Beach, The Savannah River beach is much quieter and offers the same great dolphin sighting opportunities as Back River. The waves here are very calm, and the sand is soft and littered with shells. It’s a great beach for taking a quiet stroll and shell hunting.
The calm and clear water at Savannah River beach offers a great spot for swimming, but be careful as there are no lifeguards patrolling this beach. If you’re visiting during the off-season or just don’t feel like getting wet, this area of Tybee Island is also ideal for just setting up some chairs and relaxing or taking a quiet walk away from the busier beaches along the Atlantic. Shrimp boats passing by, dolphins, and gazing at the Cockspur Island Lighthouse- a piece of Tybee Island and Savannah history.
Parking at Savannah River beach is very limited. The easiest way to get here is by parking at North Beach and walking over. There is some $2/hour metered parking available on Polk Street, but these spaces fill up quickly during the busier months. Regardless, Savannah River beach is easy enough to get to and certainly worth exploring!
Conveniently located right near the Savannah River is the Savannah Beach and Racquet Club. It’s a popular destination for couples and small families, as it is located right on the river with easy access to the beach.