Nostalgic Tybee Island: Ideas of Things to Do and See in September

Tybee Island Surf - Photo Flick attribution rJones0856 creative commons license

Get away to Tybee Island, “The Playground of the Southeast“! Why not September?

We love our little corner of the planet here on Tybee Island, and invite you to stay at Lighthouse Inn bed and breakfast cottage during your next visit.  While the traditional high season on Tybee Island is May 1 through September 1, annually, beach life is wonderfully pleasant and less crowded in Fall.

Historically, average temperatures in September are high 83-degrees F, and low of 68-degrees F, making Tybee Island an ideal island vacation spot long after September.  In fact, a beach walk, sky gazing, birding, wonderful food, and southern visiting are ideal in Autumn!  Pirates Fest is in October, so there is no full stop here, ever!

“…Mid-September ushers back in ‘Tybee Time” when the residents have the place to themselves and the particular pleasures of a warm winter beach….”Insiders Guide to Savannah and Hilton Head

So, you ask, “What to do in Tybee Island in September?”  We are happy to highlight some of the September 2011 Tybee Island Events.

A few more ideas for a September getaway, a grand time for vacationers and tourists to click into Tybee Island’s uncrowded beaches, and the always-unhurried beach culture.

  • Try sky-watching the wide sky from the Atlantic Ocean’s beach.  Meet up Friday, September 2, 2011 (plus October 7, November 4, and December 2, 2011) , meet up for “Night Skies – Telescopes at the Tybee Pier and Pavilion”, hosted by Oglethorpe Astronomical Association at sunset. Weather permitting. Free. 912/401-8634 email  “Comet Elenin (C/2010 X1), might reach naked-eye brightness a week or so after it reaches perihelion on September 10th.” advised Kelly Beatty in Sky and Telescope. “We are thrilled to have guests – that is why we are there, to bring astronomy to the public,” says Felecia Burrow.  “We usually set up at dusk and are there for several hours thereafter. The summer skies can be contrary, but there are some beautiful things to see in the summerWe are fortunate this summer to have Saturn gracing our sky.  Please encourage your guests to join us, we would love to show them the sky. (We also have some members who go out to the pier on nonscheduled evenings.  You can tell your guests to look for someone with what looks like a cannon out on the pier.)”
  • The best time for birding on Tybee and Fort Pulaski includes August to October for passerine migrants. points to Little Tybee Island State Heritage Preserve also. “Egrets, herons, ibis, and Osprey are numerous in summer, and there are a few nesting spots on the island for these birds. The Salt marshes provide valuable habitat for Clapper Rails, Seaside and Sharp-tailed Sparrows and many waterfowl. Wood Storks and Bald Eagles also nest within the Preserve.”
  • Tybee islanders suggest Savannah as a day trip! Conversely, the island gets lots of attention still from Savannahians who like to think of Tybee Island as their beach suburb! Here are a few happenings, worth going off island:

Off-island Giuliana Rancic is keynote speaker at the Smart Women Expo & Luncheon on Wednesday, September 28, 2011, held at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center.  The Smart Women Expo & Luncheon raises money for the Mary Telfair Women’s Hospital.

Savannah  Music! Savannah Jazz Festival (September 18-25, 2011), and African Music Festival on the riverfront (September 18).

From historical snippets (below), you’ll see that Tybee Island is busy at work in September.   These historical flash backs may give you ideas of things to do on Tybee in September; or, encourage you to make your reservations for your next trip to enjoy the sun, surf, and slowed relaxation on the island.

  • September 10, 2010, Savannah Morning News reports, “X-Men eye Savannah, Tybee Island for new prequel“. However, Jekyll Island won out.   Tybee islanders are so welcoming to movie makers. “The Last Song” starring Miley Cyrus was filmed on Tybee, finishing on August 18, 2009.  More movies with filming on Tybee here.
  • September 6, 2010. Savannah Morning News reports, “Tybee moves to restore ‘Historic Butler’ Avenue” with palm-lined median.  Lighthouse innkeepers are members of the Tybee Island Historical Society, actively supporting the restorations  at the historic Fort Screven’s “Tybee Post Theatre” and Tybee Light Station.
  • In September 1961, Savannah Evening Press reported 8,000 visitors attending newly opened Tybee Museum. Battery Garland the former gun battery and magazine for a twelve-inch long-range gun became the Tybee Museum. Rooms which once stored six-hundred pound projectiles and two-hundred pound bags of gunpowder now hold the collections and exhibits of over four-hundred years of Tybee Island history.  The museum is a few minutes stroll from Lighthouse Inn.
  • On September 9, 1948, the cornerstone of  St. Michael Catholic School was laid.
  • Beginning in September 1933, Central of Georgia’s Tybee District rails were removed.  Some of the rail line running through McQueen Island near Tybee Island has been converted to Rails to Trails for outdoor recreation — walking, hiking, and biking.
  • In 1926, article headlines referred to Tybee Island as “The Playground of the Southeast“.  Locals continue to call Tybee “Paradise”.
  • Oyster roasts and fires were often seen on the beach throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s.  Today fires are NOT permitted on the beach any time of year.  Yet, Oyster roasts are a Tybee tradition among family and friends, particularly at Christmas.  [Lighthouse Inn would be a fun holiday 2011 for empty-nesters!]  The Georgia oyster harvest 2011 is closed May 1-September 30, 2011, because Summer is spawning season for oysters and estuarine water temperatures usually exceed 81 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • September 27, 1916, (photo) 100 yard dash, sports field event at Fort Screven. Tybee Island is a popular sporting venue year around, even for zero-training-needed Polar Bear Plunge on January 1, annually.  Now is a great time to make lodging reservations at Lighthouse Inn for the Rock ‘N Roll Marathon in Savannah, November 5, 2011
  • September 6, 1888, the Savannah Morning News announced plans of The Tybee Beach Company to construct “a mammoth hotel”.  Instead of Tybee hotels, of course, we recommend Lighthouse Inn bed and breakfast lodging for opportunities to socialize with and hear stories from well-connected Tybee locals.
  • September 28, 1874 – The highest tide known since 1854 swept the Island between 9 am and 10 am; caused by a violent north-east gale during high water. Lighthouse Keeper reported, “The results of our summers labor in the garden, about 40 dollars worth of sweet potatoes, were ruined by being flooded by salt water.”  In 2011, a Tybee Community Garden is in active development.  (Bet you didn’t know gardening was a part of life on Tybee Island!)
  • September 11, 1874, the Savannah Morning News announced the completion of a survey of Tybee and described lots that were being made available.  Because  island beach life is so popular, the choice lots, condos and beach cottages today can run a million or more!
  • In 1779, the French fleet, “one of the largest gatherings of foreign ships ever assembled of the coast of America” staged off the Tybee coast during the American Revolutionary War.   If you’re on island in July, celebrate America’s national anniversary on our beautiful barrier island with 4th of July beach fireworks (actually on July 3rd evening) lighting up the Georgia coast for miles.

No matter the time of year, you should not miss a visit to Tybee Island.  As we said, “September is a grand time to vacation here!”  If not September, when?

More insights from TripAdvisor post, asking if “September is too late for Tybee?”

– Right Way Magazine, December 20, 1958.
Insiders Guide to Savannah and Hilton Head, 7th by Rich Wittish, Betty Darby.
– Tybee Island Long Branch of the South by Robert A. Ciucevich.
– Historic Tybee Island by Katherine D. Ferreira
Education Manual, Tybee Island Light Station

For more information:

Lighthouse Inn, a Tybee Island breakfast inn
Historic Tybee Beach Bed and Breakfast Cottage, Celebrating 100 Years! |
16 Meddin Drive | Tybee Island | Georgia | USA 31328
(912) 786-0901 | Toll Free (866) 786-0901 | Twitter @Rockinporch | Facebook

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