Hot Spots Near Tybee Island: Cockspur Island Lighthouse

TYBEE ISLAND, Georgia — Tybee lodging at Lighthouse Inn, of course, is our answer to the discerning traveler’s questions about where to stay on Tybee Island any time of year.   In addition to a day trip to historic Savannah, our guest enjoy a visit to Fort Pulaski for photography and history, plus the hiking trails.

Paddle boarding and kayaking along the historic Cockspur Island during a visit to “Georgia’s Coastal Playground” — Tybee Island, GA — is topping many lists!

Cockspur Lighthouse. Photo (c) Bruce Tuten. Used under Creative Commons license.

Cockspur Lighthouse. Photo (c) Bruce Tuten.

  • As seen in this Bruce Tuten photograph, the historic lighthouse appears to float at high tide, when water covers the islet it stands on.  Perhaps you have seen the iconic photos of kayaks along Lazaretto Creek, beached or passing Cockspur Lighthouse. (See @For91days Tybee kayaking photo.)

More Tidbits About Cockspur Island:

Cockspur Lighthouse retired from service to the military on June 1, 1909. By presidential proclamation, the Cockspur Beacon was transferred from the U. S. Coast Guard to the National Park Service in 1958, and dedication to preservation of this historic landmark began.

Located in Tybee Roads’ South Channel of the Savannah River , on the historic Cockspur Lighthouse is now part of Fort Pulaski National Monument, completed in 1847 and located on Cockspur Island in Chatham County, Georgia, approximately 15 miles east of Savannah.

Fort Pulaski on Cockspur Island. Photo (c) Fort Pulaski. Used under Creative Commons License

Cockspur Island and Fort Pulaski

Did you know: Fort Pulaski is a prominent film location in “The Conspirator,” Robert Redford’s movie released April 15, 2011.

From his West Point graduation, Brevet Second Lt. Robert E. Lee received, on August 11, his first official orders from Brig. Gen. Charles Gratiot, Chief of Engineers, that he must “by the middle of November next, report to Maj. Samuel Babcock of the corps of Engineers for duty at Cockspur Island, in the Savannah River Ga.”  He arrived in November to the “genuine unhurried charm of the deep ante bellum South.”  Rare sketches of the terrapin and alligator made by Lieutenant Lee on Cockspur Island are here. Source:

Built in 1854, the illuminated beacon survived the bombardment of Fort Pulaski during the Civil War, despite being directly in the line of fire.  The Cockspur Lighthouse is one of the five surviving historic lighthouses in Georgia.

Photographer Bruce Tuten writes:  “After 98 years, the local Coast Guard Commander Rear Admiral David Kunkle flipped a switch at 7:23pm on Sunday, March 18, 2007 and lit the lighthouse Cockspur for the first time in 98 years.  The lite is solar powered and is not designed to be a functioning light house as Tybee but that’s not the point. It is being done to draw attention to the fact this is a historic bit of architecture that has survived hurricanes and Yankee cannon fire. It’s worth saving.”

Additional Resource:

History is Kept Alive at Fort Pulaski National Monument, Kim Gusby / WSAV

For more information:

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

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