Less than 1 block to the beach --- wide white-sand beach.
What is unique about Tybee Island?
. Barrier island due east of historic Savannah
. Just 3-mile diameter, and half that is salt marsh
. Birthplace and home of a C-list actor; chosen home of an
A-list actor; nesting home of loggerhead sea turtles.
. Great dolphin viewing --- virtually guaranteed on the
north end of the island. Dolphin boat tours are always
available, but sitting on the north beach is just as
effective. We once watched a band of dolphins frolicking
with a delighted kayaker.
. Impressive pier that extends way, way out into the water.
Each end has a nice covered pavilion.
What is close to Coral House?: . The beach
. Across the street: 5 restaurants
1) McElwhee's Seafood,
3) Sundae Cafe - a hole-in-the-wall, white-tablecloth, Gourmet
restaurant. Sundaes? Nah. (go figure) But The Sugar Shack has great ones.
4) The Sugar Shack - a decidedly downscale, inexpensive
place that serves a good breakfast, sandwiches, and hand-
dipped ice cream. Indoor or covered outdoor dining.
The 2 Lighthouses: Two lighthouses less than 3 miles apart but so radically different in character. As you approach Tybee Island, you see the impressive Tybee Light in the distance. Tall, dark, and handsome with a white cumberbund. He was honored a couple of years ago when he got his own US postage stamp. ( In lighthouse circles that is akin to an Oscar.) But then as you cross the Lazaretto bridge onto Tybee Island, you look down to the left and blink. Is that a lighthouse in the water? Indeed it is. That's plucky little Cockspur Lighthouse. Weathered, plain white masonry. Not flashy at all, except ... At every high tide Cockspur stands in the ocean well off-shore. Only at low tide does the stony spur appear that supports the little lighthouse. A firm foundation after all.
Lost in the 40's/50's: So far the quaint shopping district near the pier has pretty much escaped the wrecking ball. Witness Arby's --- Tybee Island's only fast food restaurant. This is pretty much what Arby's looked like when they began in the early 60's. As for shopping, no Sak's here. We're talking beach shopping: T-shirts, souvenirs, Sno-Cones, umbrella drinks, seafood. But remember, for culture and serious shopping, there is colorful, historic Savannah, just 20-25 minutes away. Recommended reading: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, an amusing look at Savannah's high- and low-life (about 2 years on the NY Times nonfiction best seller list).
Coral House is located about mid-beach between south beach (home of the pier and shopping) and north beach ( home of the majestic Tybee Light and the former Ft. Screven, now a museum).