Destination Inspiration: Tybee Island, Georgia, US

Less than a half-hour’s drive from Savannah, film-location-favourite Tybee Island will delight those seeking sublime seafood menus, independent shops and sandy beaches as far as the eye can see

Where?

Tybee Island, Georgia, US.

Why now?

Seen the newly released foodie thrill-fest The Menu yet? While stars Ralph Fiennes and Anya Taylor-Joy serve up knockout performances, it was the film's spectacular Georgia location that did it for us. Hello, Tybee Island. Located just a 27-minute drive from the sun-drenched streets of Savannah, the easy-going town has long served as a staycation spot for Georgia residents, but recently it has seen a new generation of savvy travellers move in.

Located at the state's easternmost point, the town has a full-time population of just 3,091, but, despite its diminutive size, has appeared in a roster of silver-screen hits (more on that later), and is home to a thriving, close-knit community.

Tybee Island Light Station in Georgia, US

Tybee Island Light Station, left, and island sand dunes.

Stroll along Tybrisa Street, home to a huge variety of artisans and makers, to stock up on souvenirs including jewellery, pottery, paintings and speciality foods, making regular ice-cream stops along the way. Want more retail therapy? While away a whole afternoon at The Shoppes at 1207, on Highway 80, which is jam-packed with indie stores owned and managed by Georgia locals.

The main drawcard, though, is the slew of stellar eateries dotted along the town's coastline. We've adventured through sandy coves and danced along weather-beaten boardwalks to bring you the spots not to miss, from family-run seafood joints to laid-back beach hangouts and no-frills cafés. Plus, the essential swimming cossie to pack and our favourite place to stay while in town.

Don't miss

A wander around the Tybee Island Light Station and Museum is worth making time for. Clamber the 178 steps to the top of Georgia's oldest and tallest lighthouse to drink in sweeping ocean views.

Where to stay?

Truth be told, this destination isn't exactly awash in hip boutique hotels. We suggest making Tybee's North Beach Oasis your base. Close to the lighthouse, the bright, two-bedroom apartment comes with all mod cons, a balcony, use of a pool and is a stone's throw from the beach.

Beach visitors, left, and an expansive beach on the island.

Where to go for dinner?

Sundae Café is our favourite place for a proper feast. From the outside, chalkboard menus and LED lights give it a somewhat diner-like appearance, but step inside and you'll discover wooden banquette-style seating and a convivial atmosphere that make for a fun hangout. For something low-key on a dusky evening, try The Original Crab Shack to scoff shrimp and oysters under twinkling lights.

And for a drink…

A beach bar and grill set between the lighthouse and the beach, North Beach Bar and Grill combines the best of Georgian hospitality with a rustic vibe. Pitch up early to make the most of sipping cocktails and grazing on dishes such as asparagus and crab salad; it's only open until 8pm weekdays and 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Night owls looking for a sophisticated set-up will enjoy Pier 16, a space known for its stellar mojitos, frozen daiquiris and margaritas - and a selection of sharing plates to fill up on, too.

Southern seafood platter on Tybee Island

Clapboard architecture offers Southern charm, left, and an island speciality - seafood.

Who to take with you?

That friend who always has a bucket-load of brilliant film suggestions. They'll delight in the number of iconic movies in which Tybee Island has appeared. The Menu is only the latest in a long list that includes 2019's Peanut Butter Falcon, 2018's The Beach House and Ben Affleck's 2016-released Live by Night.

Essentials to pack

Baywatch fans will recognise Tybee Island as the backdrop to some of Zac Efron and The Rock's legendary action scenes from the 2017 film. Sound like you? Dress the part and run along the beach (or simply soak up some rays) in this red Marysia scalloped-edge cross-back swimsuit.

How to get there

There are no direct flights from the UK to Tybee Island. We suggest flying with British Airways from London Gatwick to Savannah International Airport, from where it's just a 25-minute drive to the centre of town.

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