Excursions by kayak are one of the best ways to experience the nature and landscape of the Georgia coast, as they allow a closer look at the marsh landscape and its wildlife, traveling along creeks that would be difficult to access by larger boat. Tybee Island itself offers many opportunities for kayaking, with sheltered creek and river and estuary locations to paddle in.
From the Savannah River, north of Tybee Island, you can enjoy views of the houses and historic lighthouse of northern Tybee, or of Cockspur Island (with its own little lighthouse) and Fort Pulaski a short distance upriver. Dolphins can often be seen here, and there is an abundance of birdlife.
This is a convenient spot to kayak in, with launch available from near the Tybee Island Marina on Lazaretto Creek. The creek itself cuts Tybee Island off from the rest of the marsh, with paddles to the south end of the island also possible from this location.
To the south of Tybee Island are the sandbars at the mouth of the Tybee Creek and a little further inland is Chimney Creek, both popular places to kayak or paddleboard.
Any of the guided kayak trips below should usually be suitable for beginners. If you have experience of kayaking or paddleboarding and knowledge of the area, you can alternatively rent the necessary equipment and make an unguided excursion of your own.
Alternative nearby destinations for shorter paddles include Little Tybee Island and the Skidaway River and its vicinity. Experienced paddlers may also enjoy a longer excursion to one of the more distant barrier islands of the upper Georgia coast, Wassaw or Ossabaw.
!The information below is correct as of June 2017, but please check availability and all details directly with the respective companies when planning your trip. Availability may vary by season, and operators may withdraw or change specific tours or services without notice.
Several companies offer rental of both single and tandem kayaks in the Savannah/Tybee Island area: North Island Surf and Kayak, Sea Kayak Georgia and Tybee Island Jet Ski and Watersports, all based out of the Tybee Island Marina at Lazaretto Creek; and Moon River Kayak, based at Hogan’s Marina on Wilmington Island.
With the exception of Moon River Kayak, which required you to pick up the kayak(s) yourself at their shop, delivery to local launch spots is available for an additional fee (reservations are usually required). Inquire directly for details.
– Tybee Jet Ski and Watersports: 4-hour rentals, no fixed start or end time. Single kayaks $35, tandem $45. Call 912-786-8062. More details
– Sea Kayak Georgia: 3-hour kayak rentals beginning at either 8am, 10am, 1:30pm or 3pm. Single kayaks $30, tandem $50. Reservations required for 8am starts, call 912-786-8732. More details
– Moon River Kayak: Half-day rentals, single kayaks $35 and tandem $45. Reservations required, call 912-897-3474. More details
– North Island Surf and Kayak: Full-day rentals (includes overnight rentals, pick up after 4pm) single kayak $45, tandem $55. Call 912-786-4000. More details
– Sea Kayak Georgia: Sit-on-top kayaks: 6.5 hours (10am-4:30pm) single $45, tandem $60; 10 hours (8am-6pm) single $60, tandem $70. Sit-inside kayak full-day rentals also available: plastic kayak, single $55 and tandem $85; composite kayak, single $85 and tandem $110. Reservations required for 8am starts, call 912-786-8732. More details
– Tybee Jet Ski and Watersports: Full-day rentals, single kayak $45, tandem $55. Call 912-786-8062. More details
– Moon River Kayak: Full-day rentals, single kayak $45, tandem $55. Reservations required, call 912-897-3474. More details
The picturesque Cockspur Island lighthouse is the focus of most kayaking trips that stay in the waters immediately around Tybee Island. Here you can often see dolphins, pelicans and other bird life; shrimping boats and cargo ships in the Savannah River; and enjoy views of Fort Pulaski and the bay.
These tours will usually be suitable for absolute beginners, and should not require too much physical exertion. In all cases, reservations are required, and availability will depend upon the tides.
Cockspur Lighthouse Kayak Tour, 1hr30. With Tybee Jet Ski and Watersports. Cockspur Island and north Tybee, from Lazaretto Creek. Adults $38, children (12 and under) $28. $5 military discount. Call 912-786-8062 for reservations. More details
High Tide Drift Wood Beach Tour, 1hr30 (pet-friendly). With Tybee Jet Ski and Watersports. High tide tour of north Tybee Island and Cockspur Lighthouse, from Lazaretto Creek. Adults $38, children (12 and under) $28. $5 military discount. Call 912-786-8062 for reservations. More details
Cockspur Lighthouse, 3hrs. With Savannah Canoe and Kayak. Cockspur Island and the Savannah River estuary from Lazaretto Creek. $65 per person. Call 912-341-9502 for reservations. More details
North End of Tybee to Lazaretto Creek, 3hrs. With Sea Kayak Georgia. Adults $55, children (17 and under) $45. Call 912-786-8732 for reservations. More details
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Tybee Island Kayak Tour, 3hrs or 6hrs. North Island Surf and Kayak offer 3-hour and 6-hour tours of Tybee Island, customizable according to the preferences of your group. 3-hour excursions are $50 per adult and $35 per child under 10; 6-hour excursions are $100 per adult and $85 per child. Call 912-786-4000 for reservations. More details
Lazaretto Creek to Tybee Creek, 4 hours. With Sea Kayak Georgia. Tide-dependent tour of Tybee Island’s creeks. Adults $65, children (17 and under) $45. Call 912-786-8732 for reservations. More details
Sea Kayak Georgia (912-786-8732) offers a sunset tour of Tybee Island and its creeks, and North Island Surf and Kayak (912-786-4000) offers tours at both sunset and sunrise. Call the respective companies for details and availability.