Living on Tybee Time

Posted By Tybee Life / June 22, 2015 / , , , , / 15 Comments

Tybee 101 – Living on Tybee Time

Screenshot at Jun 22 14-41-39

Lesson #1 

The locals don’t care how things are done in other places. Tybee has always been known for being unique, quirky, funky, off-beat, and any other word you can think of that means “different.” You can make suggestions, lobby for changes, and tear your hair out, but you probably won’t be heard. Most of the long-time Tybee residents are so laid-back, they usually don’t understand why anyone gets upset over the little challenges of life. Their philosophical views include “get over it,” “don’t sweat the small stuff,” and “let it go.” If you’re on vacation, leave your worries at home, and don’t be concerned about any little inconveniences you might experience while on da island! 

Screenshot at Jun 22 14-42-01

Lesson #2 –

You cannot tell the wealthy people from the beach bums. Don’t assume that the old guy wearing raggedy shorts and flip flops in a dive bar is some poor dude who gets government assistance. Lots of people ditch the nice clothes, jewelry, and uncomfortable shoes when they move to Tybee. They might live in an old cottage or a new 4000 square foot house with an ocean view, but their net worth can’t be determined by their personal appearance. At Tybee, it’s acceptable to wear casual clothes all of the time, even to church, so some people don’t even own respectable outfits. Or coats.The 32 degrees latitude means you can get by with a couple extra layers during the few days of cold weather we get every winter. Spending a lot of time walking on the beach, going out on boats, and riding bikes makes everyone look windblown, even when sporting the most popular hairstyle for both men and women:  the ponytail! Make-up melts in the hot, humid weather, so most women wear the bare minimum. Speaking of the bare minimum, you won’t see many suits, jackets, or neckties on the island. It just isn’t necessary! There is an old saying: Dress as you wish to be treated. Well, Tybee folks aren’t embarrassed to look like beach bums. However, if you want to wear that resort wear and those sexy heels you packed, that’s just fine, too. 

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Lesson #3 –

Not everyone is striving for financial success. Sure, there are varying degrees of ambition and work habits here, but many people who choose to live on a tiny island have other priorities. They might desire to work just enough to get by, then spend the rest of their time surfing, spending time with family, and creating art or music. Some retirees have already spent decades in the “rat race,” so they are enjoying their twilight years having fun and relaxing. Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule. Those new-comers who have dollar signs in their eyes might prosper in their chosen island-based businesses, but they also might feel frustrated by the relaxed attitudes of their fellow islanders. People everywhere have to decide how hard they want to work to purchase the lifestyle they think they need. Many beach people don’t need more than what nature provides.

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Lesson #4 –

Everybody socializes with everybody else. Tybee has over 3000 people on three square miles, so the locals see each other repeatedly. Our paths cross throughout the day and at every community event, so it’s best to be civil to all. If you have a conflict with Billy Bob, sho ’nuff you will see him at least twice a day for the next week, so play nice to avoid awkward situations. Nobody wants to move away, so even ex-spouses and feuding family members see their “enemies” frequently, so they eventually learn to deal with it. It’s hard to hide from someone else in such a small community. If you are “clique-ish” or think you are better than your neighbors, you won’t fit in here! 


Lesson #5 –

Forget about Father Time while you are here! Give yourself permission to relax, refresh, and rejuvenate. Your life at home is probably heavily scheduled, so try to accept “Tybee Time” and go with the flow. Don’t try to rush through your planned activities or during your travels to/from Tybee. Disconnect from your devices and enjoy reconnecting with nature and loved ones. Our ancestors knew that the ocean breezes are restorative and that a swim will wash your troubles away!


Lesson #6 –

Explore your creative and artistic side. Tybee has many opportunities for locals and visitors to express themselves. You can try karaoke (particularly if you don’t know anyone else here), take art lessons, volunteer to be onstage or backstage for a local play production, take photographs, join the crafty ladies at the Episcopal Church on Thursday afternoons, or join the musical jams held at the bars (Doc’s and Social Club on Tuesdays and Sandbar on Wednesdays). There are many artists and musicians at Tybee who encourage others to try new things. Island life is like kindergarten. As Robert Fulghum advised, ” Live a balanced life – learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.  Take a nap every afternoon.”

Doc House

Doc House from Tybee Vacation Rentals

Lesson #7 –

You might want to relocate to Tybee! Many new residents discovered Tybee while on vacation, then planned to move here permanently. It’s a great place to visit and a special place to live. You can chill out by yourself or become involved in community activities. As in most small towns, there are very few secrets and soon everybody will know your name. Just be forewarned: When you have a house at the beach, you will hear from all of your long-lost friends and relatives!



  • Lisa Nyabinghi
    December 2, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    My 9yr old daughter and I want to relocate to Tybee Island. I am looking to rent right now because I am not in a position to buy yet. I am retired military, am a native American spiritual leader and an on call chaplain. I love volunteering and helping others.


  • Sharon
    June 27, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    We first visited Tybee 6 years ago for summer vacation. Needless to say it has become our every June place to go. We absolutely love Tybee!

    • Ray Williams
      September 22, 2018 at 7:22 pm


      Then why don’t you check out this 2 bedroom, 2 bath , Townhouse for sale by owner March 1, 2019!

      If not interested, please share. Would a appreciate it! a BIG TYBEE — THANKS!

      Ray Williams [email protected]

  • Sonya Harris
    June 1, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    I just visited Tybee Island last week..Absolutely Beautiful!!!! I most definitely will be back.I am actually thinking of retirement there#!! Love,Love Love!!

    • Ray Williams
      September 22, 2018 at 7:37 pm


      Glad you’re hooked on the Tybee Time lifestyle. My wife and I’ve been enjoying our Tybee Townhome since 2004 living in it for the first year. Then started renting it out … WOW!! What a great investment. Now we’re about to retire and are putting our townhome with the HOA pool next to us on sale March 1, 2019. Check out my website (BTW) a work in progress.

  • Steve Hitchcock
    July 7, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    I love this place. We try to go every year for the last 6 years? Cant wait till August trip.

  • Paula
    October 18, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    We are coming to Tybee in two weeks for our first family vacation. 3 families coming together. I would like to put together a scavenger hunt for everyone that would be educational and fun at the same time. Has anyone else ever done this and if so, can you direct me to the list? Thanks. Looking forward to our trip.

    • Charissa
      October 19, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      Hi Paula, I don’t know of this being done before but it is a wonderful idea!! We would love to help anyway we can. Shoot me an email at [email protected]

      • Alan Thomas
        April 11, 2020 at 6:45 pm

        Hey. Read about a bar owner from there who took all the dollars off the wall and gave to her laid off employees, googled the place and now, I want to check out the place to move to. I moved from Philly to Raleigh in ’89 but Raleigh got too young & liberal on me. Any advice or recommondations?
        Alan Thomas
        [email protected]

        • Charissa
          April 22, 2020 at 12:55 pm

          Jen and Pam are awesome people! Definitely check out the Sand Bar when you come to Tybee.

    • Carolyn
      May 10, 2016 at 7:19 pm

      Check out Sundial Charter for a fun and educational experience.

  • JB
    June 22, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Sounds like heaven on earth! Need a piano player ?

  • Eva Foreman
    June 22, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    I am making Tybee my vacation this year. I am bringing a friend from New Jersey. I have never vacationed there so I’m not sure what to do. Do you have a visitors guide, coupons for anything, and suggestions?

    • Charissa
      June 22, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      Hi Eva, you should look at our printed publications, I have linked to them below. Both are full of useful info on the area and what to do while here. You should also take a look around our site we have some great blog post to help visitors feel out the island before they come!

      Discover Tybee Magazine
      Where to Eat at the Beach

    • Marcel Dunant
      September 22, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      we don’t pay for beach access!

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