For the fourth year running, "Coastal Living" magazine has named 10 finalists in their contest for America's Happiest Seaside Town. And Georgia's very own Tybee Island made that list. The winner and full ranking – determined by popular vote – will be announced in June on coastalliving.com and featured in the July/August issue of the magazine.

Around here, we have no doubt that Tybee Island is one of the best places to settle down by the sea. And whether Tybee is named #1 or not, Tybee locals are a happy lot. There are many reasons why. Five of them follow (in no particular order).

1.Because the barrier island setting is serene with many shades of pretty.

As an Atlantic barrier island, Tybee has a diversity of scenic gifts. Its broad sandy shoreline stretches for miles, faces the sunrise, and is backed by softly running sand dunes adorned with golden oats. Picturesque marshes cuddle up to shore and make sightings of migratory songbirds, marine life, and water birds commonplace. Whispering palms and emerald- leaved magnolias line streets and nestle neighborhoods, and moss curtained oaks catch sea breezes and dapple the landscape with shade.

2.Because Tybee Island's vibe is dressed –down and low-key.

Tybee Island also has an ambiance some call "living on Tybee Time." (It's often said that once you cross the causeway you can feel yourself unwind. Indeed, Tybee is an easygoing beach town where flip flops, casual clothes and swimsuits go with the lifestyle, and where locals treasure whimsical traditions like the annual Beach Bum Parade (which purposely ends in an all-out water fight).

3.Because life on Tybee can be as active or as languid as you like.

Another thing to love about Tybee is that laid back doesn't mean there's nothing to do. Residents can pick their water sport du jour, take in an event, or be a tourist in their own town with a dolphin tour, ecology trip or historic site exploration. Or, they can clock some beach time, catch some z's, or frequent their favorite Tybee watering hole or restaurant (where the scrumptious catch of the day may have literally just been caught).

4.Because those who live on Tybee have, as they say, the best of both worlds.

With Savannah only 20 minutes away, Tybee residents have access to urban culture, commerce, and conveniences coupled with the vacation-like lifestyle of home sweet home. Even those who work in Savannah's urban core pretty much get a gridlock-free commute. And when the notion strikes for another type of getaway, residents can be at an international airport in under an hour.

5.Because the climate is pleasant much of the time.

Then there is the sunshine and warmth. Summertime calls for shorts and sunscreen of course, but there are countervailing ocean breezes. Early autumn is still beach weather and in late fall you can usually get by with the lightweight jacket for an evening stroll along the beach. Winter can be remarkably sunny and mild. Springtime sees a quick warm-up, and residents register little surprise when comfortably sinking their toes into the sand as early as April.

If you'd like to see first-hand why Tybee Island is a true treasure of the Georgia colonial coast, just give us a shout. We'll fill you in on the Tybee Island real estate market, which offers an eclectic mélange of homes that range from humble cottages to island retreats. Plus, there are townhomes and condos that are perfect for a primary residence, vacation home, or investment property.



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Tybee Island, Georgia

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Tybee Island, Georgia

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Tybee Island, Georgia

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Tybee Island, Georgia

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Photo from: beachviewtybee.com