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Known as Savannah’s Beach, Tybee Island is located eighteen miles east of the city on the Atlantic Ocean. For many visitors, the action is centered on South Beach, site of the Tybee Pier and Pavilion and steps away from the souvenir shops, casual eateries, and frozen daiquiri bars lining lively Tybrisa and Strand streets.
First, let’s get the Beaufort/Beaufort confusion out of the way. Beaufort (pronounced “Bew-furt”), South Carolina, is a perfectly fine town—but not our destination this time. I prefer to head up the coast to Beaufort (pronounced “Bo-furt”), North Carolina, for an experience entirely different from the barrier islands south of Charleston: no palm trees, golf courses, or Lowcountry cuisine here.
You know those “moments” that the travel industry promises if you just hop on a plane and get to an exotic beach? Those moments of existential bliss, of zen-like relaxation, possible (we’re told) only by traveling great distances and coughing up great gouts of cash? I don’t have those moments. At least I didn’t until one rainy afternoon on the west coast of Costa Rica.
“Well,” I said to my husband, “I don’t think I have ever dined out looking so grubby in my life—but I don’t remember when I last felt this relaxed.” With another swig from a bottle of PBR, I leaned back in the wooden bench on the wide front porch of Indian Pass Trading Post and listened as Kerry James, whose sun-streaked hair and leathered skin testified to decades of beach bumming, belted his way through “Sweet Caroline.”