According to Heather Harvey, co-chair for this year's Tybee Island Tour of Homes, you should get tickets early so you can start touring these great homes as soon as the clock strikes 10 a.m. Saturday.

"You can start the day at any of the eight locations," she adds. "We like to tell people to split up the day and do four in the morning, then stop for lunch at the Tybee Island Maritime Academy, and then finish the last four after lunch."

The 21st annual Tybee Tour of Homes takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 5 and features access to beautiful and unique homes all over the island. Tickets are $45 and include a parking pass and boxed lunch with beverage served at the academy, 714 Lovell Ave.

The tour began as a way to raise money for local charities and nonprofits, and Harvey says this year’s proceeds will go to Tybee Island Maritime Academy, the island’s only community school.

 

The event showcases a variety of historic cottages, new construction and funky renovations. Harvey adds that this year, the tour — which aims to showcase the history of Tybee through its buildings — will also feature two nonresidential locations.

Tybee Post Theater, a beautiful 1930s movie house in the historic Fort Screven section of the island, was a labor of love for the community to restore. "It is now a vibrant island venue for live entertainment and movies," she says.

The second location is Hotel Tybee, "which has gone through many transformations during its 125 years of hospitality," Harvey says. "In 2014, the Linchris Hotel Corp. began a five-year remodeling endeavor and is excited to share what the hotel looks like today."

While the complete map and location descriptions are not officially released until the day of the tour, Harvey says they like to give some hints and glimpses of what they have planned. She adds they've never repeated a location during the tour's history.

 

She says some of the highlights of this year's tour include a home built in 1905 for Fort Screven's first Army physician, "which is now a shady oasis for honeybees, chickens and a stained-glass studio." Harvey adds, "There is a beautifully restored raised 1930s bungalow with a big welcoming front porch that is decorated with items created by the owner, who is a painter and furniture maker."

The tour also features two restored cottages, showcasing bold colors and historic charm.

"For those who appreciate modern decor, there are two condos next to each other that feature different takes on contemporary, sleek design with breathtaking views of the ocean, Savannah River and Cockspur Lighthouse."

Harvey adds that she is always surprised with the clever design ideas and color choices she sees during the tour.

"We love showcasing what the owners have done with these homes," she adds. "The tour is like a real-life magazine, full of inspiration and ideas."