Best Things to do with a Day Trip to Savannah, Georgia
With history, Southern hospitality, and charming squares, Savannah, Georiga has become one of my favorite cities on the East Coast. A day trip to Savannah offers a plethora of great things to do! So, if you find yourself visiting Savannah for one day, here is your ultimate itinerary!
Is a day trip to Savannah, GA enough time? No, but that doesn’t mean Savannah is not worth visiting for one day. I would personally recommend a weekend in Savannah (3 days). However, as you will see below, there is still a ton of main attractions you can experience with just one day in Savannah!
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Best Things to do with a Day Trip to Savannah, Georgia
- Day Trip to Savannah Itinerary
- Savannah Day Trip Additional Options
- Getting to Savannah
- Where to Stay in Savannah
- Best Time to Visit Savannah
- Day Trip to Savannah, Georgia Wrap-up
Day Trip to Savannah Itinerary
In this Savannah itinerary, I will be listing our favorite things to do in Savannah, travel tips, along with some additional day trip options.
For the most part, you can walk from each attraction throughout Downtown Savannah. However, with just one day in Savannah, it may be worth renting a car or doing a hop-on-hop-off Trolley tour. This way, you can optimize your time. Additionally, you can always grab an Uber or Lyft.
This Savannah itinerary will start from Savannah’s South Historic District and make its way to the North Historic District. All these attractions require no car in Savannah and will make for an easy walking tour of the city.
After, I will include the additional day trip options you would need a car to reach!
Easily one of the most popular and photographed parks in Savannah, Forsyth Park is a must-see during a day trip to Savannah, GA. The park has 30 acres of lawns, walking paths, monuments, and more! Additionally, you will get to see the iconic live oak trees covered in Spanish moss and the Forsyth Park Fountain.
Furthermore, on Saturdays, the park has a Farmer’s Market, and if you happen to be visiting for Saint Patrick’s Day, the fountain water is green!
Fun fact: Savannah has one of the largest Saint Patty’s Day parades in the United States.
Address: Forsyth Park, 2 W Gaston St, Savannah, GA 31401
Mercer Williams House & Monterey Square
Making your way down Bull Street, head to the famous Mercer Williams House located near Monterey Square in the Savannah Historic District. This mansion stretches an entire block and was built for Jonny Mercers Great Grandfather, although no Mercer ever lived in the home.
James William, an antiques and historic preservationist, restored the home. So why is this home a must-see with a day trip to Savannah? Not only is the mansion historic and beautiful, but it is also the home of the popular novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
In fact, The Mercer Williams House is still owned by James William’s sister and is open for tours.
Across the street, you will find Monterey Square which is one of the 22 original squares laid out by the founding father of Savannah, General James Oglethorpe. Inside the square is a 19th-century monument to Casimir Pulaski.
Around the Square are charming homes and mansions, including the Noble Hardee Mansion (also known as Alex Raskin Antiques), which is the last unrestored mansion in Savanah.
Address: 11 W Gordon St, Savannah, GA 31401
East Jones Street
Next, make your way to East Jones Street, which is known as the prettiest street in Savannah! A stroll down Jones Street looks a lot as it did 100 years ago. The street offers giant oak trees, 18th-century homes, and brick roads.
While in the area, you may also want to check out the famous Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room which is a 1943 family-owned southern diner. They open the doors at 11 AM with a line of fans waiting!
Some of the best homes can be seen between Lincoln Street and Drayton Street on E Jones St.
The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist
Another historic place to visit during your day trip to Savannah is The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist. This 19th Century Roman Catholic Church is extremely popular to visit, and you can see its Twin Spires gracing the Savannah Skyline.
Savannah Travel Tip: Nearby, make sure to take a quick stroll in Lafayette Square.
Address: 222 E Harris St, Savannah, GA 31401
This is one of the most well-known squares in Savannah, and for a good reason! Not only is it in the center of downtown Savannah, but it is also near the iconic Savannah Theater and Colonial Park Cemetery. Chippewa Square also played as a backdrop to the Forrest Gump bench scene, although the bench was just a prop.
One would think they would just put a bench there for us to intact the scene, but it hasn’t happened yet.
Additionally, you will find a statue for Oglethorpe in the square, the chunkiest squirrels I’ve ever seen, and those giant oak trees we all love.
Owen-Thomas House & Oglethorpe Square
Making our way to the Riverfront from Chippewa Square, you can stroll by the Owen-Thomas House and Oglethorpe Square. The Owen-Thomas House & Slave Quarters can actually be toured if you are doing well on time (it takes about 35-45 minutes).
The mansion was actually the first to have indoor plumbing in the USA! The self-guided audio tour gives you an inside look at the family and slaves that lived there.
Address: 124 Abercorn St, Savannah, GA 31401
Next on your Savannah day trip is to City Market. Here you will find local shops, art, restaurants, the American Prohibition Museum, and bars. It is a fun and lively part of Savannah close to the Riverfront and has been around since the 1700s.
Savannah Travel Tip: On your way to City Market, you might want to stop by Leopold’s Ice Cream, which is the most famous place to get ice cream in Savannah. There is usually a line! Oh, and a stop to see or eat at The Olde Pink House, another famous restaurant and mansion (reservations required). If you plan to stroll this way, make sure to walk through Johnson Square!
Address: 219 W Bryan St, Savannah, GA 31401
River Street and the Riverfront
One of my favorite areas in Savannah is the Riverfront. From the historic buildings and cobblestone streets to seeing dolphins in the river, the food, and shopping, it makes for the perfect area to sightsee on a day trip to Savannah.
So take a stroll down River Street, pop into River Street Sweets for pralines, and explore the new Plant Riverside District that has tons of additional shopping and food. You may even want to consider taking a Savannah Riverboat Cruise!
Savannah Day Trip Additional Options
Now that we covered all the day trip options that are walkable and require no car, here are some additional attractions you may want to include that require a car in Savannah.
Wormsloe Historic Site Plantation
Located about 20 minutes south of downtown, Wormsloe Plantation is one of the most popular historic sites. During your visit, you will be greeted with a 1.5-mile-long tunnel of oak trees covered in Spanish moss that will bring you to hiking trails, tabby ruins, and more.
If you just want to see the trees, you are allowed to park at the beginning of the driveway for free, however, I’d recommend paying the admission to tour the site.
Admission: Adults: $10 | Seniors(62+) $9 | Youth (6-17) $4.50 | Children (under 6) $2.
Hours: 9 AM – 4:45 PM Monday – Sunday
Address: 7601 Skidaway Rd, Savannah, GA 31406
Bonaventure Cemetery is known as one of the most famous and picturesque cemeteries in Savannah. The cemetery made its claim to fame after being featured in the novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. There are also many famous and affluent people buried here. So what makes this cemetery “picturesque”? That would be the hundreds of azaleas during bloom and giant oak trees.
The cemetery is less than 15 minutes from Forsyth Park and makes for a great addition to your day trip to Savannah!
Address: 330 Bonaventure Rd, Thunderbolt, GA 31404
Last but not least is taking a day trip to Tybee Island. This popular barrier island is located off of Savannah. It is around 20 minutes away from downtown and offers over 5 miles of sandy beaches to enjoy! During a visit to Tybee Island, you can also walk the pier, visit the lighthouse, or explore Fort Pulaski (great for history buffs).
Since Tybee Island is still so close to downtown, you can enjoy the beach and still explore a ton of downtown with just one day in Savannah!
Getting to Savannah
The best way to get to Savannah is by flying into Savannah’s International Airport (SAV). Check Skyscanner for the best flights! Additionally, Savannah makes for the perfect road trip from cities including Charleston, Atlanta, Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh, Jacksonville, and more!
Where to Stay in Savannah
Our favorite place to stay in Savannah is on the Riverfront, however, other popular areas include the Historic District and Forsyth Park. Some of the best places to stay include:
The Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront | JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District | The Drayton Hotel | Perry Lane Hotel | Mansion on Forsyth Park | Springhill Suites by Marriott Savannah | Vrbo
Best Time to Visit Savannah
Many might argue there is never a bad time to visit Savannah! However, I would recommend visiting Savannah in Spring for beautiful azalea blooms and Fall/Winter for fewer crowds and milder temperatures.
I personally would avoid the Summer heat because it gets HOT! But, if you plan to spend your days by the beach, maybe that is not a bad thing!
Day Trip to Savannah, Georgia Wrap-up
As you can see, there’s a ton of fun to be had with just a day trip to Savannah! I hope this Savannah itinerary has helped you explore the best the city has to offer in one day!
You also might enjoy: 28 Photos to Inspire Your Savannah Trip | Best Instagram Spots in Savannah | Travel Outfits | Interesting Savannah Facts
Have any questions, or think I should add something? Let me know in the comments below!
7 thoughts on “Day Trip to Savannah Georgia Itinerary: One Perfect Day + Travel Tips”
I loved reading your thoughts on Savannah! It’s such a beautiful place with the cobblestone pathways, historic buildings, and the trees draped in Spanish moss. We actually got married at the Forsyth Park Inn with the instagrammable Forsyth Park Fountain not far away.
Don, my children brought me to Savannah for a 4-day vacation. And we visited all the sites that are being shown on this post. The one place didn’t mention was the Pirate House restaurant which also is a must see. We had a balcony room on the waterfront which allowed us to watch the big cargo ships passing through the river channel in front of our room
scary to see how giant size they are up close. We were going to get ice cream at Leopold’s but the line was too long….
Thanks for sharing Judy! I included the Pirates’ house in my Savannah weekend guide! We also stayed on the Riverfront which is amazing! Inside tip, you can go into the door to the left of Leopold’s to get ice cream! The only difference is it would be sold in the container to take home instead of in a cone etc.
Do you think it is realistic to plan a day trip from Hilton Head Island with main points of interest being Forsyth Park Fountain, City Market, and River Street? We will be vacationing in Hilton Head with a 2 year old.
Is this itinerary walkable in 4-6 hours with stops for shopping, food, tourism? Can you recommend one centralized location to park to access these places?
I appreciate your feedback!
Hi Kaitlyn, you should have plenty of time to see those 3 main attractions and more. With all the spots marked out starting from Forsyth Park all the way to the Riverwalk was about 2 miles (about 50 mins walking, but doesn’t account for stopping).
I would suggest starting at Forysth Park where you should be able to find metered parking around. From there, if you wanted to park your car somewhere in the mild might be around the Owen-Thomas house or Chippewa Square (would be more difficult to find parking here). You might benefit from doing a hop on hop off bus so you won’t have to walk as much. During our visit, we were able to find parking just about everywhere (November during the weekday). The only place it would be difficult to find parking is around the Riverwalk & City market. With 4-6 hours you would definitely have time to see your main points of interest and some. I hope this helps you!
Awesome! Now I have an itinerary on my Downtown Savannah Georgia trip! I’m really excited! Hope I can get to do this in my one week stay over there! I am already checking on these spots over at visitsavannah com to get some information and plan my scheduled visits to these places!
Thanks a ton Don! I am happy to hear you have enjoyed my guide!