Top Things to do in Savannah, GA
Planning your vacation to Savannah, Georgia? Whether you are taking a day trip or spending a weekend in Savannah, there are tons of awesome attractions to see! The city is bursting with that quintessential southern charm, historic homes, great food, and more to make for an epic vacation. So in this Savannah guide, here are some of the best things to do in Savannah you will not want to miss!
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Top Things to do in Savannah, GA
- Explore Savannah’s Squares
- Experience River Street and The Riverfront
- View Savannah’s Famous and Haunted Cemeteries
- Eat Your Way Through Savannah
- See the Cathedral Basilica of Saint John the Baptist
- Go on an Old Town Trolley Tour
- Stroll Around Forsyth Park
- Visit Wormsloe Plantation
- Venture to Tybee Island
- Check out Savannah’s Historic Homes
- Stroll down the Prettiest Street in Savannah
- Visit Savannah’s Museums
- Enjoy City Market
- Experience a Showing at the Savannah Theatre
- Best Things to do in Savannah Wrap-up
Explore Savannah’s Squares
One of the best things to do in Savannah is to explore the original 22 squares. Believe it or not, these are the same squares that were planned when the city was first founded by James Olegthopre in 1733.
There actually used to be 24 squares, however, 2 were made into parking lots. Scattered through Historic Savannah, these squares bring all the charm of the city with giant live oak trees drenched in Spanish moss, benches, monuments, and fountains.
Some of our favorite squares we visited during our weekend in Savannah include Lafeyette Square, Columbia Square, Chippewa Square, Jonhson Square, and Oglethorpe Square. Many of the squares are surrounded by other top attractions in Savannah, making them quite easy to visit.
Experience River Street and The Riverfront
You can’t visit Savannah without walking down River Street! There is so much to explore around this Historic side of town. Some of the best things to do on River Street include strolling down the cobblestone streets, peeking into the souvenir and candy shops for pralines and pecans, walking along the Riverfront, and making your way down to the River Plantside District.
There are also tons of great restaurants and rooftop bars in the area to watch the sunset, or you can even take a River Cruise tour!
View Savannah’s Famous and Haunted Cemeteries
Known as one of the most haunted cities in the USA, it should come as no surprise that viewing cemeteries are a top thing to do in Savannah. Some of the best cemeteries you should consider visiting in Savannah include Bonaventure, Colonial Park, and Laurel Grove Cemetery.
Bonaventure Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Savannah with over 100 acres. The cemetery is considered a more affluent cemetery and is well known for being featured in the novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt (a great read before visiting Savannah!). Visitors especially love coming during the azalea blooms in spring where the whole cemetery looks like a garden.
Colonial Park Cemetery is known as one of the most haunted places in Savannah. It is located right in the heart of the Savannah Historic District. If you decide to go on a Ghost tour in Savannah, you would likely head here.
If you enjoy history, a more off-the-beaten-path cemetery that you should consider is Laurel Grove Cemetery. After Colonial Park Cemetery reached its capacity, they moved to Laurel Grove. This cemetery is broken down to north and south. This is because they segregated the cemetery.
Eat Your Way Through Savannah
Savannah is a food lovers paradise! They have an excellent array of dining options to choose from including their famous southern comfort food. Some of the top places to eat in Savannah include:
- The Olde Pink House is one of the most famous places to eat in Savannah and is a historic mansion
- Leopold’s Ice Cream which is known to have the best Ice Cream in all of Savannah, GA
- Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room; a 1943 family-owned southern diner – there is always a line
- Husk which serves classic Southern cuisine
- Fox and Fig, a plant-based vegan cafe
See the Cathedral Basilica of Saint John the Baptist
Gracing the Savannah skyline, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint John the Baptist is another top attraction to add to your Savannah bucket list. Marvel at the beautiful architecture from the outside, or even take a peek inside the church to view the beautiful stained glass and ceiling art.
Go on an Old Town Trolley Tour
A trolley tour is a great way to see a ton of Savannah’s best attractions while learning a lot of this city’s history. I’d suggest the hop-on-hop-off tour so you can explore each site a little more personally. These tours are also perfect if you are visiting Savannah without a car.
The city is very walkable, but a break from walking can be very welcoming, especially if you are visiting Savannah in the Summer. Many of the Trolly tours are even pet-friendly. See the Savannah Trolley Tour here.
Stroll Around Forsyth Park
Another one of the best things to do in Savannah is to stroll around the famous Forsyth Park. This epic 30-acre park is home to the Forsyth Park Foutain, a handful of monuments, and regularly hosts events. Make your way under the giant oak trees, relax by the fountain or have a picnic on the lawns.
Additionally, you can check out beautiful homes surrounding the park including the Armstrong House, the Forsyth Animal Hospital, and Magnolia Hall.
Address: Forsyth Park, 2 W Gaston St, Savannah, GA 31401
Visit Wormsloe Plantation
One of the most pictured places in Savannah is likely the tunnel of trees located at the Wormsloe Historic Site. This stunning line of oak hundred-year-old plus oak trees goes on for 1.5 miles. Because of this tree tunnel, it is also known as one of the most photo-worthy places in Savannah.
From there, you can explore further through the plantations walking trails, tabby ruins, and more. Wormsloe Plantation is the oldest Georgia plantation and it is located around 15-20 minutes south of downtown Savannah.
Admission: Adults: $10 | Seniors(62+) $9 | Youth (6-17) $4.50 | Children (under 6) $2 USD
Hours: 9 AM – 4:45 PM Monday – Sunday
Address: 7601 Skidaway Rd, Savannah, GA 31406
Venture to Tybee Island
Looking for some beach time while in Savannah? Consider taking a day trip to Tybee Island, which is just 20 minutes or so from downtown Savannah.
There are tons of things to do in, and around Tybee Island including Dolphin tours, visiting the Tybee Lighthouse and museum, or strolling down the pier.
If you are a history buff, nearby is Fort Pulaski National Monument. Technically, the fort is located between Tybee Island and downtown Savannah on Cockspur Island. The fort is most well-known for the battle between the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. For tickets inside, click here.
Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM Monday-Sunday; 4:30 PM is the last entry.
Address: US-80, Savannah, GA 31410
Check out Savannah’s Historic Homes
Savannah has some of the most beautiful historic homes in the USA. Due to 2 great fires in Savannah, many homes are from the 18th century, but beautiful nonetheless. Homes were built with brick or wood. Many of the brick homes were covered in plaster.
Some of the most popular homes to visit in Savannah include:
- The Mercer Williams House – This mansion is located in Monterey Square and can be toured.
- Noble Hardee Mansion – Also located in Monterey Square and known as the last unrestored mansion in Savannah. The mansion is now used as an antique shop, Alex Raskin Antiques.
- The Owen-Thomas House & Slave Quarters – This historic home was the first to have indoor plumbing and lets you peer into Savannah’s dark history. A tour of the home offers admission into 2 additional Telfair museums.
- The Davenport House – Built in 1820 and passed through several hands until it was saved from demolition by the Historic Savannah Foundation. The foundation has saved many of the historic homes you see in Savannah today. This home can be toured.
- The Gingerbread House – Known as one of the best examples of Steamboat Gothic architecture in the US.
- The Andrew Low House – The home is most notably known for Juliette Gordon Low who lived in the house and founded the Girl Scouts.
- The Olde Pink House – Even if you are not eating here, you should still see this mansion which was built in 1771.
Stroll down the Prettiest Street in Savannah
If wide streets lined with giant oaks and historic homes sound like your cup of tea, you will want to head over to Jones Street. Known as the most beautiful street in Savannah, Georgia, it definitely makes the list of one of the best things to do.
East Jones Street was our favorite area. Believe it or not, this street still looks much like it did over 100 years ago thanks to preservation.
Savannah Tip: If you love charming streets, consider also adding Rainbow Row to your list of streets to visit. Located near Washington Square and the Pirates’ House, Rainbow Row is in a quiet area in Savannah and has homes with pretty pastel-colored shutters.
Address: 510 E Bryan St, Savannah, GA 31401
Visit Savannah’s Museums
Savannah has a handful of great museums to visit. Some of the museums were originally historic homes. Here is a list of some of the best museums you should consider checking out during a trip to Savannah, GA.
- Telfair Academy – Originally a historic mansion built in 1819, the Telfair Academy was one of the first public museums in the South. The museum offers 19th and 20th century American and European paintings and sculptures along with a history of the home.
- The Jepson Center – Also a part of the Telfair branch, the Jepson Center For the Arts is an extension of modern and contemporary art.
- SCAD Museum of Art – Another very popular contemporary art museum that was established to enhance the education of SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) students.
- Savannah History Museum – If you want to learn more about Savannah, this is the place to do it. Located in Tricentennial Park, you will start from the beginning of Savannah’s history and even be able to see the prop bench for the movie Forrest Gump.
- Old Fort Jackson Museum – This museum and National Historic Landmark allows you to walk through one of the oldest brick fortifications on the East Coast and hear daily cannon firings.
- Pin Point Heritage Museum – This museum offers the opportunity to learn more about Gullah/Geechee culture from residences who grew up in the area.
- American Prohibition Museum – The one and only current Prohibition Museum that brings you back to the time of gangsters, speakeasies, and flappers.
- Ships Of The Sea Maritime Museum – Originally a historic Scarbrough House built in 1819, the museum offers 9 galleries of 18th and 19th-century antiques, ship models, and paintings during the Atlantic trade.
- First African Baptist Church & Museum – Explore the first African Baptist Church and Museum where you can learn about the church’s role in civil rights, see antiques, and more.
Enjoy City Market
Another iconic spot you can’t miss in Savannah is the City Market. Going back to the 1700s, City Market was a place for people to gather, trade, and shop. To this day the market is still a lively part of Savannah where locals and tourists alike go shopping, look at art, eat, drink and hang out. The Market is also located right by the Riverfront.
Address: 219 W Bryan St, Savannah, GA 31401
Experience a Showing at the Savannah Theatre
Another fun thing to do in Savannah is to see a showing at the historic Savannah Theatre. Did you know The Savannah Theatre is one of the oldest theaters still operating? The theater first opened in 1818. The fun art-deco design was due to a fire in 1948. See what’s showing at the Savannah Theatre here.
Best Things to do in Savannah Wrap-up
This covers some of the best things to do in Savannah Georgia! I hope you have an incredible time exploring the Hostess City!
Have any questions or think a Savannah attraction should be included? Let me know in the comments below!