18 Things To Do in Savannah

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Savannah is one of the most beautiful and friendliest cities in Georgia. My sister and I planned a much-needed getaway to this charming city in 2021 and it ended as my all-time favorite trip. Its stunning architecture, friendly people, and its delicious food hooked me. I compiled a list of 18 things to do in Savannah including what we did on our trip along with a few other attractions that we should explore the next time we are there. Please share in the comment section if you have been there and what your favorite things to do, see, and eat are.

Row of Victorian houses in Savannah, Georgia.

Founded in 1733, Savannah is a history buff’s paradise with pirate and ghost stories, 300-year-old buildings, and more. Thankfully, Savannah was spared during Sherman’s March to the Sea during the Civil War and many of its historic buildings still stand.

Let’s take a look at what we did and what you should consider putting on your “Savannah Bucket List.”

1. Take a Walk on Jones Street

Jones Street in Savannah.

Jones Street is considered one of the Most Charming Streets in America. Mid-19th-century homes grace both sides of the street and are flanked by live oaks.

You can live in a Greek Revival home built in 1848 on Jones Street – if you have $5.1 million dollars. (We don’t have that kind of money so it’s out of our price range.) The 8,696-square-foot home has been fully renovated and has a pool and a pool lounge, a three-car garage, double porches, two laundry rooms, an elevator, formal gardens, a fenced yard, and seven fireplaces.

Brick street lined with trees.

One thing that is not in short supply in Savannah is live oak trees draped with Spanish moss. Due to the root systems of these old trees, the cobblestone streets are uneven. Be sure to watch where you step.

2. Visit Forsyth Park

Forsyth Park lined with moss-covered trees.

Forsyth Park is located in the heart of the historic district of Savannah. The wide pathways and benches make for an idyllic location to sit and relax. The green space is the perfect location for playing frisbee or practicing yoga. We enjoyed walking around the park and taking it all in.

Forsyth Park fountain.
Forsyth Park Fountain

If you find yourself in the park on a Saturday, look for the Farmer’s Market which is open seasonally.

3. Check out the 22 Historic Squares

James Oglethorpe Monument.

James Oglethorpe designed the city before he even stepped foot in it. He designed it to protect it from the Spanish to the south and against potentially hostile Indians. In doing so, the city was initially designed with six squares. Later, city leaders followed the design and increased the number of squares to twenty-four.

Today there are 22 squares still remaining, among them Chippewa Square, named after a skirmish in the War of 1812, home to the monument of James Oglethorpe. The statue faces south as an indication of Spain’s threat to the Colony of Georgia.

Chippewa Square was one of the locations where the movie Forrest Gump was filmed. The bench where Tom Hanks sat has since been removed, thanks in part to people stealing it.

4. Explore Factors Walk

Factors Walk shops.

Today, Factor’s Walk is the site of shops and cafes, but back in the 1800s, it was an important location for the cotton industry. It was here where cotton was baled, factored (think “brokered”), and sold.

If you are on River Street, take E Upper Factors Walk. You’ll walk past the Cluskey Vaults where cotton was once stored.

Old brick Cluskey vault.

Across from the vaults you will see a sign for Historic Steps (you’ll see several of these around River Street) and the metal steps that lead to Factors Walk.

During the Spring, the bridge is a gorgeous place to stop and take photos.

Factors Walk bridge.

5. Stroll River Street

Old steps leading to the river.

River Street runs parallel with E Bay Street. Look for stairs leading down and make your way to shops, restaurants, and cool places to hang out in Savannah.

River Street.

River Street was the location of the port of Savannah in the 1700s. The four and five-story buildings line the cobblestone street and used to house cotton.

People walking along River Street.

You could say that River Street is the Heart of the City. There are more than 75 boutiques, galleries, artists’ studios, restaurants, and pubs on the street.

Georgia Queen Riverboat.

It’s a great place to stroll and take in the sights, see boats and freighters sail by, grab a bite, and do some people-watching.

6. Shop at City Market

City Market.

The City Market occupies an entire block just a few blocks away from River Street and has restaurants, shops, and art galleries.

Lynda and Johnny Mercer.
Statue of Savannah native Johnny Mercer located near City Market

Like wine? You can partake in a wine tasting of 6 wines for $3 (plus tax) at The Georgia Tasting Room in City Market. Like sweets? You can sample freshly made pralines at Savannah’s Candy Kitchen or sample every cookie at Byrd’s Famous Cookies. (This was a favorite thing of mine to do in the city. It’s the little things, you know?)

City Market is flanked by the Haitian Monument in Franklin Square on one side and Ellis Square on the other.

7. Visit the Art Galleries

Statue of Michelangelo.
One of several statues in front of Telfair Academy

Savannah is home to world-class museums, including the Telfair Academy. Telfair Academy occupies a former Neoclassical Regency-style mansion that was designed in 1819 by William Jay and built for Alexander Telfair.

Telfair museum.
Telfair Sculpture Gallery

When you walk inside, you will be astounded by the size and grandeur of the former home. Today, the Telfair Museum of Art houses nineteenth- and twentieth-century American and European art from the museum’s permanent collection including paintings, works on paper, sculpture, and decorative arts. There are still three nineteenth-century period rooms on display.

Art inside the Telfair museum.
The Rotunda Gallery

Aside from the incredible treasures inside, the Telfair is notable for a few other things, such as being the oldest public art museum in the South and the first museum in the United States founded by a woman.

In 1875, Mary Telfair, Alexander’s sister, was the heir to the family fortune and she bequeathed the house and its furnishings to the Georgia Historical Society to be opened as a museum.

Telfair Academy is located at 121 Barnard Street and is open daily from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm.

Telfair Academy isn’t the only museum that is a result of Mary’s generosity. Today, there are three distinct museums that are here thanks to Mary: Telfair Academy, the Jepsen Center, and the Owens-Thomas House.

Bird Girl statue.

If you have read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, then you are familiar with the Bird Girl statue. Though she was originally at Bonaventure Cemetery, the Bird Girl is now part of the permanent collection at the Jepsen Center.

The Jepsen Center is located at 207 W. York Street and is open daily from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm.

Owens-Thomas house.

Like the Telfair mansion, the Owens-Thomas house was built in 1819 in the Regency style which incorporates the simple symmetrical proportions and elements of Greek and Roman architecture.

The house gives an inside glimpse to the disparities between the free and enslaved residents and workers.

Slave quarters at Owens-Thomas house.

The Owens-Thomas house is only a seven-minute walk from the Telfair Academy and Jepsen Center. It is located at 124 Abercorn Street and is open daily from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm.

Tip: If you purchased a Tour Pass and are pressed for time, go ahead and visit one of these museums. You can visit one museum during your Tour Pass and visit the other two on subsequent days.

A ticket for one museum = admission for all three museums and is valid for one week.

Slaves' bedroom at Owens-Thomas house.
Slave Quarters

When visiting the Owens-Thomas house, you’ll want to arrive early and check in. Tours are given on a first-come, first-served basis.

Other museums in Savannah to check out:

  • Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum
  • American Prohibition Museum
  • Georgia State Railroad Museum
  • SCAD Museum of Art
  • University of Georgia’s Marine Education Center and Aquarium
  • Girl Scout First Headquarters

8. Eat Ice Cream

Savannah Socialite ice cream.
Savannah Socialite in a small cone ($3.25 plus tax)

Because exploring Savannah burns a lot of calories, there’s no need to worry about counting them when it comes to indulging in some of the best ice cream in the United States at Leopold’s Ice Cream.

If you like chocolate, then you will probably love a scoop of Savannah Socialite made with a mixture of milk and dark chocolate ice creams bursting with roasted Georgia pecans and swirled with homemade bourbon-infused caramel. That ice cream cone did not last long in my hand.

Leopold’s is located at 212 E Broughton St and is open from 11:00 am until 10:00 pm Sunday through Thursday and from 11:00 am until 11:00 pm on Friday and Saturday.

9. Take a Food Tour

Woman holding a doughnut slider.

One of the best ways to take in a city is to take a food tour and Savannah is no exception. Savannah is a true Southern culinary destination and is known for its coastal cuisine.

Shrimp and grits sampler.

Take a tour of Savannah’s Downtown Historic District with a local guide and sample some of the delicious dishes Savannah has to offer. From gourmet to down-home cooking, you’ll find something to love on this tour. We took two tours and would absolutely take them both again. You gotta eat, right?

10. Take a Segway Tour

People on a Segway Tour.

A super fun way of seeing Savannah is via a Segway tour. Before embarking, you’ll have to watch a safety video and the tour guide will help you mount the Segway and then show you how to operate it.

Once all of the tour participants are ready, you’ll zoom around Savannah learning about the different homes and facts. (Many of the homes have two names. The first is the last name of the original occupant and the second name is that of the last/current occupant.)

Mercer-Williams home.
Mercer-Williams House

I booked a tour with Adventure Tours in Motion. I had an option of a regular helmet or a fun one and I opted for the latter. (In case you are wondering, that’s a unicorn.)

Segway unicorn helmet.

Prices for a Segway tour start at $49 per person for a 1-hour tour. Adventure Tours in Motion is located at 412 Whitaker St, Suite C and is open daily from 9:00 am until 4:30 pm.

11. Take a Ghost Tour and Get Spooked

Kehoe mansion with orbs.
Ghostly orbs at the Kehoe Mansion?

With its maritime history (read “Pirates”) and lengthy history, Savannah is replete with ghost stories as well as ghost tours.

If you take two different ghost tours, there’s a pretty good chance you will hear two different versions of ghost stories for the same location. Whether one of them is really true could be debatable, but, nonetheless, you are apt to have a good time learning about some of the sordid deeds that took place in Savannah.

Weed-Sorrel house.
Sorrel Weed House

Fans of Miley Cyrus who are brave enough might want to book a room at 17 Hundred 90 to see if they experience anything paranormal like Miley. It’s been told that a wet handprint had been left on Miley’s boot by a ghost when she stayed there.

Another haunted location is the Olde Pink House where a man in colonial dress – perhaps James Habersham, Jr. – has been spotted drinking at the bar.

Prices for the ghosts tours vary but typically range from $20 – $35 per person.

12. Say a Prayer

Savannah is located in the Bible Belt, so you will never be far from a place of worship whether you are a Protestant, Catholic, or even Jewish. (We are protestant but still stopped by and lit a candle for my sister’s husband who had cancer.) Speaking of Judaism, Savannah is home to the third-oldest Jewish congregation in the United States – Congregation Mickve Israel.

Congregation Mickve Israel.
Congregation Mickve Israel

Methodists will want to visit Christ Church which was founded in 1733 along with the founding of Savannah. It was here where John Wesley initiated the first Sunday School and published one of the first English hymnals in the colonies. 

Savannah is also home to First African Baptist Church, the oldest continuous black church in North America. Organized in 1773, the church predates the Declaration of Independence. The church is a National Historic Landmark and is registered with the National Register of Historic Places. 

13. Pay Your Respects

Daughters of the American Revolution gate.

Death rates were high 200 and 300 years ago. Between wars, Yellow Fever, and high infant mortality, there was a significant need for places to bury the dead.

Among the 61 cemeteries in Savannah, you’ll find the notable Colonial Park Cemetery where there are 700 victims of the yellow fever epidemic of 1820.

Graveside angel at a cemetery.
Bonaventure Cemetery

Bonaventure Cemetery lies on the fringe of the city and is listed as one of the most hauntingly beautiful cemeteries in the United States by Timeout. It’s the final resting place of poet Conrad Aiken and Grammy winner Johnny Mercer. We booked a cemetery tour and highly recommend it.

Bonaventure is open from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM daily. Admission is free.

Here are some more things to do in Savannah if you’re looking for additional activities to enjoy during your stay.

14. Visit the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace

Juliette Gordon Low was born in Savannah in 1860. Low, nicknamed “Daisy,” was 51 when she founded the Girl Scouts.

The family home, built in the Regency style at 10 E Oglethorpe Ave, was spared demolition when it was purchased in 1953 by the Girl Scouts and restored to its former glory. The home is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 AM. – 5:00 PM, the last tour is at 3:50 PM. Tickets cost $10 – $15 and can be purchased online.

15. Take a Trolley Tour

For those who don’t want to spend the day walking taking a Trolley Tour is a great way to see the city from the comfort of your seat, not your feet. There are several trolley tour options, such as a Hop-On-Hop-Off, Ghosts & Gravestones, Hop-On-Hop-Off Historic, and History and Sightseeing.

Prices vary but typically range from $28 – $35 per person.

16. Soak up Some Sun at Tybee Island

Tybee Island is located 20 minutes away from Savannah and is the spot to go to soak up some rays along the 3 miles of beaches. There are other things to do there as well, such as riding a bike, taking a boat excursion, taking a surf lesson, and looking for dolphins.

17. Step Back in Time at the Wormsloe Historic Site

Wormsloe is the sight of Savannah’s oldest standing structure. Once the colonial estate of Noble Jones, today Wormsloe is a Georgia historic site and an idyllic Instagram location with its large live oak trees and wide avenue.

Wormsloe is open Monday–Sunday 9:00 AM – 4:45 PM. Admission rates are

  • Adults (18–61): $10.00
  • Seniors (62+): $9.00
  • Youth (6–17): $4.50
  • Children (under 6): $2.00.

18. Visit the National Historic Landmark Old Fort Jackson

Old Fort Jackson is one of the oldest brick fortifications on the East Coast. Constructed in 1808, the fort was built over an old earthen battery from the Revolutionary War. In 1862, the fort was quickly abandoned by soldiers as Sherman marched to the sea. The fort was officially abandoned by the War Department in 1905.

The fort is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Admission is $5 (ages 5-12) and $9 for adults.

Where is Savannah?

Savannah is located in Chatham County in the eastern part of Georgia. It is across the Savannah River from neighboring South Carolina. The city is less than half an hour from Tybee Island and the Atlantic Ocean. Its location places it in the Eastern time zone in the United States.

Savannah is approximately 248 miles southeast of Atlanta, 802 miles south of New York City, 955 miles southeast of Chicago, and 2,424 miles east of Los Angeles, California.

The Savannah/Hilton Head Airport (SAV) is the closest airport to the city.

The Weather in Savannah

Savannah’s location in the South and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean is a combination ripe for high humidity and scattered showers in the Summer.

Savannah does not stop when it rains, so be prepared by taking an umbrella and/or rain jacket when you visit.

April and May are excellent months to visit with average highs in the upper 70s to mid-80s. In June, July, and August, temperatures typically climb to the 90s.

Rain in Savannah.

Although it would probably take weeks to truly explore all that is Savannah, you can still hit the top attractions in a matter of days. The Hostess City has something for everyone. From history to food and drinks, Savannah has so many options to explore. Below are some of the top attractions that you might want to walk through while in town.

Safety In Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia, maintains a generally safe environment, although it’s worth noting that its crime rate is higher than that of Atlanta. While the city offers a welcoming atmosphere and beautiful historic districts, visitors and residents alike should exercise normal precautions to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim. This includes staying aware of surroundings, particularly in less populated areas and during the evening hours. Despite the higher crime rate compared to some other cities, Savannah still provides a rich cultural experience and charming atmosphere, so visitors can enjoy their time by taking sensible safety measures.

Where To Stay In Savannah

We recommend that you stay near River Street or in the historic district. We enjoyed staying at The DeSoto Savannah which is located blocks away from Forsyth Park and walkable to most of the main attractions.

According to TripAdvisor.com, there are 640 places/things to do in Savannah. It’s my hope that this post gives you a glimpse at some of the top things to do and helps narrow down your own list of things to do in Savannah.

Savannah, Georgia is one of the most beautiful places in America. Savannah’s charm and southern hospitality make it a must-see destination for anyone who visits or lives in the area. Savannah has been ranked as one of the top ten cities to visit by CNN, Travel + Leisure Magazine, and Southern Living magazine. With so many things to do in Savannah, you’ll have trouble deciding what to do first!

Heading to Savannah? Be sure to check out these other posts before you go:

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  1. Savannah is such a pretty little town, looks so peaceful and enchanting at the same time. I would love to live here someday.

  2. I love Savannah & have been a few times… but I see there are still more things I need to go back & visit thanks to your blog. Next time I’ll be visiting the beautiful Wormsloe Plantation for sure.

  3. I just love Savannah. The streets, oaks, Spanish moss, architecture, squares and fountains are all astounding. I so enjoy just walking around and taking in the sights. Next time I go, would love to visit the Telfair Academy art Museum . The building, alone, looks incredible.

  4. Loved reading about the museums and the beautiful architecture in Savannah. I would love to book a Segway tour and enjoy Leopold’s ice cream!

  5. I visited Savannah, GA for the first time a few months ago. We were there in April and the weather was perfect! I was amazed at all there was to see and do! My favorites were probably seeing the fountain at Forsyth Park, walking down River Street, and going through the Cathedral. Savannah is such a beautiful city!

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