A historic city in southeastern Georgia, Savannah sits along the banks of the Savannah River, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean. This coastal city has mild winters, cool autumns and hot and humid summers. Its rich past is well preserved and dates back to its founding in 1733 by General James Oglethorpe through to a time when the city was the colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and played an important role in the Civil War and the American Revolutionary War.
Savannah’s charming architecture, cobblestone streets and oak-lined greenspaces offer a blend of history, culture and natural beauty. If you’re considering a vacation to Savannah, the best things to do in Savannah are to take a ghost tour, stroll the picturesque Forsyth Park, or eating at one of the local restaurants. Savannah is a stunning city that will steal your heart, whether you are interested in nature, arts, history, local cuisine, or sipping cocktails from a rooftop overlooking the river. Here are my favourite spots to visit on your next trip to Savannah, Georgia.
20 Things to Do in Savannah
- Savannah Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour – explore this lovely city at your own pace.
- Savannah History and Haunts Candlelit Ghost Walking Tour – Savannah is the perfect place for a ghost tour!
- Savannah Land & Sea Combo: City Sightseeing Trolley Tour with Riverboat Cruise or save your feet and relax on a 90-minute riverboat sightseeing cruise.
1- Get The History Of The City On A Walking Tour
One of the best ways to learn about the city’s history is through a guided walking tour of its historic streets, as you’ll hear plenty of interesting stories.
Each tour will take you to a landmark and give a little background about the exciting history of the place.
While you can easily wander around alone, listening to an experienced guide is a great way to connect with the heart of Savannah.
There are lots of historic walking tour companies and if you have a bad back and need help to walk for long, trolley tours are available to cart you around.
- Historic Savannah Guided Walking Tour
- 60-Minute Guided Segway History Tour of Savannah
- 2-Hour Explore Savannah Bike Tour
2- Stroll Through Forsyth Park
Forsyth Park, named after the 33rd governor, is a must-see and one of Savannah’s most photographed attractions.
Whether you’re passing through or staying to picnic and enjoy the views, you can’t visit Savannah without seeing Forsyth Park.
This 30-acre ( km) city park is in the southern portion of the historic district.
Forsyth Park is known for its stunning natural beauty and has been featured in movies such as “The Longest Yard,” “Cape Fear,” “Forrest Gump,” and “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”
Forsyth Park is at 1 W Gaston St, Savannah, GA 31401.
- Yoga in Forsyth Park
- Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil Narrated Walking Tour
- Movie Locations Segway Tour of Savannah
3- Listen To The Dueling Pianos At Savannah Smiles
On top of being a beautifully preserved city with natural beauty, Savannah is also known as a good time city to party and sip cocktails.
The city has plenty of bars and breweries, but there’s something special about Savannah Smiles.
This late-night piano saloon is one of the best spots in the city to hear live music from emerging local artists, and if you get hungry, check out their Smiles Chicken Sandwich.
Savannah Smiles is at 314 Williamson St, Savannah, GA 31401.
Visiting a cemetery may seem like a morbid vacation activity, but Bonaventure Cemetery is something you won’t want to miss as it’s
one of the city’s most popular tourist spots.
The cemetery has long winding walkways that meander past elegantly crafted headstones.
Some of the most popularly visited sites are those of Gracie Watson, Johnny Mercer, and over 500 Confederate soldiers.
You can take a guided tour, plan a wedding, and even purchase a plot at Bonaventure Cemetery!
Bonaventure Cemetery is at 330 Bonaventure Rd, Thunderbolt, GA 31404.
Recommended tour: Bonaventure Cemetery Walking Tour with Transportation Savannah.
5- Make Reservations For The Olde Pink House
For a one-of-a-kind dining experience, The Olde Pink House delivers good food while you soak up its historical vibe.
Gracing the heart of the historic downtown, this elegant pale pink colonial mansion dates back to 1771.
Inside, you will find original hardwood floors, intricate chandeliers, a wine cellar and cozy candlelit tables.
The restaurant serves inventive southern food such as cornbread, fried oysters, crispy scored flounder and handcrafted cocktails (we recommend the Pink Lady).
It’s a perfect place for a romantic date night but reserve in advance as the restaurant is extremely popular and often booked out.
The Olde Pink House is at 23 Abercorn St, Savannah, GA 31401.
Recommended tours for foodies:
- Southern Flavors Food, Pub Crawl, and History Combo Walking Tour
- Savannah’s Off-The-Beaten-Path Secret East Side Historic Walking Food Tour
- First Squares Culinary & Cultural Walking Food Tour
6- Hunt For The Paranormal On A Savannah Ghost Tour
As Savannah is a historic city, plenty of paranormal activity lurks within its charming cobblestone streets.
Savannah is known as “America’s Most Haunted City” because of the numerous reports of sightings and unexplainable occurrences that indicate the presence of ghosts.
A paranormal ghost tour will take you to the spookiest sites within the city and provide inside information and ghostly tales.
If you’re worried about these tours being too scary for children, search for a mildly spooky tour among the variations of ghost tours, which include walking and trolley tours. Check them out here:
- Savannah History and Haunts Candlelit Ghost Walking Tour
- Genteel and Bard’s Savannah Dark History and Ghost Encounter Walking Tour
- Spooky Savannah Haunted Pub Crawl
- True Crime Pub Crawl – the Original Savannah Murder Tour
7- Take A Day Trip To Tybee Island
Tybee Island is a barrier island just a 25-minute drive from downtown Savannah and a popular escape to get away from the city.
This is a great spot during the summer as you will find wide and sandy beaches featuring a pier, picnic pavilion and the Tybee Island Light Station and Museum.
Look out for a spot known as the Easternmost Point of Georgia.
Tybee Island Beach is at 2-6 14th St, Tybee Island, GA 31328.
Recommended tour: Savannah to Tybee Island with Dolphin Cruise & Lighthouse Visit
8- Tour The Stunning Wormsloe Plantation
The Wormsloe Plantation is a State Historic Site that Georgia State Parks now own.
This is Savannah’s oldest standing structure, originally owned by Noble Jones, a carpenter that arrived in Georgia with James Oglethorpe as one of the first settlers from England.
Visitors of the Wormsloe Plantation can experience the stunning live oaks that drape Spanish moss throughout the grounds.
The museum features historical programs and special events that look into the property’s history and significance.
Wormsloe Plantation is at 7601 Skidaway Rd, Savannah, GA 31406.
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9- See The Stunning Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist
The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist is a truly breathtaking site, and you can explore it on a self-guided tour from Monday through Saturday (9 am to 11.30 am and 12.45 pm to 4.30 pm).
Docent-led tours are also available on special request and are worth doing to scratch beneath the surface of the church’s French-Gothic style.
The 1800s cathedral was rebuilt in the 1900s after a fire, and the church’s entire history is displayed within the tour.
The gift shop is worth a look.
The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist is at 222 E Harris St, Savannah, GA 31401.
10- Get A Scoop At Leopold’s Ice Cream
Generations of Savannah locals and visitors have enjoyed the award-winning flavours of Leopold’s Ice Cream.
Originally founded in 1919 by three brothers who immigrated from Greece and studied the secrets of candy, ice cream and other sweet treats.
Today, you can enjoy an old-fashioned soda fountain and tasty premium ice cream flavours like Chocolate Chewies and Cream, Honey Almond and Cream, and Peanut Butter Chippy.
Leopold’s uses locally sourced ingredients for its ice creams, making it the perfect way to get an authentic taste of Savannah.
If you’re visiting during peak hours, be prepared to stand in line for a scoop.
We promise it’s worth it!
Leopold’s Ice Cream is at 212 E Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401.
Recommended tour: Southern Flavors of Savannah Walking Dessert Tour.
11- Connect With Nature At The Oatland Island Wildlife Center
Wildlife lovers will discover a haven to explore at the Oatland Island Wildlife Center, home to 39 species and 95 animals, from American bison and alligators to grey wolves and Virginia opossums.
Oatland Island was originally part of a cotton plantation, and after years of being used for multiple purposes, the Oatland Island Education Center opened to the public in 1974.
The wildlife centre focuses on the health and well-being of all its animals.
The Oatland Island Wildlife Center is at 711 Sandtown Rd, Savannah, GA 31410.
12- Admire The Contemporary Art Collection At SCAD
This contemporary art museum is part of the Savannah College of Art and Design and was founded in 2002.
Visitors can experience staple and rotating exhibitions from international artists such as Chase Hall, Ann Craven, Josh Sperling, and Jorge Pardo.
Museum hours are from 10 am to 8 pm daily, with General Admission starting at just $10.
SCAD Museum of Art hosts programs and special events such as film screenings, artist talks, performances and lectures.
You can find a more detailed itinerary in their calendar of events.
SCAD Museum of Art is at 601 Turner Blvd, Savannah, GA 31401.
13- Watch a Show At The Savannah Theater
Renowned architect William Jay designed the Savannah Theater’s original structure.
The theatre opened on December 4th, 1818, on Bull Street next to Chippewa Square.
Visitors can enjoy not only fun shows such as Savannah Live and Rewind but the historic atmosphere of the theatre itself.
The Savannah Theater is at 222 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401. Also check out this show:
14- Hike Through Fort McAllister State Park
Fort McAllister State Park is a Georgia State Park in nearby Richmond Hill on the banks of the Ogeechee River.
This park showcases the historic fort of the Confederacy, featuring cannons, barracks and palisades.
In addition to the fascinating historical aspect of the park, Fort McAllister is also a beautiful green space with mature live oaks and salt marshes that create the perfect backdrop for camping, hiking, fishing and boating.
Book accommodation in on-site cottages or a tent/RV space if you want to stay the night.
Fort McAllister State Park is at 3894 Fort McAllister Rd, Richmond Hill, GA 31324.
15- Learn The Drills Of The Military At Old Fort Jackson
Continue your military fort adventures at Old Fort Jackson, a National Historic Landmark and Georgia’s oldest standing brick fort.
The landmark offers activities and reenactments for its visitors, including a live cannon firing and interactive programs such as learning military drill moves.
You can plan a group tour, birthday parties and other events at the fort.
Old Fort Jackson is Open seven days a week (9.00 am to 4.00 pm); adult tickets start at $10.
Old Fort Jackson is at 1 Fort Jackson Rd, Savannah, GA 31404.
- Guided Savannah Civil War History Walking Tour.
- Skip the Line: General Admission Webb Military Museum Ticket
16- Wander Around Mercer Williams House Museum
New York architect John S. Norris designed the Mercer-Williams House for General Hugh W. Mercer.
It took eight years to complete the home’s construction, which was eventually sold to John R. Wilder.
The mansion is on Bull Street near the Casimir Pulaski Monument and Forsyth Park Fountain.
Inside, the home features inspiration from Renaissance Revival Greek and Italian architecture with original elements such as moulding, shutters and railings.
The Mercer-Williams house is also decorated with pieces from the collection of James A. Williams, one of Savannah’s most dedicated preservationists.
A 35-minute guided tour is offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tickets start at $13.50.
The Mercer Williams House Museum is at 429 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401.
You may also like to visit the American Prohibition Museum.
17- Taste Local Brews At Savannah’s Best Breweries
Activities around Savannah is sure to work up a thirst, so wash down a day of fun at one of Savannah’s local breweries.
Visiting locally owned and operated establishments is our favourite way to connect with a community while tasting unique blends and flavours.
Some of our favourites are Moon River Brewing, Two Tides, Hop Atomica, and Service Brewing Company.
You’ll love happy hour at these fun bars and tours:
- Historical Drinking Tour of Savannah
- Savannah Cocktail Class in Congress Street
- Moon River Brewing Company is at 21 W Bay St, Savannah, GA 31401.
- Two Tides Brewing Co. is at 12 W 41st St, Savannah, GA 31401.
- Service Brewing Co. is at 574 Indian St, Savannah, GA 31401.
- Hop Atomica is at 535 E 39th St, Savannah, GA 31401.
18- Stop To Smell The Flowers At Savannah Botanical Gardens
Not far from the historic downtown district of Savannah, the Botanical Gardens is a charming 10-acre space owned and operated by the Savannah Area Council of Garden Clubs, Inc.
The garden features native species of the area and the historic Reinhard House.
The Savannah Botanical Gardens is open year-round during daylight hours and is a budget-friendly spot in Savannah, as admission to the park is free.
Savannah Botanical Gardens is at 1388 Eisenhower Dr, Savannah, GA 31406.
Recommended tour: Botanical Tour by Walk With Me Savannah Tours
19- Buy A Souvenir At The Massive City Market
Savannah’s City Market is a large farmer’s market with a friendly local vibe.
Spanning over four blocks, this market has been a tradition since the 1700s when locals gathered to buy groceries and other household necessities.
Here, you can find local arts, one-of-a-kind crafts, homemade bakery items, and delicious dining options as you stroll through 7,000 sq.ft. of retail space.
The City Market is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm.
City Market is at 219 W Bryan St, Savannah, GA 31401.
20- Eat A Cookie At The Birthplace of The Girl Scouts Founder
Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the USA’s Girl Scouts, was born in Savannah in the 1800s.
She was inspired by the scout work of those in England and wanted to bring their hardworking and kind nature to the United States.
Visitors of the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace can participate in a guided or audio tour of this regal home and experience the life and legacy of the creator of this foundation.
This is a popular attraction for Girl Scout troops and non-members are welcome.
Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace is at 10 E Oglethorpe Ave, Savannah, GA 31401.