Open daily. Adult admission $7. No pets.
See below: full visitor information
See also: overview of museums in Savannah
Located in the same building as Savannah’s main Visitor Information Center, the Savannah History Museum (operated by the Coastal Heritage Society) is a small museum offering a self-guided introduction to aspects of the economic and cultural history of Savannah from the pre-Colonial period through to the present day. A visit will take about an hour.
The building itself, constructed in 1860, recalls an important part of Savannah’s history and growth: the railroad. The long, narrow structure was once the passenger depot of the Central of Georgia, one of the earliest railroad companies in the United States (another railroad building became the SCAD Museum of Art, a few blocks away; others survive at the Georgia State Railroad Museum, just south of the visitor center building).
What To See & Do
The Museum, though small, has over 10,000 artifacts related to the history and culture of Savannah and the Georgia coast.
Savannah’s history The topics covered by its exhibits include the cotton gin, developed by Eli Whitney on the nearby Mulberry Grove Plantation; military artifacts; local economic activities such as fishing and quilting; period women’s clothing; old carriages and steam engines, including a rare 1902 Crestmobile and a 1908 steam locomotive; Juliette Gordon Low and the history of the Girl Scouts; and the achievements of Savannah musician Johnny Mercer.
Forrest Gump bench Many visitors to Savannah who have seen the movie Forrest Gump go to Chippewa Square hoping to see the bench on which many of its scenes were filmed. In fact, the bench is not original to the square; it was a prop created specially for the movie. After production ended, a replica of the prop bench was donated to the city. It is currently displayed at the Savannah History Museum.
Great Savannah Exposition mural The old railroad building which houses the Savannah History Museum and Visitors Center was in use by the railroad until 1972. After it was abandoned by the railroad, but before being redeveloped as a museum space and information center, the building briefly housed the Great Savannah Exposition of 1984, an exhibition hall not dissimilar to the current museum.
A mural shows scenes from the Exposition, depicting aspects of Savannah’s history that are now represented in the museum, including the Girl Scouts, Eli Whitney and his cotton gin, the SS Savannah and James Oglethorpe.
Battlefield Memorial Park
Across the road from the History Museum is Battlefield Memorial Park. This recently established park and memorial, located near the site of the Battle of Savannah of October 1779, commemorates that historical event and the thousands of soldiers who fought in the (unsuccessful) attempt to liberate Savannah from British occupation during the American Revolutionary War.
Please note that museum admission is not required to visit this park, though a charge may be made for special events and tours given there.
Occasional special events are given at the Savannah History Museum and at the adjacent Battlefield Memorial Park. See the official museum calendar for details of upcoming events.
The following is correct at the time of writing. Please verify details before planning your trip. For additional information call 912-651-6825 or visit the official website.
Opening hours Open daily, 9am-5:30pm. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Admission Adults $7, children (2-12) $4. A combination ticket allowing entrance to three of the Coastal Heritage Society’s five sites is also available: adults $17, children (2-12) $11. See details
Please note that some of the Coastal Heritage Society's other sites are located several miles outside of Savannah, and may be difficult to get to if you do not have a car.
Pets Service animals only. Dogs and other pets may not be brought to the Savannah History Museum.
Address 303 Martin Luther King, Jr Boulevard, Savannah, GA 31401 GPS coordinates N 32.076079, W -081.099035
The museum is located right next to the Visitors Center at the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr Boulevard and Louisville Road, which is just to the west of Savannah’s Historic District. See on map
Parking Parking is available at the adjacent Visitor Information Center lot. The first hour is free, with a charge of $1 per hour applying thereafter. Parking in downtown Savannah
Public transport Savannah’s fare-free dot express shuttle (which loops around the Historic District) has a stop right outside the Visitors Center on Martin Luther King, Jr Boulevard, directly adjacent to the History Museum. More about Savannah’s fare-free bus service