What To See & Do In Savannah

Night time view of River Street in Savannah, GA.

Savannah has a wide range of tourist attractions, with enough variety to suit most different interests and age groups.

The city’s particular strengths are its historic attractions, from the numerous historic houses and places of worship downtown, and its cemeteries, to the restored forts outside of Savannah and along the Georgia coast.

The majority of Savannah’s attractions are concentrated within the Historic District, or within a few miles of downtown, and are easy to get to. Many of Savannah’s sights are free to visit, and some outdoor attractions also allow pets.

The Historic District itself is Savannah’s main attraction, and it is unavoidable. If you can, the best way to appreciate its atmosphere and architecture is to walk around – there are plenty of places to rest and relax along the way thanks to Savannah’s unique system of squares (among its key sights), located every few blocks. Forsyth Park, where Savannah’s famous fountain is located, is also a must-see.

River Street too attracts a lot of tourists. Once the commercial center of Savannah, it is now an area of shops and restaurants arranged alongside the riverside promenade. Nearby City Market, between Franklin and Ellis Squares in the northwest of the Historic District, has more small shops, galleries and restaurants.

– For festivals and events in Savannah by month, see: things to do in January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November or December.

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Things To Do In Savannah’s Historic District

Museums

Savannah’s museums

Savannah History Museum – Overview of Savannah’s historic achievements, attached to the Visitors Information Center. More

Massie Heritage Center – Focus on Savannah’s architectural heritage and educational history, plus other miscellaneous aspects of the city’s history. More

Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum – History of segregation and the Civil Rights Movement in Savannah. More

Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum – Savannah’s maritime history, with model ships and other maritime artifacts. More

Georgia State Railroad Museum – The railroad in Savannah, with historic locomotives and former railroad shop buildings. More

King-Tisdell Cottage – History of African-American lives and labor in Savannah and the lowcountry. More

Webb Military Museum – Private but extensive collection of military artifacts and uniforms from the Civil War onwards. More

Savannah Races Museum – Private collection of artifacts pertaining to Savannah’s motor racing history. More

Art Museums

Savannah’s art museums

SCAD Museum of Art – Contemporary art in a historic former railroad buidling, operated by the Savannah College of Art and Design. More

Telfair Academy – Traditional art in a William Jay-designed antebellum mansion. More

Jepson Center – The contemporary complement to the Telfair Academy, opposite. More

Beach Institute – African-American art, with a special focus on the works of local folk artist Ulysses Davis. More

Historic House Museums

Savannah’s historic house museums

Andrew Low House – Classic antebellum home, former residence of Juliette Gordon Low. More

Davenport House – One of Savannah’s earliest preservation triumphs, restored to reflect the life of a middle class family in the 1820s. More

Green-Meldrim House – Gothic Revival mansion designed by John Norris, occupied by General Sherman during the Civil War. More

Harper-Fowlkes House – Charles Cluskey-designed Greek Revival mansion, tours tell the story of one of Savannah’s leading preservationists. More

Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace – Devoted to the life and works of the founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA. More

Owens-Thomas House – William Jay’s Regency masterpiece. More

Mercer-Williams House – Savannah’s most famous historic house, as featured in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. More

Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home – Depression-era historic house, former home of well-known southern author Flannery O’Connor. More

Sorrel-Weed House – Private restoration, claims to be haunted. More

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Architecture & Historic Attractions

The squares – 22 small parks, each with a different character, distributed throughout the Historic District. More

Forsyth Park – One of the oldest and prettiest urban parks in the United States. More

Colonial Park Cemetery – 18th century cemetery, one of the oldest surviving landmarks in Savannah. More

Jones Street – Said to be Savannah’s prettiest street, lined with live oaks and 19th-century homes. More

Cathedral of St John the Baptist – Striking inside and out, this Cathedral has the best collection of religious murals in the South. More

First African Baptist Church – One of the country’s oldest African-American congregations, with guided tours and a small museum. More

Congregation Mickve Israel – One of oldest Jewish congregations in the United States, with guided tours and a small museum. More

Other historic places of worship – Savannah’s many beautiful and historic places of worship, some dating back to the 19th century. More

Factor’s Walk – One of Savannah’s most unusual architectural features, where numerous footbridges connect Bay Street to the former warehouse buildings that front on the river.

Battlefield Park – Memorial site for the 1779 Siege of Savannah, with reconstructed redoubt.

Tours

Trolley tours – Narrated overview tours of the Historic District. More

Walking tours – Guided tours of a smaller area of the Historic District, either general interest or focusing on a special aspect of the city’s history. More

Ghost tours – Ghost stories from Savannah’s (allegedly) haunted past, including after-dark tours. More

Carriage tours – Narrated horse-drawn carriage tours of the Historic District. More

Food and drink tours – Guided tours focusing on aspects of Savannah’s culinary history and culture. More

Things To Do Elsewhere In Savannah

Historic Attractions

Bonaventure Cemetery – Savannah’s most beautiful and famous 19th-century cemetery. More

Laurel Grove Cemetery North – Savannah’s “other” 19th-century landscaped cemetery. More

Laurel Grove Cemetery South – Burial place of Savannah’s African-Americans from slavery through to the present day. More

Fort Jackson – Georgia’s oldest surviving brick fort. More

Wormsloe Historic Site – Colonial-era plantation ruins, nature trails and a live oak avenue. More

Museums

Pin Point Heritage Museum – History of Savannah’s Gullah-Geechee community of Pin Point, which grew up around the seafood processing industry. More

Bethesda – History of Savannah’s colonial-era orphanage and the school it later became. More

Historic Neighborhoods

Victorian District – Just south of the Savannah’s main Historic District, this neighborhood is home to some of the city’s best late-19th-century architecture. More

Isle of Hope – Charming historic suburb on the banks of the Skidaway River.

Starland District – Savannah’s newest arts district, centered around the old Starland Dairy out along Bull Street. More

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Things To Do Near Savannah

Barrier Islands

Tybee Island – The nearest seaside town to Savannah, with miles of beach, a pier and several major annual events. More

– See also events at Tybee Island

Little Tybee Island – Unspoiled nature preserve, easily accessible by boat tour or kayak from the town of Tybee Island. More

Wassaw Island – Secluded National Wildlife Refuge, accessible by boat or kayak. More

Museums & Historic Attractions

Fort Pulaski National Monument – Well-preserved brick fort, site of the Civil War Battle of Fort Pulaski. More

Tybee Island Lighthouse and Museum – 19th-century lightstation and keeper’s house, with attached museum of Tybee Island’s history. More

National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force – The Eighth Air Force from WWII to the present day, with several historic military aircraft. More

Fort McAllister State Park – Civil War-era earthwork fort, with museum and nature trails. More

Savannah-Ogeechee Canal Museum – Restored section of the 19th-century Savannah-Ogeechee Canal and its locks, with museum and nature trails. More

Nature & Outdoors Activities

Nature attractions near Savannah

Skidaway Island State Park – Scenic marshes, maritime forest and boardwalks, not far from Savannah. More

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge – Enormous wildlife refuge on the site of former rice plantations along the Savannah River. More

McQueens Island Trail – Hiking and biking trail along the bank of the Savannah River. More

Kayak, canoe and paddleboard tours – A great way to explore the marshes and creeks around Savannah. More

Watersports and equipment rentals – Where to rent kayaks and other equipment or take watersports lessons in the Tybee-Skidaway area. More

Boat tours – Dolphin and nature tours, plus boat charters, in the Savannah-Skidaway-Tybee area. More