Things To Do 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.
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, with monthly special events. Nearby City Market, between Franklin and Ellis Squares in the northwest of the Historic District, has more small shops, galleries and restaurants.
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.
Things to do:
Guided Tours Of Savannah
- Trolley tours – Narrated overview tours of the Historic District.
- 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.
- Architecture tours – Walking tours of Savannah focused on the architecture and antebellum mansions of the Historic District.
- Ghost tours – Ghost stories from Savannah’s haunted past, including after-dark and adult-only tours.
- Comedy tours – A fun approach to Savannah’s history.
- Carriage tours – Narrated horse-drawn carriage tours of the Historic District.
- Food and drink tours – Guided tours focusing on aspects of Savannah’s culinary history and culture.
- Black history tours – African-American history of Savannah, from slavery to freedom.
- Civil War tours – Military history and Savannah’s experiences in the Civil War.
- Midnight and movie tours – Locations and history associated with the best-selling book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Savannah’s movie industry.
Museums In Savannah
Savannah offers several museums, primarily concerning aspects of local history. A couple of these museums, while bearing Savannah addresses, are located somewhat outside of the Historic District. Their distance from downtown is noted. For more museums that are near to, but not in, Savannah, see below.
General Savannah & American History
- Savannah History Museum – Overview of Savannah’s historic achievements, attached to the Visitors Information Center.
- Massie Heritage Center – Focus on Savannah’s architectural heritage and educational history, plus other miscellaneous aspects of the city’s history.
- American Prohibition Museum – Recently-opened museum of the history of prohibition in the United States.
- Webb Military Museum – Private but extensive collection of military artifacts and uniforms from the Civil War onwards.
Other Local History & Specialty Museums
- Bethesda Museum (11 miles) – History of Savannah’s colonial-era orphanage and the school it later became.
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.
- Telfair Academy – Traditional art in a William Jay-designed antebellum mansion.
- Jepson Center – The contemporary complement to the Telfair Academy, opposite.
- Beach Institute – African-American art, with a special focus on the works of local folk artist Ulysses Davis.
- Savannah African Art Museum – Recently-opened museum showcasing a private collection of art works from the African continent.
Historic House Museums
Savannah’s historic house museums
Architecture & Historic Attractions
History & Architecture
- River Street – Savannah’s historic river front, its old warehouses now occupied by shops and restaurants.
- Jones Street – Said to be Savannah’s prettiest street, lined with live oaks and 19th-century homes.
- 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.
Places Of Worship
Parks & Squares
- The squares – 22 small parks, each with a different character, distributed throughout the Historic District.
- Forsyth Park – One of the oldest and prettiest urban parks in the United States.
- 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.
- Starland District – Savannah’s newest arts district, centered around the old Starland Dairy out along Bull Street.
- Isle of Hope – Charming historic suburb on the banks of the Skidaway River.
Shopping In Savannah
Savannah’s main downtown shopping area is Broughton Street, with a selection of chain and local stores and restaurants. Additional shops and boutique offerings are distributed throughout the Historic District and beyond, with dozens of antiques stores, art galleries, and places to shop for specialty foods, books, home decor, clothing and many other things besides.
If you are looking for a typical souvenir, head to River Street or City Market, which both have many tourist-oriented shops selling a variety of knick-knacks and mementos to suit most tastes and budgets.
Savannah also has several large malls offering the usual range of big chain stores, including Oglethorpe Mall, Savannah Mall and Tanger Outlets.
Golf Courses In Savannah
Savannah offers several public golf courses, and semi-private golf courses accessible to the public, in and near the city.
On Hutchinson Island, across the river from downtown Savannah, is the Club at Savannah Harbor. 9-hole courses nearby include Mary Calder Golf Club and the Legends Course at city-owned Bacon Park Golf Course (at which there is also an 18-hole course).
Other golf courses in Savannah include the Hunter Golf Course at the Hunter Army Airfield (open to the civilian public), LaVida Golf Club, Crosswinds Golf Club, and Henderson Golf Club (owned by Chatham County).
Things To Do Near Savannah – History & Culture
- Penn Center (St Helena Island, SC, 49 miles) – Historic site and museum interpreting the history of the Reconstruction Era Penn School and local Gullah/Geechee culture.
Maritime & Transport History
- Tybee Island Lighthouse and Museum (Tybee Island, 17 miles) – 19th-century lightstation and keeper’s house, with attached museum of Tybee Island’s history.
- Savannah-Ogeechee Canal Museum (17 miles) – Restored section of the 19th-century Savannah-Ogeechee Canal and its locks, with museum (limited hours) and nature trails.
Other Local History
- Wormsloe Historic Site (9 miles) – Colonial-era plantation ruins, nature trails and a live oak avenue.
- Richmond Hill History Museum (Richmond Hill, 20 miles) – History of Richmond Hill and its association with the famous industrialist Henry Ford.
- Ebenezer Living History Museum (Rincon, 27 miles) – Small museum operated by the Georgia Salzburger Society, outlining the history of the area's Salzburger settlers.
Things To Do Near Savannah – Nature & Outdoors
Beaches & Seafront Communities
Botanical, Ecology & Wildlife Attractions
Kayaking, Paddleboarding & Boat Trips
- Little Tybee Island – Unspoiled nature preserve, easily accessible by boat tour or kayak from the town of Tybee Island.
- Wassaw Island – Secluded National Wildlife Refuge, accessible by boat or kayak.
- Ossabaw Island – Nature preserve and cultural heritage site, accessible by boat or kayak.
- Ebenezer Creek (Rincon, 27 miles) – Tranquil blackwater swamp north of Savannah, an ideal kayaking or paddleboarding destination.
- Kayak, canoe and paddleboard tours – A great way to explore the marshes and creeks around Savannah.
- Watersports and equipment rentals – Where to rent kayaks and other equipment or take watersports lessons in the Tybee-Skidaway area.
- Boat tours – Dolphin and nature tours, plus boat charters, in the Savannah-Skidaway-Tybee area.
State Parks, Trails & Refuges
Things To Do Near Savannah – Other Activities
- The Combat Zone (Bloomingdale, 18 miles) – Paintball center and ex-military tank-driving experiences.
- Helicopter tours – Tours offering an aerial perspective on Savannah, Tybee Island or Hilton Head.