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 fireworks and 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.
Savannah’s must-see sights are for the most part those that highlight its historic landscape and architecture. If you have only an hour or two in the city, take a stroll through the Historic District to enjoy its many shaded squares, spaced every few blocks through downtown. Savannah’s magnificent canopy of moss-draped live oaks is another special feature of the city most easily appreciated on foot.
Forsyth Park, and especially, its beautiful fountain, is another unmissable sight, as is the Cathedral of St John the Baptist with its towering white spires and extensive interior murals. Just outside the city is Bonaventure Cemetery, widely considered to be one of the best historic cemeteries in the United States, which you can either see independently or on a guided tour.
The other, less-often seen side of Savannah is the intricate landscape of saltwater marshes and tidal creeks that spans the twenty miles between the city and the sea. If you are interested in the human side of Georgia’s lowcountry, the nearby Pin Point Heritage Museum provides a unique opportunity to learn about the lives and livelihoods of a local coastal community.
The wildlife and ecology of the coastal landscape are best explored close up: a boat excursion to one of Georgia’s wild and secluded barrier islands, or a kayak trip deep into the marshes’ tidal creeks. For a budget-friendly alternative, Skidaway Island State Park offers several hiking and biking trails through maritime forest with excellent views of the marsh and its birdlife.
After that, which are the best things to see and do depends more on your interests and budget. An after-dark ghost tour of Savannah’s many, many spots alleged to be haunted is one of the more popular options. A few miles outside of the city, there is plenty to see at the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force. Or, for a free in-town highlight, see the impressive collection of artworks at the new Savannah African Art Museum.
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.