The Best in Savannah, GA Attractions
There are so many things to do in Savannah, the only problem you'll have is fitting everything in! Whether you've come to this world-class destination to...
- Explore its sights by way of an intimate horse-drawn carriage;
- Stroll its lovely and magnificent tree-lined streets;
- Discover hidden treasures in its antique shops and unique boutiques;
- Visit some of the country's finest art museums;
- Or delve into Savannah's darker side on a haunted ghost tour...
There's certainly no shortage of things to do in Savannah.
Book Your Stay in the Center of Savannah, GA Attractions
With so many things to do in Savannah, being at the center of it all gives you easy access to the best of Savannah, GA attractions. By staying at one of the unique inns and small boutique hotels that are part of the exclusive Bed and Breakfasts of Savannah collection, you're already well on your way to enjoying a truly historic Savannah experience.
Here's a Look at Some of the Most Popular Things to Do in Savannah:
Tour Savannah, GA Attractions
The Savannah National Historic District encompasses 2.2 square miles and is the largest historically preserved area in the United States. Here you'll find more than 1,200 restored structures of architectural or historical significance. Most were built in the 19th century and were restored after 1960, so there's a lot to see! Savannah's guided walking tours are offered day and night, or you can go at your own pace by just exploring the city for yourself.
Tour the city by foot, van, trolley, bus, boat, or even a horse-drawn carriage—covering the Historic District, Victorian District, Low Country and beaches. For foodies, there are tours with tastings and meals along with a pub crawl tour.
History buffs, Hollywood film location scouts, and ghost hunters will appreciate tours focused on Savannah's architecture, storied past, African-American history, as well as Savannah on film. Many of our special offers and packages include tours; and our staff is always available to help you make a selection and reservations.
Art Attractions in Savannah, GA
One of the finest art colleges in the nation, the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has made its home in the heart of the historic district. The diverse talent of SCAD's student body is readily welcomed in many of the art galleries you'll find throughout the Savannah area. Our highly regarded art galleries and museums include the Telfair Museum of Art, the Jepson Center for the Arts and the SCAD Museum of Art. All are within a few blocks of each other and are first-rate attractions for all ages.
Open since 1886, the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences offers guided tours with advance reservations or the option to plan a self-guided tour during your visit. The Jepson Center for the Arts, part of an expansion from the Telfair Academy, showcases traveling exhibitions, community artwork and photography exhibits as well the ArtZeum, a hands-on gallery for children. The SCAD Museum of Art is a contemporary art and design museum conceived and designed expressly to enrich the educational milieu of SCAD students and professors, and to attract and delight visitors from around the world.
Outdoor Things to Do in Savannah
If you prefer exploring the outdoors, you'll find Savannah, GA has plenty of outdoor attractions! From kayaking and boating to biking and golfing, the ways to explore the great outdoors of the gorgeous Savannah coastal area are virtually endless.
Savannah, GA outdoor attractions include dolphin tours, garden tours and a number of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. A short 10-minute drive from downtown will take you to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, which lies on both the South Carolina and Georgia sides of the Savannah River. Motorists are welcome on the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive, off of SC 170, which meanders along four miles of earthen dikes through the area's well managed freshwater pools and hardwood hammocks. During the spring and fall, you will usually see many alligators sunning themselves on the banks of waterways, along with an assortment of wading birds.
Explore Tybee Beach Ecology with Marine Biologist Dr. Joe Richardson
For groups visiting Savannah, a popular outdoor activity is a Tybee Beach Ecology Trip with Marine Biologist Dr. Joe Richardson. Tybee Island Beach is a great place to discover a variety of marine life typical of the southeastern US coastline. Tybee provides a location and setting that allows much to be seen and done during a 2-2.5 hour beach visit. "Dr. Joe" takes groups out beachcombing for animals, looking for fossils, examining tide pools along the rock jetty, pulling a 50 ft beach seine net and examining fish and other animals caught, and more. It's an educational, fun-filled activity your group will thoroughly enjoy.
Golf Attractions in Savannah, GA
Golfers will want to check out the many golf courses in the Savannah area. The 18-hole course at the Club at Savannah Harbor hosts the PGA Tour's Champions Tour Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf each spring. Crosswinds Golf Club near Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport offers stadium-quality lighting for night play, and golfers who enjoy water challenges will want to visit Southbridge Golf Club. Your Bed and Breakfasts of Savannah hotel concierge will be more than happy to assist you with scheduling a tee time.
Attractions in Savannah, GA Include Southern Cuisine!
The nearly endless restaurant options in Savannah give visitors a chance to truly experience Savannah's myriad flavors. From fresh shrimp and fish off the local docks to a gourmet 5-course culinary experience —Savannah's got it all. City Market, Historic River Street, Broughton and Bay Street encompass a wide variety of fine cuisine to fit your taste. There are many options for breakfast, lunch and dinner available at any point in the city.
Eclectic and Fun Shopping in Savannah
One of the most popular things to do in Savannah is shop! Where to start? River Street is considered the shopping hub of Savannah, so it's definitely worth the trip. Just watch your step as you trek across the cobblestones! Galleries, pubs and restaurants, gift shops, boutiques, and several other shopping spots occupy more than a hundred stops along the way. Numerous local artists and craftsmen sell their creations in shops on River Street. Visit the River Street Marketplace on the east end of River Street—just steps from Olde Harbour Inn—to peruse through the wares of local vendors and artists displaying their work.
Another popular shopping area is along Broughton Street—where The Marshall House is located. Most of the downtown stores are unique to Savannah and carry rare finds that make excellent gifts. The downtown design district, with its collection of eclectic shops featuring art and antiques, is popular for guests staying at The Eliza Thompson House on Jones Street.
River Street and Factors Walk
River Street and the Old Cotton Exchange were the center of commerce in 1887—when cotton was king in Savannah. This area, which is now one of the biggest attractions in downtown Savannah, GA is called Factors Walk because the cotton merchants—called factors— walked on the bridges to inspect the cotton stored in the wagons below. Iron bridges, cobblestone streets and sidewalks tie together this one-of-a-kind multilevel collection of four and five story 19th century buildings. Where once stood old cotton warehouses, you'll now find a multitude of bars, restaurants and shops. During the day tourists fill the area—strolling along the brick plaza and along the stone street—shopping, dining, taking river cruises, sitting on benches and watching the large ocean-bound freighters coming and going from one of America's busiest ports. On weekends tourists and locals alike flock to the waterfront for the entertainment, dining, and especially the bar scene.
Colonial Park Cemetery—approximately six acres in size—is located in the heart of Savannah's Historic at 201 Abercorn Street, where it intersects with Oglethorpe Avenue. The park-like cemetery has been closed to interments since 1853 and is the oldest intact municipal cemetery in Savannah. Previously known as the Old Cemetery, Old Brick Graveyard, South Broad Street Cemetery or Christ Church Cemetery, the cemetery served as the primary public cemetery from 1750 to 1853.
Four renovated blocks in the heart of the historic district really capture the authentic atmosphere and character of the city's old open marketplace. Known as City Market, this spot is also one of the most-visited attractions in Savannah, GA—featuring artists working in their lofts and exhibiting finished works for sale. You'll also find restaurants, open-air cafes, jazz clubs, theme shops and stores offering crafts, accessories and gifts. From live music to an incredible volume of local art, this inspiring hub of activity is also a great place to hire a horse-drawn carriage for a tour around the city.
Walking the Squares: Simply One of the Best Things to Do in Savannah
Savannah was originally built around four open squares in 1733. Today, 22 of the original 24 squares remain intact. If you've got your walking shoes on, it's entirely feasible to visit each one of the squares and monuments in Savannah in a day. The majority of Savannah's squares are named in honor or in memory of a person, persons or historical event. Many contain markers, memorials, statues, plaques and other tributes. The squares are a great place to picnic and relax.
Several walking guides and tour maps of Savannah will help you get, and keep, your bearings while touring on foot.
The most popular route starts in Johnson Square, continuing South along Bull Street—Savannah's main walking thoroughfare—to Forsyth Park. Along the way, you may want to detour to City Market, Broughton Street, and other Savannah areas of interest like The Juliette Gordon Low Girl Scout Center—affectionately known to the locals as "The Birthplace," the most visited historic house in Savannah. Low founded the Girl Scouts of the United States of America in 1913 in Savannah.
Monterey Square: Here you'll find Mercer House, built in 1860 for the great grandfather of songwriter Johnny Mercer; it was then purchased in 1969 and restored by Jim Williams, the principal subject of the book and film titled Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Scenes from the movie were shot here. Still privately owned by the family, the Mercer-Williams House Museum is open for tours.
Forsyth Park: This 26-acre park, starting at the south end of the historic district, is especially beautiful in spring when the flowering trees and azaleas are in full bloom. The large ornate fountain dates to 1858. Joggers and walkers head here to make the mile loop around the perimeter of the park. This is definitely one of the must-see locations in Savannah, and is just a minute's walk from The Gastonian on Gaston Street.
Still Looking for Things to Do in Savannah?
Savannah is home to more than 40 cultural attractions and amusements to keep the inquisitive traveler busy, including:
The Andrew Low House
329 Abercorn Street | 912.233.6854
This structure was built in 1848 by cotton merchant Andrew Low. Low's son, William MacKay Low, married Juliette Gordon, founder of Girl Scouts of the USA. It is owned and preserved by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of Georgia. The carriage house was left to the Girl Scouts as their Savannah headquarters.
The Coastal Heritage Society
303 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. | 912.651.6840
The organization provides a number of services for the Savannah community. The society currently manages three significant historical sites: Old Fort Jackson, the Savannah History Museum, and the Roundhouse Railroad Museum. The society is open to the public.
Davenport House Museum
324 East State Street | 912.233.8097
Located on Columbia Square, the Isaiah Davenport House—built between 1815 and 1820 —is an exceptionally fine example of Federal architecture. The proposed demolition of this home served as a catalyst in the founding of the Historic Savannah Foundation. It features a fine collection of Davenport china and period decorative arts.
The Georgia Historical Society
501 Whitaker Street | 912.651.2125
The Georgia Historical Society is the oldest cultural institution in the state and one of the oldest historical organizations in the nation. For 160 years, GHS has fulfilled its mission to collect, preserve and share Georgia history through a variety of exciting educational outreach programs and research services. The library and archives contain diaries, personal letters, ledger books, minute books, account books, church records and many other primary sources related to Georgia's History.
1 West Macon Street | 912.232.1251
Completed by architect and builder John S. Norris for wealthy cotton merchant Charles Green, the Green-Meldrim house was the headquarters of Union General William T. Sherman after he captured the city at the conclusion of his "March to the Sea." It is now the parish house for St. John's Episcopal Church and has been fully restored and furnished. The house is graced with magnificent carving and plaster work.
Jepson Center for the Arts
207 W York Street| 912.790.8800
Jepson Center for the Arts features: two large galleries for major traveling exhibitions; galleries for African American art, Southern art, photography and works-on-paper; a community gallery; a 3,500 square-foot hands-on gallery for young people; two outdoor sculpture terraces; education studios; and a 200-seat auditorium, café, and store. Covered with glistening white Portuguese stone, this center consists of two separate structures connected by glass bridges. These amazing bridges span a protected lane; one that is part of Savannah's original town plan. Conceived in 1733 by Georgia's founder, General James Oglethorpe, the building—boasting a soaring, light-filled atrium—features a sweeping, three-level staircase that allows an inspired access to its expansive galleries.
Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace
142 Bull Street | 912.233.4501
Built between 1818 and 1820, the Center is the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts. The building has been restored and furnished to depict the 1870s period and was named Savannah's first National Historic Landmark in 1965. It is owned and operated by the Girl Scouts of the USA as a memorial to their founder and is a program center for all members.
Massie Heritage Interpretation Center
207 East Gordon Street | 912.651.7380
Massie is the only remaining original building of Georgia's oldest chartered school system. The Heritage Classroom Program, operated by the public school system at Massie, is an enrichment program to increase students' understanding of Savannah's historic and architectural heritage.
The Mercer-Williams House Museum
430 Whitaker Street | 912.236.6352
Known for its Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil fame, the Mercer-Williams House was designed by New York architect John S. Norris for General Hugh W. Mercer—great grandfather of singer-songwriter Johnny Mercer. In 1969, Jim Williams, one of Savannah's earliest and most dedicated private preservationists, bought the then vacant house and began a two-year restoration. Previously open only to benefit local historic and charitable organizations, the house is now open to the public since its restoration was completed.
Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home
207 E Charlton Street | 912.233.6014
Author Mary Flannery O'Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1925 and lived in this house until 1938. Today, it is maintained partly as a memorial to her and partly as a literary center for Savannah.
The Oatland Island Education Center
711 Sandtown Road | 912.898.3980
The Center features a "Native Animal Nature Trail" that winds through maritime forest, salt marsh and freshwater wetlands. Along the way, visitors can observe native animals such as Florida panthers, Eastern timber wolves and alligators in their natural habitat.
124 Abercorn Street | 912.233.9743
Designed in 1816 by William Jay, this house is generally considered to be the finest example of Regency architecture in America. It now serves as a house museum and features one of the few intact former slave quarters in America.
The Roundhouse Railroad Museum
601 Harris Street | 912.651.6823
Savannah's Central of Georgia Railway National Landmark District is the oldest and most complete antebellum railroad manufacturing and repair facility still in existence in the United States. The Roundhouse Railroad Museum now has permanent exhibits in seven of the 13 structures on the site. Exhibits focus on steam engines, belt-driven machinery, locomotives, railroad rolling stock and model railroad layouts. This is one of the most extensive collections of rolling stock and machinery in Georgia.
Savannah History Museum
303 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. | 912.238.1779
Adjacent to the Savannah Visitor Information Center, the museum is operated by the Coastal Heritage Society. The structure is on the site of the 1779 siege of Savannah, a Revolutionary War battle. The attraction has artifacts and displays depicting Savannah's history, a film about the founding of the city and a diorama depicting the siege. Included in this collection is a large quantity of historic women's clothing and accessories from the 1800s to the present as well as military uniforms, military weapons and railroad items.
Savannah Ogeechee Canal Museum & Nature Center
681 Fort Argyle Road | 912.748.8068
Ogeechee Barge Canal is one of the prime relics in the history of southern canals. In cooperation with Chatham County's Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, the Savannah-Ogeechee Canal Society is working to turn the canal into a multipurpose linear park. A half-mile walk along the Heel or Tow paths provides a delightful and attractive setting to enjoy this unique waterway.
The Savannah Theater
222 Bull Street | 912.233.7764
The Savannah Theater opened its doors for the first time December 4, 1818, with a production of the comedy A Soldier's Daughter. Through the centuries and a few face lifts, the Savannah Theater houses the performance ensemble "Lost in the 50s" and remains the oldest continuously operating theater site in America.
The Ships of the Sea Museum
41 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. | 912.232.1511
William Jay designed this house for merchant prince William Scarborough, one of the principal investors in the S.S. Savannah—the first steam vessel to cross the Atlantic. This maritime museum houses a large collection of ship models, artifacts and memorabilia representing man's 2,000 year quest to conquer the sea.
Telfair Museum of Art
121 Barnard Street | 912.232.1177
Designed and built in 1818 by William Jay, the Telfair Mansion was the site of the royal Governor's residence. The mansion contains many family furnishings. A large wing, added in 1883, contains superb American and European paintings and sculpture. It is the oldest art museum in the South.
Wormsloe State Historic Site
7601 Skidaway Road | 912.353.3023
Located on Isle of Hope, Wormsloe was settled by Noble Jones, one of Georgia's first colonists. Wormsloe was received into the Jones family by a royal grant in 1756 and has remained the only Savannah plantation in possession by its original owners until 1974, when it was given to Georgia Heritage Trust. This historic site has a visitor center with exhibits and audiovisual programming on Georgia's colonial period and is the site of the ruins of tabby fortification and the Fort Wimberly earthworks.