Savannah, Georgia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, and rightfully so. It is one of the most beautiful towns on the east coast, and they have preserved its history impeccably.
We’ve gathered 16 of the best things to do in Savannah so that you can spend a wonderful time in this town. Read on to see our top picks and things to consider before going!
16 Best Things to Do in Savannah, GA in 2022
If you’ve ever wanted to spend a holiday in the Peach State, a stop in Savannah is a must. There are endless historical sites to see and much to learn about Savannah’s history and culture.
Savannah also has incredible southern food and, of course, its famous hospitality. We have compiled a list of 16 of the best things to see and do in Savannah.
There is something for everyone in Savannah. You can explore the beautiful Regency-era preserved houses, walk along the quaint waterfront, go to one of the many museums, or take a day trip to the coast.
Read on to find the perfect activities for your trip to Savannah. In addition to all of the things to see and do, we have compiled a list of some things to keep in mind when you’re there, as well as answers to some frequently asked questions.
1. City Market
Everyone loves an open-air market, and Savannah has one of the best ones you’ll find in the States. Open every day of the year, this four-block market attracts tourists and locals to browse the shops and people-watch.
City Market has more than just food. While it does boast some of the best restaurants around, the market also has museums, galleries, and historic Savannah shops.
There are also live concerts and outdoor bars around the market which contribute to Savannah’s iconic nightlife. Some of the market’s highlights include the Georgia Tasting Room, the Little Convenience Store, the Prohibition Museum, and the Alix Baptiste Art Gallery.
2. Old Savannah Trolley Tours
Taking a tour of historic Savannah on one of their quaint trolleys is an iconic Savannah activity. This is a hop-on hop-off trolley touring Savannah’s historic district, covering over 22 squares.
The trolley is instantly recognizable with its bright green top and vibrant orange base. There are also some even older, all-white versions. Whichever you hop onto, the aesthetic will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
There are 15 stops on the trolley. It takes you past many of Savannah’s great historic landmarks, such as the Mulberry House, the Juliette Gordon Low Home, and the Sorrel Weed House.
3. Wormsloe Historic Site
Even if you’ve never heard of the Wormsloe Historic Site, chances are you’ve seen it on Instagram. The site is one of the most beautiful places in all of the South and the perfect photo opportunity.
This site has the quintessential southern look, with a beautiful walkway of oaks covered in Spanish moss and a lane covered in fallen petals. The walkway leads directly to the ruins of Wormsloe, a colonial estate that stands as the oldest structure in Savannah.
Walking through the tunnel of towering oaks will make you feel like you’re in a movie. Its tranquil feel and lush scenery are perfect for a quiet walk with your thoughts, or an ideal spot for a photo shoot.
4. Forsyth Park
If you’re looking for another historic and beautiful spot to rival the Wormsloe Historic Site, look no further than Forsyth Park. This is one of the most famous landmarks in Savannah and one of the most beautiful parks in the South.
Forsyth Park is 30 acres of lush greenery, seasonally planted flowers, and some of the oldest trees in Georgia. The walkways in the park end up at a spectacular fountain that you’ve probably seen in many photos if you’ve ever Googled “Savannah”.
Forsyth park hosts many events throughout the year, from concerts to a farmer’s market that’s open every Saturday. It’s also the perfect spot for some people watching, as tourists and locals alike flock to the park for any number of activities.
5. Savannah Waterfront
Because Savannah is not a coastal city, many people don’t know it has a waterfront. However, the beautiful Savannah River runs along the edge of the city, and the waterfront area overlooking it is one of the most beautiful parts of the Savannah.
The waterfront is along the historic River Street, which used to be a bustling warehouse district that was the heart of Savannah’s industrial history. It was abandoned at the turn of the 20th century and revived in the 1960s.
The waterfront is one of the most popular spots for seafood restaurants and bars. The entire side of the river is lined with cobblestones, and you can walk along the streets to see galleries, shops, and of course the beautiful view.
6. The Owens-Thomas House
The historic Owens-Thomas House is an architectural marvel and an important piece of antebellum history. The house is beautifully kept for over 200 years as a glimpse into Regency-era architecture.
As well as beautiful architecture, the house has a historic garden and a gallery filled with impressionist paintings. As well as all of the beauty, the house also has one of the best-preserved and oldest slave quarters.
If you want to see this beautiful house and understand its complicated history, sign up for a guided tour. The guides are knowledgeable and passionate, leaving you with a deeper understanding of Savannah’s history, told through this historic house.
7. The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Many people call the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist the most beautiful building in Savannah. It is a stunning sight, with towering spires and stained glass windows that will leave you speechless.
The cathedral was first built in 1876 but was largely destroyed by a fire in 1898. However, it was so beloved by the community that it was fully rebuilt in just two years.
Even if you are not religious, this cathedral is worth visiting for its beauty and history. The cathedral has guided and self-guided tours for just $2 per person. Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to the cathedral every year.
8. Bonaventure Cemetery
While you might not jump to “graveyard” when thinking of things to do on vacation, trust us when we say that the Bonaventure Cemetery is worth a visit. Whether you like history or just want a beautiful place to see, you won’t want to miss this.
This is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world, putting it on many people’s bucket lists. The cemetery was opened in 1846 and spans 160 acres of beautiful moss-laden, oak tree-lined pathways.
Many interesting people are buried on the grounds, including Johnny Mercer and Rosa Louise Woodbury. This cemetery was also immortalized in the famous book and movie “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”.
9. Graveface Museum
If you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path, check out the fascinating Graveface Museum along River Street. Hidden among the cobblestone streets and old-world charm lies this unique museum filled with curiosities.
The Graveface Museum is dedicated to the world of oddities and criminal history. The first floor is covered with a collection of bizarre taxidermy, and the second floor charts the history of sideshow attractions and traveling circuses.
There are also exhibitions dedicated to some of the country’s most infamous criminals. For those obsessed with serial killers and true crime, you can see things like the largest collection of John Wayne Gacy paintings, and Jim Jones’ sunglasses.
10. Hearse Ghost Tours
Savannah’s Hearse Ghost Tours are another perfect activity for those looking for something a little more unusual in Savannah. For anyone interested in the haunted history of Savannah, this tour is perfect.
Rather than a simple walking tour, this ghost story history takes place while riding around the city in a real hearse. This hearse was actually used for funerals for more than 15 years.
The knowledgeable tour guides will take you through some more common points in Savannah’s history, but also show you the darker side.
Whether or not you believe in ghosts, this tour is fun and spooky. Either way, you’ll leave with some unique Savannah knowledge to share with your friends.
11. Old Fort Jackson Historic Site
The Old Fort Jackson Historic Site is one of the top attractions in the South for those with an interest in military history. The fort was built in 1808 and was used extensively during the war of 1812.
The fort has been carefully preserved and looks almost identical to what was standing more than 200 years ago. The fort demonstrates the power and strength of the Americans who fought for independence from the British.
It is even named after the Georgian governor who freed Savannah from British rule.
The fort is also a beautiful location to see the rest of the city, and a perfect spot to see the sunset. Take a self-guided tour along the grounds and inside the fort, and make sure you stay long enough to hear the cannons sound.
12. Pin Point Heritage Museum
The Pin Point Heritage Museum is one of the lesser-known museums in Savannah, but it is worth a visit for anyone interested in history. The museum tells the remarkable story of a small, African American fishing village established in 1890 by recently freed slaves.
About 300 people still live in this community, and the museum documents their struggle for liberation and their incredible resilience. The museum is spread along with four restored buildings and has a gorgeous view of the salt marshes along Moon River.
The exhibits at the museum are elegantly presented with thought-provoking literature to get you thinking about some of the lesser-known historical aspects of the city. This museum is never too crowded, so you’ll be able to take in the exhibits and the views.
13. The University of Georgia Aquarium
The University of Georgia Aquarium is smaller than some of the more famous aquariums on the East Coast but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a ton to see.
The aquarium is an active research site for marine biology students at the University, and the tour guides are incredibly knowledgeable. There are over 200 species to see there, most of which can be found along the Georgia coast.
Some of the highlights include stingrays, sea turtles, and diamondback terrapins. There is also a touch tank where visitors can get up close and personal with some marine life.
The aquarium also features a learning garden with native flora and fauna where children and adults can learn more about the nature surrounding them. There is also a wonderful nature trail that runs along the Skidaway River after your visit.
14. Webb Military Museum
The Webb Military Museum is another must-see for any military history buffs out there. Savannah has a vibrant and sordid history in many of America’s wars, and this history is charted at this museum.
The museum features artifacts from American wars from the Civil War to the Desert Storm. Walk through the museum to see original headgear, uniforms, and equipment charted through history.
The museum takes care to honor the servicemen from every war in America’s history and charts their evolution with respect and dignity. Along with the physical artifacts, the museum tells many personal stories from soldiers showcasing their time fighting for the United States.
15. Leopold’s Ice Cream Parlor
Last but not least on our list, Leopold’s Ice Cream Parlor is a must-visit. There are many great food spots in Savannah, but if you only visit one it has to be Leopold’s. This iconic ice cream parlor has been in operation for over 100 years.
Some famous old ice cream parlors get by on aesthetics and history along, but not Leopold’s. As evidenced by the long line that snakes out the door every warm night, the ice cream itself is to-die-for.
All the ice cream is served in classic glass sundae cups, and don’t forget to order your scoops with classic “Jimmies”. In addition to ice cream, the parlor also has homemade soups and sandwiches, so you can enjoy a full meal at this establishment.
16. The Telfair Museum of Art
The Telfair Museum of Art has an extensive collection and is housed in two different buildings, a Regency-era mansion and a modern building designed by legendary architect Moshe Safdie.
The mansion was previously owned by a governor’s family throughout the nineteenth century and was restored as an art museum by the Georgia Historical Society. Each room is its beautiful feat of design and houses a gallery of sculptures, period furniture, and an extensive collection of paintings.
The modern part of the museum is the Jepson Center for the Arts which houses contemporary art and innovative traveling exhibitions. It also holds arts education programs for adults and children.
Things to Consider
- Although we wish it weren’t true, Covid-19 is still prevalent in the United States, and Savannah is no exception. While Savannah still has some Covid protocols in place, Georgia has a very low vaccination rate. Keep aware of this, and spend as much time as you can social distancing from others.
- Savannah summers can be brutal, with temperatures often reaching above 100º Fahrenheit. If you’re traveling from somewhere colder, or are not used to extreme humidity, make sure you pack enough sunscreen and reusable water bottles!
- Although Savannah enjoys many days of sunlight, it does see very heavy rainfall. Be aware that if you are traveling there in the summer and early fall, especially during hurricane season, rain can cause significant flooding. The city’s road system is very good, and the flooding will usually drain in a few hours, but if you are from a dry climate this is something to look out for.
- Because Savannah is both a historic city with small roads and extremely popular with tourists, traffic can be a true nightmare. The city center’s quaint roads and pedestrian squares are wonderful for the aesthetic, and terrible for drivers. If you are visiting the city by car, consider leaving it at your hotel and taking the bus into the historic district.
- We can’t objectively confirm or deny this, but Savannah is known as one of the most haunted cities in the United States. With hundreds of ghost walking (and hearse) tours and plenty of spooky stories, Savannah is frequented by tourists and also maybe by ghosts!
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that we’ve covered all of the best things to see and do in Savannah, you might still have some lingering questions. We’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions and answered them below.
How expensive is Savannah?
While most places in the south are quite affordable, Savannah is one of the more expensive cities south of D.C. Savannah’s hotel and restaurant prices are more in line with prices you’d see in California or New York than in the rest of Georgia.
There are many affordable restaurants and hotels in the city center and the historic district if you know where to look. You can easily vacation in Savannah without breaking the bank if you plan your trip right and do some internet sleuthing.
What is the best neighborhood to stay in?
There are quite a few beautiful neighborhoods to stay in Savannah, depending on what vibe you’re after. If you want the classic old-school feel, the famous Historic District is the way to go. If you’re looking for something a bit more modern but that keeps its charm, City Market or River Street is your answer.
Either way, Savannah has a bus system that will take you to and around the city center. You can stay in the hip areas of Midtown or Pooler and take the bus into the historic area if you’re looking for something a little more affordable.
What is Savannah’s Historic District?
A small space that truly packs a punch, Savannah’s historic district is the largest National Historic Landmark District in the United States! The historic district contains 22 squares and more than 1,600 historic landmarks, all in 2.5 squire miles of space.
The historic district is most famous for its Regency-era architecture that has been lovingly preserved for centuries. Many of the most famous landmarks we’ve written about above, including St. John’s Cathedral, are located in this beautiful neighborhood.
What is the weather like?
Savannah is considered a subtropical climate, known for mild winters and very hot and humid summers. Savannah gets a lot of sun, with an average of 216 days a year. However, when it rains, it pours. During the 100 or so days that it does rain, Savannah can get over 50 inches.
Winters are short and mild, whereas the summer is long, and temperatures usually stay above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of this, tourists usually frequent Savannah in the spring and fall. Both of these seasons boast ideal temperatures and lots of sun.
What kind of food is Savannah known for?
Savannah is truly the belle of the ball when it comes to classic southern comfort food. The city has incredible restaurants for all of the classics like fried chicken, shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, and buttermilk pie.
Of course, no warm-weather trip to Savannah can be complete without sampling some delicious Georgia peaches. In addition, because Savannah is near the coast, they boast some of the best seafood south of Baltimore.
So, What Are the Best Things to Do in Savannah?
We hope you have a good idea of some things to include in your Savannah getaway. The historic jewel of the south, Savannah is one of the most beautiful and interesting cities on the East Coast.
We have taken you through some of the best things to see and do in Savannah, from the varied museums to the most Instagram-worthy parks. Now, all that’s left to do is start planning your trip!