Top 8 Things to do in Savannah, Georgia

There are many great reasons that you will want to visit Savannah, Georgia.  This city annually hosts one of the largest Saint Patrick’s Day parades. It has a very lively art scene, along with a three-week music festival. Tourists can also find a wide variety of dining experiences in this city that is home to Paula Dean. History comes alive in many parts of the city, but it is especially evident in the historic downtown area. If you are planning a trip to Savannah, here are eight top things to do in Savannah Georgia that you will not want to miss. Our top includes free attractions, as well as exciting things to do with children, pets, as a couple, or if you travel alone.

1. Explore the Historic District

The 23-block historical district with its Spanish-moss covered trees and cobblestone streets are fascinating to visit. It is the largest National Historic Landmark District in the United States. Start by strolling down River Street browsing in the souvenir shops until you reach the stairs or ramps. Then, climb to reach the rest of the historical district set high on a bluff overlooking the water. Four squares of the original  city that was laid out in 1733 remain.

Make sure to bring extra money, as the area has several delicious restaurants. For a unique look at the historical district, consider taking the ghost tour via a 15- passenger bike. This is one of the best things to do in Savannah Georgia during the day. If you do not plan spending money on shopping or food, just exploring this historic district is one of the most rewarding free things to do in Savannah.

  • Best for: Adults as there is a lot of walking.
  • Season Available: All year – make sure to stay well hydrated.

2. Stroll through Forsythe Park

Originally created in 1840s, the gorgeous Forsythe Park offers a great place to reconnect with nature. It is an outstanding place to play Frisbee or to fly a kite. In the warmer weather, many groups use the park for concerts and family films. No trip to the park would be complete without stopping to watch the Forsyth Park Fountain modeled after the Place de la Concorde in Paris. It was originally constructed in 1858, and it makes a great scenic backdrop for family photos. If you are looking for things to do in Savannah for free, this beautiful park is a wonderful option.

Visit the Confederate War Memorial originally constructed in 1897, and the Spanish-American War Memorial constructed in 1879. The Fragrant Garden for the Blind will delight your senses with its many wonderful smells. Rest for a spell while enjoying a glass of sweet tea at the café. Attend a summer performance of Shakespeare in the Park, or make your plans to be there for Picnic in the Park in October. This is one of the most fun things to do in Savannah Ga, especially with children and pets.

  • Best for: Children and adults.
  • Season Available: All year.

3. Tour the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum

Originally constructed as the Wage Earners State Bank, the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum is located in a 1914 five-story building. Learn about the legacy of one of the most important civil rights leaders of all times by watching the video on Ralph Marks Gilberts‘ life. Find out about the city’s role in the civil rights movement when you visit this museum with its interesting presentations on Martin Luther King Junior and Hosea Williams.

Listen to the frequent lectures or attend a video. Children adore the special reading room just for them, while adults appreciate the research library. The souvenir gift shop here is one of the best in the city. This one of the most inspirational things to do in Savannah Georgia, especially in winter and fall.

  • Best for: Adults and children.
  • Season Available: All-year round.

4. See the Birthplace of Girl Scouts

If you have a Girl Scout in your family or were once one yourself, then visiting the Juliette Gordon Low Home is one of the best things to do in Savannah GA. You can take a 90 minute guided tour of her birthplace, and two outbuildings associated with the founder of Girl Scouts. Groups can experience what it is like to be a Girl Scout with a morning troop experience. Very soon, older girls will be able to participate in an afternoon tea experience.

The home is closed on some holidays, and it is always closed on Sundays. Tickets to all these exciting events often sell out, so you need to make sure to buy your tickets very early. If you miss your chance, then this birthplace sometimes adds tours on the day if the demand is high enough.

  • Best for: Children and adults.
  • Season available: All year round- closed on Sundays and some holidays.

5. Remember History at the Bonaventure Cemetery

The hauntingly beautiful Bonaventure Cemetery is filled with history, making it one of the best things to do in Savannah Georgia for locals, or on Halloween. One of the best ways to learn about this cemetery is to take the free tours available on the weekends from the Bonaventure Historical Organization. If that is not possible, then stop at their Visitor’s Center to pick up a map or download the app. This cemetery  was featured in the book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt. The cemetery is home to several notable burials including Governor  Edward Telfair, Singer Johnny Mercer and actor James Neill. The cemetery is open from 8 AM to 5 PM daily.

  • Best for: Adults.
  • Season Available: Year-Round If walking, make sure to stay hydrated.

5. Tour the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

A church has sat on the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist site since 1799. Immigrants from Haiti built the first one. The land was given to them by the city leaders.  The current church was constructed in 1899 after a fire destroyed much of the original building. The gorgeous stain glass windows were made by Innsbruck Glassmakers in the Austrian Tyrol, and they were installed about 1904. Seeing the gold-plated altar makes the trip inside extremely worthwhile. The church is open to visit most of the time during the workweek. Visitors can also attend mass on Sunday. A sign in front of the cathedral announces it if is closed for a special reason.

  • Best for: Adults and children.
  • Season Available: Year round but may be closed for special occasions.

6. Learn about Nautical History at the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum

Visitors have been coming to the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum since 1966. This museum features nine galleries showcasing Savannah’s rich connection to the sea. All of the models have been highly researched, and most have been commissioned to be built especially for the museum. There are a vast variety of vessels to view from modern navy vessels to colonial vessels, like the pilgrims used.

This museum is located in the William Scarbrough house built for the owner of the first steamship to cross the Atlantic. In addition to the ships, visitors can walk through the stunning gardens. This parlor garden features plants that have been available in Savannah since the 1800s. Getting to see the vast variety is one of the best things to do in Savannah, GA.

  • Best for: Adults and children.
  • Season Availability: Open year-round.

7. View the Art at the SCAD Museum

Visitors can see over 4,500 works of art at the SCAD Art Museum. Students from the Savannah College of Art and Design use this museum to study great artists in many different mediums including drawings, paintings, sculptures, prints and photography. This museum is highly regarded for its Walter O. Evans Center for African American Studies helping people understand the role of African-American artists in society.

Tourists can watch films in the 250 seat theater. The 86 foot tall lantern outside this museum beckons everyone to come visit the place. Even if you have been here before, the museum is always changing because of its revolving exhibits. It is one of the best things to do in Savannah for young adults.

  • Best for: Adults and children.
  • Season Availability: Open year round.

8. Have Fun in the Tricentennial Park

Make sure to include visiting the museums at Tricentennial Park as one of the top things to do in Savannah GA with kids. The Savannah Children’s Museum offers amazing outdoor fun, including a maze to explore, a sensory garden, and a reading nook.

Next door, the Georgia State Railroad Museum invites everyone to climb aboard historic railcars and handcars. Check the schedule to take a ride on a train pulled by a steam engine.

  • Best for: Children and adults.
  • Season Availability: Open year-round but trains do not run everyday.

Conclusion

There are many things to do in Savannah GA, for families with children, couples, and those who travel alone. Choose to visit the historic district, see the old-time ships or ride on a train pulled by a steam train. See the old tombstones at Bonaventure Cemetery while learning the stories that they would tell if they could only talk. View the amazing architecture at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist or the art at the SCAD Museum. Regardless of pick from this list of things to do in Savannah GA, the residents will warmly welcome you.

You might also like: 6 Exciting Things to Do in Atlanta