12 Best 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 and many exciting events throughout the year. It has a very lively art scene, along with a three-week music festival. Tourists can also complement the best things to do in Savannah GA with 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 our recommended best things to do in Savannah Georgia that you will not want to miss. Our top includes free Savannah GA attractions and points of interest, 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 Savannah historic district with its Spanish-moss covered trees and cobblestone streets is fascinating to visit. It is the largest National Historic Landmark District in the United States. Start by strolling down the River Street, browsing in the souvenir shops until you reach the stairs or ramps. Then, climb to reach the rest of the historic 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 historic 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 to spend money on shopping or food, just exploring this historic district is one of the most rewarding free things to do in Savannah GA.

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

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2. Stroll through Forsythe Park

Originally created in the 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. Located in the historic district, the park includes some of the most popular Savannah points of interest. 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, couples, nature lovers.
  • Season Available: All year.

3. Tour the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum

Visiting the Civil Rights Museum should definitely be on your must do in Savannah list. 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 from the museum’s 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, or when it rains.

  • Best for: Adults and children, life-long learners.
  • Season Available: All-year-round.

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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.

One of the top places to visit in Savannah GA, 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, and definitely makes one of the top things to do in Savannah.

  • 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.

The gold-plated altar is one of the most beautiful things to see in Savannah. 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, spiritual seekers.
  • 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, as it is one of the main Savannah attractions. 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, a must do in Savannah. 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

With over 4,500 works of art, the SCAD Art Museum makes one of the most exciting tourist attractions in Savannah GA. 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 to 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, one of the fun things to do in Savannah GA for adults.

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

9. Learn about the Roaring Twenties at America’s Only Prohibition Museum

Centrally located, just next to Ellis Square, this gorgeous and colorful museum brings the roaring twenties back to life. If you want to learn more about the gangsters, flappers, babes, and trouble-makers of the ’20s and ’30s, this museum will definitely make one of your best things to do in Savannah GA.

With lots of engaging exhibits, that are both educative and humorous, the museum is interesting for adults and children alike. As the only prohibition museum in the U.S, it is surely the best place to learn about this period, the legislation banning the alcohol, and America’s relationship to alcohol. Tickets cost $9.63 (children) and $13.48 (adults), and a visit will well worth the price!

  • Best for: Children and adults.
  • Season Availability: Open year-round, Mon. – Sun.: 10am-5pm (Last entry 45 minutes prior to close).

10. Visit the Historical Mansion the Owen-Thomas House

Owens-Thomas house is located on the north-east corner of Oglethorpe Square and managed by the Telfair Museums. This house was registered as a National Historic Landmark in 1976 and is well worth a visit when you travel to Savannah.

In 1819, the Owens-Thomas house was constructed, and it is considered one of the most exceptional examples of English Regency architecture designed by the English architect William Jay which is one of the first and great architects in America. One of the main attractions of Owens-Thomas House is the famous Slave Quarters in the eastern section. It is considered to be one of the earliest Slave Quarters that is still well preserved.

  • Best for: Children and adults.
  • Season Availability: Open year-round, tours are available throughout the week at specific times.

11. Savannah City Market

Since 1700’s, Savannah City Market has been the primary business and social core of historic downtown Savannah. Locally known as the Art and Soul of Savannah, the moniker is a nod toward the numerous art galleries, boutiques, and establishments that make the City Market the commercial and social center of Savannah today.

A place for dining, entertainment, literature, and shopping in downtown Savannah. The lively City Market is still in the original location used by farmers and traders since the founding of the energetic city. Savannah City Market is one of the highlights of any trip to downtown Savannah, and one of the fun things to do in Savannah GA for adults.

  • Best for: Children and adults.
  • Season Availability: Open year-round, view the event calendar here.

12. Visit the Mercer Williams House Museum

One of the most beautiful houses in Savannah Georgia, this museum is located in the Historic District, on 429 Bull St., just steps away of Forsyth Park’s Gaston Street. The mansion had two famous residents: lyricist Johnny Mercer, and antique dealer Jim Williams. The latter has been tried 4 times for the murder of Danny Hansford, which allegedly took place here.

The museum is open Mon-Sat 10:30 a.m.-4:10 p.m., and Sun noon-4 p.m, and you need to plan 1 hour for this activity. While exploring the house, you will see old furnishings, dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, portraits and Chinese porcelain from the 1700s.  This is one of the top things to do in Savannah for those interested in history,  as well as the fans of John Berendt’s best-selling book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil“.

  • Best for: Adults and children.
  • Season Availability: Call 912-236-6352 to check availability.

What Are Things to Do in Savannah at Night?

The city is known for its outstanding historic landmarks, homes, churches, lovely city squares and creepy ghosts. When the sun goes down in Savannah locals and tourists alike head out to enjoy the booming nightlife scene. One reason Savannah’s nightlife is so famous is due to the amount of outstanding local establishments that offer a wide variety of food, drink, and entertainment.

Whenever it is day or night time, always make the best out of the available time when traveling. One of the best things to do in Savannah, Georgia at night is to have a Creepy Crawl Haunted Pub Tour. Hunt spirits as you stroll through the streets of Savannah at night while getting entertained by some of the city’s best pubs. As you enjoy the pubs, your guide will tell tales of ghosts from the past.

Savannah has one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts. You can visit historic houses surrounded by Live Oak trees dripping with Spanish Moss and also see Civil War buildings. One of the most fun things to do in Savannah, GA is to look for the artifacts and treasures from the Civil War-era. Learn about Savannah’s famous history while stopping over at local bars and well-known establishments.

The breathtaking Wormsloe Historic Site is one of Savannah’s main attractions, and another fun thing to do here is the Parks After Dark: Full Moon Hike. Gear up and put on your hiking shoes, bring your flashlight and join the full moon hike in the Wormsloe maritime forest. Get a rare sight of the nighttime wildlife of Wormsloe. The hike starts at the Visitors Center and is roughly 2 hours on a 3-mile trail.

Final Review of Best Things To Do In Savannah

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, take a look at 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 your picks from this list of things to do in Savannah GA, the residents will warmly welcome you. If you’ve already traveled to Savannah Georgia, share your favorite attractions and activities in the comments below!