The oldest city in the state of Georgia, Savannah, is a major seaport as well as a cultural center. This charming Southern city features historic buildings and beautiful green spaces. Situated on the Savannah River, the city of Savannah is about twenty miles from the Atlantic coast and enjoys a humid subtropical climate. If you’re looking for things to see and do in Savannah, don't miss these attractions.
The largest park in Savannah, Forsyth Park, is a popular destination for residents and visitors alike. The park features a dazzling focal point—a cast-iron fountain dating back to 1858. Filled with paved strolling paths and shady trees, Forsyth Park is a lovely place to walk, meet with friends, picnic, and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Originally constructed in 1799, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist was rebuilt during the nineteenth century. It boasts distinctive Gothic aesthetic and is one of the city’s most iconic structures. Visitors are invited to attend mass, or you can peek inside on the off-hours to witness the grand interiors. The cathedral is a feature of most historic tours of the city, and if you’re interested in architecture, you don’t want to miss it.
Enjoy a vintage afternoon or evening on a Savannah River riverboat cruise. These historic boats brim with old-fashioned charm. Cruising is a great way to relax while enjoying the sights. Tour the city’s port and learn how it grew to become one of the most popular cities in the American South.
Get an eye-opening glimpse into the past at the Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters, one of the three Telfair Museums in town. Located adjacent to historic Oglethorpe Square, the site features a regal circa-1816 mansion as well as the earliest still-intact urban slave quarters in America. Guided audio tours fill up fast, so check-in early to get a slot.
Savannah boasts a long and rich history that stretches back to its founding in 1733. History tours of the city will acquaint you with important landmarks scattered through the streets. Whether you opt for a trolley or walking tour, you’ll discover a wealth of information about the city.
Savannah’s City Market boasts a charming atmosphere. You’ll find shops, vendors, cafes, artist studios, and more. Many people come to relax and listen to bands or musicians who entertain the crowds with live music. From boutiques to homemade candy stores, the City Market is a fun place to shop and hang out with family or friends.
The Telfair Museum of Art is actually two separate art museums, the Jepson Center and Telfair Academy. Lucky for you, they are located across the street from each other on Telfair Square, and one ticket provides entry to both. At Telfair Academy, you'll find classical works from the masters in a converted historic mansion. The Jepson Center spotlights modern art and is home to the famous "Bird Girl" statue that graced the cover of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," relocated from Bonaventure Cemetery for preservation purposes.
There's more to the Savannah Waterfront than the shops and cafes of River Street. Head across the street to stroll the scenic riverwalk in Rousakis Riverfront Plaza and watch the boat traffic on the Savannah River. You can even take a free boat ride on the Savannah Belles Ferry across the river to Hutchison island and back. Morrell Park has a riverwalk, too, and contains the iconic Waving Girl Statue welcoming all the arriving ships.
Located about 18 miles from Savannah, Tybee Island is a popular day trip destination. Known as “Savannah’s Beach,” Tybee Island boasts a resort town setting complete with sandy beaches, ocean breezes, and relaxing inns and cottages. When visiting the island, you’ll want to check out the pier and the Tybee Island Light Station and Museum. The Tybee Island Marine Science Center will teach you all about the region’s marine life.
Savannah features some of the most picturesque squares you’re likely to see. When planning your tour of the city, be sure to include stops at Chippewa, Madison, Johnson, Columbia, Franklin, and Orleans. Each quaint square boasts its own flavor and special features, from fountains and gazebos to charming strolling paths and gorgeous flower beds.
The oldest still-standing structure in Savannah is the colonial-era tabby ruin at Wormsloe State Historic Site. You've probably seen the entrance to Wormsloe without realizing it. The long avenue lined with centuries-old live oaks has served as a backdrop in many popular film and magazine shoots, so don't forget your camera. Bring your walking shoes to explore the miles of nature trails offering views of the salt marsh, tidal creeks, and maritime forest.
The oldest standing fort in the state, Fort James Jackson, is a National Historic Landmark and is now operated by the Coastal Heritage Society. The brick-construction fort was active during the War of 1812 and the Civil War. You can take a walking tour of the area and its many military exhibits.
Constructed in 1818, the Savannah Theatre is the nation’s oldest continuously operating theatre, and it's worth a visit for that reason alone. Of course, the Art Deco interior installed after the theater suffered a fire in 1948 is another good reason to peek into this grand old space. In recent decades, the city has updated the theater with modern sound and lighting systems that enhance the movie-going experience.
Running along the Savannah River, the aptly named River Street is a wonderful place to stroll and shop the many galleries and stores. Cobblestoned walkways harken back to bygone eras and add to the classic charm. River Street also brims with cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy a wide range of cuisines and, of course, good old-fashioned Southern favorites.
One of the quintessential stops in Savannah is Bonaventure Cemetery. This is no ordinary graveyard. Spreading out over 150 acres on a river bluff three miles from downtown, Bonaventure dates to 1846 and has even older oak trees draped with Spanish moss lining its many pathways. It's an idyllic and spooky escape from the bustle of the city.