11 incredible things to do in Savannah, Georgia | A perfect weekend in the city

a fountain bubbles water at the centre of forsyth park savannah
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With a historic centre full of immaculate red-brick houses and trees draped with delicate Spanish moss, Savannah is one of my favourite cities in America. In fact, it’s probably one of my favourite cities in the world. This guide contains my top recommendations for things to do in Savannah, as well as tips on where to eat, drink and stay.


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Savannah is the oldest city in the state of Georgia and one of the most historically important places in the United States. With beautiful red-brick houses, quiet squares bursting with flowers and trees draped with Spanish moss, it’s easy to fall in love with the atmosphere. I fell hard and was browsing real estate listings within thirty minutes of my arrival.

Spoiler alert: I couldn’t afford any of those stunning brick houses!

If you’re anything like me, you’ll end up with a camera full of beautiful Instagram locations (aka potential new homes), a love of outdoor spaces (new local park) and a very happy belly (oh yes, that’s my local cafe). You’ll probably also end up buying your very own copy of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (featuring another house that’s out of my price range and not actually for sale. Rude). 

So, now we’ve established that Savannah is clearly the American city that I am most likely to move to, it’s time to move on. If you’re looking for the best things to do in Savannah this weekend, or simply recommendations for where to stay, eat and drink, this guide has everything you need to plan your trip!

The current COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way that many venues and tours operate. I recommend always checking the relevant website for the most up to date information and to book in advance wherever possible.


WHAT TO DO IN SAVANNAH GEORGIA IN A WEEKEND | 11 INCREDIBLE SIGHTS, ATTRACTIONS AND TOURS


The red-brick exterior of the Mercer Williams house in Savannah taken from outside the garden with the iron fence in the foreground
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THINGS TO DO IN SAVANNAH

1 | Take a walking tour

2 | Tour a historic home

3 | Wander the city squares

4 | Hop on a historic trolley tour

5 | Meet Savanna’s ghosts

6 | Visit the Civil Rights museum

7 | Stroll through Forsyth Park

8 | Head for the First African Baptist Church

9 | Get the perfect shot at Oak Avenue

10 | Shop at a truly independent book store

11 | Embrace the creepy at Bonaventure Cemetery

12 | Get on your bike and party!

MAP

GETTING HERE

WHEN TO VISIT

WHERE TO EAT

WHERE TO STAY

GUIDED TOURS

One | Learn about the city’s troubled past on a walking tour 

When I was trying to find out the best way of learning about Savannah’s history I really struggled. There’s lots of information about the architecture and food, but it was hard to find tours discussing the city’s colonial past in an open and honest fashion.

That’s where Vaughnette Goode-Walker comes in. Her Footprints tour focuses on educating participants about the business of slavery in Savannah leading up to the Civil War. It’s a part of history that’s truly horrific, with the effects still very much in evidence in modern society.

Vaughnette covers the city’s past in a way that often gets glossed over elsewhere, so if you only take one excursion then make it this one. It truly is one of the most unique things to do in Savannah.

THE DETAILS

Cost | $25/adult

Hours | 10am daily

Book | here

Historic houses with wooden shutters on one of Savannah's streets
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READ THIS | Driving to Georgia? Check out my East Coast Road Trip Itinerary (coming soon)

Two | Tour one of Savannah’s historic homes

The beautifully restored houses in Savannah are definitely one of the best things about the city. I think that visiting one of them is a must-do, but there are so many to choose from that it can get a bit overwhelming. Here’s my pick of the bunch:

TIP | Many of Savannah’s attractions are included in the Savannah Tour Pass so if you think you’d like to do several paid attractions then check them out to see if it works out cheaper (from $72)

The Owens Thomas House & Slave Quarters

If you’ve only got time for a single house tour then this is the one that I would recommend. The museum’s goal is to really show the contrast between the lives of the wealthy white homeowners and the enslaved Black people who lived there. I found the museum to be incredibly informative in the way that they presented Savannah’s Antebellum history.

I’d recommend taking one of the docent-led tours of the property, as you’ll enjoy stories that you wouldn’t otherwise get to hear. If, however, you’d rather visit under your own steam then you can download an audio tour here and simply wander through the property.

THE DETAILS

Where | 124 Abercorn St

Cost | $20/adult

Hours | 10am-5pm, closed Tuesday and Wednesday

Tours | Run at 10-minute intervals – reserve onsite, and you should arrive early in order to ensure you get a spot

Book | here

TIP | A ticket to the Owens House also gives you entry to the Telfair Academy (19th and 20th Century art) and Jepson Centre (modern art and architecture) which are both great attractions in Savannah. The ticket is valid for a week from the time of purchase.

The Mercer-Williams House

This is one for fans of The Book, which is what they call “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” in Savannah. The house is where Jim Williams lived. I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you who don’t know the story, so I’ll just tell you that Jim was a millionaire antiques dealer and he ended up on trial for murder. He’s the main character of The Book.

If you’re here for the gory details though, you’re going to be disappointed, since Williams’ sister is the current owner and resident. If you’re not bothered about the book or the movie then I think it’s enough to just admire the beautiful building from the outside.

THE DETAILS

Where | 429 Bull St (the entrance is at 430 Whitaker, behind the main house)

Cost | $12:50/adult

Hours | Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11:30am-4:45pm, closed on Wednesday

Tours | every 40 minutes from approximately 30 mins after opening and reservations should be made online

Book | here 

The red-brick exterior of the Mercer Williams house in Savannah taken from outside the garden with the iron fence in the foreground
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the facade of a red brick mansion with a white door surrounded by columns
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The Davenport Museum

This was the first home in the city to be restored by the Savannah Historic Foundation. Due to the nature of the foundation, a tour here is more focused on the architecture and features of the house than the people who lived here. You’ll also learn a little about the work of the Foundation itself as you’re wandering through the house. 

THE DETAILS

Where | 324E State St on Columbia Square

Cost | $10/adult

Hours | Mon-Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 1pm-4pm

Visiting | You’ll need to purchase your ticket before contacting the museum to confirm a tour time

Book | here 

The King-Tisdell Cottage

The Victorian-style cottage was built in 1896 for Sara King and Robert Tisdell who were part of Savannah’s entrepreneurial African-American class. The beautifully restored building is now home to a cultural museum of African American arts and crafts.

THE DETAILS

Where | 541 E Huntingdon St

Cost | $10/adult

Hours | Tues/Thurs 12pm-2pm, Wed/Fri/Sat – 12pm-5pm, closed Sunday and Monday

Book | Ticket link is about halfway down this page 

Two wooden-cladded houses, one pink and one blue, in Savannah
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Three | Wander through the iconic city squares

There are plenty of places to spend your money here, but if you’re looking for free things to do in Savannah then this is your absolute best option!

The historic district of Savannah is laid out in a nice neat grid, making a feature of the 22 squares. You can basically wander the streets from one square to another, enjoying the ambience. Some of the squares have fountains, some have lovely gardens, and they’ve almost all got the moss-festooned oak trees that give the city so much character.

Everyone has their favourites and must-sees, but if you’re short on time then these are the most recommended: 

Reynolds Square | in the centre you’ll find a statue of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism

Johnson Square | the first and largest in Savannah

Wright Square | contains the Tomochichi memorial and the Gordon monument

Chippewa Square | the one made famous by Forrest Gump, where you’ll also find a memorial to James Oglethorpe, the founder of the colony of Georgia. It’s also a stone’s throw from the Juliette Gordon Low birthplace museum, home of the founder of the Girl Scouts.

Madison Square | the main draw here are the shops and buildings around the square, including the famous E. Shaver bookstore

Monterey Square | home of the Mercer-Williams house, of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil fame

Orleans Square | the central fountain here is one of my favourites, and it’s a lovely shady spot to escape the heat

spanish moss draped over the branches of an oak tree
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a blue wooden fronted house framed by oak tree branches in one of the squares in Savannah
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READ THIS | A Walking Tour of Savannah (coming soon)

Four | Hop on a Historic Trolley Tour

The trolleys wending their way through the historic district are one of the many things that make a visit to Savannah feel so much like you’ve stepped back in time. Taking an old town trolley tour is a great way to see the old part of the city whilst also hearing all about its history. We turned up on the day and paid, but you can also book online in advance.

I loved our trip with Old Savannah Tours (dog friendly too!) and we had the most delightful guide in the whole world. I think we kind of blew her mind when we said we were visiting from Australia and New Zealand. 

Old Savannah Tours are locally owned and operated, so you’re putting your money right back into the local economy by taking your tour with them. The fun thing about their tours is the local characters that may suddenly appear on your trolley. We did the 90-minute tour, but they also have an all-day hop-on-hop-off that’s really popular and a great way to spend more time in areas that take your interest.

THE DETAILS

Where | Tours start from the Savannah Welcome Center at 215 W Boundary St

Cost | $28-$35/adult depending on tour type

Hours | daily 9am-4:30pm

Book | here 

a white wooden historic trolley
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Five | Meet the ghosts of old Savannah

Savannah regularly makes it onto lists of the most haunted cities in America, which is hardly surprising. The city was built on a Native American burial ground and was the largest port in the Atlantic Slave Trade. There have also been multiple outbreaks of Yellow Fever here, and more than a few murders.

Ghost tour lovers are absolutely spoiled for choice in Savannah. There are well over 40 tours to choose from, with Afterlife Tours highly recommended. At each site, you’re shown paranormal footage recorded there, and it’s basically guaranteed to freak you out. If you’re like me, you probably won’t sleep very well. Maybe do the tour and then immediately leave town…

THE DETAILS

Where | Afterlife tours start at Telfair Square

Cost | $29/adult

Hours | 8pm or 10pm nightly

Book | here

Six | Visit the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum

Documenting the city’s Jim Crow era and Civil Rights movement, this museum is small but full of interesting information, and it’s clear that it’s a real labour of love. The local staff are knowledgeable, and the video upstairs telling the story of Savannah’s desegregation from those who witnessed it first-hand is incredibly powerful.

The museum focuses on a piece of Savannah’s history that you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the city, and is an absolute highlight.

THE DETAILS

Where | 460 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

Cost | $10/adult

Hours | Tues-Sat 10am-4pm

Book | here 

A walk-up wooden house in Savannah's historic district
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A close up of one of the brick walk-ups in Savannah
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Iron fronted balconies on the houses in Savannah's historic district
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READ THIS | The Best Restaurants in Savannah, GA

Seven | Take a stroll through Savannah’s largest park

Forsyth Park is 30 acres of green in the heart of the city, and you’ll probably recognise the iconic fountain in its centre. It’s the largest public park in the city, and a visit here is one of the best free Savannah things to do at the weekend.

While away an hour or two with a picnic or, alternatively, a glass or several from a local bar. This is also one of the best places in the city to find oak trees covered with Spanish moss.

THE DETAILS

Where | 2 W Gaston St

Cost | Free

Hours | 24h daily

a fountain bubbles water at the centre of forsyth park savannah
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Eight | First African Baptist Church

This is one of the most significant historical buildings in Savannah and the oldest Black church in North America. Inside, you can see an original pipe organ from 1832. The wooden pews were carved by enslaved Africans, which is a sobering contrast to the beautiful original details throughout the building. The church was part of the Underground Railroad and offers tours detailing the history of the site. 

This church is also one of the stops on the walking tour by Underground Tours of Savannah, who offer a 90 minute excursion led by local Gullah Geechee. I’ve heard really great things about their guides and walks. The guides are all Gullah Geechee natives, born and raised in Savannah’s first African American communities. You can read more and book a tour here.

THE DETAILS

Where | 23 Montgomery St

Cost | $7

Hours | daily except Sunday and Monday – call or email to confirm times (previously Tues/Thurs 11am and 1pm, Wed/Fri/Sat 11am and 2pm)

Book | here

shop windows with arched tops and golden columns
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Views from Forsyth Park showing an old lamp post and a huge oak tree covered in Spanish moss
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Nine | Wormsloe Historic Site Oak Avenue

Listen, although Savannah is chock full of history and incredible foodie experiences, I’d be totally remiss not to include this incredible photography spot. Your quintessential “moss-draped oak trees lining perfectly straight road” Instagram shot is basically guaranteed. You’re welcome.

A 15-minute drive from the city, this is actually the site of Georgia’s oldest plantation. You’ll find the ruins of the building from the mid-1700s made of “tabby”, a mixture of sand, water, lime and oyster shells. There’s a small museum here as well as a variety of walking trails through the site.

THE DETAILS

Where | 7601 Skidaway Rd

Cost | $10/adult 

Hours | daily 9am–4:45pm

Tours | daily at 9:30am, 11am, 1:30pm and 3pm, free with entry price

Getting there | If you don’t have your own car then you’ll need to take an Uber/Lyft/taxi as there are no public transport links to the site at the moment

Book | here 

TIP | Whilst I recommend visiting the entire site on one of the guided tours if you have time, you can currently visit the oak avenue without paying the admission fee.

Savannah's historic cinema frontage with show titles spelled out over the entrance.
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Ten | Browse the shelves at a truly independent bookstore

Who would I be without a book focused venue on this list? Clearly an imposter. Book Lady bookstore has jam-packed shelves that have all been hand-selected by the owner. There’s cosy antique furniture for you to settle down in whilst you browse.

They’ve got new books, old books, rare books and gift books. They’ve even got a rare books room and a little cafe. Basically, this is my idea of heaven.

THE DETAILS

Where | 6 E Liberty St

Hours | Mon-Sat 10am-5:30pm, Sun 10am-4pm

Website | here

An old green building on the corner of one of Savannah's squares
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A dark blue wooden fronted house with a flag outside
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Eleven | Visit Savannah’s Oldest Residents

Ok, so they’re actually dead, but bear with me. Bonaventure Cemetery is one of the best places to learn more about Savannah’s history which, other than the Spanish moss, is really the main reason for a visit to the city. 

Tim, who runs Dash Tours, is a Savannah local and he’ll collect you from your downtown accommodation to take you to the cemetery, so his is a great option if you don’t have (or don’t want to take) a car. He’s actually a historian and his walking tours of the cemetery come without a lot of the tall tales you’ll get on other trips.

If you’d rather make your own way there and explore then you can download the Bonaventure Cemetery tour app or take in one of the tours led by volunteers if you’re there on a weekend when they’re running. Find out more at the Bonaventure Historical Society’s site.  

THE DETAILS

Where | 330 Bonaventure Rd

Cost | Free

Hours | daily 8am-5pm

Getting there | There are no public transport connections, so you’ll have to take a car

Tour | $30/adult including collection from accommodation with Dash Tours. Approx 3h total (2h walking) and pet friendly

Two old cars parked outside the police station in the heart of historic Savannah
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An art deco style frontage surrounded by Spanish moss
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Twelve | Pedal your cares away

Savannah is the perfect city for a bike tour. There’s a great infrastructure in place for cyclists, the city is almost completely flat, and getting on a bike means that you can get out of the historic centre to get a better taste of the place.

The Truman Linear Trail is a particularly nice route, about a 16-mile (26km) round trip to Lake Mayer (great for walking, fishing and kayaking) from the historic downtown area. There’s a lovely description here of what to expect.

If a sedate solo ride isn’t what you’re after, then perhaps a 15-person party bike is what you’re looking for. I’ve only seen them on Brooklyn-99, but they look like a pretty fun way to explore the city with a few drinks!

THE DETAILS

Bike Hire | I recommend locally owned and operated Savannah on Wheels who have standard and tandem bikes for rent and also offer tours.

Hours | 9:30am – 5:30pm daily

Cost | from $35/day

Book | here

Bike Tours | Locally owned and operated (you can tell that’s a bit of a theme for me!) Savannah Bike Tours are the most consistently recommended company for historic bike tours in the city. There’s no bike rental here, however.

Hours | standard bike tours daily at 9am, 12:30pm and 3pm. Other tours are also available.

Cost | from $30/adult for 2 hours

Book | here

Party Bikes | Also locally owned and operated (even their bikes are manufactured here), Savannah Slow Ride have 15-person crawlers for pub crawls, historic tours or their hilariously named ghost tour – the “boos cruise”. Solo travellers are welcome!

Hours | daily from midday. Check the website for exact tour times.

Cost | $35/adult for 2 hours, excluding drinks/tax/tips.

Book | here


PLANNING YOUR VISIT | EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO ENJOY THE TOP THINGS TO DO IN SAVANNAH, GEORGIA


Where is Savannah?

Located on the East Coast of the USA, Savannah is tucked up at the top of Georgia, right on the Atlantic Coast. For those who have a slightly hazy grasp of the geography of the United States, Georgia’s the one right above Florida. I feel confident you’ll all know that as the one hanging off the bottom that looks like it doesn’t really want to be there.

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It’s part of America’s “Deep South” with all that implies. The history here is complicated and fascinating, and Savannah bears the title of America’s most haunted cities, but don’t let that put you off. I found the city, and Georgia in general, to be full of the most welcoming people who are keen to share the state’s past. 

You’ve got to be strong to make it in this part of America, and some of the country’s greatest historical events – the American Revolution, the American Civil War, the abolition of slavery and the rise of the Civil Rights movement – have started here.

Map of the best things to do in Savannah

From the sights to where to stay, eat and drink. It’s all on my map of the best things to do in Savannah. To save this map to use yourself, simply click on the star in the corner. You’ll then find it in “saved > maps” on the app.

When is the best time to visit Savannah?

In my opinion, the best time to visit Savannah is from late October to mid-November. This is shoulder season, so prices tend to be at their lowest, but the weather is still beautiful. October is one of the busier months due to the good weather.

Summer in Savannah is often very hot and extremely humid, with the highest chance of rain and thunderstorms. Having said that, I visited in late August and actually found the weather to be lovely and not unpleasantly humid at all.

Of course, I also lived for several years in places where 90% humidity is the norm, so it’s possible that your tolerance may be less than mine.

Be aware that there are mosquitoes in the summertime. Take a good DEET-free bug spray – my favourites are Smidge and Incognito.

Spring is the most popular time of year to visit as the azaleas and dogwoods start blooming. St Patrick’s weekend in the city is insane, with an additional half million people descending for the festivities. March and April are definitely the busiest months, with the numbers easing off a little in May.

The cheapest months to visit are usually January and August. January is the coldest and August the hottest month historically.

a red brick building with an oak tree draped in spanish moss in savannah georgia
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Where to Stay in Savannah

There’s no shortage of places to stay in Savannah, no matter your budget. Parking is often difficult to find in the historic district, but not impossible. If you’re prepared for a short walk then you’ll be able to find something reasonably priced near to your accommodation.

The prices given are for a single night in July and will vary with the season.

LUXURY HOTELS IN SAVANNAH

HISTORIC DISTRICT
Foley House Inn | With wine and appetisers at 6pm, this historic inn is situated in the heart of the action. There’s a garden, terrace, hot tub and American breakfast for guests. As with most of the other properties in the historic district, there’s no dedicated parking, but there are spaces available on nearby streets. From $330/night. Check prices and availability here.

HISTORIC DISTRICT
The Kehoe House | This historic mansion is consistently rated as one of the best hotels in Savannah. It’s an adults-only B&B and you even get a nightly turn-down service with homemade cookies! Breakfast is included, there’s afternoon tea and cake and evening wine and hors d’oeuvres If you’re after a romantic weekend away and want to have your every need to be anticipated then this might be the place for you! From $480/night. Check prices and availability here.

MID-RANGE ACCOMMODATION IN SAVANNAH

MY TOP CHOICE
HISTORIC DISTRICT
Savannah Bed & Breakfast Inn | This beautiful property dates from 1853 and is run by a local mother/daughter team. The Innkeeper, Mary, also ran the Rape Crisis Center in Savannah for many years. There’s a wonderful breakfast, along with afternoon tea and bedtime milk and cookies for a true home-away-from-home experience. The parking here is on-street and first come, first served, but the property will organise your 1 or 2-day parking pass for you. From $170/night. Check price and availability here.

HISTORIC DISTRICT
Planters Inn Savannah | The real perk if you stay here is that you can get room service from the Olde Pink House, which is one of Savannah’s top-rated restaurants. Reynolds Square is one of the prettiest in the city and is an easy walk to all of the sights. From $160/night. There is also valet parking available for $24/day. Check prices and availability here.

BUDGET ACCOMMODATION IN SAVANNAH

DOWNTOWN
5 BR Downtown | This is a truly local property, owned and run by a teacher. You won’t get the same service as one of the hotels, but there’s free parking outside and you can’t beat the local knowledge. Read the reviews to make sure that this is the right type of property for you. It’s only a 10-minute walk to Forsyth Park and about 30 minutes to the downtown centre. From $50/night. Check prices and availability here.

DOWNTOWN
Carole Motel | 6km from the historic centre, but good value for money. This motel is cosy and has private parking available for a fee. Guests like the funky decor and the warmth of the rooms in cooler months. From $68/night. Check prices and availability here.

Where to Eat in Savannah

Cha Bella | This is hands down my favourite place to eat in Savannah. I recommend it to everyone and it always gets a five-star rating. It’s farm to table with almost all the ingredients sourced from within a day’s drive of the restaurant. As with many restaurants in Savannah, there aren’t that many vegetarian options so call ahead if you have concerns. The food is seasonal with a changing menu and I recommend making a reservation so that you can enjoy your meal on the beautiful patio. Check opening hours (closed Mon) and more here.

READ THIS | The Best Restaurants in Savannah

The Grey | Mashama Bailey always gets rave reviews for the quality of both the food and service here. They’ve recently switched things up to offer three different prix fixe menus in the dining room and you’ll need to make reservations for the restaurant. You can still turn up and wait for a spot at the bar counter, which has a more relaxed vibe and smaller menu. Word to the wise –  the salted fish croquettes are out of this world. Contact them in advance with dietary requirements. Hours, menus and bookings here.

Fox & Fig | This plant-based cafe serves a wonderful selection of food, and is a great option if you’re vegan/vegetarian. The coffee is locally roasted and delicious, and the cafe is open until 9pm. If you’re craving some plants amidst the sea of meat and fish, then this place is definitely worth a visit. Honestly, you should go for the coffee if nothing else! 

TIP | Savannah has open container laws which mean you can take your drink to go and enjoy a cocktail whilst sitting in one of the beautiful squares. Highly recommended!

The Pink House | Regularly cropping up on recommendations of places to eat in Savannah, this restaurant is as much about the venue as it is the food. They serve traditional Southern fare and, again, veggie options are few and far between. You’ll usually get a little history lesson from your server as an added extra. If you have time then the bar downstairs in the basement is worth a visit in its own right. Hours, menu and reservations here

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The Sentient Bean | The ethos at this vegetarian/vegan cafe is one of community support and caring about the environment. All the coffee here is fair trade, and the majority of the products are locally sourced. Just a lovely venue run by lovely locals. 

Pizzaria Vittoria Napolitana | I’m the fussiest person in the world when it comes to pizza – they’ve got to be thin crust, wood-fired, and none of those weird toppings like nachos. These guys keep it simple, traditional and bloody delicious. They’re situated in the funky Starland District which is built out of shipping containers. Well worth a visit.

Leopold’s Ice Cream | This is as close as you get to a culinary institution in Savannah. Leopold’s has been serving scoops since 1919 and there’s usually a line out the door and going round the block. It’s definitely worth getting in line to taste it for yourself!

Byrds Cookies | Since I wouldn’t dream of limiting your sweet treats to ice cream, I’d also suggest you head for this local establishment that’s been making cookies in Savannah since 1924. You’ll find their flagship store on River Street, which is a great place to explore in its own right with boutiques, galleries and restaurants housed in old cotton warehouses. I suggest trying their award-winning Key Lime Coolers at any of their stores.

Savannah City Market | There are dozens of places to eat at the market so I recommend just wandering around and seeing what takes your fancy. You’ll also find local artists and artisans selling their products here, so it’s a lovely place to spend a couple of hours.

Guided Tours in Savannah

There’s literally a tour for everyone in Savannah. From southern food to wildlife (not related I promise) to pubs, ghosts and cocktail making (possibly related), here’s my pick of the bunch not already mentioned.

Tours for the Foodies

Haunted Savannah Pub Crawl | What could be better than ghost stories interspersed with pub visits in the most haunted city in America? That’s right, nothing. This highly recommended tour is full of secret locations and creepy stories.

Famous and Secret East Side Food Tour | This one-mile foodie focused tour on the east side will give you a little insight into the history of the city whilst also allowing you to experience the food at up to six local eateries.

3-Hour First Squares Food Tour | Similar to the above, this tour visits six local speciality food stores or restaurants to give you a sample of everything that Savannah has to offer. Ask for the tour to be adapted for vegetarians.

Cocktail Class at the Prohibition Museum | Not only does this tour give you the chance to visit the very cool American Prohibition Museum, but you’ll also discover how cocktail culture was born during Prohibition. Bartenders needed to combine mixers with the potent alcohol to make it more palatable, but I promise these mixologists only use top-quality spirits!

Trips for the Beach Lovers

Tybee Island is about a 30 minute drive from downtown Savannah and a really lovely detour if you have the time. You can hire a bike at Fat tyre Bikes and head off to the beach for an afternoon. AJ’s Dockside serves great food, but you’ll probably need to make a reservation to be sure of a seat. You can either drive there from the city or take a shuttle which goes 3x daily Mon-Sat.

On the island, if you don’t have a car you can get around with Tybee Turtle Transit. The Tybee Island lighthouse dates back to 1736 and has really wonderful views from the top. It costs $10 to go up the lighthouse, and you’ll get stunning views over the island. I’ve heard that the sunset tour is particularly stunning. If you’ve got a little more time, then you can even take a dolphin cruise.

How to get to Savannah

Flying to Savannah

The closest international airport is Atlanta (ATL) which is the busiest airport in America. There are both international and domestic connections to just about anywhere. From Atlanta, you’ll need to either drive or get another form of transport to Savannah itself.

If you want to arrive at the home of the G-6 (yes, of “fly like a G-6 fame), then you can fly direct to Savannah Hilton Head international airport, which is 15 miles from the historic district.

I do feel that I should issue a disclaimer since the only actual international destination served is Toronto.

But if you’re in a hurry to get straight to Savannah (and why wouldn’t you be?), then you’ll find all the info you need to arrange your flight here.

A taxi/Uber/Lyft from the airport to the historic district will cost about $25 and take 20-30 minutes.

Getting to Savannah by car

The easiest way to Savannah is to drive there, especially if you’re visiting as part of a longer road trip. There are good interstate connections from I-95 and I-16. I advise hiring a car in Atlanta which is a little under 4 hours drive from Savannah.

PARKING IN SAVANNAH

The city zones its parking by being either north or south of Liberty Street.

North of Liberty | parking restrictions are enforced Mon-Sat 8am to 8pm

South of Liberty | parking restrictions from Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm.

Visitor Parking Pass | $15 for 24h or $24 for 48h which allows you to park at any City parking for the time period of your pass.

Purchase your Visitor Parking Pass at either:

  • Mobility and Parking Services, 100 E. Bryan St., 912.651.6470, 8am – 5pm
  • Visitor Center, 301 MLK Blvd., 912.944.0455, Mon-Fri 8:30am – 5pm, Sat-Sun 9am – 5pm
  • Some hotels (contact yours to enquire)

It’s worth noting that, particularly at the weekends, parking in one of the garages may work out cheaper. The hourly garage rate is usually $5/day, except for the Whitaker Street Garage downtown which hikes its prices in peak season.

More info on parking can be found here and you can download the Savannah Parking app here

Getting to Savannah on Public Transport

If you’d rather kick back and watch the scenery go by, then you can take the Amtrak or a Greyhound bus.

Red brick buildings with wooden doors and balconies and a large garden in front
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Getting around in Savannah

The historic district is small, flat and perfect for exploring on foot. For something a little bit different I highly recommend hiring a bike so that you can travel a little further afield with ease. You can hire through Savannah on Wheels, and they even do a package with all the gear you need to stage the perfect picnic beside Savannah’s river.

If you find yourself in need of a sit-down then look for the Dot shuttle. The shuttle arrives every 10-minutes throughout the day and stops at 24 spots in the historic district. The best part is that it’s free. 

Sales tax in Savannah

If you’re not from the US the prices can be pretty confusing. You’ll probably be asked to pay more than the price you see advertised, and this is due to sales tax. This is an extra tax that is set by individual states and, in Georgia, you’ll pay an additional 7%. Welcome to America.

TRAVEL INSURANCE | Don’t go anywhere without it! I use and recommend Safety Wing.

THOUGHTFUL TRAVEL | No matter where you go, try to always be aware of the fact that travel impacts the place and people that live there. Being a thoughtful traveller is more important than ever. Here are my top tips to make your trip a mindful one.

PHOTOGRAPHY | Love my photos and want to know how to take better shots on your own trips? Then my photography guide is for you. Here’s all the photography gear I use too. Want to buy one of my images? Head to the Print Store.

ESSENTIAL GEAR | You’ll find my travel essentials here, and a complete guide to all my hiking gear here.


the facade of a red brick mansion with a white door surrounded by columns
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2 Comments on “11 incredible things to do in Savannah, Georgia | A perfect weekend in the city”

  1. I think 11 is such a small number and honestly, there are a thousand or more reasons to visit this beautiful place! I’m going to Downtown Savannah Georgia next week and I already have accommodations that I found on visitsavannah . Now all I have to do is do some research on the places featured here!

    1. Hi Don, I totally agree with you that there are so many reasons to visit Savannah – it’s one of my favourite cities! I’ve also just published a post on my favourite restaurants there. You can find it here if you’re interested. I hope you have a wonderful time and enjoy everything Savannah has to offer. I think that the trolley bus/tram tour was my favourite way to orient to the city so I’d recommend doing that first.

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