While art, architecture, and history define what Savannah is, it has much more to offer with its Spanish moss-hanging oak trees, creepy graveyards, cobblestone streets, and a beautiful riverfront. Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia and is quintessentially southern by all means. It is a walker’s paradise and a historian’s refuge. It is also an art connoisseur’s bliss and an architecture enthusiast’s haven. This city will not disappoint even those who love to experiment with food and enjoy the nightlife. One would definitely leave this city with a lot of beautiful memories to cherish. Let’s check out the top things to do in Savannah, Georgia.
1. Explore the Savannah History Museum
Savannah’s history revolves heavily around race relations and slavery. It has seen decades of struggle for equality and civil rights in the past. Located in the historic center of Georgia Railway Train Shed, Savannah History Museum holds a lot of information about the history of this land, dating back from 1733. From the founding of the colony to the American Revolution, to the American Civil War, and to the civil rights movement, this museum has a lot to offer to visitors. The museum also exhibits Savannah’s musical, cultural and artistic contributions. The famous bench from the movie ‘Forrest Gump’ and information about the life of Girl Scout founder, Juliette Gordon Low, are displayed here.
Savannah History Museum
Address: 303 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Savannah, GA 31401, USA
Website: Savannah History Museum
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am - 5pm; Sat-Sun 9am - 5pm
Price: 7 USD
2. Visit the City Market
City Market is a great place to start exploring the Historic District of Savannah. You have plenty to see and do here. One can leisurely stroll around the market or sit by its shaded courtyard checking out the historic buildings that today house restaurants, boutiques, galleries, and various shops. Or you might want to grab something to eat and simply enjoy live music by local musicians, or just people-watch. In case you have already done all of these, then it’s time to do some shopping, or check out the art galleries and bistros, or hop on a trolley or carriage for a short tour.
Address: 219 W Bryan St, Savannah, GA 31401, USA
Website: City Market
A walking tour, or a trolley tour, is the best way to explore Savannah’s Historic District. This is the only place in Savannah where you are allowed to carry alcoholic beverage, but not more than 16 ounces (0.47 liters) in an open plastic cup, in hand while strolling through the streets.
Savannah Historic District Walking Tour with Guide
Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes
Now before you spook out or think why should there be a cemetery in your itinerary, don’t worry. This hauntingly beautiful Victorian-style cemetery won’t creep you out. Its beautiful curved paths, Spanish-moss draped oak trees, sculptures, mausoleums, and marble headstones will instead mesmerize you and fill your heart with warmth. As you wander along the innumerable trails inside the cemetery keep your eyes open for the tombstones of celebrities such as songwriter Johnny Mercer, poet Conrad Aiken, Georgia’s first governor John Treutlen’s and many more. The Bonaventure Cemetery is located on the eastern edge of Savannah, about 5 miles (8 km) from the city’s historic city center. This Southern Gothic cemetery, a former plantation, is spread across 160 acres (65 hectares) of land. A stroll through this eerily beautiful place will be an experience in itself.
Private Day-Time Tour of Savannah's Bonaventure Cemetery
Duration: 2 to 3 hours
The Savannah River passes through the heart of the city while forming a picturesque backdrop along Savannah’s River Street and its historic district. While wandering through its cobblestone streets, along the river, one gets to see the glimpse of the city’s 200-year-old history. You’d find several historic buildings, which were once mostly cotton warehouses and which today house bars, boutiques, restaurants, breweries, and galleries, on the bank of the river. At this place, you get to taste some of the best food the city has to offer. The waterfront is especially beautiful after sunset when the river glitters as the street lits up.
Savannah Riverboat Sightseeing Cruises with Moonlight Option
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
6. Pay your holy respect at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, on the Lafayette Square, is a must visit. Its stained glass work, exquisite carvings, intricate gold-leaf designs, Italian marble altar and the majestic gothic towers that pierce the sky make it one of the most impressive buildings in Savannah. Thanks to its beautiful interiors, peaceful atmosphere and talented choir, one would love the experience of attending the mass here.
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Address: 222 E Harris St, Savannah, GA 31401, USA
Website: Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm
Price: 2 USD
After a long day of sightseeing, Forsyth Park is an ideal spot to unwind oneself. You can walk along its beautifully shaded walking path, stroll past the stunning white-stone water fountain, or lounge in the grass. Don’t forget to check out the war memorials, the Fragrant Garden for the visually impaired and the 300-year-old Candler Oak tree. This 30-acre (12 hectares) park is located in the heart of Savannah’s Historic District. Several historic sites, including Hodgson Hall and the old Poor House and Hospital, are within the walking distance from the park.
The Bull Street Experience
Duration: 1 to 3 hours
8. Watch a live performance at the historic Savannah Theatre
Built in 1818, the historic Savannah Theater is one of the oldest active theatres in America. It is set on the beautiful Chippewa Square. The theatre has been renovated to its current form, with art-deco style and state of the art lighting and sound, after being damaged by fire and storms over the years. The photographs, newspaper articles, and artifacts displayed in the theatre’s lobby would take you through two centuries of its existence. Oscar Wilde, W. C. Fields, and Ty Cobb are some of the famous artists who have performed here in the past. It would be one of a kind experience to watch a live performance at the historic Savannah Theatre. Be assured, you would love it.
Address: 222 Bull Street, Savannah, Georgia, USA 31401, USA
Website: Savannah Theatre
Opening hours: Sun-Tues 10am - 4pm; Wed-Sat 10am - 8pm
Telfair Academy is a haven for those who would love to explore the 19th and 20th-century art and architecture. The Telfair Academy houses over 4,500 works of art, including paintings from the Impressionist period. It exhibits a large and exquisite collection of the 19th and 20th century American and European art forms, paintings, sculptures and decorative art! You’d also find plaster casts of renowned artists such as Venus de Miloby here. There are also 19th century period furniture and period rooms left behind by the Telfair family to be seen.
Telfair Academy and Telfair Museums Admission Ticket
Duration: 1 to 3 hours
Owens-Thomas House, a Regency-style mansion built in 1819, its adjacent gardens, carriage house and slave quarters tell the story of an era when bondage labor and slavery were prevalent. George Welshman Owens, a prominent politician, and planter used to live here with his family. Over the years he kept about 14 slaves and also held several hundred as bondage laborers on his plantation. Most of the things in the mansion and quarters are still preserved. Its elegant Greek-inspired craftsmanship, exquisite decorative arts, and interactive exhibits are all filled with stories of the bygone era. It is today operated as a historic house museum by Telfair Museums.
Owens Thomas House & Slave Quarters, Jepson Center, Telfair Academy Ticket Combo
Duration: 1 to 3 hours
Experience the historic city of Savannah
Savannah is quite a popular destination for those who want to experience the quintessential life of this southern city in Georgia, the United States. You can either take a guided tour or explore the city on your own. There is a lot to take away from this historic city where each and every bit tells the story of 200 years of its existence.
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