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Savannah is one of the most charming and historic cities that you’ll find anywhere in the world. This coastal Georgia destination has an important place in American history, it has been featured in many movies and books, and it has come to define delicious Southern cuisine. With a beautiful riverfront area, charming local stays, and a location just a short drive from the beach, Savannah is a top-rated destination in the United States.
Here are some of the top things to do when you visit Savannah. These are good starting points to help you discover all of the other fascinating things about the area as well!
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What Is It? Right in the middle of Savannah’s historic district, you’ll find Forsyth Park.
Why Do It? This 30-acre park is a lovely place to take a walk and then take a break to have a picnic. Inside the park, you’ll find the iconic stone fountain and incredible oak trees with Spanish moss. There are lots of attractions that you can check out by walking through the park, such as Hodgson Hall.
Good to Know: Unlike most U.S. cities, Savannah doesn’t have an “open container” law, which means that you can bring a bottle of wine or a six-pack of your favorite local craft beer to the park for your picnic. Or ask for a to-go cup from the local bar you’re at and enjoy some sips while you take a stroll.
What Is It? River Street is the place to be in Savannah if you love shopping, dining, and bar-hopping.
Why Do It? This is a busy waterfront area that’s scenic and has lots to do for all types of visitors. The cobblestone streets bring Southern charm to the many kitschy souvenir shops, and many restaurants and pubs are housed in historic buildings with lovely views. You’ll also find old-timey candy stores that specialize in fresh fudge and unique art galleries along this walking route.
Good to Know: This is also a popular area for street musicians, so stop for a while to listen and watch.
What Is It? It would be a shame to visit Savannah and not try all the delicious Southern food that the city has to offer.
Why Do It? Some local favorites that you simply must try include crab stew, BBQ brisket, fried chicken and waffles, gourmet macaroni and cheese, and shrimp & grits. There are so many amazing restaurants here that are run by top-notch and world-famous chefs.
Good to Know: For a few places to start, try Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room, 2 Chefs Southern Cuisine, and Sweet Potatoes Kitchen. Or for an even memorable experience, you can join a food tasting tour of Savannah and try a bit from several of the top restaurants in town – a must-do for foodies!
What Is It? Savannah is a city of public squares, and these places were planned and preserved between the mid-1700s and the mid-1800s.
Why Do It? Take a walk down Bull Street to see many of the town squares and linger in each one just long enough to learn about the reasons for their names. Many of the squares have statutes that tell stories of history, peaceful foundations, and benches to relax in the shade. The Live Oak trees are draped with Spanish moss in a way that feels like no other city you’ve ever seen. Some of the most popular squares to visit include Ellis Square, Pulaski Square, Wright Square, Reynolds Square, and Telfair Square.
Good to Know: To get from one area of town to the next, you could even hop onboard a carriage ride to see the city in true Southern style.
What Is It? Another way to learn about the history of the Savannah area is to visit Fort Pulaski National Monument.
Why Do It? You can walk around the fort to see the towers, moats, drawbridges, and other structures. The ranger-led tours are a great way to experience the fort and learn about its history. There’s also a visitor’s center and an introductory film to watch.
Good to Know: After your visit, head a few miles down to Tybee Lighthouse and the stretch of beach for a relaxing break and lovely views.
What Is It? In some places, it’s recommended to start your exploration with a guided tour, and Savannah is one of them.
Why Do It? While you can certainly wander around town on your own, this is a place that’s packed with so much history that you’ll get a lot more out of your visit if you walk alongside a local expert. General James Oglethorpe landed in Savannah in 1733, and walking tours will get you up-to-speed on what the city has gone through since then.
Good to Know: If history isn’t your thing, there are lots of other types of tours to choose from, such as photography tours and ghost tours.
What Is It? It’s easy to see that Savannah is packed with natural beauty when you visit, but you can experience this even further by visiting the nearby Skidaway Island State Park.
Why Do It? This is an ideal place for hiking because you’ll make your way through the maritime forests and marshes to see native wildlife from the observation deck. Keep an eye out for birds, deer, fiddler crabs, and egrets here. The park is about a half-hour south of Downtown Savannah but well worth the drive. You’ll also be closer to the beaches of Tybee Island when you visit this park.
Good to Know: There are 87 campsites, three camper cabins, and five picnic shelters at Skidaway Island State Park. The campground is peaceful and scenic, and there are even some RV sites with hookups. Leashed pets are allowed, and there are six miles of trails to explore with your pup.
What Is It? Especially in the hot and muggy summer months, there’s nothing better than strolling down a Savannah street with an ice cream cone.
Why Do It? One of the best places in town to make that happen is Leopold’s, which has been a local establishment since 1919. This is a retro-style ice cream parlor with a black marble fountain and neon signs. All of the ice cream served here is fresh, delicious, and made onsite using a tried-and-true family recipe.
Good to Know: Keep in mind that this is a very popular place, so expect to wait in line if you’re visiting on a hot weekend afternoon.
What Is It? There are lots of historic homes to see and tour in Savannah, but a great one to start with is Juliette Gordon Low’s birthplace.
Why Do It? This was the first Registered National Historic Landmark in the city and is a romantic and historic home worth checking out. Low was the founder of the Girl Scouts of America, a group that has promoted programs for girls since it was established. When you tour the home, you can see the impressive library that inspired past generations of young women. You’ll also see the family’s well-preserved furnishings, jewelry, photographs, written material, and other memorabilia.
Good to Know: The Owens-Thomas House is another historic home worth checking out in town.