What to Do and See During Your Savannah Stay

The oldest city in Georgia, Savannah is the embodiment of Southern charm and manages to seamlessly blend old and new to create a visually stunning and historically rich experience. With breathtaking architecture, countless historical attractions, iconic shopping areas and a world-renowned food scene, Savannah is a truly enchanting place. If you’re planning a vacation to the South or have always wanted to go, now’s your chance. We’ve compiled a list of the absolute must-sees in Savannah to tempt you into your next vacation!

Get lost in Savannah’s Historic District

Dive into Savannah’s diverse history and culture and explore the famous Historic Landmark District. With 22 park squares, plenty of museums and a vast array of monuments and well-preserved 19th-century homes, time will fly by as you discover this historically significant area. From charming squares covered in Spanish moss and parks filled with magnolia trees to exquisite architecture and fascinating stories of the past, there’s so much to experience. Historic landmarks aside, the district also boasts over 100 restaurants and some iconic shopping spots with quaint boutiques and shops selling unique finds. The best way to explore this district is on foot, so put your comfy shoes on and get lost in the cobbled streets. Alternatively, you can book a trolley tour or hop-on hop-off tour to see all the main attractions in the space of a couple of hours.

An old street in Savannah's Historic District with 19th-century homes lining the right side.

Go for a picnic in Forsyth Park

Savannah’s largest and oldest park was created in the 1840s and spans 30 acres. The peaceful space is filled with towering oaks, fragrant flowers and peaceful picnic spots. The fountain in the park’s northern section was installed in 1858 and is now one of the most photographed places in Savannah, and the green is often the site for some of Savannah’s most famous festivals such as the Savannah Jazz Festival. You’ll find local artisans and musicians dotted along the winding paths, plenty of shady areas and even a juice bar and cafe. Wander through the Victorian gardens, visit the fragrance garden for the blind, have a picnic on the green, and take a selfie at the iconic fountain. Forsyth Park is a great place for you to take a break from sightseeing and enjoy the peaceful sounds of nature whilst tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the streets.

The famous fountain in Forsyth Park, surrounded by an iron gate and oak trees.

Marvel at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist’s architecture

Otherwise known as ‘The Sistine of the South’, this majestic French-Gothic style cathedral is the oldest Roman Catholic church in Georgia and is considered to be one of the top cathedrals to visit in the US. Located in Savannah’s Historic Landmark District, it’s definitely worth making a stop to appreciate the splendour this historical building exudes. Spend a quiet moment marvelling at the cathedral’s 81 stained-glass windows, see an array of intricately painted murals and check out the 16 gargoyles adorning the incredible exterior. Entrance is free and donations are accepted. If you want to experience the complete package and go to mass, mass times are on Sunday mornings and at noon from Monday to Friday.

The front exterior of St, John the Baptist's Cathedral, showing two spires and classic French-Gothic architecture.

Dive into history at Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters

This beautifully preserved neoclassical mansion was built in 1819 and gives visitors a glimpse into the past. It’s filled with amazing period furniture and allows visitors to experience an early 19th-century home as it would have been. Visitors can view different areas of the mansion including the butler’s pantry, private rooms and even the basement with the original scullery and cistern. Aside from the main building, you can also see the slave quarters and learn about how the most and least powerful people co-existed in this house 200 years ago. There’s also a delightful indoor courtyard and an impressive collection of decorative art. If you want an authentic and inclusive dive into Savannah’s past, this place is for you. Guided tours are available between 10:00 and 15:00, with self-guided audio tours from 15:30 to 16:15 every day.

Original, well-preserved items from the early 19th-century inside the Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters

Clink glasses alongside the Savannah River

Historic River Street, also known as Savannah’s Waterfront, was a centre of import and export commerce in the colonial South and was the original port of Savannah. Nowadays, this staple street is lined with cobblestones and old cotton warehouses that have been transformed into quaint pubs, boutique shops, restaurants serving Southern delights, cocktail bars and stunning hotels and inns. Taste Savannah’s famous Chatham Artillery Punch on a rooftop, shop till you drop in River Street Market Place, watch the giant cargo ships passing you by or go on a riverboat cruise to see Savannah from the water. With so much to explore, we know you’ll have a blast discovering this historic and multi-faceted area.

View of the Savannah River with a riverboat cruise boat docked on River Street.

Visit Bonaventure Cemetery

When planning what to do and see during your trip to Savannah, this cemetery needs to be on your must-see list. Hailed as one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world, it’s a quiet respite located about 5 km from Downtown Savannah. The cemetery spans over 100 acres and is full of unique sculptures and gravestones surrounded by whimsical Spanish moss and lush greenery. Nowadays, tourists flock to the cemetery to learn all about the famous names that are buried there and to walk the winding Victorian paths enjoying a quiet moment amongst nature. The intricately detailed headstones in the historic section are certainly worth perusing, some must-sees include the gravesite of little Gracie Watson and John Mercer. There are numerous private tours you can take and the gates are open between 08:00 and 17:00 every day.

*Did you know Savannah is actually America’s most haunted city? So, if you’re into ghosts and spiritualism – look no further. From spooky ghost tours and haunted inns that you can stay in, Savannah is a popular destination for dark tourism.

What are you waiting for? Dive into one of America’s most historic destinations and visit Savannah!

For a hassle-free start after your flight, we recommend pre-booking a Savannah Airport transfer to your hotel or accommodation so you can enjoy a convenient and personalised door-to-door experience. Welcome Pickup’s trained, English-speaking drivers will greet you at the gate, welcoming you with a mini tour during the ride. Not only that, but you can also get travel tips, pre-order essential travel products and take advantage of our 24/7 customer support.

Was this helpful?