What Are The Best Things To Do In Savannah, Georgia?
Today, Savannah is one of Georgia's most popular tourist destinations, drawing visitors from all over the world with its cobblestone streets and historic architecture. But this city has been a major attraction for as long as anyone can remember. It’s been a notable site since the 17th century when it was established as the first city in what would later be known as Georgia. These days, visitors to Savannah can enjoy various attractions and activities. From exploring beautiful gardens and taking an architectural tour to sampling fine restaurants and going out on the town at night, there are plenty of things to do in Savannah that will make your trip memorable.
Top Attractions in Savannah
1. The Historic District
As you’ll quickly discover, this is Savannah's heart and soul. The city’s most famous attractions include the Savannah River, the Savannah Visitors Center, Forsyth Park, and the Riverwalk. It’s also a great place to explore the city’s rich history and take in the beautiful architecture of the buildings found here.
The Savannah Civic Center - This impressive entertainment complex is home to various events and attractions. You can attend concerts, sporting events, and performances here, including the Savannah Music Festival and the Savannah Children’s Festival.
The Savannah College of Art and Design - This top-notch art school is located right in the heart of Savannah. It’s a perfect place to experience the city’s artistic vibe and participate in some of its many creative events. SCAD is home to many galleries with excellent exhibitions. The school hosts many other cultural events, such as film screenings and lectures.
2. River Cruises
A river cruise is a great way to enjoy the city if you're visiting Savannah in the spring or fall. You’ll be able to see the Savannah River from a unique perspective while also learning about its history and modern-day operation. In addition, many cruise lines offer guides who are experts in the area’s history, so you’ll get an expert narration to go along with the sights. River cruises are also a good option if you’re traveling with kids. Some cruises take you up and down the river, and cruises that only go upriver. Whether you go up or down, you’ll be able to see various wildlife, such as dolphins and bald eagles, from the water.
3. James Square and the Historic District
St. James Square is located in Savannah’s Historic District and is home to many of the city’s most luxurious hotels, such as the Marriott and Westin. This great area has been the center of Savannah’s social scene since the early 19th century and was once home to the city’s richest residents. Now, it’s a great place to experience the city's history and enjoy some high-end shopping and dining. If you’re interested in learning more about Savannah’s history, you can visit Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace nearby. This is the house where the founder of Girl Scouts lived as a child. Another nearby attraction is the Savannah History Museum, located in the old Central of Georgia Railway station.
4. The Mercer-Williams House
Built in the late 18th century by Colonel William Jones, one of the city’s founders, this home was later purchased by the Mercer family, who owned it for more than 100 years. It was also used as a hospital for wounded soldiers during the Civil War. Today, it’s a historic house museum open to the public and offers guided tours. The house was designed in the Georgian architectural style, typical of many of the buildings in Savannah. It has been declared a National Historic Landmark and is one of the city’s most popular attractions. The Mercer-Williams House is a must-see attraction if you want to learn more about Savannah’s history.
5. Savannah’s Art Scene
Beyond the Mercer-Williams House, there are plenty of other art museums in Savannah. The Telfair Museum of Art and the SCAD Museum of Art offer world-class art exhibitions from American and international artists. The Telfair also contains the Telfair House, which was built in 1820 and featured period-style furnishings and a beautiful garden. The SCAD Museum of Art is one of the Southeast's most impressive contemporary art museums. If you’re interested in seeing live performances, you can visit the Savannah Theater or the Savannah Music Festival, which takes place at the Savannah Civic Center. If you’re interested in exploring art outside, you can visit the River Street Arts Fest, which takes place every October and features outdoor art exhibitions.
6. The Telfair Museum of Art and the SCAD Museum of Art
Both the Telfair Museum of Art and the SCAD Museum of Art include impressive collections of art. The SCAD Museum of Art houses a large collection of contemporary art and hosts traveling exhibitions. The Telfair Museum of Art has a collection of more than 25,000 works of art, including pieces by Salvador Dalí, Claude Monet, and Georgia O’Keeffe. The Telfair also has a rotating selection of exhibitions. Both museums are very popular attractions in Savannah and are often included in admission packages when visiting the city. The Telfair Museum of Art is located in the Telfair Mansion, which was built in 1816 and is one of the city’s most famous historic homes. The SCAD Museum of Art is located on the college’s main campus and houses a collection that includes works from several different cultures.
7. Forsyth Park and the Savannah Zoo
Traveling with children, you’ll want to visit the Savannah Zoo. It’s one of the oldest zoos in the Southeast and features many animals, including some endangered species. You can also enjoy a walk around Forsyth Park, established in the late 1800s and the oldest public park in the state. If you’re interested in learning more about Savannah’s history, you can visit the Colonial Park Cemetery, where many famous people are buried, including the writer William Faulkner. Another nearby attraction is the Bonaventure Cemetery, where you can see the grave of Bonaventure, a huge stone structure that was built to resemble a mosque.
8. Other Activities to Enjoy in Savannah
If you’re visiting Savannah in the spring or fall, you might want to consider seeing the annual Dogwood Festival, which takes place at Forsyth Park and is one of the city’s most popular annual events. The festival features live music, arts and crafts, and local vendors' food. In the summer, you can attend the Savannah Music Festival, which includes various performances and music, such as jazz, classical, and blues. Suppose you’re interested in exploring the city’s history. In that case, you can visit the Old Fort Tour and the Pirate Tour, which include stops at the Savannah History Museum and Colonial Park Cemetery.
If you’re traveling with children, you can take them to the Savannah Children’s Museum. You can also go to the Islands, a unique attraction that features small islands with plants and animals from different parts of the world. You can even go to the Botanical Gardens, which are beautiful and located in a nearby city, Vidalia.
If you’re interested in art, you can visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, which houses a turtle hospital and rehabilitates injured sea turtles. If you’re interested in history, you can visit the Juliette Low House, where the founder of Girl Scouts once lived.
There are many great things to do in Savannah, Georgia. Visitors can enjoy the city's historic architecture, beautiful parks, and delicious food. There are also several museums, art galleries, and theaters to explore. Savannah is a great destination for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation with so much to see and do. Follow leisure.com for more travel advice and trip suggestions.
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