Traveling to Savannah, Georgia and wondering what to do in Savannah? Check out this ultimate Savannah GA Travel Guide with the 20 best things to do in Savannah including Savannah plantation tours, ghost tours, and river cruises.

20 Best Things To Do In Savannah Georgia In 2024

Last Updated on February 27, 2024 by Soumya

Looking for the top things to do in Savannah, GA? You’re at the right place.

In this Ultimate Savannah Georgia Travel Blog, we tell you all about the best Savannah attractions and the must dos in the city.

Located in the southern American state of Georgia, Savannah is a beautiful city with well-planned town squares, moss-laden oaks, delicious Lowcountry food, and a rich culture of its own. No doubt, there are umpteen things to do and see in Savannah, GA.

I absolutely adore Savannah! It is one of those cities that makes you fall in love with it. Instantly!

From taking a tour of the Historic District to visiting intriguing Savannah plantations and doing spooky ghost tours, here are the 20 Best Things to do in Savannah, Georgia.

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Top Things to Do in Savannah GA

Tour a Plantation in Savannah, GA

Beautiful Avenue Oak at Wormsloe Plantation
Visiting Wormsloe Plantation is one of the best things to do in Savannah, Georgia.

The more I traveled in the Southern USA, the more I realized that the South’s history is inextricably linked with the history of plantations.

Once home to thousands of enslaved people, these agricultural settlements provide deep and not very rosy insights into the history and culture of the South.

Every country has history – good, bad, and ugly. The best way to deal with history is to learn from it and not repeat the same mistakes that our ancestors made.

Touring these historic plantations in Savannah and learning about the people who sustained these places, their relationships with the owners, and understanding the Gullah Geechee Culture that evolved in the plantations of the South is the best way to pay homage to these people.

There are two historic plantations near Savannah, Georgia – Wormsloe Plantation (15 mins from Savannah) and Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation (1 hour drive from Savannah).

Wormsloe Plantation

Tabby ruins of Wormsloe Plantation
The old ruins of Wormsloe’s tabby fort have a hundred stories hidden in them.

Wormsloe Plantation is a popular day trip from Savannah because it is super close to the city.

Once the colonial estate of a carpenter named Noble Jones, Wormsloe is more than 250 years old. The ruins of Jones’ tabby home are one of the oldest standing structures in Savannah and nearby.

A beautiful Avenue of Oaks, a mile-long boulevard lined with huge live oaks with sweeping branches covered all over with Spanish moss, leads you to the plantation. This creates a breathtaking archway over the road and gives you the feeling of getting into a moss-laden tunnel.

You can drive through Oak Avenue or walk to get to the ticket office. The site is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Once you get inside, you can see the ruins of the tabby fort. Not a lot remains of the ruins, and it is hard to make sense of the place unless you travel with a tour guide.

I cannot stress the importance of understanding the history of a place like Wormsloe in order to comprehend the history of slavery in the USA.

Pro Tip: Want to learn more about the history of slavery? Join this Savannah Slavery to Freedom Guided History Tour.

Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation

Another beautiful plantation near Savannah, the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation, was once a rice-growing settlement dating to the early 19th century.

Here, you’ll find a beautiful oak avenue and a small museum that tells you the history of the place. The best part is that the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation is a Savannah hidden gem and does not have the crowds that you’ll see elsewhere.

Tour One (or Many) of Savannah’s Historic Homes

Owen Thomas House in Savannah GA
Owen Thomas House is one of the best historic attractions in Savannah.

The historic center of Savannah is chock full of historic homes. These homes are not just exquisite representations of Southern Antebellum architecture but also hold numerous historic tales waiting to be unraveled.

Most historic mansions in Savannah, GA date to the 19th century. It was in these homes that the wealthy citizens of Georgia lived and prospered. However, they also hold stories of enslaved workers who spent their lives in bondage here.

Visit a historic home in Savannah if you want to

  • learn more about the history of slavery in Southern USA.
  • appreciate the beauty of antebellum architecture
  • tour the beautiful gardens

Some of the best historic homes in Savannah are the Davenport House, Andrew Low House, Mercer-Williams House, and the Scarbrough House.

If you have time for just one historic home tour, pick Owens Thomas House & Slave Quarters, a Regency-style mansion from 1819. Here you can explore the complicated, non-glossed relationship between slaves and their masters.

Savannah was also the birthplace of American Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low. She established the first Girl Scout troop here in 1912. You can tour Juliette’s birthplace, a National Landmark now, in downtown Savannah.

Pro Tip: Want to see multiple historic homes in Savannah? Join this Historic Savannah Guided Walking Tour.

Take Pictures Against Ivy-Covered Mansions

Ivy covered houses and author standing in front of them
Could not help getting clicked in front of all those pretty, ivy-covered homes.

Even though Savannah is full of amazing photo ops, I think I was a little partial towards the beautiful ivy-covered mansions that line every other street in the historic downtown.

My favorite place to take pictures was Jones Street, the prettiest street in Savannah, GA.

Beautiful Greek revival houses draped with ivy and adorned with wrought-iron balconies play peek-a-boo with canopy oaks. Take a leisurely stroll through the street and keep the shutter buzzing.

Stroll through Savannah’s Public Squares

Johnson Square in Savannah Georgia
Johnson Square – the oldest public square in Savannah, GA.

Wandering through the 22 public squares is one of the best things to do in Savannah, Georgia.

Charming, cool, and filled with Spanish moss-laden oaks, these tiny green patches not only provide you with a place to rest but also give you a sneak peek into Savannah’s history.

Most Savannah squares date to the 18th and 19th centuries. Originally there were 24 squares, but 22 remain today.

At Chippewa Square, you will find a statue of James Edward Oglethorpe, founder of the colony of Georgia. This is also the place where Tom Hank’s character waiting for the bus in the movie Forrest Gump.

Johnson Square (pictured above), dating to 1733, was the first Savannah Square ever.

The Ellis Square was once home to the Old City Market. Every square tells you a little about Savannah’s history. You can easily spend a day in Savannah exploring all of the city’s squares.

Pro Tip: Visit multiple public squares on this Sightseeing & History Walking Tour of Savannah.

Visit Forsyth Park

Author at the Forsyth Park Fountain
When visiting Savannah, you cannot miss the Forsyth Park Fountain.

Forsyth Park, dating back to 1840, is the prettiest spot in Savannah’s historic district. 

The iconic water fountain in the center of the park is one of the most photographed spots in all of Savannah. Come here early in the morning if you wish to avoid the crowds.

Take a stroll through those shaded trails, get a picnic lunch, or simply relax on the grass, appreciating the beauty around you.

Visit the Cathedral of St. John, The Baptist

Inside the Cathedral of St. John, The Baptist in Savannah Georgia
Gorgeous interiors of the Cathedral of St. John, The Baptist in Savannah.

The Cathedral of St. John, The Baptist, or the Savannah Cathedral, is one of the most stunning churches and one of Savannah’s prettiest historic sites. This is the oldest Catholic church in Georgia and is incredibly ornate and beautiful.

The interior is adorned with exquisite Austrian stained glass, smooth Italian marble, and opulent Persian rugs.

The French-Gothic exterior with pointy arches is also a pretty sight to behold. You can do a self-guided tour of the Savannah Cathedral for a small fee.

Take a Walking Tour of the Savannah Historic District

Small child exploring the historic district of Savannah
Taking a guided walking tour of the historic district is one of the top things to do in Savannah, Georgia.

Want to see Savannah’s historic homes, gardens, and churches and learn about their history at the same time? Take a Guided Walking Tour of Historic Savannah.

Savannah’s Historic District is one of America’s largest National Historic Landmark Districts.

Stroll through the Historic District on this guided walking tour and see the best highlights of Savannah, including the famous historic homes, Forysth Park, River Street, and several important public squares.

See a Hidden Garden in Savannah

Every spring, the Garden Club of Savannah organizes a tour of the hidden gardens of Savannah where you can venture beyond the closed gates and see the historic gardens in the Historic District.

The tours may include trolley rides, Southern tea, and guided architectural tours.

Since these tours happen only in the spring, they are highly coveted. Tickets sell out pretty fast, usually by mid-February. Be sure to book your tickets in advance here.

Hop on a Trolley Tour of Savannah

Trolley tours in Savannah
When visiting Savannah, be sure to do a fun trolley tour.

Hop on a charming trolley bus and explore the history and architecture of Savannah on the go.

These tours are usually fully narrated by a friendly conductor guide who gives you ample doses of local insights, trivia, and humorous stories.

The Savannah Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour is the most popular tour in the market and allows you to see the most popular Savannah attractions.

If you’re looking for something more insightful, book this 1.5-Hour Narrated Historic Savannah Sightseeing Trolley Tour.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking to have fun and laugh a lot, join this “Savannah for Morons” Comedy Trolley Tour.

Admire Savannah’s Architecture

Iron lace work on a building in Savannah GA
Exploring Savannah’s architecture on a guided architectural tour is an amazing thing to do.

I am a big architecture enthusiast, and I loved Savannah for the architecturally rich city that it is today.

This 2-Hour Savannah Architectural Tour is always my go-to tour that gives me rich insights into the historic homes and buildings of Savannah.

It is a small-group tour which means the tour is more intimate and allows you to ask questions and delve deeper into Savannah’s architectural legacy.

Eat Delicious Southern Food

If you are a fan of Southern food, then Savannah is the place to stuff yourself with it. I am a big fan of Low Country cuisine and absolutely loved the food in Savannah, Georgia.

Grits - A mainstay of Southern American cuisine
When visiting Savannah, Georgia, do not forget to try some delicious southern food such as grits with biscuits.
Image courtesy: Lynne Mitchell from Getty Images via Canva Pro

If you are looking for an authentic low-country boil, then head to Savannah Seafood Shack. 

Try shrimp and grits (another Southern classic) at the Olde Pink House, an 18th-century mansion turned into a plush restaurant. Apart from great food, they have rustic furniture and crystal chandeliers.

Order a biscuit sandwich at Back in the Day Bakery (permanently closed) on Bull Street.

Or try crawfish beignets at Vic’s on the River.

For the best breakfast, head to Goose Feathers Cafe. Warm croissants, delicious sandwiches, and fresh pastries will be waiting for you.

You can also find pralines everywhere around the city. Savannah will spoil you for choices.

Take a Food Tour in Savannah

Savannah is also a great place for authentic food tours. If you’re looking to try local Savannah flavors or are keen to explore secret foodie spots, sign up for a Savannah food tour.

On this Savannah Secret Walking Food Tour, you will walk through elegant squares, learn about Savannah’s history, and have tasty bites of chicken sandwiches, fried green tomatoes (another Savannah classic – remember the movie??), and some famous ice cream.

This Savannah First Squares Culinary & Cultural Walking Tour is a fantastic way to sample local favorites in up to six local eateries and specialty food shops.

Taste Homemade Icecream at Leopold’s

Child enjoying icecream at Leopold's in Savannah GA
Don’t forget to try the icecream at Leopold’s when in Savannah, GA.

One of the best foodie things to do in Savannah, Georgia, is to taste the homemade ice cream at Leopold’s.

Leopold’s Ice Cream is a little more than 100 years old. It was founded by three Greek brothers who moved to the US in 1919. They have been delighting their customers with frozen delights for over a century now.

Their ice cream sundaes are pretty famous, although I would happily settle for a scoop of the Original Tutti Frutti or the Butter Pecan.

Shop at Savannah City Market

City Market Savannah GA

Located in the historic center of Savannah, the City Market features attractive bistros and unique art galleries.

The market is also home to an Art Center where you will find art by local artists and can see some of them at work.

Tour Bonaventure Cemetery

Bonaventure Cemetery

Looking for Savannah historic sites with a bit of spook? Head to Bonaventure Cemetery.

Located just 4 miles from the city center, Bonaventure Cemetery is one of Savannah’s public cemeteries covering nearly 100 acres of land.

Come here to wander through the cemetery’s oak-lined trails, gaze at old tombs, and listen to all the spooky folklore that surrounds the place.

There are hundreds of graves at the Bonaventure Cemetery. One of the most visited ones is that of little Gracie Watson, a little girl who died shortly after being photographed in fine Easter clothes. The graves of Johnny Mercer, Conrad Aiken, and James Neill also lie here.

The cemetery gained a lot of popularity when it was featured in the 1994 novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt and subsequently in a movie by the same name. You can actually do a Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil tour and learn the stories behind all the characters.

Pro Tip: Combine Bonaventure Cemetery and Wormloe Plantation on this half-day tour from Savannah.

Visit the Colonial Park Cemetery

Savannah has a lot of cemeteries and therefore, a lot of paranormal activity – shhhh!

The Colonial Park Cemetery, in the city center, is the easiest one to get to. It is no longer a cemetery, though – it was changed to a city park in 1896.

You’ll see many stone markers here and several oak trees draped with Spanish moss. Kinda creepy if you come here at night.

Colonial Park Cemetery in Savannah

Take a Spooky Paranormal Tour

I am not into paranormal tours. I get easily scared. Paranormal tours aren’t my thing.

Although I loved reading about all the haunted places in Savannah, I could not muster the courage to do one of these tours. With so many Spanish moss-laden trees in Savannah, I could literally see ghosts during the day!

However, of all the numerous things to do in Savannah at night, my friends claim that doing a paranormal tour is the most interesting.

Savannah is America’s most haunted city! With all the bizarre things that have happened in Savannah, it is hard to let go of that spooky feeling.

My friends tell me that you can photograph orbs and apparitions on Savannah’s ghost tours.

This Savannah History and Haunts Candlelit Ghost Walking Tour is the most popular tour with the most engaging tour guide who fills your evening with spooky tales and eerie history.

You can also opt for a Savannah Ghost Trolley Tour or try this Spooky Savannah Haunted Pub Crawl.

Admire the Savannah River

River cruises are a popular way to experience Savannah

Stroll down the cobbled lanes of River Street for a scenic view of the Savannah River. Learn a little about Savannah’s dark past and spot houses and warehouses that were used as holding pens for slaves.

Or hop on a ferry for a ride across the river. The Savannah Belles Ferry system provides free rides across the river between downtown and Hutchinson Island. 

It is interesting to note that the Savannah Ferry Fleet includes 4 vessels named after noteworthy women from Savannah – Juliette Gordon Low, Susie King Taylor, Florence Martus, and Mary Musgrove.

If you are looking for a guided tour with incredible photo ops, then book this awesome riverboat cruise and city tour combo.

Want to see a lovely sunset? Book this 2-Hour Savannah Sunset Riverboat Cruise.

Head to Tybee Island

Tybee Island
If you’re looking for sun, sand, and sea, head to Tybee Island near Savannah, GA.
Image courtesy: aimintang from Getty Images Signature via Canva Pro

Located just 18 miles from the Savannah Historic District, Tybee Island is a perfectly beautiful island and one of the best-rated beaches in Georgia.

Head to Tybee Island from Savannah for a beach getaway. Lounge on the beach, walk on the pier, eat some seafood, visit the Tybee Island Light Station and Museum, and enjoy a beautiful sunset on the island.

Rent a car and drive to Tybee Island from Savannah, or book yourself a Tybee Island Tour with Dolphin Cruise.

Enjoy Savannah’s Cultural Festivals

Every year, Savannah plays host to many beautiful festivals and events during spring and fall.

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Savannah are huge and attract a lot of tourists.

The Sidewalk Arts Festival, organized by the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) takes place in April. Participants create beautiful chalk masterpieces in Forsyth Park. You can see them for free.

The NOGS Tour of Private Homes and Gardens also happens in spring, usually in April.

The Savannah Jazz Festival happens in September. There’s a Savannah Christmas Market from mid-November to the 1st of January.

Where to Stay in Savannah, GA?

Marshall House in Savannah
Marshall House, a historic inn, is one of the best places to stay in Savannah, GA.

The Historic District is the best place to stay in Savannah, GA.

Pick a hotel in the historic center in the middle of beautiful architecture and splendid local squares, and your Savannah trip will become more memorable.

Here are some of our top recommendations for the best places to stay in Savannah.

  • Marshall House: This historic mansion was built in 1851 and is now a boutique hotel. Guests love the incredible architecture, central location, and courteous staff.

  • Best Western: One of the bestsellers in Savannah, GA, Best Western Savannah Historic District is a great choice for budget travelers. Best Western is located only a couple of minutes away from the Riverfront and City Market and features an outdoor pool and continental breakfast.

  • Embassy Suites: Located in the heart of the historic district, Embassy Suites is one of the best places to stay in Savannah. It features an outdoor pool and a complimentary hot breakfast. The suites are spacious and clean. They have microwaves and additional counter space.

Practical Information for Visiting Savannah, GA

Best time to Visit Savannah, Georgia

Spring flowers in Savannah by the Forsyth Park Fountain
Spring is a great time to visit Savannah, GA.

The best time to visit Savannah, Georgia, is in spring and early summer, i.e., between March and July.

After that, it starts getting very hot and muggy. Plus, there are big crowds because of school vacations.

However, spring is also when a lot of spring festivals happen. So, the city is usually full of culture enthusiasts who love these festivals.

Fall is another great time to visit Savannah. You may not see the beautiful fall colors (because Savannah’s trees are mostly evergreen), but you will get to experience lots of exciting festivals, such as the Bacon Fest and the Craft Brew Fest.

Winter (between December and February) is the low season in Savannah. While it rarely snows in Savannah, evenings might be chilly. Hotels and tours are cheaper – be sure to get a deal on those.

Getting around Savannah, Georgia

Savannah Belles Ferry
Savannah Belles Ferry is a good way to travel within Savannah, GA.

The best way to get around Savannah is on foot. Walking through Savannah’s 22 beautiful squares is the perfect way to see this city.

If you get tired of walking, you can explore Savannah on a bike or segway.

Hop into one of the buses of Chatham Area Transit (CAT) that has 15 fixed bus routes in Savannah and Chatham County. It is inexpensive and convenient.

There is also a free shuttle service called the DOT that connects visitors with parking, attractions, shops, and hotels in downtown Savannah and the historic district.

If you are coming from the airport, you need to take a cab o.

If you’re planning to drive around, I recommend parking your car and exploring the historic district on foot. Download the ParkSavannah app for easy payments.

Planning to visit out-of-town plantations from Savannah such as the Wormsloe, you will need a taxi. Hail an Uber or a Lyft. Or rent your own car and make day trips near Savannah, GA.

Here’s a map of Savannah’s historic district for your reference.

Savannah Historic District
Savannah is a beautiful town in southern American state of Georgia.

Helpful Tips for Visiting Savannah, GA

Here are a few helpful tips (a mix of things that I did and did not do) that will make your trip to Savannah absolutely memorable.

  • Get a Savannah Tour Pass if you want to visit a lot of attractions and do a decent number of tours. Saves you money.

  • Savannah is an extremely walkable city because it is flat and level. I would highly recommend exploring the city on foot. So, get a good pair of walking shoes with you.

  • Get bug spray and sunscreen. Savannah can be sunny even during the shoulder months. And you might encounter bugs at the plantations and cemeteries.
Experience more of Savannah, Georgia

Read our posts on
Perfect Savannah Itineraries | From spending one busy day in Savannah to enjoying a Savannah trip of 3 days, our itineraries are definitely going to wow you.
Historic Sites and Haunted Houses | From notable historic sites and scary haunted houses, there’s a lot to do in Savannah, GA.
Visiting Wormsloe Plantation
 | Grab this guide for visiting Wormsloe Plantation from Savannah.
Savannah on a Budget | Free things to do in Savannah, GA that will help you plan a budget-friendly trip.

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Traveling to Savannah, Georgia and wondering what to do in Savannah? Check out this ultimate Savannah GA Travel Guide with the 20 best things to do in Savannah including Savannah plantation tours, ghost tours, and river cruises.

Soumya is an acclaimed travel writer who has traveled to 30+ countries and lived in 8 while pursuing her passion for history and culture. Her writings have been published in BBC Travel, Architectural Digest, National Herald, and many more. She loves exploring world heritage sites and has a deep affinity for everything ancient, especially the lost civilizations of Mesoamerica!

6 thoughts on “20 Best Things To Do In Savannah Georgia In 2024

  1. Thanks for sharing this! Now all I have to do is check on the Houses for rent in Savannah GA to really pick the best deals on accommodations there! I’m really looking forward to my long awaited vacation over there!

    1. Thanks Nicholl. Agree, Southern cuisine is delicious. I can keep going back to Savannah just for the food. Thanks for the guide. Will check it out.

      1. The plantation neglects to mention they were the site for most enslaved West Africans for centuries. It has torn the enslaved houses and gone so far to say that slavery didn’t exist there. Yet the population of Savannah in 1865 was 15k enslaved West Africans to 7.5k colonizers. The plantation is only beautiful to those who fail to see the centuries of atrocities that happened there and are ignored now. And that food you love in Savannah, also from enslaved West Africans.

        1. Hi Tejewell, thank you for your comment. I agree that Wormsloe neglects to mention anything about slavery. If you click-through to my detailed post on Wormsloe Plantation, you will notice that I talk about this neglect and also give my readers an alternate destination where they could learn more about slave history. It is unfortunate that some places choose to ignore such an important aspect of American history. I also agree that the food in Savannah is so delectable because of the various influences it has had from West Africa. It would never have been the same otherwise. Thank you for raising such a pertinent point. Appreciate it.

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