Savannah Travel Guide

Planning your Georgia adventure? The historical city of Savannah will charm you with its romantic atmosphere and neo-classical architecture. Leafy avenues and manicured parks make Georgia’s oldest city an elegant spot to spend your next vacation.

Nestled within the Savannah Historic District are many cultural gems. Discover beautiful 18th-century squares and period homes. When you have had your fix of the city’s top museums and attractions, head to River Street or City Market, where you can eat, drink, and shop ’til you drop.

Ready to create a dreamy Savannah city break? Get inspired with this Savannah travel guide, including tips on what to see & do, where to stay, and when to visit!

What to see & do in Savannah, GA

Savannah Historic District

For any visitor, strolling around the Savannah Historic District is one of the best things to do in Savannah, GA. The charismatic historical center is home to some of Savannah’s most famous attractions. Delight in cobbled streets, historic squares, and the 18th-century charm that’s been preserved to this day.

Historic District

If you love history, architecture, or whimsical tree-lined avenues, there’s plenty to tick off your Savannah bucket list here. The district is home to top-rated museums like the Savannah History Museum and significant points of interest; there are also some glorious period homes to explore, including the Mercer-Williams House Museum and Owens-Thomas House.

If you grow tired of sightseeing in the Savannah Historic District, have a rest in Forsyth Park or wander down to River Street.

Forsyth Park

Seek out the shade at Forsyth Park. Located on the southern edge of the Historic District, this 30-acre public space is filled with oak trees. It’s the perfect shelter after a morning of exploring on any Savannah itinerary. The center point of this green oasis is the Forsyth Fountain. It’s stood here since 1858 and is one of Savannah’s most popular photo spots.

Forsyth Park

Soak up the romantic atmosphere, find a comfortable spot to embrace the surrounding nature, or keep an eye out for more historic homes. Forsyth Park is not just a pretty face, either. It hides huge playing fields for playing tennis, volleyball, and soccer.

If you need to refuel, pull up a chair at The Sentient Bean, a café near the entrance to the park that sells great fair-trade coffee to-go. Forsyth Park is also a hot spot for street performers. Stop to enjoy dancers and musicians as you wander the tangled paths.

River Street

A day on River Street is a cultural experience and an indulgent day out rolled into one. The two-mile stretch of funky shops, bars, and restaurants was once a thriving port for the cotton industry. Traces of its past still live on in the revived warehouses, now housing flourishing businesses.

River Street

Pick up one-of-a-kind gifts and a whole new wardrobe from River Street’s boutiques and antique stores. In between window shopping, observe important monuments like the Factor’s Walk and the African-American Monument. A stylish creative center for the city, River Street is also home to several art museums and galleries. It’s a great place to find some local arts and crafts.

Feast on Southern specialties at The Cotton Exchange Tavern, or get your sugar fix at River Street Sweets. When the sun starts to set, find a trendy cocktail bar or classic brewpub. Take a seat and admire the fabulous views across the Savannah River.

City Market

If you didn’t get your shopping fix on River Street, the City Market will certainly deliver. This open-air market has been a social and retail hub for Savannah since the 1700s.

The adorable square is the perfect place to find emerging artists, independent jewelry designers, and hand-crafted goods. Many of the artists and designers can be found at work in the art center. Discover the story behind their work so that you can deepen your appreciation for your new trinkets.

City Market

The City Market is overflowing with gastronomic treasures. Nibble on delicious street food or head out to the surrounding old-world streets. There is an endless choice of chic restaurants and bars to keep you satisfied. To add to the vintage feel, why not visit the American Prohibition Museum, complete with 1920s speakeasy?

Not ready to stop exploring? Take your cocktail to go. Many venues offer takeaway drinks so you can continue shopping or watch live music in the courtyard.

Fort Pulaski National Monument

The Fort Pulaski National Monument is a 19th-century fort and an important reminder of the American civil war. Not only does it represent a significant part of Savannah’s history, but its home on Cockspur Island is a nature haven. With over 5,000 acres of marsh, this is a refreshing city escape at the heart of the Savannah River and one of the best day trips from Savannah.

Fort Pulaski National Monument

Tour the impressive Fort Pulaski National Monument and imagine battles that took place long ago. If you want to be truly immersed in the action, they host live artillery shows on the weekends.

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Cockspur Island is a beautiful place for hiking and has several short trails with lovely scenery. Wander along the riverside or venture out to the old lighthouse.

Where to stay

When deciding where to stay in Savannah, there are some beautiful options to choose from. Savannah is known as the “Hostess City of the South,” so whichever area you pick, it’ll be packed full of Southern hospitality. The most popular districts for travelers in Savannah are:

Historic District

The Historic District has a rich cultural past and has some of the best hotels in the city. Surrounded by stunning architecture, you’ll feel like you’re walking among history as you begin your day of sightseeing. With many of Savannah’s top attractions within walking distance, it’ll be a short but picturesque commute.

River Street

For a little more edge, stay among the renovated warehouses of River Street. What could be better than waking up to views of the Savannah River? The accommodation here combines modern décor with trendy period features. Since some of Savannah’s best nightlife is on River Street, stay here for a room within stumbling distance of your new favorite pub.

Forsyth Park

Forsyth Park is a more peaceful area to stay in Savannah. Start every day with a stroll through meandering, shaded paths. The quaint farmer’s market on Saturdays is sure to put you in a wholesome mood.

City Market

Located downtown, the area around City Market is one of the most unique places to stay in Savannah. It is impossible to say what is harder to resist in City Market: the mouth-watering selection of restaurants and bistros or the covetable art and accessories stocked in the boutiques.

When to visit

The best time to visit Savannah is from March to June. The city is in bloom, and vibrant flowers decorate the antebellum architecture. The city comes alive again with lively spring festivals and events.

Savannah, Georgia

Prices and temperatures spike towards the end of the summer, with August being particularly humid. Look out for deals during the shoulder season of September to November. It’s quieter, but the weather is usually pleasant.

January and February in Savannah are cold. But if you wanted a cheap escape, you’ll find stunning accommodations at reasonable prices, and you’ll get to explore Savannah without the crowds.

Transportation

Getting there

By air

Savannah is served by Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV), located eight miles northwest of downtown. Several major airlines offer flights to SAV from major U.S. and international destinations, including:

  • Allegiant Air
  • American Airlines
  • American Eagle
  • Delta Air Lines
  • JetBlue Airways

By road

Savannah is well-connected by road to other cities in Georgia and other neighboring states. Popular driving routes to/from Savannah and estimated driving times include:

  • Atlanta, GA (3h47m)
  • Charleston, SC (1h58m)
  • Charlotte, NC (3h48m)
  • Jacksonville, FL (2h2m)
  • Montgomery, AL (5h23m)
  • Myrtle Beach, SC (3h53m)
  • Nashville, TN (7h31m)
  • St. Augustine, FL (2h48m)
  • Asheville, NC (4h43m)

Getting around

Savannah is a beautiful city to walk around, and most of its main attractions are close together. If you find the cobblestones hard on your feet, Savannah is rated as a Bronze Level Bicycle-Friendly Community.

Chatham Area Transit (CAT) provides 16 bus routes at reasonable rates. A single fare costs $1.50. You can also use DOT, a free shuttle service operating throughout downtown Savannah.

Riverboat Cruise

A city as stylish as Savannah has to offer some novel ways to get from A to B. Horse and carriage rides have long been a pastime in Savannah and add to the ambiance of the historic city. If horses aren’t your thing, take a hop-on hop-off tour on one of the colorful trolleys.

The boats on the gorgeous Savannah Belles Ferry Fleet were named after strong female figures in the city. The traditional boats show Savannah from a new perspective and provide free connections between three different areas in the city.