Even though I have lived in Atlanta for over a decade now, I just visited Savannah, Georgia for the first time. My tour guide, and Husband, lived in the city while earning his doctorate and always said you only need a few days to see everything. We booked a long weekend for the Savannah Women’s Half Marathon & 5k and toured the best Savannah Sightseeing Destinations.
The three-day weekend was the perfect amount of time to visit everything from historic downtown Savannah to the kitschy River Street offerings and even Tybee Island. If you have a plan and some great walking shoes, it’s easy to see the big tourist spots. Since I was touring with a former local, I got the inside scoop on one of America’s oldest cities.
The Best Savannah Sightseeing: What Savannah is Known For
Our hotel (The Desoto) was located only a few blocks from the city’s greenest gem – Forsyth Park. The park is over 30 acres and offers a central location for festivals, concerts, races, sports and relaxation. The park dates back to the 1840’s and was named after the Georgia governor of the time, John Forsyth. It’s the perfect family-friendly destination with playgrounds and big oak trees for shade.
Don’t miss the iconic Forsyth Park Fountain that sits on the north end. It was built in 1858 and resembles Parisian style. Every year, the city dyes the fountain green for St. Patricks Day for one of the holiday’s biggest celebrations.
If you’re looking for a mix of the historic charm and today’s party side of Savannah, look no further than River Street. The bustling street is located along the side of the Savannah River. The cobblestone street offers boutiques, restaurants, bars, galleries and hotels. It’s the perfect spot to grab an adult beverage to watch the ships come in, or people watch as tourists try to navigate the cobblestone while tipsy.
One of the most famous locations is River Street Sweets. They’re known for decadent pralines and homemade saltwater taffy. Be sure to stop by for a free sample and take in the delicious smells coming from the kitchen.
If you’re looking for the best adult beverage, you want to head to Wet Willie’s for their full wall of blended daiquiris. You can custom blend your own creation. They’re known for the Call a Cab® drink that’s made with 190 grain alcohol. It’s perfect on a hot Savannah day and the city’s open container policy allows you to tour the city with a roadie from any bar.
Savannah Ghost Walks and Trolley Tours
Before my trip, a friend told me that Savannah is “a city built on dead people” and she was correct. As one of America’s most haunted cities, tours are offered nightly to explore some of the most creepy locations. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you learn about the past souls that still linger around today. There are hidden cemeteries, historic homes and haunted streets.
If you want something a little more low key and meant for all ages, check out Old Town Trolley tours. You can see the museums, take a Paula Deen tour or check out the best photo spots. You see tours happening around the clock at the best Savannah sightseeing spots.
Savannah has so many historic markers around the city, like statues and monuments. You can walk more than a few yards without seeing another. A tour is definitely helpful to make sure you don’t miss any spots.
Savannah Food Spots
I was most impressed with the array of restaurant offerings that Savannah had. If you’re looking for a night out and celebratory location, I highly recommend Alligator Soul for dinner. The farm to table menu includes Southern classics and exotic meat offerings. My Husband raved about his filet mignon with blueberry BBQ sauce and enjoyed the shrimp-n-grits. It’s a popular dining spot that deserves all of the accolades it’s received.
For a casual breakfast spot, Rise Biscuits and Donuts can’t be beat. The fluffy biscuits come in sandwich form with fried chicken, sausage or bacon, while the donuts tempt you when you wait in line. We took our breakfast to go and ate at one of the local squares.
The Art and Museums
One of Savannah’s most popular museums is the Prohibition Museum. You can learn about the roaring 1920’s and see what led America to vote dry. The exhibits offer a bit of hands-on history and they even have a speakeasy to grab a custom cocktail, just be sure to whisper the password.
The Telfair Museum offers a look at fine art, modern art and architecture. Admission is free for kids under the age of 12 and they offer family-friendly events.
Ok – so this Savannah sightseeing destination isn’t in the downtown area, but it’s worth a drive. Located 20 minutes from the historic areas, Tybee Island is located just off the coast and offers nice beach areas. The Tybee Island Marine Center is a great spot for kids to learn about the conservatory efforts for the local sea turtles.
You can tour the lighthouse, relax on the beach or check out some of the local festivals that happen almost every weekend. If you’re looking for a quiet place to stay, the beach is lined with rental houses. They are nice alternative to small hotel rooms if you need the larger space.
For more information, check out Visit Savannah. The event calendar is a great starting point when planning your trip and looking for Savannah sightseeing locations. Early Spring and Fall are great times to visit, when it isn’t too hot and humid.
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