There are so many interesting and beautiful places to visit in Savannah, Georgia, that it’s almost impossible to narrow it down to eleven.
In Savannah, you’ll find beautiful squares lined with history, a river walk to listen to street music and munch on a treat, a City Market to enjoy restaurants and boutique shops, and an ocean to satisfy your beach craving.
There’s something for everyone in the one of the oldest cities in America, and it’s only a quick 4 hour drive from Atlanta.
So come take a tour of what makes Savannah so enchanting and mysterious, and fall in love with Savannah like so many that visit this interesting and beautiful place in Georgia!
Here are the top places in Savannah I recommend visiting.
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I’ve been to Savannah countless times in my life. I credit it for getting me started as a history buff.
At a young age, I was so taken away with the fabulous architecture that surrounded each square. I loved how each one had a story that surrounded its people and its past.
Forsyth Park is the crown jewel of Savannah and a great place to start your tour of one of the most intriguing cities in America.
The park is a lovely place to picnic, take a leisurely walk or take family photos. In fact, the fountain here is the most photographed place in Savannah.
The fountain, which is the focal point of the park, was erected in 1858. Most would assume that it was custom built by a famous designer and lovingly chiseled with delicate hands. On the contrary, this fountain was ordered out of a catalog, and you can see the same fountain in New York, Peru and France.
This doesn’t lessen the fountains mystique, though. For over 150 years, it has brought delight to all that have graced its presence. If you happen to go around St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll see that the water will be tinted green for the huge bash of a celebration that the city holds every year.
River Street has a long history that began with the formation of Georgia as a colony in 1733.
The Savannah River was an important part of the economic development, not only of Georgia, but the emerging country itself. River Street provided a place for the cotton of the south to be warehoused and then exported all over the world.
Ships would come from all corners of the earth with imports, along with ballast material on the ship that settlers found useful in building their homes and businesses.
All the cobblestone on River Street came from places like Great Britain, Spain, France and Canada. It’s incredible to walk this street and ponder the life that these 300 year old stones have witnessed.
Today, River Street’s old cotton warehouses have been converted into restaurants, galleries, brew pubs and boutique shops. You can peruse the wares of the shops or enjoy the passers by on the river.
It’s amazing to witness the gargantuan tanker ships arriving from all over the planet with their goods and sundries. River Street is definitely another area that makes Savannah tick.
Not only can you walk around this world famous cemetery, but you can bike and picnic as well. The Spanish moss covered, 250 year old live oaks, give the cemetery that classic spooky feel that makes your spine tingle.
Why not hang out for a while and immerse yourself in this paranormally energetic locale?
As you walk around the cemetery, you will notice that many of the graves have mounds of stones placed upon them. In the Jewish faith, the word “pebble” is also the same word for “bond”. By placing a pebble or rock on the grave you are bonding your loved one to this world.
John Muir, famous for traversing the trails of North America and chronicling his travels, wrote about staying in the cemetery for six days and nights while he waited for money to be sent from home.
“I gazed awe-stricken as one new-arrived from another world. Bonaventure is called a graveyard, a town of the dead, but the few graves are powerless in such a depth of life.”
If you didn’t get your shopping bug satiated on River Street, City Market is always a place you can browse the street level galleries or listen to outdoor music as you taste the finer things in Savannah.
City Market has been a staple in the lives of Savannah people since 1755. Here, townsfolk would buy the essentials that were required for comfort in one of America’s newest colonies.
Over the years, it would be a market, then a parking garage, then a market again after the preservation society had a hand in changing things to restore the history and culture that Savannah has always stood for.
Come see what others have held so dear as a must do in Savannah while visiting.
Historic Landmark District
Organized in neat little squares, this part of Savannah will appeal to all fans of the kempt and orderly. The 22 squares and all of its monuments, museums and picture perfect historic homes, will have you swooning for all things old world southern.
My favorite way to see the historic district is on two wheels. Bring or rent a bike to the district along with a picnic lunch. Make a day of exploring famous squares such as Chippewa Square, where you can see a famous movie locale or Lafayette Square, where you can tour a beautiful, Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist.
If you don’t want to bike it, take a walking tour and learn all of the interesting things that make this area so stunningly fascinating.
As an alternative to a walking tour, the ghost tours that Savannah offers are a great way to hear Savannah’s past in a hauntingly intriguing way.
The Pirate House
The Pirate House in Savannah will have paranormal fans flocking to see what makes this place one of the most haunted places in America.
The Pirate House is a building that sits on a once ten acre botanical garden to which, founder of Savannah General James Oglethorpe and his fellow crew farmed plant specimen’s from all over the world. Once the colony was established, an inn was built in 1734 and housed sailors and pirates alike.
Tales of murder, kidnapping and debauchery are boundless over the centuries and give this site overwhelming supernatural activity witnessed by many over the years.
Through a tunnel constructed from the inn to the river, pirates would drug unsuspecting patrons for slavery or hard labor on their ships. A man might be drinking ale in the inn one minute, and then wake up en route to China destined for years of hard labor and heartache.
Eventually, the inn was turned into a restaurant and you can come dine in the ambiance of 18th century construction and history. Come taste their award winning Honey Pecan Fried Chicken or Low Country Shrimp and Grits and surround yourself in all things pirate.
First African Baptist Church
If you want to see an interesting and beautiful place in Savannah, you can’t miss out on The First African Baptist Church.
This church was formed even before our country was, in 1773. The church was built four years later where African Americans from all over south Georgia would attend.
This church is a place everyone should see. The pews were carved by African slaves and include “cursive hebrew”, which is their native african dialect. The ceiling is adorned with a patchwork quilt, a symbol that the church was a safe place for slaves. Beneath the floor in the lower auditorium there is a subfloor that was a part of the Underground Railroad.
The stained glass has survived over 240 years of hurricanes, wars and civil unrest to continue to amaze and inspire all that enter.
You can still attend a service at the church, or join one of the tours that are given twice daily during the week. It’s one of the priceless pieces of history that Savannah is so well known for.
In a town that is known for so much to do, it wouldn’t be complete without a beach getaway… although Tybee Island wasn’t always the leisurely vacation destination it is today.
During the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, Tybee Island was an important part of America’s history and it was used as a fort for protection. The mouth of the Savannah River was also a way to get supplies to and from the mainland.
After the civil war, people began to look at the island as a place for a holiday and hundreds of beach cottages as well as several hotels were built on the island. Come stay on the island for a quick weekend siesta, or visit for a day to see all it has to offer.
The Tybee Island Lighthouse and Museum is a great place to learn about the history of he area. The lighthouse tour and grounds are a Savannah tourist attraction you’ll definitely want to check out.
Tybee Island Lighthouse by Paul Brennan on Pixabay
Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist
With all the adornments and intricate details befitting a thousand year old European cathedral, Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist, is one of the top gems to visit in Savannah.
Founded by French settlers in 1700, this magnificent church was designed in the French-gothic style, with twin spires and pointed arches.
Visiting inside the cathedral, you will be transported to another time and place. Italian marble, Persian rugs and Austrian stained glass show that the first colonists spared no expense when it came to a house of worship.
Tour the cathedral as part of a walking tour or take advantage of the self-guided tour that is available. This is one of the places to visit in Savannah that is a must see.
Juliette Gordon Low House
“On my honor, I will try, to serve God, my country and mankind”.
I still remember the Girls Scout’s Honor and try to live to the mantra daily. What great memories I have of an everlasting institution that founder Juliette Gordon Low founded in 1911.
“Come right over! I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah, and all America, and all the world, and we’re going to start it tonight.” After meeting Robert Baden Powell, the founder of The Boy Scouts of America, Juliette Gordon Low was inspired to develop a movement that would teach girls all over leadership skills and problem solving while learning and serving their communities.
Juliette Gordon Low’s Birthplace home can be toured while on your visit to Savannah. The home is another important part of the uniqueness that make Savannah a worthwhile destination.
The Old Pink House
Is it a five star restaurant, a former Union headquarters, or one of the most haunted houses in Savannah? Well, the Old Pink House is all of these and more.
Built in the 1789, The Old Pink House house gets its name because it is, well pink.
It wasn’t intended to be pink as James Habersham, Jr., the original owner would have none of it. The home was built with red brick and then covered with white stucco.
After a short time, the red brick would start to show through the white stucco, giving it a pink color. Eventually, the plan to have a white house was surrendered to the pink, and now The Old Pink House is painted pink every year.
If you’re hungry and have a penchant for the paranormal, you can kill two birds with one stone by dining at the Old Pink House and then joining a ghost tour.
From the owner, to slaves, to children and patrons, you have the chance to see one of many ghoulish characters if you dine or tour the home. A visit to Savannah would never be complete without checking out this Savannah icon.
Savannah oozes charm and elegance and begs to be explored. Take some time and have an adventure in the most beautiful city in the south.
Did we miss any of your favorite places to visit in Savannah?
Please share in the comments, any spots we may have missed!