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On our 3-month road trip around the USA, there weren’t many cities that were memorable for the way they looked. But, when it came to the city of Savannah in Georgia, we were pleasantly surprised and found that one of the best things to do in Savannah, Georgia was actually to just wander around and take in the architecture.
Most of the cities were a sprawling mess shopping malls and a few high rise buildings. A lot of them lacked a city centre in the way that towns and cities in England have. On top of that, everything was so far apart that getting around them meant driving every couple of minutes. Savannah was different and we LOVED our few days there.
The city of Savannah is, as Bill Bryson (my favourite author of the moment) puts it Georgia is “a seductive city…This was, New York apart, the first American city I had ever been in where people actually lived downtown. What a difference it makes.”
In Savannah, we found greenery on every street, gorgeous houses and architecture where ever we looked and loved the quaintness of horses and carriages trotting down the road.
If you’re looking for places to stop on the east coast of the USA be sure to visit Savannah. And, when planning a trip to Savannah and looking for the best fun or free things to do for adults in Savannah, GA, then check out my tips on the places in this city we loved the most!
Where is Savannah, Ga?
Savannah is in the state of Georgia and is the oldest city in the USA. On the eastern coast of America, Savannah is near the coast and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s also close to the state border with South Carolina.
Check out this Savannah map to get an idea of where it is in the USA.
How to get to Savannah, Georgia?
There are a few ways to get to Savannah which (obviously) vary depending on where you’re coming from.
You can drive to Savannah which is what we did as we were working our way down the coast in our van Elvis. If you’re driving you’ll likely be getting to Savannah on the I-16 or the I-95.
There’s also the option to take the Amtrak train to Savannah. You can book the train through Omio who make it super easy to compare prices and times. See the schedule and prices here.
Flights to Georgia land at the Savannah International Airport. Most flights will probably involve a stopover in a larger, nearby airport. Check prices for your flight to Savannah and book your tickets through Skyscanner to find the best deals.
Where to stay in Savannah
When it comes to picking hotels in Savannah, GA, I think the best option is to stay in the historic centre of Savannah. This is the prettiest part of the city, where the leafy streets and cute buildings are. Here are my top picks of the best Savannah GA hotels.
- Savannah Bed & Breakfast Inn: This B&B is super close to both the beautiful Chatham Square and Forsyth Park. It’s walking distance from everywhere you’ll want to go in the Savannah historic district yet tucked away down one of the quieter streets and the crowds too.
- The Thunderbird Inn: The Thunderbird Inn is a classic 1964 Savannah roadside motel just 5 minutes’ walk from the historic district in Savannah. It also comes with free Krispy Kreme doughnuts! If you’re looking for a pet-friendly hotel in Savannah it’s got you covered.
- The Marshall House, Historic Inns of Savannah: Right in the heart of Savannah’s and built in 1851, this boutique hotel in Savannah has everything you need (plus a few extras like a free weekend newspaper or wine and cheese Sunday-Thursday too).
- Olde Harbour Inn: ANother great option for an old, beautiful inn in Savannah is the Olde Harbour Inn which overlooks the Savannah River. There’s a free wine and cheese reception every evening and the rooms are lovely.
- Forsyth Park Inn: Near Monterey Square, Lafayette Square and Pulaski Square, Forsyth Park Inn has a beautiful garden and a tennis court. You can also rent bicycles from the inn which is the cutest way to get around Savannah’s streets.
Best time to visit Savannah
Savannah gets super hot in July and August. It’s humid and wandering around probably isn’t going to be something you want to do. For that reason, I’d pick to go in either the spring or autumn months. We visited Savannah in mid-March and it was warm enough that we were wearing shorts and t-shirts but not too warm. Basically, it was perfect for adventuring around the city.
Best fun things to do in Savannah
It’s pretty easy to find fun, top things to do in Savannah but if you need some pointing in the right direction, this list below of what to do in Savannah, Georgia should help.
A weird suggestion perhaps for a visit to a town, but it’s well worth browsing the shelves of Nourish in Savannah. Nourish sells handmade soap and beauty products using natural ingredients. They smell absolutely delicious. These would make a fantastic souvenir or gift from Savannah for friends and family back home.
Go see the ‘Forrest Gump’ bench
Did you know the infamous “life is like a box of chocolates” scene from Forrest Gump was filmed in Savannah?
The bench itself currently sits in the Savannah History Museum, or, you can go see where the scene was filmed: Chippewa Square. Chippewa Square should be on your list of what to see in Savannah regardless since it’s so pretty!
Savannah Bee Company
The Savannah Bee Company stocks pretty much every honey-based product imaginable. From soap to mead and whipped honey (I’d never heard of this before, nor whipped butter for that matter, but it’s glorious) and of course “honey-honey”.
You can try all their honey flavours, including whipped honey, for free (but be warned, it’s hard to walk away from them).
You can also do a mead tasting at this Savannah store for a few dollars. Mead is pretty syrupy (thanks to the honey) and some of them, as we found out, are very easy to drink. Definitely give them a try!
Savannah’s Candy Kitchen
You can’t miss out on Savannah’s Candy Kitchen. They have the biggest pick’n’mix I think I’ve ever seen and the most buttery-caramel-y pralines ever (they usually have free samples of this). Go there if you’ve got a sweet tooth.
Walk along West Jones Lane
Pretty much everywhere in Savannah is picturesque but it’s often said that West Jones Lane is the prettiest and therefore one of the top Savannah attractions. The houses are truly beautiful and you’ll enjoy the shade from the trees arched above you. Make sure to add it to your list of places to visit in Savannah.
Experience what’s meant by “Hostess City”
Savannah is known as Hostess City and that means you’ll not only get experience great southern hospitality but can expect a decent drink (or 10) too.
Savannah also has an open container law which means you can wander around the streets while enjoying a drink (unimaginable in Vancouver!). If you prefer to soak up the ambience of a bar in Savannah, check out Alley Cat for a cool speakeasy atmosphere.
Wander River Sreet in Savannah, Ga
Savannah’s River Street (which is alongside the river) used to be full of cotton warehouses and cargo ships. Today, it’s the go-to place for delicious restaurants, antique shops and shopping boutiques too.
Be sure to take your time wandering down the cobblestones of River Street in Savannah, perhaps enjoy some live jazz, and learn about the darker history of this area.
Drink the dangerous Chatham Artillery Punch
The Chatham Artillery Punch is a Savannah staple and “The strongest drink in history”. It’s not exactly what you’d call charming like much of the rest of the city. There’s a long history behind this drink but it’s basically many, many bottles of alcohol poured into a glass and then some sugar and whatever is in the back of the fridge added to it.
The drink tends to contain rum, whiskey, Cognac, lots and lots of champagne, lemon juice and sugar. It’s definitely one to be shared!
Catch a sunset from the Peregrin Rooftop Lounge
The Peregrin Rooftop Lounge is considered the best place to view Savannah’s skyline and especially at sunset. On top of the Perry Lane Hotel is the rooftop lounge and the patio which looks out over the city of Savannah and the river.
Chill out in one of Savannah’s squares
Of all the things to see in Savannah, the picturesque squares must top the list. They’re a must see in Savannah. I say ‘square’, but they’re more like small gardens and they form a grid through the city which makes it super easy to explore and wander around.
The layout of historic Savannah is pretty kind to visitors. Most of the shops are within a few blocks of each other and then there are 22 beautiful squares.
Anyone of Savannah’s squares makes a lovely spot for a rest and a spot of people watching. We found Forsyth Park near the Savannah Art College the best for people watching.
Get ice cream at Leopold’s Ice Cream
We didn’t actually get ice cream for here on account of the queue of people outside – I don’t like queuing for food! However, I would assume the queue means it’s pretty good and it’s regularly cited as the best ice cream in Savannah, Georgia.
Mrs Wilke’s Dining Room
Another very popular Savannah eatery, and perhaps one of the best places to eat in Savannah, GA, is Miss Wilke’s Dining Room. This all you can eat restaurant serves up southern dishes such as; okra, beans and rice, yams and plenty of meat. It’s fair to say you won’t go hungry here.
Take a food walking tour
If you haven’t guessed by the other items on this list of things to do in Savannah, GA the food here is soooo good! If you’re only in the city for a few days it can be hard to fit in as much food as you want to try, no matter how much you try (and believe me, we try!). That’s where taking a food tour comes in handy.
This food tour lasts for 3 hours (so plenty of time to try all the best food in the city), and the guides will fill you in on the fascinating history of Savannah.
You’ll get 6 tastings at the city’s speciality food stores and restaurants. The tastings change but can include: shrimp and grits, doughnuts and sausage rolls.
Browse the Savannah City Market
The Savannah City Market is the place to go for a quick drink on a hot afternoon. There are a handful of bars where you can while away the time. You can also shop for souvenirs, postcards and little gifts for back home. All of this makes it one of the top attractions in Savannah, Georgia.
Make sure you pop into Bryd’s Cookies and taste the cookies. They come in some very unusual, but very delicious, flavours including Georgia peach, key lime and pink lemonade. They actually taste like their namesakes and are so good!
Taste fresh Savannah seafood at Savannah Seafood Shack
At Savannah Seafood Shack you’ll find low country boil which is essentially a bag filled with hot andouille sausage, corn on the cob, potatoes and shrimp. All of that is doused in Cajun seasoning and other tasty flavourings. You can also get seafood tacos or cones. Whatever you order will be super tasty but the low country boil is a must!
Planning on visiting Savannah, Georgia now? Or have you been and want to add anything else to the list?