Exploring Savannah Georgia

The inside travel guide to exploring Savannah the hostess city of the South

There is no better way to see Savannah than on foot so slip on some comfortable walking shoes and get moving! Voted one of the best walking cities in America; ditch the car and stroll the Savannah streets which are mostly flat and tree-lined with large shady Live Oaks and blooming Magnolia Trees.

Most visitors allow 2-3 days to explore the very best of Savannah but be aware there is much to do and see. A tip, do some advance research, create a must-do-list, peruse a map, get orientated and enjoy discovering the beauty of historic Savannah.

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The Squares of Savannah

Squares of Savannah

The city of Savannah is enriched by its 22 public squares of green space that provide its people and visitors the opportunity to congregate and socialise.

These colourful squares are surrounded by shade trees, charming churches, historic homes, enchanting inns and historic museums.

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Savannah Historic District

The Historic District of Savannah is the heart of one of the most beautiful cities in the world; with cobblestone streets, manicured gardens, and towering trees.

It is a hospitable city, all-year around and suitable for all-ages.

It’s abuzz with art, culture, live music and theatre, trendy cafes, gourmet restaurants, and very photogenic.

Ellis Square and City Market

Savannah’s city market  area encompasses four blocks of rejuvenated warehouses and an impresssive shopping precinct. Located between Ellis and Franklin Squares, the city market is the downtown hub of Savannah and perfect for dining, cocktails, shopping, live music and people watching. It’s here in the heart of the Historic District that art and culture collide.

Johnny Mercer Statue

Johnny Mercer is the most famous Savannahian; four-time Academy Award winner as a songwriter, singer, lyricist and co-founder of Capitol Records

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Mercer wrote the famous ‘Moon River’ lyrics and sung many of his own songs including ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ and ‘Dream.’
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Savannah Art and Culture

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If museums and art galleries are your thing; allow enough time to explore as you will be spoilt for choice. Below are some links to the very best museums and galleries on offer in Savannah.

The Jepson
Telfair Academy
Ships of the Sea
Pin Point Heritage

Girl Scouts of America

In 1912, Juliette Gordon Low, affectionately known as “Daisy”, founded the Girl Scouts  in Savannah. Today, the vision of Juliette Gordon Low lives on in the Girl Scouts movement across the nation and the globe where her legacy lives on. She is fondly remembered and honoured by generations of people whose lives have been touched by Girl Scouts; the premier leadership development organisation for girls around the world.

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Forsyth Park

The large white cast-iron fountain  sits as the centrepiece in the picturesque Forsyth Park  and a popular spot for couples to exchange wedding vows. Pathways of large Live Oak (Quercus Virginiana) trees draped with Spanish moss hang mysticallly from the outstretched branches. The live oak was designated as Georgia’s state tree in 1937.

Forsyth Park is undoubtedly Savannah’s largest with two playing fields, playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, Confederate Memorial, half shell theatre and daytime café. The park was created in the 1840s from 10 acres of land donated by William Hodgson.  There are several farmers markets in the Savannah area with the most popular at Forsyth Park.

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The Century of Hats

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Hidden away inside one of Savannah’s luxury historic hotels is a hundred-year history of ladies’ hats. The Marriott owned ‘Mansion on Forsyth Park’, a 120+ room hotel, overlooks the historic Park and also home to 700 Drayton,  a popular restaurant on the ground floor. The Century of Hats is a permanent exhibit, preserved behind mood lit glass cabinets located within the stately halls off the mansion.

River Street District

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River Street  is best known for its ship docks, 18th buildings, cobblestone pavers and spectacular river views.

There is something for everyone on the waterfront from walking paths toice creameries, candy kitchens, bars, dining, shopping and live music.

Bonaventure Cemetery

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It may seem a bit creepy, but the ornate headstones, sculptures and stories of historic resting places may have you seeing cemeteries in a whole new light!

Visitors to Bonaventure Cemetery visit these graves, their stories are fasinating. Johnny Mercer, Little Grace Watson and Corinne Elliott Lawton.

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Savannah Theatre

Savannah Theatre  is the oldest operating playhouse in America. Savannah Live is a feel-good 2-hour variety show with a range of music from Phantom to Patsy Cline. For show info click here 

The theatre is adjacent Chippewa Square which was made famous by the Tom Hanks ‘Forrest Gump’ film.

Hanks, who plays the role of Forrest, sits on this park bench for about 80% of the film telling his life story to anyone who will listen. The bench that Hanks/Forrest sat on was actually a movie prop that has since been placed in the Savannah History Museum 

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Tybee Island

Charming Tybee Island is just 20 minutes east of city and a family friendly destination. The quaint laid-back coastal beaches are dotted along the Atlantic Sea with beach cottages, beachside restaurants, sun lounges, attractions and water activities. It’s a very relaxing destination to soak up some sun and history. The pier and pavilion are the perfect place to take in the beauty of the beach and sea.

Another must see landmark is Tybee Island Lighthouse  which was built in 1773 and remains the oldest and tallest in Georgia.

Tybee Island parking information

Getting Around

Savannah Belles Water Ferries
Free water ferry service between downtown Savannah and Hutchinson Island is available 7 days a week from River Street at City Hall landing and Waving Girl landing over to the Trade Centre Landing.

Operating 7am to midnight. CAT information 

The DOT is a fare-free 1930 streetcar service created to assist visitors and residents get around downtown. DOT Express Shuttles serves 12 stops in the historic district plus an additional 6 stops along River Street. Click here for the timetable.

Best Coffee Houses in Savannah

Broughton Street is full of shops to look at and things to do. There is an excellent coffee house on the corner of Broughton street and opposite the Paris Market called The Coffee Fox  The best coffee I have had in the US to date.

Another coffee house worth the walk to is the Foundry Coffee Pub This large cafe is located a little out of downtown, and an ease stroll along some very charming streets.

Savannah is awash with excellent bars and pubs which adds to the charm of downtown.

By sheer accident, I found the best downstairs bar beneath the Olde Pink House Restaurant, on Abercorn street which is highly rated.

The piano is positioned in one corner facing the bar and shared lounge area. It has a very intimate and friendly feel . Service is of a very high standard with the tendency to  upsell by the bottle rather than the glass! The drinks menu is extensive offering global wines, beers and cocktails.

Diana Rogers, a very accomplished singer and piano player regularly performs here. She is such a breath of fresh air and known for wearing her signature big hats.

Diana engages with guests, plays requests from many genres but most of all she creates wonderful memories of Savannah.

Check out some of my other USA blog posts:

Missions of San Antonio

Magnolia Pearl A Labour of Love

Travel Planning Resources

Packing Checklist

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Book Your Flight

Skyscanner is my favourite airline search engine for booking both my domestic and international flights. Also check out my pro tips on how to find the best and cheapest flights in my Go Travel eBook.

Rent A Car

RentalCars.com is where you will find the right car in the right place at the right price. It’s the best car rental site for comparing prices and offers.

Book Accommodation

My go-to-online accommodation search engine is Booking.com. With over 830,000 hotels, apartments, villas, resorts, guest houses and B&Bs, you will be spoilt for choice. They offer great rates, *free cancellation, no reservation fees and best prices are guaranteed. Through the booking site you have access to customer reviews, special offers and great deals. Plus, each accommodation is shown by location and photos, so you know exactly what to expect.

Save $35 with this Airbnb coupon code and learn the best way to find cheap Airbnb accommodation around the world. Check my Go Travel eBook for more accommodation pro tips.

Protect You and Your Belongings

If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel! Protect yourself and your belongings with my preferred consumer insurer, World Nomads. They provide an extensive range of options to suit your type of travel and they are giving my readers a 5% discount code when they enter Go Travel. Head to World Nomads, and enter the promo code GOTRAVEL for an exclusive discount!*  

Please note: 

  • For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, World Nomads cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.


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