Although I read about the wonderful things to do in Savannah, I truly didn’t understand the obsession until I visited.
Savannah, Georgia is a vibe.
It’s romantic, raw, and real in a way I’ve never experienced in a place before. The city is the opposite of ordinary, from its striking architecture, to its haunted history, to its kooky cast of characters.
Plus, there’s something remarkably seductive about Savannah. Perhaps it’s the Spanish moss luxuriously draping overhead or the thickness in the air that puts everything in slow motion.
Either way, one thing is for sure.
Moments are meant to be savored, whether you’re getting swept away by a street performer or indulging in a decadent dessert.
It’s a place you have to see and taste for yourself; guidebooks will only get you so far.
That said, I’ve put together a curated collection of the best things to do in Savannah to help remove the heavy lifting.
This comprehensive three-day itinerary is intended to provide as much (or as little) as you need. While it’s primed for a “plug-and-play” 72-hour adventure, it can also be stretched out to accommodate a four-day foray.
Alternatively, you may wish to compress it into a tighter two-day timeline, although I advise against rushing.
Ultimately, you can follow my roadmap word-for-word or pluck bits and bobs of inspiration as you see fit.
I only insist that you soak up each romantic moment and enjoy every last morsel while you’re here.
Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.
Brunch in a beautiful setting is the perfect way to kick off your trip to Savannah.
Fortunately, Collins Quarter at Forsyth offers just that.
This Australian-inspired eatery was modeled after Collins Street in Melbourne and specializes in innovative cuisine in a laidback environment.
While eating on their lovely outdoor patio, you can enjoy people watching and get a preview of famous Forsyth Park.
Note: I didn’t include lunch on today’s itinerary since I figured you’d be getting a later start after traveling, so eat up!
Collins Quarter at Forsyth is located at 621 Drayton Street.
Of Note: There’s an additional Collins Quarter located downtown at 151 Bull Street.
After brunch, you can’t miss a stroll through Forsyth Park, a must on any Savannah itinerary.
This big, beautiful park spans over 30 acres in Savannah’s historic district. It’s the city’s oldest park, including everything from two children’s playgrounds, to basketball/tennis courts, to a concert/event space.
You could easily spend the entire rest of the morning here people/dog-watching, sunbathing, and enjoying nature.
(We actually revisited the park multiple times on our trip because we loved it so much!)
It’s also home to the iconic Forsyth Park Fountain, the heart of the park, which was installed back in 1858. This city symbol is a popular backdrop for everything from engagement proposals to wedding portraits.
Unsurprisingly, the fountain is one of the most photographed spots in the city, so it’s rare to find it without people around.
Be sure to check out my Instagram guide to Savannah for some Forsyth Park photo tips.
Touring the city is one of the best ways to gain a larger perspective of Savannah on your first day.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of options to choose from.
Whether you’re looking to explore on foot, on two wheels, or in a trolley car, there’s a tour for everyone.
The beautiful Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens is operated by the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences & UGA Extension.
As such, they serve as a living classroom, providing public outreach and education in the horticultural and environmental sciences.
The gardens are only open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10AM to 4PM, so you’ll have to plan a visit accordingly.
Adult admission is only $5, whereas a youth ticket costs just $3 (for children ages 6-16). Children ages five and under visit for free.
Alternatively, if you’re not traveling within this time frame, I recommend checking out the Savannah Botanical Gardens instead. This garden is open daily from 7:30AM to 5:30PM.
The Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens is located at 2 Canebrake Rd.
Savannah Botanical Gardens is located at 1388 Eisenhower Dr.
Savannah is one of those cities where every street feels like a photo opportunity. Without exaggeration, our camera was like a third limb on this trip.
Speaking of photo opportunities, be sure to check out my Instagram guide to Savannah for the best picture spots!
In addition to its photogenic appeal, Savannah is also an incredibly walkable city. I recommend exploring on foot to discover the area’s most beautiful streets.
Honestly, Savannah has so many beautiful streets. While you could spend an entire day exploring them, I’ve included three of my favorites to get you started.
The first one is E. Jones Street. This quaint street has the most beautiful row of homes; pictures truly don’t do it justice.
Next is the corner of Bull Street and E. Macon Street, where you’ll find this darling pink home.
In addition, I recommend checking out Rainbow Row, located at 508 E Bryan Street in the Historic District.
This colorful street features cute pastel-colored row homes in a Carpenter Italianate-style.
Although it’s significantly smaller than the famous Rainbow Row in Charleston, it’s worth a visit, especially if you love pastels!
River Street is conveniently located just one block from Rainbow Row.
This area is one of the best places to watch the sunset and enjoy dinner on the water.
River Street comes to life when the sky goes to bed. Here, you’ll enjoy lively street performers and the wonderful aroma of food.
While you’re strolling, make sure to stop for a photo with the iconic Georgia Queen.
You can also book a cruise along the river. These are offered during the day, at dinner time, or in the late evening.
While you’re here, you’ll definitely want to take the opportunity to enjoy some waterfront dining.
We ate at Huey’s, a New-Orleans-inspired café that’s renowned for its fresh beignets. (Think cousin of a funnel cake.)
Unfortunately, we missed out on the sweet treats because we didn’t sit down until an hour before closing.
That said, our server told us that they typically make them throughout the day.
However, we still enjoyed a tasty, casual meal of pasta pesto with shrimp and a chef salad.
I’ve also heard great things about Vic’s on the River, if you’re looking for a more upscale option.
It can sometimes be tricky to find parking around River Street, particularly if you’re visiting Savannah during the high season or a citywide event.
Fortunately, there are a couple of options available. You can read more about the parking situation and availability of public lots here.
Alternatively, there’s also a free shuttle service you can take to avoid the parking situation altogether. The Downtown route stops at Congress Street, just three blocks from River Street.
Today, you’ll be heading to one of the most historic sites in all of Savannah.
Therefore, I suggest getting your caffeine fix to-go (and possibly a small bite) for an early start.
Although Savannah doesn’t seem to be much for dark roast coffees (which are my personal favorite), Coffee Fox brews up a nice medium roast.
Additionally, I’ve included a more substantial sit-down breakfast suggestion for later. (The intention is to get you to the first spot of the day around opening.)
Coffee Fox is located at 102 W Broughton Street.
Wormsloe is Georgia’s oldest plantation and the former home of Noble Jones. A visit here will give you a somber glimpse into 18th-century Georgia.
That said, I think it deserves a place on every Savannah itinerary.
One of the calling cards of this famous location is most definitely the heavily-photographed front entranceway.
The striking 1.5-mile oak-tree-lined path to the plantation is dramatic, to say the least.
In fact, just standing here is a cinematic experience. It’s almost spooky when the wind kicks up and the Spanish moss sways in the breeze.
While the entranceway is worth the trip here in and of itself, there’s plenty more to see beyond it.
For instance, you’ll discover the ruins of Wormsloe, Savannah’s oldest standing structure.
After you arrive and pay the entrance fee (details below), you’ll receive a map of the property outlining the various points of interest.
You’ll then be instructed to drive down the long entranceway until you reach a parking lot. From here, you can explore the attractions on foot.
The property includes everything from a small museum and gift shop, to an interpretive nature trail, to a marsh.
You may also come across costumed characters reenacting life in Colonial times, depending on which trail you follow.
Also, hiking through the jungle-like terrain is one of the most enjoyable parts about this on-foot experience.
While we opted to explore Wormsloe on our own, you can take a tour if you’d prefer a guided experience.
First off, you’ll need a car to get to Wormsloe and travel down the driveway, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Additionally, Wormsloe is incredibly popular, so arriving early is key, as I mentioned.
The property is open every day except Monday from 9AM to 5PM.
I suggest getting here as close to 9AM as possible, particularly if you want to take pictures along the entranceway.
An adult admission is $10 and is required for you to go beyond the front gate. Seniors (ages 62+) pay a discounted rate of $9, while a youth ticket (for ages 6-17) costs $4.50.
Children under six are charged a minimal fee of $2. There are also group rates available, provided you call in advance.
Keep in mind that the ticket prices will be taxed.
As a self-proclaimed biscuit queen, I’m incredibly picky when it comes to these doughy delicacies.
Therefore, my high marks for Maple Street Biscuit Company should hold some weight.
In addition to its downtown Savannah location, this comfort food chain has numerous storefronts throughout the South. These include Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
There are also four other Georgia locations, including Alpharetta, Atlanta, Parson’s Alley Duluth, and Woodstock.
Although this was my first Maple Street experience, I think it’s safe to say it won’t be my last!
First off, I loved the energetic atmosphere and the open floor concept of the Savannah spot.
We selected the prime seat in the house overlooking the hardworking kitchen staff.
I tend to trust food establishments more when they put their kitchens on display, so they won points there.
As for the biscuit, I ordered “The Five.” This mouthwatering marvel comes with fried chicken, pecanwood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, and your choice of gravy. I went for the shiitake mushroom.
Let’s just say I’m glad I captured this brief moment in time before the deliciousness was devoured.
(And yes, my mouth is watering as I write this.)
You can check out their full menu here.
Maple Street Biscuit Company is located at 220 W Broughton Street.
Perhaps you’ll need a little nap after you’ve filled your belly to the brim.
But I suggest touring one of Savannah’s historic homes when you’re up for more adventure!
We considered touring the Owens-Thomas House, but unfortunately, it’s closed on Tuesdays (when we were there).
This 1819 Regency-style mansion includes a carriage house, former slave quarters, and a backyard garden area.
A guided tour offers access to the home and provides a history on the freed and enslaved workers of the past.
The Owens-Thomas House is open from Thursday – Monday from 10AM to 5PM. It’s closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Tickets cost $20 for adults. You can view all additional admission costs here.
The Owens-Thomas House is located at 124 Abercorn Street in Savannah.
Another popular choice is the Mercer-Williams House.
The home was designed by architect John S. Norris from New York. It was created for General Hugh W. Mercer, great-grandfather to the esteemed American lyricist Johnny Mercer.
Construction on the home began in 1860 and was completed in 1868.
The house is closed on Wednesdays, according to their website. However, they don’t list any Tuesday hours, so they may be closed then as well. I’d contact them to clarify if you’re looking to go on a Tuesday.
Otherwise, they’re open on Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10AM to 5PM and from 11:30AM to 4:45PM on Sunday.
Tickets cost $12.50 for adults and $8 for students and active military with valid IDs.
You can make an online reservation here.
Mercer-Williams House is located at 429 Bull Street.
However, the entrance is on 430 Whitaker Street, behind the main house.
If you visit the Mercer-Williams House, I suggest swinging by Alex Raskin Antiques when you leave.
This funky antique shop is located right nearby, just across Monterey Square at 441 Bull Street.
They specialize in home décor with an emphasis on redesigning interiors using antique furniture.
Although we didn’t go inside because it was closed, I’m willing to bet it’s just as interesting as the exterior!
Alex Raskin Antiques is open Monday – Saturday from 10AM to 5PM and on Sunday from 12PM to 4PM.
While we’re on the topic of interesting places, next on the itinerary is a visit to The Paris Market and Brocante.
As a Francophile, this stop was a must.
This two-level Savannah gem was modeled after a Parisian flea market. It includes eclectic and fantastical home décor as well as a French-inspired café.
Head downstairs to browse the whimsical wonders and uncover treasures galore, sourced from around the globe.
Be sure to stop at their café for a bite after window shopping (or purchasing a few special pieces).
Here you can enjoy a pick-me-up of some light fare (if you’re not too stuffed from the biscuit breakfast).
You can select from an array of French pastries and other delicacies to enjoy indoors.
Alternatively, if the weather allows, take the fun outside in true Parisian fashion!
Full Disclosure: I wasn’t a fan of their light coffee, as it tasted acidic. I’d suggest getting a latte like my husband did, which was much better.
Did you know that Savannah is made up of 22 distinct squares? (The city was originally designed with 24, but two were lost during development.)
Each of the squares is located within the one-square-mile downtown area.
My personal favorite is Lafayette Square, located on Abercorn Street between Charlton and Harris Streets. (I’ve included more information on this area in Day 3.)
The Pirate’s House was one of my favorite dining experiences in Savannah.
The space first opened in 1753 and served as an inn for seafarers. This restaurant is located on one of the most historic spots in Georgia, the site of the first public agricultural garden. You can read more about its history here.
The food here was really tasty as well.
Dinner starts with an assortment of fresh bread.
You can then choose from a variety of entrees, ranging from seafood to soul food.
I recommend the “Pirate’s House Award Winning Honey Pecan Fried Chicken” for a sweet twist on a Southern classic.
You can take a look at their full dinner menu here.
However, the meal itself is only one part of the fun of this restaurant.
In addition, its dark and cozy ambiance will transport you to colonial times.
Make sure to ask your server to share the history of the property, including the fun ghost stories!
Speaking of ghosts, you must check out the historic and haunted “Herb Room” after eating. It’s located just off of the main dining room.
The spirit of a young boy is rumored to reside here.
This restaurant is one of the city hot spots, so I definitely suggest making a reservation.
The Pirate’s House is located at 20 E. Broad Street.
Savannah is one of the most haunted cities in America, which fills my little horror-fanatic heart with delight.
Therefore, no trip to this spooky city is complete without a ghost tour, one of the absolute best things to do in Savannah!
While many tours run outdoors at night to up the creepy factor, it was pouring when we wanted to take one.
Although this limited our options, it ended up being a blessing in disguise.
We managed to find an indoor alternative at the haunted Sorrel Weed Mansion.
This house sits on the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the American Revolutionary War.
Since it was my first time doing a ghost tour, I thought it might be a little hokey.
Thankfully, I was wrong.
In fact, this tour was my absolute favorite part of our three-day adventure.
First off, our guide was excellent.
Rather than trying to convince you that everything unusual was paranormal, he’d carefully dissect every other potential explanation first.
He’d only then suggest paranormal activity after ruling out all rational possibilities.
While I don’t want to give too much away, I’ll give you a little taste of what you can expect.
Guests aren’t just allowed to take photos here; you’re actually encouraged to do so.
In fact, the property operates a community Facebook page and encourages visitors to share any unusual observations. You’re welcome to submit any questionable photos/videos you take during the tour for further investigation…
…And then there’s the guests who discover strange images in their photographs while on the tour.
In fact, one family abruptly left mid-tour after an unexplainable apparition appeared in a photograph the father took of his daughters….
….This happened while they were the only ones in the room….
Needless to say, I can’t recommend this tour highly enough!
Tour spaces are limited, so make sure to book in advance. You can reserve your spot here.
The Sorrel Weed Mansion is located on 6 W Harris Street off of Madison Square. Use the Bull Street entrance to access the courtyard, where the tour begins.
However, if you’d prefer to take a spooky walking/trolley tour or do a haunted pub crawl, there are plenty of other options.
Here are some eerie alternatives to consider:
I’m sending you to Mirabelle Savannah, my favorite breakfast place in the city, for your final day.
This café-meets-AirBnb serves up deliciousness on the ground floor and charming suites for rent upstairs.
Mirabelle Savannah is located at 313 Abercorn Street.
After waffle wonderland, stop by the beautiful Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist, located just across the street.
This stunning Roman Catholic cathedral is a symbol of Savannah. You’ll have to capture a picture of this beauty, even if you don’t go inside.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to check out the church interior, head here for information on self-guided tours.
Lafayette Square is right in the area as well. It’s my favorite of Savannah’s 22 squares, as I mentioned earlier. This square is incredibly romantic with its central fountain and view of the cathedral.
Spend a little time here if you haven’t done so yesterday!
Lafayette Square is located at 201 E. Charleton Street on the corner of Charlton and Abercorn Street.
While there are so many wonderful things to do in Savannah itself, there’s also beauty on the outskirts as well.
Since it’s your last day, I recommend venturing out on a day trip to Tybee Island. It’s conveniently located just 20 minutes from downtown Savannah.
Tybee is Georgia’s barrier island and has served as a vacation hotspot since the late 1800s.
It’s the perfect escape from city life with its clean beaches and funky beachside restaurants.
One of the main draws is the Tybee Island Light Station and Museum. This is the oldest and tallest lighthouse in Georgia and one of the most intact in America.
That said, the lighthouse has undergone a bit of a tumultuous history.
General James Oglethorpe first ordered the construction of the lighthouse in 1732. Despite its completion in 1736, the original tower was destroyed in a storm five years later.
Although it was reconstructed, the second version was taken by tides and erosion and then replaced again by a third tower.
An additional tower was added in 1822 to form a navigation range for ships. Unfortunately, these were burned by Confederate forces during the Civil War.
1866 began the start of a fourth attempt at a rebuild, but this was quickly dismissed by a cholera outbreak.
Although it eventually went up, it largely came down again during an 1871 hurricane.
The lighthouse was later hooked up with electricity in 1931, became automated in 1972, and underwent major restoration in 1999.
Under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, the lighthouse was repainted to reflect its former black-and-white-striped appearance.
The rest, as they say, is history!
Here are some fun tours to consider while on Tybee Island:
Lighthouse visiting hours are every day except Tuesday from 9AM to 4:30PM.
(Of course, we mistakenly tried to go on a Tuesday, which is why I’m emphasizing this.)
Tickets offer access to the Light Station, the Tybee Raised Cottage, and the Tybee Museum.
Head here for additional admission information and policies.
In addition to the lighthouse, Tybee offers family-friendly beaches and fun eateries. I recommend grabbing a bite here for lunch before heading back to the city for the grand finale!
You simply must enjoy a panoramic view of the Savannah skyline before heading home.
Fortunately, there’s no better place to do it – with a cocktail in hand – than at Peregrin.
This open-air rooftop deck sits atop the posh Perry Lane Hotel and specializes in hand crafted cocktails and bar-inspired bites.
You can check out their menu here.
I’m not sure if it was the striking view, the mean drink they made me, or the high of the trip, but this place was a vibe within itself.
10/10 would recommend.
Make a reservation and don’t fuss if you can’t get there in time for sunset. The sky was already dark when we were here and it was just as special.
Peregrin is located at 256 E Perry Street.
You’ll need to enter through the hotel and take the elevator up to the roof when you arrive.
While we’re in the spirit of going out with a bang, you can’t miss a chance to dine at The Olde Pink House.
This is one of the things to do in Savannah, not just for the food, but for the experience as well.
Here, you’ll enjoy Southern cuisine with a twist in a (haunted) colonial mansion.
The Olde Pink House was truly unlike any other dining experience I’ve had.
You’ll feel like you’re a true guest of the home, rather than an ordinary restaurant patron.
Instead of sitting in a typical restaurant dining space, you’ll be seated in one of several semi-private colonial-style rooms.
The experience feels exclusive and the food is excellent.
Start off the night with their signature drink, “The Olde Pink House ‘Pink Lady'” and order an appetizer.
We had the “Goat Cheese Stuffed Artichoke Fritters” and they were divine.
I can also recommend the pork chop with Southern-style macaroni and cheese.
In addition, I’ve heard excellent things about the scallops from a friend.
You can check out their full dinner menu here.
I wish I could suggest a dessert for your last night, but we were so stuffed by the end that we couldn’t manage one.
You must make a reservation for The Olde Pink House. As one of the most popular restaurants in the city, they book up extremely quickly.
For instance, we booked our table a few days in advance and there was only one time slot left.
You also have to ask your server to tell you about the haunted history of the house. I promise it will enhance your experience.
In addition, make sure to check out the home after your meal. Your server will likely encourage this, as it’s a great way to cap off the evening.
And who knows? You may even conjure up a paranormal experience!
The Olde Pink House is located at 23 Abercorn Street.
While I’d love to include a hotel recommendation in this guide, unfortunately, our accommodations weren’t what we hoped.
So I’m just going to come right out and say:
Do NOT stay at The Clarion Inn & Suites Savannah Midtown.
In fact, I’m intentionally not linking to their page, as I don’t want to give them free website traffic out of principle.
Here’s why you should avoid staying at this property:
- The hotel staff didn’t adhere to proper masking guidelines. Either they weren’t wearing masks at all or they wore them as useless “chin diapers.”
- The staff won’t go out of their way (in any capacity) to help you with basic room maintenance. For instance, our toilet was clogged and the front desk associate didn’t provide us with a plunger. She claimed she didn’t have access to the maintenance personnel. Needless to say, my husband went out and purchased a plunger himself. Truly unbelievable.
- Our room was poorly cared for; e.g. our bathroom door didn’t close. (We later discovered that we needed to slam it shut to get it to fit in the doorframe.)
- Our towels had noticeable stains on them.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t even the worst of it…
As bad as all this was, the worst thing that happened during our stay was the theft.
My bike – which was properly locked to our car – was stolen off of its rack in the hotel parking lot overnight.
That’s right, folks! The thief used a cable cutter to slice straight through the bike lock on hotel property.
Unfortunately, the parking lot is located in front of the hotel facing a busy street and there’s no garage. As a result, your belongings will not be secure here!
This incident was quite the send-off, to say the least.
Although we had an awful hotel experience, I’m determined not to let it taint my overall experience of this wonderful city.
By extension, I don’t want it to ruin yours, so do yourself a favor and stay anywhere else!
That said, regardless of where you stay, theft can be an issue, as I experienced first-hand. As a result, be mindful of your belongings and your surroundings, particularly at night.
Since I really hate to end this itinerary on a negative note, I’ve heard fantastic things about the Historic Inns of Savannah.
This collection of six boutique hotels was built in the mid-to-late-1800s and offers a true taste of Southern hospitality and historic charm.
(Plus, I sincerely doubt you’ll need to worry about any of the issues we faced at the catastrophic Clarion.)
When my husband and I come back to the city – which we most certainly will – we intend to stay at one of these lovely properties.
This brings us to the end of what I hope will be a helpful itinerary of the best things to do in Savannah.
Again, I encourage you to use this guide however you see fit. Ultimately, I hope it will relieve a great deal of stress from your trip planning process.
Savannah is such a unique city and I think it deserves a spot at the top of every traveler’s list.
Now I’m curious to know: Have you ever been to Georgia’s historic gem? If so, what were some of your favorite things to do in Savannah?
Let me know in the comments below!