Newbies often suffer from the fish-out-of-water dilemma. When making a splash in the Garden City, try seeking out the tried and true things to do in Savannah. Consult this ultimate go-and-do list for a greatest-hits look at the richly historic southern city.
Savannah’s history practically oozes from the cobblestone streets and the floorboards of its historic houses. Yet, this 30-acre park may be the epicenter of it all. A key spot for people-watching, live music, a bustling farmer’s market, and more, Forsyth Park’s heart is its fountain. Built in 1858, it still flows on the park’s north end. Visit it on St. Patrick’s Day, and you’ll find the fountain gurgling with green.
This retail, restaurant, arts, and entertainment district spans a block in both directions. Visitors fill their gullets at City Market eateries, which are both casual and foodie-centric. Strokes of paint and other visual art gleam at area galleries. Shoppers fill bags at multiple spots, while others unwind to live music and tip back libations at watering holes.
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Some liken the structure, with its gothic spires and ultra-ornate interior, to some of Europe’s grand medieval churches. Architecture enthusiasts would likely find something inspiring at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, which dates back to the late 1800s. It stands adjacent to Lafayette Square in the historic district and opens for public tours Mondays through Saturdays.
Sprawling almost 100 acres, Bonaventure Cemetery not only serves as a memorial to the dearly departed across decades, many of the hyper-detailed headstones and statues prove museum worthy. A muse for authors, artists, and other creatives, Bonaventure is the final resting place for poet Conrad Aiken, songwriter Johnny Mercer, and others. Natural beauty comes in the form of the seemingly endless drapery of Spanish moss weeping from the trees.
Among the things to do in Savannah, River Street always rises toward the top. Running parallel alongside the Savannah River, the waterfront district with cobblestone streets welcomes travelers and locals for shopping, eating, and drinking. The old cotton warehouses play host to pubs, both upscale and relaxed restaurants, tacky shops, art galleries, and more. Plop on a park bench and simply soak up the surroundings. The river views arguably remain the best in town.
A quick eighteen-mile drive from Savannah’s historic district, Tybee Island offers three miles of sweeping sand with public access, and salt marshes hosting wildlife. More than two dozen restaurants tempt taste buds, and deep sea charters allow anglers to catch their own meals.
Perhaps the best way to get a crash course in Savannah would be signing up for one or several of its many tours. Walking treks through the historic district, trolley rides around Savannah’s squares, food-related experiences, and ghost tours of some historically haunted locales make up a small portion of Savannah tour options.