Savannah, GA is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the Southeast. Soaked in Southern charm, Savannah features oak trees covered with Spanish moss, horse-drawn carriages, historical architecture, and haunted houses. Here are the top 10 things to do in or near Savannah, GA, especially for first-time visitors!
1. Explore River Street
River Street is one of the highlights of Savannah! It is located next to the Savannah River so you will see many cargo ships entering into the port as you explore the area. Cobblestones line the street and historic buildings greet you on the side of the street. It is a big tourist area, and this street is always packed with people so be prepared for crowds. My favorite stops along River Street are: Hueys for breakfast (make sure to get the beignets with the praline sauce), River Sweet Treats (make sure to get the free sample), Vic’s on the River is perfect for dinner/date night, and Rocks on the Roof (rooftop bar with the best views of the River). Most of the shops on River Street are made for tourists, but River Street Market Place features many handmade items and is my favorite place to shop at!
2. Explore Broughton Street
Broughton Street is just a couple blocks away from River Street. Make sure to visit the beautiful squares that will be along the walk over to Broughton. For lunch or dinner, the Olde Pink House is the perfect place to enjoy a Southern home-cooked meal. Broughton Street features mainly brand name shops and a few restaurants. My favorites on Broughton Street are: Leopold’s Ice Cream (get here early, there is almost always a line out the door), Paris Market (pick up a couple macarons), Savannah Bee Company (you can enjoy free samples here, make sure to try the tupelo honey), and Blends a Coffee Boutique.
3. Walk around City Market
City Market is also in the Downtown Savannah area just a couple blocks from River Street. City Market is a mixed-use area for both dining and art. My favorite spots in City Market include Vinnie Van Go-Go’s for huge slices of pizza and Thomas Kinkade City Market Gallery (you can even see Disney art here).
4. Visit Cathedral of John the Baptist
Cathedral of John the Baptist is a Roman Catholic Cathedral that was established before the end of the 18th century. Visiting this Cathedral feels like you stepped into a Cathedral in Europe, with stained glass windows all along the walls. This Cathedral is a must-visit in Savannah, and it is also located in the Downtown historic area.
5. Farmers Market in Forsyth Park
The Forsyth Farmers Market is the perfect way to spend a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning in Savannah. This farmers market is every Saturday morning from 9 AM- 1 PM. At the market, you can find fresh fruit and vegetables as well as handmade baked goods. While exploring the market, make sure to stroll through the 30 acres of park and take a picture in front of the famous fountain here.
6. Visit Wormsloe Historic Site
Wormsloe Historic Site is a stunning avenue lined with live oaks and spanish moss leading to the Wormsloe’s tabby ruin. There is a cost for admission, but the $10 you pay to get in is worth every cent for the pictures you are able to capture. There are guided tours that you can attend, but you are also able to explore the area and the nature trail on your own.
7. Tybee Island
Tybee Island is a barrier island along the coast of Georgia, and it is considered Savannah’s beach. Make sure to take in the marsh views on the drive over to this beautiful island. There’s plenty of things to do on the island including exploring the Tybee Island lighthouse, visiting Fort Pulaski, exploring the beach, heading on a dolphin tour, kayaking to the Cockspur Island Lighthouse, or buying your favorite latte from Tybean Art & Coffee Bar.
8. Oatland Island Wildlife Center
This cozy wildlife center is home to more than 150 animals from 50 unique species. There are plenty of educational programs here for the children. Some of the animals you can see here including the gray wolf, birds of prey (including bald eagles), and reptiles such as snakes, alligators, and turtles.
9. Take a tour
Being a tourist city, Savannah has more tours than you can even imagine. There are walking tours, trolley tours, wine tours, ghost tours, and even cemetery tours. There is a tour for every person in the family. This is the perfect way to see the city, hear the history (whether haunted or not), and explore the best of what this charming southern town has to offer.
10. Tanger Outlets
For those who cannot get enough shopping or a good deal, make sure to stop by the Tanger Outlets. Here you can find many brand name stores as well as several boutiques and local gift stores. Stop by shopper services to see if you qualify to get a coupon book (such as AAA member or a student) and shop till your heart’s desire!
Savannah, Georgia is the home of southern charm. There is something fun here for everyone whether it is shopping, dining, walking, exploring art galleries, trying out water activities, or just visiting the beach for a relaxing afternoon. Let Savannah show you all this beautiful city has to offer!