Established in 1733 on the Savannah River, Savannah was first part of a noble experiment set up by a group of British “Trustees” who banned slavery and encouraged friendly relationships between the British colony and the Native Americans who lived nearby. Savannah is a popular travel destination in the south of the United States – it’s tree-lined streets draped with Spanish moss, friendly residents, and old-world taverns, restaurants, and cafes make it an enviable weekend getaway, especially in the fall. Here are our recommendations of attractions not to miss during your visit to this historical city:
It’s easy to see why this park is frequently used as a venue for outdoor wedding ceremonies (we saw no less than 7 weddings taking place in Savannah – one at Forsyth Park – during our weekend trip in October). Occupying 30 acres of land, this is the largest park in the city of Savannah and is a lovely place to sit by the beautiful fountain, or walk through the large expanses of green lined with Spanish moss-covered oaks.
Wormsloe Historic Site
Home to Noble Jones who played a major role in the development of the first British colony of Savannah, this is a stunning place to visit: not only to admire the mile long, tree-covered driveway, but to learn about the development of the colony and the problems it faced following its inception. You can walk the 700 yards from the museum at the end of the driveway (don’t miss the short film at the museum detailing the history of the colony) to see the ruins of the home of Noble Jones. Go further to enjoy picturesque views over the marshlands, see an old blacksmith forge, and even a cricket ground – the sport obviously played by the British when they first moved to the New World!
Savannah Historic District
Park at one of the “Public Parking” spaces (usually US$5 a day) and take a walk around the historic district of Savannah. See the Andrew Low House, home to the founder of the Girl Scouts, Juliette Low. Admire the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist – the spires of which are visible from most parts of the city.
John Square, Monterey Square, Wright Square etc.
One of our favorite things about Savannah is how green it is. There are numerous squares around the city, which you can relax and even people watch at. There’s a reason why Savannah is known to be one of the most “romantic” cities in the United States.
Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum
We don’t like to say “must-see” but this really is a must-see in Savannah! Learn about the birth of the economic boycott of retailers who refused to serve food to black customers on their premises, and the fight for civil rights in the city and greater state of Georgia. The exhibits are informative and well-presented, and we strongly recommend you visit this thought-provoking museum during your trip.
American Prohibition Museum
Follow up the Gilbert Civil Rights Museum with a fun yet informative visit to the American Prohibition Museum! Nestled by Ellis Square, home to many markets and fall concerts, the prohibition museum guides you through the fight for the ban of liquor by “Carrie Nation” and the Temperance Movement, the legislation that banned it all, and the very creative methods taken by people to smuggle and consume liquor during Prohibition. Truth be told, this has been one of our favorite museums up to date.
Did you know that there was a sharp uptick in the enrollment of Judaic ministers during the Prohibition? Some of them had suspicious names like “O-Leary”… these religious ministers were allowed to handle wine during the the times of Prohibition…
You also won’t see Walgreens the same way again.
Restaurants on River Street
Take a walk down River Street in the evening to catch the sunset colors dancing over the Savannah River. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from here: we can recommend The Boar’s Head Grill & Tavern (a restaurant in an old cotton mill). Savannah’s Candy Kitchen next door is a good stop to make for dessert!
Lunch at Café M
If you’re looking for restaurants for lunch, Café M is an excellent option. They provide French-themed menu items at very reasonable prices, and quaint outdoor seating. The portions are sizeable and delicious.
Old Fort Jackson
Take a drive two miles east of the city of Savannah to see this 19th century fort. You can take a self-guided tour inside, see daily cannon firings, or just enjoy the view.
If you have more time: Telfair Museums
Arguably, one of the best things about Savannah is being outside. However, perhaps you visited during the winter/on a rainy day/have more time. The Telfair Museums in the heart of the historic district was the first public art museum to open in the United States. It houses a variety of American and European art, and is a good way to learn about the aesthetic history of Savannah and Georgia as well (but don’t miss out on the Gilbert Museum first!)
Inspired? Pin us!