Savannah, Georgia : Best Sights to See in a Weekend
Savannah is one of the country’s most romantic – and most haunted – cities, with so many must see sights . Featuring grand mansions, lovely gardens, compelling history. Savannah is a charming town , with old colonial-style houses line its dignified streets and Spanish moss driving from the oak trees .
Sights to See in Savannah GA
When the first European settlers arrived in Savannah, they were met with sights unfamiliar to them – a muddy river, pesky mosquitoes and alligators, and an overwhelming, seemingly never-ending forest. Fast forward a few centuries later and Savannah still has sights to see – but they’re much different than before. No one is running away from the pesky alligators of yore, but visitors now come for a new kind of experience: With its open container law and its beach nearby on Tybee Island drawing in crowds eager to relax. Plus local favorites like seafood-lovers headed to get their fix, it’s no surprise that Savannah has something for everyone. Its demographics show an interesting mix of races as well. African Americans make up the majority. Young entrepreneurs are popping up left and right and students from the Savannah College of Art and Design are embracing diversity in stride.
Things to See and do in Savannah in a Weekend
Best way to see Savannah ? Get on your feet.
Visiting Savannah by foot certainly has its perks – sights you would miss if traveling any other way! From the sweeping staircases to the decadent frosted glass doors, plus all of the intricate details of the wrought-iron grillwork and delicate gas lanterns, this city will captivate your senses. Even unexpected sights like ornamental oriels and guardian lion statues perched atop buildings can be seen at every turn. And if you’re a fan of crossword puzzles, know that they are definitely not a waste of time. You don’t want to miss these show-stealer dolphin-shaped drainpipes while in Savannah! So wear appropriate footwear, as your feet may tire with such sights to see …
By far the best way to see Savannah is walking through a city. You will catch every detail and will experience more than you would touring other ways . But it does take a toll on your feet. Be kind to yourself and wear the appropriate footwear.
Savannah Parks and Squares
James Oglethorpe, who founded Savannah in 1733went with the Roman plan and designed it on a grid with squares at regular intervals.
The city has 20 vibrant, open squares, each with a mix of public buildings and private homes. The most well known squares –Johnson, Wright, Chippewa, Madison and Monterey . Most of the squares are dedicated to local heroes, and came adorned with a selection of memorial statues – 19th century to its founders and military heroes.
Savannah calls its leafy green squares “outdoor living rooms”
Chippewa Square, more affectionately known as the “Forrest Gump square,” is one of the most sought-after spots in all of Savannah. You’ll find it in an area bustling with restaurants, theatres and ice cream parlors. Chippewa Square“one of the most historic streets in America” but has also gained fame due to its movie reputation. Tourists flock to this square just to get a photo taken at the spot where Tom Hanks declared that….
“life is like a box of chocolates.”
Ironically enough, the bench Forrest sat on was actually a movie prop that now roosts peacefully inside the Savannah History Museum.
Madison Square still reigns supreme when it comes to taking in classic Savannah vibes. From elegant homes to grand public statues such as William Jasper’s Alexander Doyle statue – this truly is an unforgettable spot.
Forsyth park in Savannah
Forsyth Park in Savannah is a delight for both locals and those visiting the city. It’s an oasis of greenery that’s much more than ‘Savannah’s answer to Central Park.’
Get lost among grand allées, oak-lined paths, broad lawns and shaded corners while dog-walkers and street musicians provide live entertainment!
Whether you’re after some quality ‘me’-time or want to experience the sights & sounds of the lively local culture, you’ll love Forsyth Park. there’s something for everyone, whether it be an appreciation of the grand allées, oak lined paths and broad lawns or opportunities to join giggling couples taking romantic photos by the ornate fountain.
Forsyth Park is Savannah’s answer to Central Park.In Forsyth Park , a gorgeous 30-acre expanse , lovers are drawn to a magnificent fountain ramed by ancient oak trees to the south end of the park.
As you continue your wanderings down the grassy fields and peek around old oak trees, your journey should guide you to the south end of the park. Here rests a majestic fountain lined with statues and artifacts. A replica inspired by the very stylish Place de la Concorde in Paris. And just when you think it couldn’t get more interesting– surprise! They’ve also got a exact copy of the beauty in Cusco, Peru!
It’s also home to theater and music and arts events all year round .
Tip : Don’t miss the tiny, walled Garden of Fragrance, a strange park-within-a-park that lives up to its name
The Book is so notorious in Savannah that locals barely need to utter the title. In 1994, John Berendt published his award-winning beast of a novel – “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”. Since then, it’s become nothing short of a phenomenon. Much more than a true crime story, it follows the trial of an antiques dealer accused of killing a male prostitute.
With plenty of unique twists including an eccentric drag queen named The Lady Chablis and a man who walks flies along Savannah’s historic streets.
Tour guides give endless references to ‘the book’ and its characters. While today it still stands as one of the most memorable tales to come out of Georgia’s oldest city.
River Street in Savannah
River Street in Savannah is a one-stop shop for tourists – jam packed with galleries, artists’ studios, restaurants and pubs. It’s guaranteed to leave you at a loss for words (and wallet). But fret not! It also comes with plenty of seating and vendors. So you can rest your feet after buying all the souvenirs you need. A walk along River Street is like an homage to Savannah’s past. Cobbled stones and saxophonists take your breath away with delightful jazz soundtracks for the perfect backdrop. While most of the areas are free for all Scrooges out there, River Street still manages to be Southern hospitality personified with something for everyone. So go ahead, take a chance and explore that riverfront!
Whether you’re looking for a place to watch the sunset, or something to do for the kids, you’ll have no trouble finding it here. Even history buffs will find plenty to explore thanks to True Grits; the shop specializes in Civil War artifacts. If reading is more your thing, Books on Bay offers a huge selection of literature spanning centuries. In fact, it features thousands of books from the 1700s to the late 1900s. Plus, don’t forget all the restaurants, bars, galleries and candy stores to satisfy your cravings!
Tip : Looking for an exceptional, reasonably priced view of the river and beyond? Try one of the rooftop bars on River Street during happy hour . Rocks on the Roof and Top Deck Bar are both great choices.
Savannah homes and architecture
Seeing is believing in Savannah. The city’s marvelous architecture is like stepping back into the time of grand mansions and charming cobblestone streets. Homeowners can be proud to call these restored Federal, Italianate, and Regency-style homes their own as they’re flung open to the public. Tourist groups regularly traipse through favourites like the Owens-Thomas House and Museum. Otherwise known as one of America’s finest examples of Regency architecture! All in all, it’s no wonder why Savannah is sometimes referred to by her adoring locals as “The Land of Eternal Beauty”.
The Owens-Thomas House and Museum is considered one of the finest examples of Regency architecture in the country. This gem tucked away on 124 Abercorn Street.
You don’t have to know the difference between Greek Revival and Classical Revival, Romanesque, Regency and Italianate to be bowled over by block after block of stately mansions. I can just about manage to tell a Federalist home (fanlights) from a Victorian one (towers).
Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah is a true gem and can be quite the eerie experience. It won’t take long for the wonders of Bonaventure to make you forget about the creepy vibes! It is one of the city’s must-sees, if only for Shannon Scott’s guided tour filled with tales of Savannah’s history, architecture, and artistry. On top of all this, Bonaventure Cemetery hosts famous graves and statues such as those of Mercer, Aiken and Little Gracie.
Savannah historic landmarks
Savanah’s rich history is evident in its many squares. Wright Square is home to two noteworthy monuments :
the Gordon Monument and a giant boulder – in honor of William Washington Gordon, who founded Central Georgia Railway.
Savanah was also the site for Ellis Square and its bustling markets. Right before it urbanized and left only the monument standing until it was restored in 2005.
Last but not least is Savanah’s Johnson Square. It has for centuries been the place for celebrations, meetings and religious festivities – a testament to Savanah’s resilience!
Old Fort Jackson
Old Fort Jackson is a must-see for visitors to Savannah! Built in 1808 and part of the city’s coastal defense network during the Civil War, Old Fort Jackson is a National Historic Landmark. It’s the oldest standing brick fortification in Savannah and provides visitors with a wealth of historic displays about its service in protecting the area. Plus, for added fun, Old Fort Jackson offers a canon-firing program so you can get an authentic taste of what it was like back during the Civil War. Don’t miss out – plan your visit to Old Fort Jackson today!
Savannah’s art galleries are a great way to experience the localart scene and see works by Savannah artists. City Market‘s catchy tagline is “the art and soul of Savannah.” This pedestrian-only courtyard bustles throughout the day thanks to an eclectic mix of art galleries, knickknack shops, cafes, sit-down restaurants, and bars. If you want to support local business owners and craftspeople with your hard-earned tourist dollars, City Market is a great place to start.
Savannah College of Art and Design
The creativity overflows from the nearby Savannah College of Art and Design or SCAD, is on display in a number of galleries .
Some galleries can be found around tourist-oriented River Street. You can browse by yourself to take an organized art tour , for example the second Saturday Art Walk , tours Savannah’s downtown galleries once per month , the admission is free .
Tip : There are all kinds of amazing galleries scattered around town. But none can compete with the SCAD Museum of Art (admission, $10), definitely a must see in Savannah
Visiting Tybee Island
The most relaxing of all Savannah sights
It’s easy to forget how close the city is to the Atlantic coast. But hop on Route 80 heading east and in about 20 minutes you’ll be driving over the bridge to Tybee Island. With wide stretches of sandy beach, the tiny barrier island, just over three square miles in size, is a favorite retreat among sun-seeking Savannahians.
Follow signs to the lighthouse, a black-and-white colonial-era tower with panoramic views of North Beach. Less crowded than other parts of the island, North Beach is also ideal for a swim, a stroll or — best of all — a lazy afternoon swing on one of the hanging wooden benches that dot this scenic stretch of Georgia seashore.
Tybee Island is colloquially known as Savannah Beach, which was its former name. This amazing tourist destination is definitely a must see sight f you are in Savanah . It offers something for every visitor. Boasting a rich history and natural beauty, Tybee Island also features a variety of exciting outdoor recreational activities for individuals and families. The following is a list of the top 10 things you can do on Tybee Island.
Tybee Island, also known colloquially as Savannah Beach, may be the ultimate unpretentious beach destination. After all, where else does one knock off flip-flops at a wedding and arrive late to Sunday mass without a care in the world? Located on Georgia’s hundred mile shoreline between South Carolina and Florida, this stunning retreat is more than just a beach. It has something for everyone! From sun worshipers seeking some R&R on its luxurious shores…to outdoor adventurers ready to explore the island’s many excursions – such as fishing, dolphin-spotting or low tide hunting – Tybee Island is an enriching coastal paradise that should not be missed.
Tybee Island is an idyllic slice of paradise along the Georgia shoreline. With its doors wide open and locals adhering to their “when in Rome” mentality. From Sunday mass to Tybee weddings, flip-flops are the official dress code – only further enhancing the laid-back charm that radiates from here. While marveling at its picturesque scenes, it’s easy to forget the strategic role the island played during the Civil War… Fort Pulaski was situated by its side and considered a safe haven for vessels of war. When the Union soldiers began firing upon it, we can only image what chaos ensued! Sadly, sackcloth and ashes were likely required attire for Savannah’s rebels.
Food and drink in Savannah Georgia
Savannah, Georgia is a must-visit for all food-lovers! The coastal city has an impressive range of places to satisfy your taste buds. So no matter if it’s something fancy or comfort food you’re after, you won’t be disappointed. From soulful fried chicken spots and delectable dessert parlors to craft beer breweries and locally sourced seafood, Savannah has got it all. And the best part? You can enjoy it all while taking in those signature Southern vibes.
Nothing says Southern cooking like shrimp and grits. This traditional combo has been a hit in households across the South for generations. And now it’s becoming a favorite in fine dining establishments throughout the country. Creamy, comforting grits provide the perfect base for flavorful shrimp sautéed to perfection with smoked sausage, ham, onions, garlic and more. Each chef puts their own spin on the dish. Making it a fun experience to travel around and try out various versions of this classic meal. So why not put on an apron and get cookin’ up some Southern hospitality? Shrimp and grits is sure to satisfy any craving!