Savannah Bucket List
Savannah, Georgia is easily one of the most beautiful cities in the South, and even the entire country. The city is defined by its riverside, which helped cement its place in history as an important port in the South. This history provides one of the main draws for visitors to come to Savannah, and the history has been lovingly preserved so that it can be continued to be remembered by residents and visitors alike. There’s so much to love about the city, that we created this bucket list of 50 must-see and must-experiences attractions in the Savannah area. Check out the list below and see if there’s anything you’ve missed out on!
Get out on the water with a Savannah Riverboat Sightseeing Lunch & Dinner Cruises
Savannah is defined by its waterfront and port, so what better way to experience the city than by taking savannah suds walking beer tour riverboat cruise with the River Street Riverboat Company? The River Street Riverboat Company cruises offer views of the historic Savannah waterfront on board a traditional paddlewheel riverboat. The company offers a variety of cruises to embark on, including brunch, lunch, and dinner cruises; historical and sightseeing cruises; and even relaxing sunset and moonlight cruises under the stars. For all of the cruises, make sure you don’t forget your camera, because you won’t get a better view of the city and its landmarks like the famous ‘Waving Girl’ and Talmadge Bridge.
Get spooked at the Gribble House Paranormal Experience
If you’re in the mood for a frightful experience, you’ll want to check out the Gribble House Paranormal Experience. The Gribble House was the scene of a 1909 triple homicide where three women were brutally murdered by the estranged husband of Maggie Hunter, a renter who had just moved into the home with the other two women a day before, and you’ll have the opportunity to see the decidedly spooky house firsthand. You’ll hear about the history of the house, personal testimonies of the guides, and listen to several EVP recordings from past expert investigations. You’ll even be given the equipment that professional ghost hunters use, so you can get the best paranormal experience possible.
The Davenport House Museum is one of the oldest buildings in historic Savannah, and it details the colored history of life in the southern town through detailing the history of the house. The museum includes over 500 items from the property and Savannah, including texts, furniture, ceramics, books, and more. You’ll learn how the Davenport House was restored historically, and how the house’s restoration catalyzed the restoration efforts of historic buildings across the entire city of Savannah. Tours are offered daily, and last about an hour, which makes adding the museum to your Savannah bucket list an easy proposition.
The Harper Fowlkes House is a 19th century mansion full of period antiques and artwork, which will take you back in time to antebellum Savannah. The house has been extensively restored several times, and is a sight to see inside and out. Architecture buffs will be delighted by the Greek Revival design and many interesting features and the extensive gardens will make the most ardent gardeners blush. The house manages to feel cozy and homely despite its stature and antique decor. You’ll also see the legacy of Alida Harper, the primary benefactor of the house, who was instrumental in the restoration of the property to the beautiful standard you see today. The house is currently hosts tours, as well as private events such as weddings and parties.
Get a history lesson on the Civil War Walking Tour
Civil War history is everywhere in Savannah, and the best way to see it is through a Civil War Walking Tour. Savannah, much like many other southern cities, was undeniably changed by the Civil War and this 90 minute tour covers 1.25 miles and the best historic sites in Savannah, starting with the Confederate Soldier’s Memorial in Forsyth Park. Your tour guide will share common and obscure facts about the Civil War in Savannah, and you will begin to see the city from a different point of view. You’ll visit various mansions, such as the Green-Meldrim House where Tecumseh Sherman set up headquarters during his march through the south in 1864, along with monuments and memorials commemorating the people who lived through the tumultuous time.
If you’re over 21, the Savannah Martini Tour is a great way to sample the nightlife of the town. The 90 minute bar crawl covers four different bars, with a different martini from each. The bars that you’ll visit are known for being genuine local watering holes, instead of more tourist-focused. You’ll also learn about more about Savannah, including celebrity stories, historical facts, and urban legends and myths. Each martini you taste will be different from the last, including cosmopolitans and elderflower martinis. The tour benefits from one of the best parts of the Savannah legal code: liberal open container laws. You can take each martini on the road, so you’ll be able to fully enjoy it.
The Historic District is at the heart of the city of Savannah, and it is one of the most beautiful city centers in the country. The Historic District features cobblestone streets, beautiful old oak trees with Spanish moss hanging from the branches, and a number of ornate gardens. The district is actually the largest National Historic Landmark District in the United States, as it contains over 20 city blocks of famous museums, churches, landmarks, and houses, not to mention forts from the American Revolution and the Civil War. The district is also the artistic and cultural home of Savannah, with numerous festivals, concerts, and outdoor theater productions. If you’re hungry, be sure to check out the district’s outdoor cafes and gourmet restaurants.
If martinis aren’t exactly your adult beverage of choice, there’s always the Savannah Suds Walking Beer Tour. Savannah is full of craft brew pubs, so you’ll be getting a great experience no matter your taste in beer, as each brew pub will have several varieties available. The tour ends at the award winning Moon River Brewery, famous for being Savannah’s haunted brewery. Along the way, you’ll learn about the history of brewing in Savannah, see how beer is brewed, and you’ll gain a greater respect for the art of brewing. Like the martini tour, the beer tour benefits from liberal open container laws, so you’ll be able to take each beer on the way to the next location.
Savannah has long been a maritime hub for the east coast, so history buffs would be remiss to skip out on the Ships of the Sea Museum. The museum details the history of ships and maritime practices in the area, and you’ll learn about how the city’s naval history helped inform the culture of Savannah through history. The museum is located in the Scarborough House, which was owned by a prominent shipping merchant who typified the naval culture of the town. Inside, you’ll see five detailed models of ships, including the steamship Savannah, which became the first steam powered ship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Outside, you’ll be able to peruse the gardens, which include traditional Georgian flowers and the former official US Weather Station for Savannah.
River Street is Savannah’s primary waterfront district, with over 70 businesses, shops, and restaurants. The area is full of old cotton warehouses that have been revitalized, creating one of the trendier parts of the old southern city. The district features brew pubs, gourmet restaurants, art galleries, boutiques, and antique shops. The River Street district is also home to a variety of boutique inns that are both romantic and scenic, so you can stay where the action is. You’ll love strolling leisurely through the district while taking in the scenes of the river, like large ships heading into one of the nation’s largest ports, or see monuments like the “Waving Girl” and the Olympic Cauldron monument.
The Pirates’ House tavern is thought to be the oldest standing building in all of Georgia, as it was established in 1753. Back then, the building had a reputation for the unsavory sailors and pirates that would meet there. Often times, as legend has it, drunken men at the Pirates’ House would be kidnapped and pressed into ship service. Other legends tell of underground tunnels that were used for smuggling rum and other contraband. Today, the Pirates House continues to be a restaurant, and continues with the pirate theme. You can even see one of the original copies of the classic pirate adventure novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson on the walls. Best of all, the food is pretty good too.
The Sorrel-Weed House may not look like anything more than your standard beautiful Savannah Greek revival mansion from the outside, but it is considered to be one of the most haunted locations in the city, if not the entire country. Visitors have heard odd sounds, voices, and even seen shadowy figures while several others have even become violently ill. There is a reason why it has been featured on several ghost hunting television shows. Amateur and professional ghost hunters alike bring electromagnetic field detectors and infrared cameras to see if they can detect a ghost themselves. Tours are held at 10 p.m. between Thursday and Sunday, and take about 90 minutes to complete. After the tour, you’ll understand why the house has the reputation it does.
Home to over 150 animals from 50 different species, the Oatland Island Wildlife Center is one of the best places in Georgia to come face-to-face with the native wildlife of the state. Oatland Island has uncommon creatures like the grey wolf, cougars, bobcats, and flying squirrels. The center also features a variety of birds of prey including owls, hawks, and eagles. The collection is rounded out with a Georgia Farm exhibit, inhabited by animals that are commonly seen across the state’s many farms. Oatland Island has a variety of field trip programs for local schools, and will even host birthday parties where party guests will even get to interact with a wild animal.
If you want to get out to the beach while in Savannah, you’re in luck. Tybee Island features several great beaches, including South Beach, which is considered to be one of the best in the low country. South Beach is generally quite secluded, which makes it great for quiet relaxation by the sea side, and in the summer the water is warm, which makes it great for swimming. You can also go out on the pier, which juts far into the ocean. You’ll also have the opportunity to peruse local shops, check out the lighthouse, hunt for shells, eat some fresh shrimp, or just enjoy the sights and sounds. There’s no fee to get onto the beach, but you will have to pay to park.
A store devoted to unique salts may seem like an odd business, but it’s exactly what the Salt Table has been known for since 2011. The shop features over 200 different flavors of salt, and every variety is hand mixed from a secret recipe. Be sure to check out the tasting stations throughout the store in order to find your perfect salt, and the Salt Table’s “Flavor Consultants” will expertly help you pair flavors with what you plan on using it for. The store also features a variety of salt-based products, such as Himalayan salt plates that can be used for cutting boards or cooking stones. You can also find a variety of Georgia products like wines, locally grown jams and nuts, and even handmade pottery and art.
The Ancient Olive is the best place in Savannah to get interesting olive oils and balsamic vinegars. The shop features more than 55 different ultra-premium olive oils and vinegars which are perfect for a variety of cooking styles. There are also many flavored oils that feature flavors like chiles, blood orange, and even butter. The Ancient Olive also offers jams, handmade pastas, tapenades, olives, nuts, and hot sauces. You can also find a variety of art for sale, from both local and national artists. Everything you’ll see at the Ancient Olive is perfect for any home chef.
Savannah is famously home to celebrity chef Paula Deen, so of course you would have to put her restaurant on any Savannah bucket list. Since 1996, Paula Deen and her sons have been serving up some of the best southern food you can get your hands on. Dinner starts at 4 p.m. every day and features a southern buffet with all you can eat favorites like fried chicken. You can also choose from a variety of classic entrees like shrimp and grits or roasted duck and crab Florentine. The Lady and Sons is also open for lunch with a pared-down menu, but you still get access to the buffet, so be sure to stop in, ya’ll!
Honey is one of the most magical substances found in nature, with its antibiotic properties and ability to last millennia, not to mention its sweet taste. The people at the heart of the Savannah Bee Co. have a passion for honey, bees, and beekeeping, and pride themselves on offering some of the best honey varietals money can buy, including famous honeys like tupelo, and unique honeys like sourwood. The Savannah Bee Co. also features a variety of other bee-sourced products such as health and beauty products, from lotions and washes to lip balms and hand soaps, all made from honey and other bee products like royal jelly. Of course, you can also purchase a variety of bee-related gifts for children and adults alike.
Popcorn is a universally loved snack, and Savannah Rae’s Gourmet Popcorn knows how to spice it up. With over 150 special gourmet popcorn flavors, you’ll be sure to find a variety that you love. Savannah Rae’s popcorn offerings are extremely unique, on both the savory and sweet side. You will not find flavors like cucumber and dill, hot wings and blue cheese, or bubble gum popcorn anywhere else. You can also get your popcorn packaged in a variety of specialty tins, including NFL and college football themed tins. Best of all, Savannah Rae’s Gourmet Popcorn uses 100% natural ingredients, so you won’t have to worry about putting anything you can’t pronounce into your body.
Explore around Madison Square
Madison Square was named after the country’s fourth president, James Madison, and it is a focal point for Savannah history. The square was laid out in 1837 in order to remember Sgt. William Jasper, a Savannahian hero of the American Revolution, and a large monument to him defines the square. Around the square are a number of historic Savannah landmarks and mansions, such as the St. John’s Episcopal Church, the Green-Meldrim House, the Sorrel-Weed House, and the Masonic Temple. You’ll also find the Gryphon Tea room, a Victorian-era setting which opens for lunch and high tea every afternoon. You also will want to check out the oldest known independent bookstore in Savannah, E. Shafer Books and Maps, which is located on the square.
Catch a show at Historic Savannah Theatre Musical Productions
The Historic Savannah Theatre has been a fixture since 1818, and continues to be the cultural center of Savannah’s performance art scene. The theater itself has undergone a number of facelifts and rebuilds after weathering a hurricane in 1898 and a fire in 1948. Over the past couple hundred years, famous actors like W.C. Fields, Oscar Wilde, and Edwin Booth (the brother of John Wilkes Booth) have graced the stage for Savannah crowds. The theater has hosted a number of productions, such as Viva Vegas!, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change!, the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Savannah Live!. The casts of all shows are professional performers, and the shows are sure to entertain.
Investigate the paranormal with the Hauntings Walking Tour
If you’ve been following along with this list, you’ve probably come to realize that Savannah is one of the most haunted cities in America. What better way to understand this dark nature of the town than to go on a Hauntings Walking Tour? The one and a half mile tour covers five buildings that are reportedly haunted and a graveyard with connections to occult activity before the Civil War. Throughout the tour, you’ll hear grizzly stories of Savannah’s past, and hear accounts from reliable sources that are sure to make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. If you’re lucky (or unlucky), you may even run across one of these specters yourself, hear voices, or some other unexplainable phenomenon.
Taste the city with the Savannah Foody Tour
Savannah is known for its numerous acclaimed restaurants, but unfortunately you are usually confined to choosing a single location per meal. If you want to taste a wide swath of the city in one go, your best bet is the Savannah Foody Tour. With a tour itinerary of seven restaurants, including Paula Deen’s Lady & Sons, you’ll get a great taste of what Savannah’s food scene is all about. At each location, you’ll find out what goes into to preparing the dishes you are about to eat, and in between meals you’ll learn about the culinary history of Savannah and the South. The six other locations change daily, so you can always go back and take the tour again to fully experience what Savannah has to offer.
Relax outdoors at Forsythe Park
Forsyth Park is one of the largest parks in Savannah’s historic district, with over 30 acres of walking paths, green spaces, and beautiful oak trees with Spanish moss. At the center of the park is the Confederate Memorial Statue, and it commemorates the soldiers who died fighting for the Confederacy. There’s also a large fountain that gives the park an almost Parisian feel, and every St. Patrick's Day the water is dyed green as a celebration of the city’s Irish heritage. You’ll also find a Fragrant Garden for the blind, a cafe, a children’s play area, tennis and basketball courts, and even a rugby field. On Saturday mornings, be sure to stop by the Forsyth Farmers Market for some fresh local produce.
Get a history lesson at Massie Heritage Center
The Massie Heritage Center is the best place to learn about the history of Savannah from its inception until today. The center hosts several exhibits that breakdown the design of the city, the classical architectural influences and practices that define the city, and how the fastidious preservation movement became a way of life for many residents and developers in the town. Massie Heritage Center also dives into the culture and history of the Native American peoples who called the Georgian lowcountry their home before it was settled by English colonists, and it even hosts a Heritage Classroom that replicates what life was like for students in the early 1900s. Once you are finished with the museum, be sure to check out the beautiful gardens on site.
Learn about African-American culture at the King-Tisdale Cottage Museum of Black History
The King-Tisdale Cottage Museum of Black History highlights the pivotal role African-American culture has played in Savannah history since its very beginning. The museum contains a number of artifacts that help tell the story of black culture in Savannah from the early days of slavery to the present day. The museum is known for the detailed, informative, and passionate tours that help make visitors feel like they are stepping back in time. The King-Tisdell cottage also is the starting point for Negro Heritage Trail, which takes you on a tour of the roles that African-Americans have played in the founding, planning, and development of the Savannah across 30 sites in the area. African-American history is incredibly important to Savannah, so this museum is a must-see for anyone’s Savannah Bucket List.
Take a Savannah Trolley Tour
If you’d like to tour Savannah, but you’d prefer to do it while sitting down instead of walking, you’re in luck. There are many different trolley tour options and operators that will let you see Savannah. There’s the Savannah Narrated Trolley Tour that offers a Hop-On, Hop-Off experience across 14 stops, the Historic Blue Trolley Tour with 53 drive-by locations, and 10 tour stops, not to mention The Savannah Experience Trolley, the Savannah Historic Overview Trolley Tour, the Evening Haunted Trolley Tour, the Ghost Trolley Tour, and the Savannah Historic Trolley Tour. All of the tours have a different take on how to operate a tour, so whether you want to just sit back and sightsee for a while or get out and explore, there’s a trolley for you.
Take flight with Savannah Helicopter Tours
The best way to get a view of Savannah and the surrounding area is to take a Savannah Helicopter Tour with Old City Helicopters. There are a variety of options for the helicopter tours, from short sunset tours to longer surveys of Savannah and the surrounding areas. You’ll be able to see downtown Savannah from a whole new perspective, as well as places like Whitemarsh Island, Fort Pulaski, Tybee Island, and even Hilton Head, South Carolina. Each tour will take approximately 30 to 60 minutes from when you arrive to when you leave, depending on the tour, and walk-ins are welcome. Make sure you bring your camera, because you’ll be seeing views that you can’t get in any other way.
See famous movie landmarks with Savannah Movie Sites Tour
Due to its southern charm and beauty, Savannah has been a go-to location for filming many Hollywood movies set in the South. If you’re a movie buff, you will want to add the Savannah Movie Sites Tour to your Savannah Bucket List. The tour covers over 60 locations across the city, including famous filming locations like the bench at the beginning of Forrest Gump and the Mercer House from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. You’ll also see a variety of houses belonging to movie stars like Clint Eastwood, Sandra Bullock, Demi Moore, Ben Affleck, and other famous celebrities. Don’t forget to bring your camera, because who knows who you may run across.
Learn about the past with the Black History Savannah Tour
Another great way to learn about the history of African-Americans in Savannah is to take the Black History Savannah Tour. The tour covers the lives and labors of early African-Americans in the city, offering new perspectives on the plights and hardships of slaves and their descendants. The tour highlights moments in Savannah history like the “Weeping Time,” where 436 men, women and children were auctioned off and torn from their families, never to see them again. You’ll also learn about the city’s Caribbean influence at the Ye Olde Herb Shoppe, where you can try traditional conch or chicken salad with a side of mango tea, and you’ll come to understand better the formation of the Gullah and Geechee cultures that permeate the area.
Stay at Laura’s Cottage
If you are looking for a unique place to stay while in Savannah, or just want to take a weekend “stay-cation” at a B&B in the city, you should check out Laura’s Cottage. Laura’s Cottage is an authentic 18th Century pine cottage filled with period correct antiques and artwork, but also modern amenities like Wi-Fi. The cottage is spacious and private, and steps away from must-see attractions, and even features free private parking. But what really sets Laura’s Cottage apart from other B&B's in Savannah is Laura herself, the friendly ghost of an African-American Woman who lived in the cabin for 50 years. Visitors who have encountered Laura say that she wants you to feel warm and welcome, so you may notice that the cabin smells like a campfire even if the fire is out, or other peculiar circumstances.
Check out the University of Georgia Aquarium
The University of Georgia Aquarium is located on Skidaway Island and it was the only saltwater aquarium in the state until the arrival of the Georgia Aquarium in 2005. The Aquarium hosts 16 exhibit tanks that showcase a variety of Georgia’s marine life, with over 100 marine creatures that you’d normally find along the Georgian Coast. There are also displays of fossils that have been recovered from the Skidaway River, including ancient sharks, giant armadillos, whales, mastodons and mammoths. Kids will be fascinated by the touch tanks that feature Georgia’s marine invertebrates like snails and crabs. If you want to explore the outdoors, a wheelchair friendly boardwalk and nature trail allows visitors to explore the salt marsh and maritime forest nearby.
Visit the Roots Up Gallery
Art is an expression of the soul, so a visit to Roots Up Gallery will give you a new perspective on the soul of Savannah. The gallery features over 60 different lowcountry artists that typify this expression, whether their medium is painting, sculpture, jewelry, or pottery. The artists all have a style that is driven purely by their own self, so every piece comes from an innate need to create, rather than to add funds to their bank account. Many of the artists are self-taught in the same way that the founding artists of Southern Folk Art, and create art from whatever mediums they have readily available to them, including mud, scrap wood and metals, and house paint.
Go to the Georgia State Railroad Museum
Train enthusiasts of all ages will love the Georgia State Railroad Museum located in Tricentennial Park in Savannah. The museum explores the role of rolling stock in the history of Georgia, and how trains helped goods move from the port city to the interior and back again. You’ll see a variety of steam and diesel locomotives from throughout history at the museum, as well as railcars and cabooses. The museum also hosts a fully operational turntable, and visitors will be able to experience what it was like to operate a handcar. For the ultimate experience, make sure you check the schedule for train ride dates and times, so you can take a trip on either a 1914 steam locomotive or a 1947 diesel locomotive.
Check out the Savannah History Museum
Also located in Tricentennial Park, the Savannah History Museum lets you explore the history of the city from 1733 to today. The museum explores the role that Savannah played in the American Revolution and the Civil War, as well as exhibits that help visitors connect with the cultural heritage of the city and the city’s contribution to the greater national identity. Across the street, visit Battlefield Memorial Park, where the 5,050 troops of a combined American and French army laid a siege against the British who were in control of the city of Savannah in 1779. The Franco-American attempt to take the city ultimately failed in the second bloodiest battle of the revolution, and the city remained in British hands until 1782.
Play hard at the Savannah Children’s Museum
Rounding out Tricentennial Park is the Savannah Children’s Museum, which is unsurprisingly a great place to take kids for an afternoon. This children’s museum is located entirely outdoors, filling out the old railway carpentry shop and courtyard at the old Central of Georgia Railway. The museum has over a dozen different exhibits that help children see the world in new ways while they have fun. Children are able to run through an exploration maze, sit back in a reading nook, and enjoy a sensory garden. Furthermore, the educators on staff have daily programming for children and their families so that everyone can learn more through playful exploration. Of course, the best way for you to experience the museum is to play with your kids, so don’t be afraid to join in on the fun.
Check out the architecture of the Owens-Thomas House
The Owens-Thomas house is another Savannah mansion you won’t want to miss. The mansion was built between 1816 and 1819, and is one of the finest examples of the English Regency style of architecture in the United States. Designed by William Jay, it was built for a cotton merchant by the name of Richard Richardson and his wife. Unfortunately for Richardson, he wasn’t able to enjoy the house long due to financial losses that forced him to sell the property. The house then became a lodging house for upscale clients including the Marquis de Lafayette, who was instrumental in coordinating French support during the American Revolution before reverting back to a house. Today, you can take tours of the property every day and see the beautiful architecture first hand.
Eat and sleep at the Wilkes House
The Wilkes House is a throwback to the traditional boardinghouse, with simple, comfortable rooms and a communal dining room where at least two delicious meals were served every day. The current Wilkes House was founded in 1943 by Sema Wilkes, who started serving a daily lunch in the traditional communal style. Word spread, and soon Mrs. Wilkes found a line waiting for her 11 o’clock lunch each day. Today, people still line up for the fried chicken, okra, black eyed peas, sweet potatoes, and whatever else may be on the menu for the day. You can even still stay in the beautiful bedrooms upstairs, and lunch is included. If you aren’t staying at the Wilkes House, make sure you bring cash, because credit cards aren’t accepted.
Have dinner at the Olde Pink House Restaurant
Why just tour an old mansion when you can have a wonderful and memorable dinner in one? The Olde Pink House is Savannah’s only 18th century mansion, and is a go-to spot for a great night out. The fare, of course, is southern cuisine, but with a modern twist. The chef serves up plates from local waters and lands alike, such as crab stuffed grouper and caramelized Vidalia onion and sweet potato ravioli. The setting is sophisticated yet casual, and tables spread through 11 dining rooms, giving the Olde Pink House Restaurant a feel reminiscent of a wedding reception. The restaurant also features outdoor dining and live entertainment every night, making it a perfect place for date nights.
Try absinthe at the Mata Hari Speakeasy
Gaining access to the Mata Hari Speakeasy may be one of the more difficult propositions on this bucket list, but it is possible. You’ll need a key to the door that marks the secret entrance to Mata Hari in an otherwise inconspicuous location. Knock on the door, and you’ll be asked for the key through a small sliding window, and if you don’t have one, you won’t be getting in. The easiest way to get a key is to stay at the Dresser Palmer House, Zeigler House, Azalea Inn or Green Palm Inn, but you’ll have to ask. Inside, be sure to order a genuine absinthe, which is served in the traditional way from expert bartenders. Mata Haris also features a burlesque show and lounge singers, just as any speakeasy should.
Learn how to make southern food at Chef Darin’s Kitchen Table Cooking School
Instead of having someone else cook you Southern cuisine the whole time you are in Savannah, why not learn how to cook it yourself? At Chef Darin’s Kitchen Table Cooking School, you’ll learn more than just recipes. Chef Darin focuses on teaching his students the techniques and concepts that make the real core of cooking, so that you can understand how a recipe creates the desired end product. When you understand the “how” behind a recipe and its ingredients, you cross the line between a cook and a chef, and you can build your own meals based upon your technical knowledge and understanding of ingredients. Chef Darin’s classes cover a variety of southern foods, and are for aspiring chefs of all skill levels.
Grab some ice cream at Leopold's
Leopold's has been serving ice cream the same way from the same recipes since 1919, and has rightly become a Savannah institution. The shop is most famous for inventing the tutti frutti flavor, which is now a fixture at ice cream stores and candy shops worldwide. If you aren’t a fan of tutti frutti, you can indulge in a wide variety of flavors including banana, butter pecan, peppermint, and honey almond, all made from genuine ingredients. You can also try treats like Guinness floats, ice cream sandwiches, handcrafted fountain sodas, or a Caffe Leopold, where you get a scoop of ice cream topped with espresso. If you’re hungry for something savory, Leopold’s serves a variety of delicious sandwiches, soups, and salads, too.
Catch a game at Grayson Stadium
Grayson Stadium is a historic stadium dating back to 1926 that is the current home field of the Savannah Bananas of the Coastal Plain League collegiate summer league. With a capacity of 4,000 people, and just underwent a two-year renovation process. One of the best things about catching a baseball game at Grayson Stadium is the All You Can Eat Ticket, where fans can have as many hot dogs, burgers, chicken sandwiches, and more that their heart desires. The stadium also serves a variety of craft beer, with favorites like Dogfish Head, Lagunitas, and Bells available. And of course, bananas are available for purchase as well. All in all, a Savannah Bananas game is a perfect way to spend a summer night in the city.
Step back in time at Old Fort Jackson
For a unique history experience in Savannah, check out Old Fort Jackson, located two miles east of the city on the Savannah River. Fort James Jackson, as it was officially known is the oldest brick fort in Georgia, dating back to just before the War of 1812 where it was tasked with protecting the valuable port city from the British Navy. In the Civil War, Fort Jackson continued to be responsible for the defense of Savannah, and engaged with Union ships while garrisoning Confederate troops. Today, Fort Jackson has been turned into a museum, allowing visitors to see what life in a 19th century military installation was like, including witnessing daily cannon firing demonstrations.
Visit the Savannah College of Art and Design
The Savannah College of Art and Design, better known as SCAD, is one of the most prestigious art and design schools in the entire country, and is one of the best places to start a career in the creative arts. With majors that cover architecture and interior design, fashion, filmmaking and cinema, marketing, textiles, video game design, the fine arts, and even sound design, SCAD is great for anyone interested in any creative field. The school also features a gift shop called shopSCAD, where students and faculty are able to sell their unique artistic creations. SCAD also hosts a variety of events, such as the Savannah Film Festival, exhibitions from artists worldwide, and open studio nights.
Visit the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace
While the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace is a beautiful house that has been well furnished and maintained like other Savannah homes, the real reason to visit is to learn about and celebrate the life of Low herself. Juliette Gordon Low was the founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA, which became a movement to promote the strength, mind, and character of young women across the planet. The house itself has been purchased by the Girl Scouts of America to celebrate the ideas and values at the core of the Girl Scouts that took hold in Mrs. Low during her childhood in the house. The house features guided tours, and of course, Girl Scout Troop Experiences are available as well.
Wander through the Jepson Center for the Arts
The Jepson Center for the Arts is Savannah’s premier museum of contemporary art. Since 2006, the Jepson Center has been featuring both permanent collections and rotating exhibits from around the world. The museum features 7,500 square feet of gallery space filled with over 4,500 paintings and drawings, photos, sculptures, and decorative arts. The museum also features Sylvia Shaw Judson’s famous Bird Girl sculpture, which became famous from being prominently featured on the cover of the best-selling book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil which is set in Savannah. The Jepson Center itself is an architectural attraction, and tours are available daily to learn more about the building.
Commune with nature at Ossabaw Island
If you’d like to go to the beach, but would like a more secluded experience, then you should check out Ossabaw Island. The island is only accessible by boat, and features 9,000 acres of wooded uplands and 16,000 acres of marshland. The island is currently a Heritage Preserve owned by the State of Georgia that has been maintained as a place of natural, scientific and cultural study. The island can only be visited by those who apply to do so, and can only be used by groups who are engaged in study, research or education. This is done to minimize human impact to the natural landscape. The island is a nesting site for endangered loggerhead turtles, and a hotspot for migratory birds. If you want to see nature in an undisturbed setting (and have a plan to do so), make sure you get to Ossabaw.
Revel in the splendor of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Even if you aren’t religious, it’s worth paying the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist a visit. The Church was first built in the early 19th century, before being rebuilt in 1876 in a Neo-Gothic style. The exterior of the church is covered in stucco, with two large, ornate spires. Inside, the church features beautiful paintings, statues, and stained glass windows. The ceilings are beautifully painted, and ornate decorations abound everywhere. Of course, this is still an operating Roman Catholic church, so you are welcome to join the congregation for Sunday Mass or any of the other services offered through the week, and hear the massive pipe organ sing along with the choir.
Get out and about at City Market
Craving something fresh? Check out the City Market in the historic downtown Savannah. Stretching over four city blocks, the market hosts some of the most popular restaurants, galleries, and shops in Savannah. The restaurant options span from high dining to casual cafes with indoor and outdoor seating, and you’ll even find a daiquiri dispensary. There are also a wide variety of boutique shops that sell jewelry, accessories, and local handmade goods. If you’d like to check out some art, City Market has five separate galleries featuring local and national artists. At night, City Market comes alive, with a variety of bars, live music and after-hours eateries. Best of all, you can take advantage of Savannah’s to-go cups while you wander around.
Have you been able to scratch any of these suggestions off of your Savannah bucket list, or have we missed something? Let us know in the comments below!