Savannah, Georgia, was one of the destinations on my family’s summer road trip this year. It was one of those cities that I had wanted to visit for a long time (along with St. Augustine, which I’ve already written about). This article is about some of the places and experiences we really enjoyed in Savannah.
Like we did in St. Augustine, we started our visit to Savannah with a hop-on-hop-off trolley tour. It’s a great way to get a feel for the city. This trolley tour was fun because it had costumed characters who periodically came aboard to share a story.
Many cities and towns have a city square, but Savannah has 22 city squares in its historic district. When the city was laid out in its colonial days, it was divided into wards, each with a square in the center. One of these squares, Chippewa Square, was pictured in the movie Forrest Gump, when Forrest sat on a bench waiting for a bus. We enjoyed a long walk and visited many of the squares.
Another popular Savannah sight is Forsyth Park. At 30 acres, it is Savannah’s largest and has an iconic fountain.
Wormsloe State Historic Site
Perhaps the name Wormsloe isn’t familiar to you, but I suspect you may have seen a picture of this avenue of live oak trees. There are over 400 live oak trees that stretch in a straight line for a mile and a half. It is quite impressive. There are other points of interest at Wormsloe, but the avenue of oaks is the main reason to visit.
River Street and the Savannah River
You’ll definitely want to carve out some time to explore River Street along the Savannah River. You’ll find lots of shops and restaurants along this cute cobblestone street. At one end of River Street, you’ll find the newish Plant Riverside District which was once a power plant and is now an entertainment district. Want to get out on the water? You can go for a sightseeing, lunch, or dinner cruise on a riverboat. Or you can try out the Savannah Belles, a free ferry system that provides transportation across the river to Hutchinson Island, where the convention center is located. Savannah has a huge shipping port and we enjoyed just sitting and watching gigantic ships stacked high with containers pass by.
Savannah’s Historic District is filled with gorgeous historic homes. You can admire the architecture on a guided walking tour or on your own. Many homes also offer tours of the inside. One popular home to visit is the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts. Another is the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters, a National Historic Landmark.
Savannah’s historic City Market is another popular attraction. In this rehabilitated, pedestrian-friendly, four-block stretch, you’ll find retail shops, dining, art galleries, and entertainment. We had fun exploring the market and shopping for souvenirs.
An article about Savannah wouldn’t be complete without talking about Savannah’s art scene. Savannah is home to SCAD, the Savannah College of Art and Design, which has a museum you can visit. Another good choice is the Telfair Museums which is located across three buildings: the Telfair Academy, Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters, and the Jepson Center. I especially enjoyed the Telfair Academy which has large-scale paintings and sculptures that are replicas of those found at the Vatican and Florence’s Uffizi Gallery.
Tybee Island Beach
Last, but not least, I have to recommend a day trip to the beach on Tybee Island, where my family enjoyed building one of our giant sandcastles. It is about a half-hour drive from downtown Savannah.
Would you like to visit Savannah, Georgia? One of the cool things about this destination is the many ways you can see it. You can do a road trip like we did, or, if you prefer someone else to do the driving, you could visit it on an escorted tour. Or you could visit it on a cruise or by train. However you’d like to get there, I would love to help you plan it. Read about how my planning services work here.