Savannah is known for its quaint historic district and squares, plus quaint bed & breakfasts and the Spanish moss that hangs from the prominent oak trees. There are also endless things to do in this Georgian city—from fun attractions to delicious restaurants (you must eat a pimento cheese sandwich!) to interesting tours.
While traveling there I knocked quite a few items off my Bucket List. And found quite a few more to add to yours.
WHAT TO SEE + DO
1. ✦ Get Bug Soap
First things first. As soon as you arrive to Savannah head over to Nourish Bath Products and purchase a bar of Don’t Bug Me soap, especially if you are there in the humidity of the summer. You can thank me later.
This adorable bath shop was started by a serious crafter and her daughter. Thirteen years and three retails stores later they have created a success. I walked away with three bars of soap; the Hippie Chick, Vanilla Raspberry and Apparition Ale (made with the local beer). I have never smelled more delicious.
2. ✦ Stroll Along the Savannah River
3. ✧ Watch the Weiner Dog Race
4. ✦ Orient Yourself With the City on a Trolly
Take a historic ‘hop on/off” trolley tour with Old Savannah Tours to get yourself familiar with this beautiful city. There are 16 stops to explore, but even if you don’t get off at any of them it will only take ninety minutes roundtrip. Time well spent. And ask for Angel, she will put the most hilarious spin on history.
Book a Seat > Hop-On, Hop-Off Historic Savannah Full-Day Trolly Tour
Photo Courtesy of Old Savannah Tours
5. ✧ Enjoy a Beach Day on Tybee Island
6. ✧ Drive Under the Moss Covered Oaks
Seeing the Spanish moss hanging from the oak trees is one of the best things to do in Savannah. And one of the top ways to experience it is by driving under the oaks on the way to Wormsloe, an avenue sheltered in the impressive trees.
7. ✧ Take A Riverboat Cruise
8. ✧ Picnic in the Park
Forsyth is a large city park located in the historic district of Savannah—you can’t miss the large fountain in the center! Pack a picnic, pop a squat and enjoy a peaceful meal amongst the hovering Oaks and Spanish moss.
9. ✧ Kayak the Skidaway Narrows
10. ✦ Visit All the Historic Squares
The 22 squares of Savannah, most named in honor of a person, are the heart of the city. These communal mini-parks are scattered through the historic downtown. Make sure to visit Chippewa square where the famous bench scene in Forest Gump was filmed.
If you would like to preserve your “square visiting” memory head over to One Fish Two Fish who sells different scented candles to represent each square.
Book a Tour > Old Savannah Historic Walking Tour
11. ✦ Visit The First African Baptist Church
12. ✦ Stroll Down the Most Beautiful Street in North America
Jones Street was voted one of the most beautiful in North America by Southern Living. And it is, so don’t miss taking a stroll along this quaint tree lined road.
Mrs. Wilkes Boarding Room restaurant is also located nearby. So, gorge first, then walk it off in beautiful style.
13. ✧ Shop the City Market
14. ✦ Get a Taste of France
If you must escape from the Southern lifestyle for a nanosecond, go to The Paris Market to get a taste of France. There you will be engulfed in two-stories of charming French home goods.
You will wish your suitcase was bigger!
15. ✧ Camp at Fort McAllister State Park
16. ✦ Get Inside a Novelists Mind
The Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home is a museum dedicated to this acclaimed novelist who wrote The Violent Bear it Away, among several other books. Why would going to this writers home be on your things to do in Savannah bucket list? Because it is a unique look into the mind of an interesting girl. For example, when she was young she would write reviews of the children’s books she read, leaving notes on the pages.
Needless to say, she was a bit opinionated.
17. ✧ Take a Ghost Tour
18. ✦ Buy Original Art and Support an Art Student
The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is arguably one of the top art and design universities in the country and they have a gift shop in town, shopSCAD. The students and faculty showcase their work in this trendy boutique-style shop.
I walked away with a unique lucky penny necklace.
19. ✧ See a Show at the Historic Savannah Theater
20. ✧ Take a Ghost Tour in a Hearse
Just because a simple ghost tour wouldn’t be creepy enough, take one where you will be riding in a hearse. The Hearse Ghost Tour of Savannah will tell you tales while touring the city in what once was a real hearse.
Don’t want to ride in a hearse? Then take the Ghosts and Graveyards of Savannah trolley tour instead.
Photo Courtesy of Jilly
21. ✧ See a Drag Show
Lady Chablis is a famous drag queen entertainer who was featured in director Clint Eastwood’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and also an episode of Bizarre Foods. Before she passed on, she would perform on the stage of Club One. Though she is no longer with us, the drag show still lives on—don’t miss it!
22. ✧ Spend the Afternoon at The Owens-Thomas House
23. ✧ Segway Through a Cemetery
Bonaventure is the most famous and hauntingly beautiful cemetery with incredible statues, impressive tombs and interesting residents. Segway of Savannah will take you there in style, with limited walking.
If a segway is not on your things to do in Savannah bucket list, then take a historical walking tour.
Photo Courtesy of Tadson
24. ✦ See the Forrest Gump Bench
25. ✦ Take in the Beauty of St. John Cathedral
View the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist from the inside and the out. There are no words to describe how beautiful the architecture, stained glass work and exquisite carvings are.
Note: the Hop-on Hop-off trolly will take you there!
26. ✦ Sip, Shop & Stroll on Broughton Street
Savannah allows to-go cup cocktails on the streets, as long as they are under 16 ounces (one more reason to love this city!). Ask your bartender to make your drink a take out and spend the afternoon sipping while shopping the trendy boutiques on Broughton Street.
27. ✧ Tour Old Fort Jackson
28. ✦ Take a Pedicab
After your sipping & shopping, let someone else do the driving. You will see Pedicabs throughout historic Savannah, mostly near River Street. Hop on, and they will bicycle you to your destination.
The fee is up to you to decide, though they say the average is $8-$12.
Photo Courtesy of Gee311
WHERE + WHAT TO EAT & DRINK
29. ✦ Drink Absinthe at a Speakeasy
Mata Hari is a sexy speakeasy that only allows entry with a key, and if you read my post on “Drinking Absinthe at a Secret Savannah Speakeasy” you will get some tips on how to get one. Once inside order an absinthe done the traditional way, by melting a sugar cube into the liquor and diluting with water.
30. ✧ Sample the Local Craft Beer
31. ✦ Do a Honey Tasting
Savannah Bee Company is a shop where the passionate owner, Ted Dennard, is dedicated to redefining honey. And you can taste his efforts. Need I say more? Not really.
But if your you need more, read about my ‘Honey Tasting Experience at Savannah Bee’.
32. ✧ Eat at the The Olde Pink House Restaurant
33. ✦ Eat Traditional Southern Cooking Served Family-Style
Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room, a former boardinghouse, has been serving homestyle Southern cooking in a family-style setting for 68 years. I think they know what they are doing. My memorable dining experience at Mrs. Wilkes included 22 Southern specialties, all of which I fit onto one plate. Success.
34. ✧ Take a Food Tour
35. ✦ Eat Tutti Frutti Ice Cream
Leopolds is a legendary ice cream shop that claims to be the creators of the Tutti Frutti flavor. They started their recipe in 1919 and can’t find any record of Tutti Frutti prior.
It is a unique flavor that tastes like a frozen fruit cake…but better. If fruit cake is not your thing, try the Guinness float made with Guinness ice cream.
36. ✧ Drink a Horchata at the Coffee Fox
37. ✦ Partake in an Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea should not only be reserved for a trip to Britain, the South are masters at it too. Drink the Emperors Bride at The Tea Room in Savannah. It is the most popular brew with pineapple chunks, citrus peels and thistle petals.
And they do have those delectable tiny finger sandwiches. Bonus.
38. ✧ Try the PB&J Chicken Wings at Treylor Park
39. ✦ Try a Pimento Cheese Sandwich
Many Southern restaurants will feature a pimento sandwich, but probably not as good as at Gryphon. It is a bonus that is is right across the street from shopSCAD (see #12) and also supports the students of the Savannah Art & Design Institute. That is probably why their food is so pretty.
Try Making Your Own: Pimento Cheese Sandwich Recipe
Take a Food Tour: Savannah: 3-Hour First Squares Food Tour
Read: Eating a Pimento Cheese Cheese Sandwich in Savannah
40. ✧ Eat the Conquistador at Zunzi’s (featured on Travel Channel)
41. ✦ Get a Fun & Unique Martini
Jens & Friends is a dive bar with dozens of creative martinis to choose from, and they come with edible accessories. My table sipped on the Rice Krispie Treat and Moon Pie Martini.
Want to make your own martinis? 101 Martinis Recipe Book
42. ✧ Buy a Box of Girl Scout Cookies
Who doesn’t like to indulge in an entire box of yummy Samoas or Thin Mints. Savannah is home to the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, the founder of the Girl Scouts. Plan your visit during “cookie season” and buy a box…or two…from the troops out front. You can then tour the unique home, but, don’t get crumbs on the carpet.
Can’t Wait? Buy Girl Scout Cookies Now.
Photo Courtesy of sea turtle