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17 Best Places To Visit In Savannah (+ Hidden Gems!)

Are you looking for the best places to visit in Savannah? We’ve got every top spot for touring on this list! Check out some of Savannah’s favorite attractions and find some hidden gems that are off the beaten path.

Savannah is a city with a rich history, a lively entertainment district, and an amazing coastal landscape to enjoy. To make the most of it all, check out Savannah’s best tours, so you won’t miss a beat on your journey through the city.

It’s definitely the kind of city you can wander through and get lost in (in a good way)! In every district, on every street, there is something waiting to charm you and delight your senses as you learn more about one of the oldest cities in America!

Here you’ll find the best in food, drink, entertainment, architecture, historic sites… you name it, we’ve got it. Read on to discover the best places to visit in Savannah!

Best Places To Stay In Savannah GA

Marshall House Inn-Affordable 1851 hotel in the historic district (+haunted!)

Perry Lane Hotel-Upscale hotel with rooftop bar in the historic district

JW Marriott Plant Riverside-Waterfront and built in a historic power plant! (Our Pick!)

Roussell’s Garden Inn-Affordable historic 1888 BNB in Victorian District

Holiday Inn Express Savannah-Pet friendly in the heart of downtown Savannah

Girl walking down River Street in Savannah, GA at sunset.

17 Best Places To Visit In Savannah (+ Hidden Gems!)

Forsyth Park

A trip to this coastal city in Georgia is never complete without a stop at Forsyth Park, always recommended as one of the top places to see in Savannah. Originally built in 1840, the park has been expanded over time. The fountain in particular is a special landmark in the city, having been featured in films like Forrest Gump, Cape Fear, and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

The park sits right in the heart of Savannah’s Historic District and is steps away from many other Savannah tourist attractions. Bring a picnic and dine amongst the canopy of trees, let the kids roam in the open air, or nestle against a tree trunk with your favorite book.

Looking for a more in-depth visit around this area? Try the Two Hour Savannah Bike Tour, which will take you along the historic streets and straight through Forsyth Park. Tickets are $30, and bike and helmet rentals are included. Touring by bike is efficient, green, and a great way to get to know this remarkable city!

Girl walking towards a fountain in Forsyth Park, one of the best places to visit in Savannah.

Stroll Plant Riverside District

If savoring the flavor of Savannah is on your list of things to do, then you must take a stroll around the Plant Riverside District! With a distinct shopping, culinary, and nightlife scene, the Plant Riverside District is arguably the most entertaining neighborhood and one of the best places to go in Savannah.

Start your walk by stopping in one of the area’s many shops. We love Grand Bohemian Gallery for one-of-a-kind art finds, and September’s Closet, a ladies clothing boutique that is one of the true hidden gems in Savannah. When shopping is done, grab a drink at the Riverside Biergarten or try a sweet treat at Byrd’s Famous Cookies. Plant Riverside is one of the liveliest neighborhoods in Savannah, with so much to do and see.

Get to know the Plant Riverside District like a local with the Interactive Tour that takes guests on a journey through the area’s past and present. The tour begins at the exciting Generator Hall and uses storytelling to immerse guests in the magic of the neighborhood. Tickets are $35 per guest. Tours last one hour and are available at selected times Wednesdays through Sundays.

Girl standing in front of the Beauty of Plant Riverside mural.

Wormsloe Historic Site

Formally known as Wormsloe Plantation, this state historic site is home to some breathtaking views of the natural landscape of coastal Georgia. Guests are welcomed down an avenue lined with live oaks and Spanish moss that lead to what once was the estate of one of Georgia’s founding fathers, Noble Jones. Because of its rich history and natural beauty, Wormsloe Historic Site is known as one of the best places to visit in Savannah.

Visitors to Wormsloe can enjoy robust nature trails, a museum with artifacts found on Wormsloe’s grounds, and historic interpretations of life at the time Noble Jones built the estate. Its tabby ruins are the oldest standing structure in Georgia.

Wormsloe is open seven days a week, and ticket prices vary. Got a four-legged friend with you? They are welcome on the outdoor trails at Wormsloe! Make sure to bring your camera with you, too – Wormsloe is definitely one of the most picturesque places to go in Savannah.

Girl running down a road covered by a canopy of trees in Wormsloe Historic Site, one of the best places to visit in Savannah.

Day Trip To Tybee Island

Certainly one of the best places to visit near Savannah, Tybee Island offers a wide array of activities for visitors wanting to soak up the sun or the area’s abundant history. About a 30-minute drive from downtown Savannah, Tybee Island is a wonderful place to spend the day exploring with family and friends. There are truly so many things to do in Tybee Island and you should make it a stop for sure!

Start with a trip to the lighthouse at Tybee Island, known as both the oldest and the tallest light-keeping station in the state. An on-site museum highlights the history of the lighthouse and the residents who once called this area home. This is truly one of the best beach towns in Georgia!

If you’re looking for more history to explore, head over to Fort Pulaski National Monument, known as one of the coolest Nationals Park in Georgia. Here, you can walk the halls of the once state-of-the-art military fortification that housed prisoners of war during the Civil War.

If outdoor adventure is what you’re after, check out Sea Kayak Georgia! Guests can embark on a variety of water-based tours to suit your party! From stand-up paddling tours to remote marshlands to full-day and overnight camping canoe trips to custom tours to meet your group’s needs and interests, Sea Kayak Georgia is one of the best ways to explore Savannah’s aquatic ecosystems.

A light house on Tybee Island on a clear day.

Visit The Rooftop Bars

Savannah has no shortage of great places to find a tasty beverage, but their rooftop bars are unparalleled with amazing and drinks and stunning views of the city down below.

A few of our favorites include Myrtle & Rose Rooftop Garden in the Plant Riverside District (try the Georgia Kiss, Grey Goose vodka, blood orange, and lemon), Peregrin above the Perry Lane Hotel (try the Yuzu with sake, yuzu liqueur, elderflower liqueur, cava, and grapefruit lavender bitters), and Top Deck Bar on River Street (try the Midnight Sail with Absolut Pear, St. Germaine, lime juice, Blue Curacao, Grenadine, and a splash of soda).

Want to try everything? Take the Generals and Generalities Cocktail Tour, exploring Savannah’s history through cocktails and stories. You’ll get to take a walk through Savannah’s storied history and try the most beloved drinks from long ago. Tickets are $85 per person, but all beverages are included in the ticket price.

Looking for more? Check out our list of the best rooftop bars in Savannah. They certainly top our list as some of the most fun places to go in Savannah!

A rooftop bar overlooking downtown, one of the best places to visit in Savannah.

Mercer Williams House

Arguably the most famous of Savannah’s historic homes, the Mercer Williams house is notable for its Renaissance Revival style of architecture and as being the site of one of Savannah’s most notorious murders, depicted in the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

The home began construction by the Mercer family in 1860, but the Civil War delayed the completion of the home. It was finally finished in 1868, at which time the home was sold to John Wilder. Consequently, no Mercer ever lived in the house. It is truly one of the best Museums In Savannah!

By the 1960s, local preservationist Jim Williams bought and restored the home as his permanent residence. In 1981, Jim Williams shot and killed Danny Hansford in the home’s study, claiming self-defense. Williams was tried for the murder four times, a record in the state of Georgia. Finally acquitted in 1989, Williams returned to living in the home, and he passed away eight months after his release.

The Mercer Williams House now operates as a museum with guided tours occurring every 40 minutes during operating hours. Reservations are encouraged in advance. Make sure to check out Savannah’s famed Mercer Williams House on your next trip, definitely one of the best places to visit in Savannah!

Girl walking up the front walkway towards the Mercer Williams House on a sunny day.

Marvel At Houses On East Jones Street

Known as “the prettiest street in Savannah,” East Jones Street makes for a pleasant afternoon stroll, to admire some of the beautiful homes lining the avenue – absolutely one of the best places to visit in Savannah!

The street is named for Major John Jones, a Revolutionary War hero. Jones died at the attack on Spring Hill, but was a notable figure in the founding of Savannah prior to the war.

Most of the homes found on the street date to the 1850s and 1860s, creating uniformity in architecture and style. The area declined in popularity during the first half of the 20th century but was revitalized during the 1960s when preservationists embarked on large-scale restoration projects on many of the properties.

Notable homes on the street include the Knapp House, the Eliza Thompson House, and the Alexander Smets House among others. This neighborhood in historic Savannah, Georgia also is one of our favorites to stay in!

Couple kissing in front of the houses on East Jones Street, one of the best places to visit in Savannah.

Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist

The oldest Roman Catholic Cathedral in the state, this church was originally constructed in 1859 but was almost destroyed by a fire in 1898. The community rallied around the building and it was rebuilt, remains a hallmark of outstanding architecture and beauty – one of the best places to visit in Savannah!

Visitors to the area are welcome to join the church for one of the many masses held throughout the week. Docent-led tours are another great way to learn about the church and its history dating back all the way to the founding of the city. Tours are free to guests, but donations are appreciated and reservations are encouraged.

The tour will guide guests through the general history of the Roman Catholic Church in Savannah, and touch on the architecture and history of the building itself. You can marvel at the steeple bell, the terra cotta decoration, and the amazing Great Rose Window. Truly one of the quintessential Savannah tourist attractions.

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Girl walking up to the facade of St. John the Baptist Church on a sunny day.

First African Baptist Church

Another incredible church, deeply embedded in the history of Savannah is the First African Baptist Church, founded in 1773 under the pastorship of Reverend George Liele. Pastor Liele was an emancipated slave and chose to leave Savannah in 1782 to ensure his freedom. He migrated to Jamaica and expanded his work as a minister there.

The site of the current church was developed under the third pastor, Reverend Andrew C. Marshall. Here he organized the first black Sunday school in North American and changed the name of the church from First Colored Baptist to its current name.

The sanctuary was completed in 1859 and still stands today as a testament to faith and community. Tours are available on Wednesdays through Saturdays at 3:00 PM, and ticket prices vary. Make sure to add this to your list of best places to visit in Savannah for a deep dive into the history of one of the area’s most important communities.

Go On A Ghost Tour

Looking for one of the best places to go in Savannah at night? Check out a spooky ghost tour, of course! As the oldest settlement in the state, Savannah definitely has some other-worldly beings from days gone by roaming the streets and historic buildings of today. Learn all about them and their connection to this area on The Dead of Night Ghost Tour.

This adults-only tour takes guests on a walk through Savannah’s historic district and provides a deep dive into the scariest and darkest of hauntings in the city. The tour begins at 423 Abercorn, a haunted house like no other! From there, guests will make stops at places like the macabre Foley House Inn and the creepy Sorrel Weed House. You’ll definitely want to bring your comfiest shoes and maybe even a flashlight to get you through the evening!

This 90-minute tour runs nightly at 9:00 PM and 11:00 PM. Tickets are $35, and the tour is known to sell out well in advance. Make sure to make your reservation before your trip!

A road flanked by mossy trees at Bonaventure Cemetery, one of the best places to visit in Savannah.

Try Ice Cream At Leopold’s

Located on Broughton Street, Leopold’s has been serving Savannah’s best ice cream for over a century. Their original recipe continues to delight their guests, making Leopold’s one of the best places to visit in Savannah!

Leopold’s was first founded in 1919 by three brothers from Greece, at a shop nestled on a corner by the popular streetcar. Guests would hop off the trolly for Leopold’s legendary shakes, malts, and banana splits. Though the shop has since moved from its original location, it still features many of the elements of that first store, like the black marble soda fountain and the telephone booth.

Try their premium ice cream (we like the Honey Almond & Cream and the Peanut Butter Chippy) or enjoy a soda fountain staple like the Hot Fudge Sundae or one of their Milk Shakes. Leopold’s is open seven days a week, so you can satisfy your sweet tooth at any time on your trip!

A rainbow arching over the facade of Leopold

Go Shopping At Paris Market

Prepare to get lost in a thoughtfully curated shop of wonders when you visit The Paris Market, one of the best places to visit in Savannah. Opened in 2001, The Paris Market is dedicated to sourcing a variety of treasures from around the globe and items handcrafted in Savannah.

If you’re not sure exactly what you’re shopping for, The Paris Market is the place to go. Here you’ll find wonderful and unique gifts, home goods, antiques, jewelry, and more – items you never even knew you needed! We love the carefully selected candles with delicious scents, the amazing art, the incredible one-of-a-kind soaps, and their signature The Paris Market Coffee.

If you work up an appetite while you shop, The Paris Market features an in-store cafe serving tea, wine, champagne, and house-made sandwiches. You could definitely spend a delightful rainy afternoon discovering the wonders that The Paris Market has on offer.

There’s no telling what you’ll find when you visit The Paris Market, but it will be wonderful! And make sure to check out some of our other top picks for shopping in Savannah!

Tables and chairs line the exterior of The Paris Market, one of the best places to visit in Savannah.

Walk Gaston Street To See The Mansions

Some of the most iconic homes in Savannah line Gaston Street, a beacon of wealth and history in Savannah’s past. As you walk beneath the Spanish moss, you’ll be treated to views of mansions standing grandly, built in a variety of architectural styles, but each dedicated to displaying opulence. This is definitely one of the best places to visit in Savannah for a walk on a sunny day.

The landmark building on Gaston Street is The Gastonian, a luxury, historic hotel. It’s an excellent place to stay, combining two adjoining residential mansions into one of the most romantic bed and breakfasts in Savannah.

Located right in the heart of the historic district, Gaston Street is a lovely place to wander after a downtown tour, shopping excursion, or a jaunt through Forsyth Park. When you walk down Gaston Street, you truly feel like a home-grown Savannahian.

Girl in a red dress walking down Gaston Street.

Grab A Meal At Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room

Opened in 1943, Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room has been treating the folks of Savannah to the best southern cooking ever since. Located in Savannah’s historic district this is the perfect place to grab a meal after you’ve experienced many of the attractions on this list. With delicious homestyle meals on the menu, Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room is definitely one of the best places to go in Savannah!

The menu at Mrs. Wilkes’ is simple, but oh so good! First, you pick a meat like Fried Chicken or Meat Loaf and then add on your veggies. We like the Snap Peas, Candied Yams, and Macaroni and Cheese. You really can’t go wrong here – it’s all made fresh every day from seasonal local ingredients – yum!

But wait – there’s more! You can also stay at Mrs. Wilkes’, too! The Wilkes Pied-a-Terre is an entire apartment available to rent, to truly feel like Savannah local.

While Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room is at the forefront of famous restaurants in Savannah, don’t miss some of our other favorite restaurants in Savannah!

Pin Point Heritage Museum

One of the most hidden gems in Savannah is the Pin Point Heritage Museum, a site dedicated to the preservation and exploration of the Gullah and Geechee culture that was once prominent in the area. The museum is housed in an old crab factory and is one of the best places to visit near Savannah.

Pin Point was a community settled in 1896 by freedmen on the banks of the Moon River not far from Savannah. Guest walking through the exhibits are treated to artifacts, photographs, and lessons providing insight into Geechee and Gullah’s daily life, worship, communication, and cooking.

The museum is open on Thursdays through Saturdays and ticket prices vary. If you’re traveling with a large group, tours can be arranged by contacting the museum in advance.

The Savannah Underground

The Savannah Underground is an immersive one-of-a-kind experience that puts YOU at the center of Savannah’s most haunting and gruesome tales, making this one of the best places to visit in Savannah for a spooky evening.

Guests can enjoy an engaging show upon their visit to The Savannah Underground and have the option to embark on a trolley tour upon the conclusion of the show. Listen to three ghostly tales being acted out around you in their 360-degree interactive theatre. Current sinister stories include Yellow Fever, about a girl who suffers from the disease, and Boo Hag, about a woman who is haunted by a Gullah Geechee ghost known as “Hag.”

The evening also includes a ghost tour via trolley to some of the city’s most haunted spots and spookiest landscapes. As you jaunt through Savannah’s cobblestone streets, hear the stories that give Savannah the reputation as being one of “the most haunted cities in America.”

Ride The Paddle Wheeler

To tour the lush landscape of Savannah from the water, you can’t beat an afternoon cruise aboard the Georgia Queen – it’s one of the best places to visit in Savannah for a lazy afternoon. The riverboat provides state-of-the-art modern amenities while letting guests experience the transportation of days gone by.

The Georgia Queen offers a variety of cruises to suit your tastes. Meals are served on board and you can choose your cruising time around a specific meal in the day – they offer cruises for brunch, lunch, and dinner. You can also choose a cruise based on activity. The sightseeing tour showcases the best of the coast as you float down the river with guided narration from the captain himself!

If you’re looking for a cruise focused on entertainment, try the sunset cruise where a live band will play as cocktails are served and the sun sets over the river. If you love music, check out the Monday night gospel cruise, where dinner is served amidst the sounds of Savannah’s best gospel entertainers.

No matter which cruise you choose, the Georgia Queen is always one of the best activities in Savannah!

Girl looking over the river at the Georgia Queen Paddle Wheeler, one of the best places to visit in Savannah.

With so much to do and see, Savannah is an excellent destination for an active traveler. If you have a curious mind, there is so much to learn – from the storied history to the outstanding architecture to the quirky shops and fabulous bars and restaurants.

The best places to visit in Savannah are always right around the next corner! Come discover the magic of Georgia’s oldest city!

17 Best Places To Visit In Savannah (+ Hidden Gems!)

Are you looking for the best places to visit in Savannah? We’ve got every top spot for touring on this list! Check out some of Savannah’s favorite attractions and find some hidden gems that are off the beaten path.

Savannah is a city with a rich history, a lively entertainment district, and an amazing coastal landscape to enjoy. To make the most of it all, check out Savannah’s best tours, so you won’t miss a beat on your journey through the city.

It’s definitely the kind of city you can wander through and get lost in (in a good way)! In every district, on every street, there is something waiting to charm you and delight your senses as you learn more about one of the oldest cities in America!

Here you’ll find the best in food, drink, entertainment, architecture, historic sites… you name it, we’ve got it. Read on to discover the best places to visit in Savannah!

Best Places To Stay In Savannah GA

Marshall House Inn-Affordable 1851 hotel in the historic district (+haunted!)

Perry Lane Hotel-Upscale hotel with rooftop bar in the historic district

JW Marriott Plant Riverside-Waterfront and built in a historic power plant! (Our Pick!)

Roussell’s Garden Inn-Affordable historic 1888 BNB in Victorian District

Holiday Inn Express Savannah-Pet friendly in the heart of downtown Savannah

Girl walking down River Street in Savannah, GA at sunset.

17 Best Places To Visit In Savannah (+ Hidden Gems!)

Forsyth Park

A trip to this coastal city in Georgia is never complete without a stop at Forsyth Park, always recommended as one of the top places to see in Savannah. Originally built in 1840, the park has been expanded over time. The fountain in particular is a special landmark in the city, having been featured in films like Forrest Gump, Cape Fear, and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

The park sits right in the heart of Savannah’s Historic District and is steps away from many other Savannah tourist attractions. Bring a picnic and dine amongst the canopy of trees, let the kids roam in the open air, or nestle against a tree trunk with your favorite book.

Looking for a more in-depth visit around this area? Try the Two Hour Savannah Bike Tour, which will take you along the historic streets and straight through Forsyth Park. Tickets are $30, and bike and helmet rentals are included. Touring by bike is efficient, green, and a great way to get to know this remarkable city!

Girl walking towards a fountain in Forsyth Park, one of the best places to visit in Savannah.

Stroll Plant Riverside District

If savoring the flavor of Savannah is on your list of things to do, then you must take a stroll around the Plant Riverside District! With a distinct shopping, culinary, and nightlife scene, the Plant Riverside District is arguably the most entertaining neighborhood and one of the best places to go in Savannah.

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Start your walk by stopping in one of the area’s many shops. We love Grand Bohemian Gallery for one-of-a-kind art finds, and September’s Closet, a ladies clothing boutique that is one of the true hidden gems in Savannah. When shopping is done, grab a drink at the Riverside Biergarten or try a sweet treat at Byrd’s Famous Cookies. Plant Riverside is one of the liveliest neighborhoods in Savannah, with so much to do and see.

Get to know the Plant Riverside District like a local with the Interactive Tour that takes guests on a journey through the area’s past and present. The tour begins at the exciting Generator Hall and uses storytelling to immerse guests in the magic of the neighborhood. Tickets are $35 per guest. Tours last one hour and are available at selected times Wednesdays through Sundays.

Girl standing in front of the Beauty of Plant Riverside mural.

Wormsloe Historic Site

Formally known as Wormsloe Plantation, this state historic site is home to some breathtaking views of the natural landscape of coastal Georgia. Guests are welcomed down an avenue lined with live oaks and Spanish moss that lead to what once was the estate of one of Georgia’s founding fathers, Noble Jones. Because of its rich history and natural beauty, Wormsloe Historic Site is known as one of the best places to visit in Savannah.

Visitors to Wormsloe can enjoy robust nature trails, a museum with artifacts found on Wormsloe’s grounds, and historic interpretations of life at the time Noble Jones built the estate. Its tabby ruins are the oldest standing structure in Georgia.

Wormsloe is open seven days a week, and ticket prices vary. Got a four-legged friend with you? They are welcome on the outdoor trails at Wormsloe! Make sure to bring your camera with you, too – Wormsloe is definitely one of the most picturesque places to go in Savannah.

Girl running down a road covered by a canopy of trees in Wormsloe Historic Site, one of the best places to visit in Savannah.

Day Trip To Tybee Island

Certainly one of the best places to visit near Savannah, Tybee Island offers a wide array of activities for visitors wanting to soak up the sun or the area’s abundant history. About a 30-minute drive from downtown Savannah, Tybee Island is a wonderful place to spend the day exploring with family and friends. There are truly so many things to do in Tybee Island and you should make it a stop for sure!

Start with a trip to the lighthouse at Tybee Island, known as both the oldest and the tallest light-keeping station in the state. An on-site museum highlights the history of the lighthouse and the residents who once called this area home. This is truly one of the best beach towns in Georgia!

If you’re looking for more history to explore, head over to Fort Pulaski National Monument, known as one of the coolest Nationals Park in Georgia. Here, you can walk the halls of the once state-of-the-art military fortification that housed prisoners of war during the Civil War.

If outdoor adventure is what you’re after, check out Sea Kayak Georgia! Guests can embark on a variety of water-based tours to suit your party! From stand-up paddling tours to remote marshlands to full-day and overnight camping canoe trips to custom tours to meet your group’s needs and interests, Sea Kayak Georgia is one of the best ways to explore Savannah’s aquatic ecosystems.

A light house on Tybee Island on a clear day.

Visit The Rooftop Bars

Savannah has no shortage of great places to find a tasty beverage, but their rooftop bars are unparalleled with amazing and drinks and stunning views of the city down below.

A few of our favorites include Myrtle & Rose Rooftop Garden in the Plant Riverside District (try the Georgia Kiss, Grey Goose vodka, blood orange, and lemon), Peregrin above the Perry Lane Hotel (try the Yuzu with sake, yuzu liqueur, elderflower liqueur, cava, and grapefruit lavender bitters), and Top Deck Bar on River Street (try the Midnight Sail with Absolut Pear, St. Germaine, lime juice, Blue Curacao, Grenadine, and a splash of soda).

Want to try everything? Take the Generals and Generalities Cocktail Tour, exploring Savannah’s history through cocktails and stories. You’ll get to take a walk through Savannah’s storied history and try the most beloved drinks from long ago. Tickets are $85 per person, but all beverages are included in the ticket price.

Looking for more? Check out our list of the best rooftop bars in Savannah. They certainly top our list as some of the most fun places to go in Savannah!

A rooftop bar overlooking downtown, one of the best places to visit in Savannah.

Mercer Williams House

Arguably the most famous of Savannah’s historic homes, the Mercer Williams house is notable for its Renaissance Revival style of architecture and as being the site of one of Savannah’s most notorious murders, depicted in the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

The home began construction by the Mercer family in 1860, but the Civil War delayed the completion of the home. It was finally finished in 1868, at which time the home was sold to John Wilder. Consequently, no Mercer ever lived in the house. It is truly one of the best Museums In Savannah!

By the 1960s, local preservationist Jim Williams bought and restored the home as his permanent residence. In 1981, Jim Williams shot and killed Danny Hansford in the home’s study, claiming self-defense. Williams was tried for the murder four times, a record in the state of Georgia. Finally acquitted in 1989, Williams returned to living in the home, and he passed away eight months after his release.

The Mercer Williams House now operates as a museum with guided tours occurring every 40 minutes during operating hours. Reservations are encouraged in advance. Make sure to check out Savannah’s famed Mercer Williams House on your next trip, definitely one of the best places to visit in Savannah!

Girl walking up the front walkway towards the Mercer Williams House on a sunny day.

Marvel At Houses On East Jones Street

Known as “the prettiest street in Savannah,” East Jones Street makes for a pleasant afternoon stroll, to admire some of the beautiful homes lining the avenue – absolutely one of the best places to visit in Savannah!

The street is named for Major John Jones, a Revolutionary War hero. Jones died at the attack on Spring Hill, but was a notable figure in the founding of Savannah prior to the war.

Most of the homes found on the street date to the 1850s and 1860s, creating uniformity in architecture and style. The area declined in popularity during the first half of the 20th century but was revitalized during the 1960s when preservationists embarked on large-scale restoration projects on many of the properties.

Notable homes on the street include the Knapp House, the Eliza Thompson House, and the Alexander Smets House among others. This neighborhood in historic Savannah, Georgia also is one of our favorites to stay in!

Couple kissing in front of the houses on East Jones Street, one of the best places to visit in Savannah.

Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist

The oldest Roman Catholic Cathedral in the state, this church was originally constructed in 1859 but was almost destroyed by a fire in 1898. The community rallied around the building and it was rebuilt, remains a hallmark of outstanding architecture and beauty – one of the best places to visit in Savannah!

Visitors to the area are welcome to join the church for one of the many masses held throughout the week. Docent-led tours are another great way to learn about the church and its history dating back all the way to the founding of the city. Tours are free to guests, but donations are appreciated and reservations are encouraged.

The tour will guide guests through the general history of the Roman Catholic Church in Savannah, and touch on the architecture and history of the building itself. You can marvel at the steeple bell, the terra cotta decoration, and the amazing Great Rose Window. Truly one of the quintessential Savannah tourist attractions.

Girl walking up to the facade of St. John the Baptist Church on a sunny day.

First African Baptist Church

Another incredible church, deeply embedded in the history of Savannah is the First African Baptist Church, founded in 1773 under the pastorship of Reverend George Liele. Pastor Liele was an emancipated slave and chose to leave Savannah in 1782 to ensure his freedom. He migrated to Jamaica and expanded his work as a minister there.

The site of the current church was developed under the third pastor, Reverend Andrew C. Marshall. Here he organized the first black Sunday school in North American and changed the name of the church from First Colored Baptist to its current name.

The sanctuary was completed in 1859 and still stands today as a testament to faith and community. Tours are available on Wednesdays through Saturdays at 3:00 PM, and ticket prices vary. Make sure to add this to your list of best places to visit in Savannah for a deep dive into the history of one of the area’s most important communities.

Go On A Ghost Tour

Looking for one of the best places to go in Savannah at night? Check out a spooky ghost tour, of course! As the oldest settlement in the state, Savannah definitely has some other-worldly beings from days gone by roaming the streets and historic buildings of today. Learn all about them and their connection to this area on The Dead of Night Ghost Tour.

This adults-only tour takes guests on a walk through Savannah’s historic district and provides a deep dive into the scariest and darkest of hauntings in the city. The tour begins at 423 Abercorn, a haunted house like no other! From there, guests will make stops at places like the macabre Foley House Inn and the creepy Sorrel Weed House. You’ll definitely want to bring your comfiest shoes and maybe even a flashlight to get you through the evening!

This 90-minute tour runs nightly at 9:00 PM and 11:00 PM. Tickets are $35, and the tour is known to sell out well in advance. Make sure to make your reservation before your trip!

A road flanked by mossy trees at Bonaventure Cemetery, one of the best places to visit in Savannah.

Try Ice Cream At Leopold’s

Located on Broughton Street, Leopold’s has been serving Savannah’s best ice cream for over a century. Their original recipe continues to delight their guests, making Leopold’s one of the best places to visit in Savannah!

Leopold’s was first founded in 1919 by three brothers from Greece, at a shop nestled on a corner by the popular streetcar. Guests would hop off the trolly for Leopold’s legendary shakes, malts, and banana splits. Though the shop has since moved from its original location, it still features many of the elements of that first store, like the black marble soda fountain and the telephone booth.

Try their premium ice cream (we like the Honey Almond & Cream and the Peanut Butter Chippy) or enjoy a soda fountain staple like the Hot Fudge Sundae or one of their Milk Shakes. Leopold’s is open seven days a week, so you can satisfy your sweet tooth at any time on your trip!

A rainbow arching over the facade of Leopold

Go Shopping At Paris Market

Prepare to get lost in a thoughtfully curated shop of wonders when you visit The Paris Market, one of the best places to visit in Savannah. Opened in 2001, The Paris Market is dedicated to sourcing a variety of treasures from around the globe and items handcrafted in Savannah.

If you’re not sure exactly what you’re shopping for, The Paris Market is the place to go. Here you’ll find wonderful and unique gifts, home goods, antiques, jewelry, and more – items you never even knew you needed! We love the carefully selected candles with delicious scents, the amazing art, the incredible one-of-a-kind soaps, and their signature The Paris Market Coffee.

If you work up an appetite while you shop, The Paris Market features an in-store cafe serving tea, wine, champagne, and house-made sandwiches. You could definitely spend a delightful rainy afternoon discovering the wonders that The Paris Market has on offer.

There’s no telling what you’ll find when you visit The Paris Market, but it will be wonderful! And make sure to check out some of our other top picks for shopping in Savannah!

Tables and chairs line the exterior of The Paris Market, one of the best places to visit in Savannah.

Walk Gaston Street To See The Mansions

Some of the most iconic homes in Savannah line Gaston Street, a beacon of wealth and history in Savannah’s past. As you walk beneath the Spanish moss, you’ll be treated to views of mansions standing grandly, built in a variety of architectural styles, but each dedicated to displaying opulence. This is definitely one of the best places to visit in Savannah for a walk on a sunny day.

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The landmark building on Gaston Street is The Gastonian, a luxury, historic hotel. It’s an excellent place to stay, combining two adjoining residential mansions into one of the most romantic bed and breakfasts in Savannah.

Located right in the heart of the historic district, Gaston Street is a lovely place to wander after a downtown tour, shopping excursion, or a jaunt through Forsyth Park. When you walk down Gaston Street, you truly feel like a home-grown Savannahian.

Girl in a red dress walking down Gaston Street.

Grab A Meal At Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room

Opened in 1943, Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room has been treating the folks of Savannah to the best southern cooking ever since. Located in Savannah’s historic district this is the perfect place to grab a meal after you’ve experienced many of the attractions on this list. With delicious homestyle meals on the menu, Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room is definitely one of the best places to go in Savannah!

The menu at Mrs. Wilkes’ is simple, but oh so good! First, you pick a meat like Fried Chicken or Meat Loaf and then add on your veggies. We like the Snap Peas, Candied Yams, and Macaroni and Cheese. You really can’t go wrong here – it’s all made fresh every day from seasonal local ingredients – yum!

But wait – there’s more! You can also stay at Mrs. Wilkes’, too! The Wilkes Pied-a-Terre is an entire apartment available to rent, to truly feel like Savannah local.

While Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room is at the forefront of famous restaurants in Savannah, don’t miss some of our other favorite restaurants in Savannah!

Pin Point Heritage Museum

One of the most hidden gems in Savannah is the Pin Point Heritage Museum, a site dedicated to the preservation and exploration of the Gullah and Geechee culture that was once prominent in the area. The museum is housed in an old crab factory and is one of the best places to visit near Savannah.

Pin Point was a community settled in 1896 by freedmen on the banks of the Moon River not far from Savannah. Guest walking through the exhibits are treated to artifacts, photographs, and lessons providing insight into Geechee and Gullah’s daily life, worship, communication, and cooking.

The museum is open on Thursdays through Saturdays and ticket prices vary. If you’re traveling with a large group, tours can be arranged by contacting the museum in advance.

The Savannah Underground

The Savannah Underground is an immersive one-of-a-kind experience that puts YOU at the center of Savannah’s most haunting and gruesome tales, making this one of the best places to visit in Savannah for a spooky evening.

Guests can enjoy an engaging show upon their visit to The Savannah Underground and have the option to embark on a trolley tour upon the conclusion of the show. Listen to three ghostly tales being acted out around you in their 360-degree interactive theatre. Current sinister stories include Yellow Fever, about a girl who suffers from the disease, and Boo Hag, about a woman who is haunted by a Gullah Geechee ghost known as “Hag.”

The evening also includes a ghost tour via trolley to some of the city’s most haunted spots and spookiest landscapes. As you jaunt through Savannah’s cobblestone streets, hear the stories that give Savannah the reputation as being one of “the most haunted cities in America.”

Ride The Paddle Wheeler

To tour the lush landscape of Savannah from the water, you can’t beat an afternoon cruise aboard the Georgia Queen – it’s one of the best places to visit in Savannah for a lazy afternoon. The riverboat provides state-of-the-art modern amenities while letting guests experience the transportation of days gone by.

The Georgia Queen offers a variety of cruises to suit your tastes. Meals are served on board and you can choose your cruising time around a specific meal in the day – they offer cruises for brunch, lunch, and dinner. You can also choose a cruise based on activity. The sightseeing tour showcases the best of the coast as you float down the river with guided narration from the captain himself!

If you’re looking for a cruise focused on entertainment, try the sunset cruise where a live band will play as cocktails are served and the sun sets over the river. If you love music, check out the Monday night gospel cruise, where dinner is served amidst the sounds of Savannah’s best gospel entertainers.

No matter which cruise you choose, the Georgia Queen is always one of the best activities in Savannah!

Girl looking over the river at the Georgia Queen Paddle Wheeler, one of the best places to visit in Savannah.

With so much to do and see, Savannah is an excellent destination for an active traveler. If you have a curious mind, there is so much to learn – from the storied history to the outstanding architecture to the quirky shops and fabulous bars and restaurants.

The best places to visit in Savannah are always right around the next corner! Come discover the magic of Georgia’s oldest city!

10 Savannah Must-Dos for First-Time Visitors

If you’re visiting Savannah for the first time, the amount of things to do can be quite overwhelming! But don’t worry, this list is the perfect combination of quaint, quirky, historic and modern. These Savannah must-dos will give you the well-rounded experience you’re looking for.

Explore Forsyth Park

This 30 acre park is nestled in the Historic Landmark District and is known for it’s Spanish moss draped oak trees, pedestrian/jogger-friendly sidewalks and the iconic fountain. The park’s great fountain is one of Savannah’s most recognizable landmarks, and is the perfect spot to snap a photo!

Within Forsyth Park, you’ll find a cafe, a visitor information center, two memorials, a Fragrant Garden for the Blind and two playgrounds to accommodate children of all ages. On Saturday mornings, a lively Farmer’s Market takes over the south end of the park.

Visit Savannah City Market and River Street

Savannah City Market is one of the areas must-see spots! Meet some of the city’s emerging artists, listen to live music, visit the American Prohibition Museum, or dine at one of their premier restaurants. This family-friendly attraction offers something for everyone!

Iconic River Street is an experience that can’t be missed. Walk the historic cobblestone streets to take in breathtaking views of the Savannah River and indulge in the energetic vibes of the Plant Riverside District as you shop, dine, dance and are entertained along this beautiful boardwalk.

Dine in a Bus Station

The Grey, a former Greyhound Bus Station turned restaurant, serves a menu full of surprising culinary creations. This highly-acclaimed restaurant offers up elegant fare in a surprising environment. Don’t have time for a full meal? The Diner Bar at The Grey offers a more casual – but equally enjoyable – experience. For those on the go, stop by The Grey Market. This market combines the grab-n-go convenience of a big city bodega with the history and menu of a true Southern lunch counter.

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First African Baptist Church

Explore Savannah’s Sacred Places

You don’t have to be religious to enjoy Savannah’s sacred places. With breathtaking beauty, deep histories and plenty of photo-ops, Savannah’s sacred spots are often at the top of travelers’ must-do lists. Tour Savannah’s most iconic churches like First African Baptist Church and the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist, or step inside Congregation Mickve Israel to experience one of the oldest Jewish congregations in America.

Learn About Savannah’s Architectural History

Take a comprehensive tour through 300 years of Savannah’s architectural history. Local author, SCAD graduate and owner of Architectural Tours of Savannah, Jonathan Stalcup, will lead you on a leisurely stroll sharing Savannah’s history through the periods, styles and forms of the homes and buildings.

Don’t know federal style from antebellum? This tour will bring you up to speed. The best part? The tour is small. Each tour is limited to a certain number of people to allow for dialogue and questions as they arise. And if you’re an Instagram photo junkie, charge your phone because this tour is right up your alley!

Shop Local Keepsakes

What would we do without our local business owners? You can’t visit Savannah without leaving with a few keepsakes. The Salt Table is an award-winning specialty shop specializing in salts, sugars, seasonal blends, oils, vinegars, dips and so much more. Their flavor consultants are poised to answer any question and make knowledgeable suggestions based on your needs. Stop by any of their local shops located in Savannah, Pooler, Jekyll Island and the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.

Don’t miss out on all natural and aromatic skin care products at Nourish. The recently restored Kennedy Pharmacy is the Davenport House Museum’s newest gift shop housing books, teas, jewelry and light bites. Locally Made Savannah is a respectful nod to an authentic soda shop where you can shop local artisan treasures and treat yourself to rich signature floats.

See Artwork by Local and International Artists

The SCAD Museum of Art is a contemporary museum where the exhibitions rotate based on the academic term. The Savannah College of Art and Design has over 11,000 students from nearly 50 states and over 100 countries, so you know you’ll see things you’ve never experienced before.

On Madison Square, you’ll find shopSCAD – a store filled with artwork, textiles, jewelry, photography made by current SCAD students, faculty and alumni. SCAD has many other galleries sprinkled throughout the Historic District, all of which are open for tours!

The Telfair Museum collection consists of various artistic tastes and Savannah’s history. For a modernized, cutting-edge view, visit the Jepson Center. For classic American and European pieces, Telfair Academy will not disappoint. A deep dive into the lives of the haves and have-nots in 1819 Savannah can be found at the Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters. Other noteworthy museums such as the Andrew Low House Museum, Pin Point Heritage Museum and the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum are worth adding to your bucket list to immerse yourself in the city’s cultural, scientific and historical values.

Ditch the Car

Savannah’s grid layout makes it so easy to get around town and explore by foot! Savannah is known for its incredible walking tours, like Footprints of Savannah Walking Tours, 40 Acres and a Mule Tour, and Walk with Me Savannah Tours. If you love seeing the sights at your own pace and schedule, follow our guide to exploring Savannah in 10,000 steps!

Sisters of the New South.

Chow Down on Fried Chicken

If there’s one thing Savannah loves, it’s fried chicken! We’ve broken down everything you need to know about Savannah’s mouthwatering fried chicken scene. You can find some of the best at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room, The Lady & Sons, Sisters of the New South or The Olde Pink House. Wear your stretchy pants and embrace the calories.

Over 3 miles of beautiful beaches.

Broaden Your Horizons

Although seeing the Historic District is a must for the first-time visitor, there’s so much more to Savannah than just that! Tybee Island, Savannah’s laid-back beach community offers plenty of sand and surf, as well as fun seafood shacks and stunning sunset cruises with the dolphins.

Broaden your horizons by exploring Savannah’s many neighborhoods, like the Moon River District, the Starland District and the Victorian District.

We’re sure these Savannah must-dos will give you the well-rounded experience you’re looking for on your next visit. By the time you leave, you’ll be an honorary Savannahian!

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Source https://www.visitsavannah.com/list/10-savannah-must-dos-first-time-visitors

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