Updated July 19, 2020.
So, the first thing you need to do is book a flight to Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV). The next thing you need to do is buy something in seersucker, get a hairbow (or bowtie for the gentlemen readers), and put these 10 things at the top of your Savannah to-do list!
10. Check Out River Street
River Street is charming, picturesque, and historic! What else could a person possibly need? The boutiques and restaurants down there are housed in the old cotton warehouses used when Savannah was the second largest seller of cotton in the world. A stroll along the river front will give you beautiful views, boutiques, candy shops, restaurants, statues, and a bit of history on historical markers along the way. It’s the best way to get to know the inner working of historic Savannah!
9. Visit the Telfair Trio of Museums
Looking for the famous Bird Girl? Love a good historic house tour? The Telfair has both! And actually, for $20 you gain access to all three museums. You can see the Bird Girl, hundreds of years of artwork, 19th century living spaces, and the beautiful Regency-style mansion that is the Telfair Academy. Just a few steps away you’ll find the Jepsen Center, which focuses on Savannah’s art and architecture, and how Savannah is moving forward in those areas. Just a few blocks to the east you can explore the Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters both on their guided tour and in their interpretation centers. *Note that the Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters is the only museum in the trio that requires a timed entry and guided tour.
More here: Savannah’s Historic Homes and Museums
8. Take a Ghost Tour
Savannah is a spooky kind of place! There are plenty of spooks and unexplained happenings this deep into Voodoo country, and if you don’t get nightmares easily, you soon will! Of course there are plenty of other themed tours to choose from if you’re not into the ghosts and Voodoo; not to worry!
Keep reading: Solo Travel in Savannah
7. Dine at the Olde Pink House
The Olde Pink House is the only Colonial-era home that survived the 1779 fire, and you guessed it: it’s haunted! The former lady of the house locks women in the ladies’ room, or so my waiter told me! It’s now a beautiful, upscale restaurant. Reservations are not required, but are recommended for the main dining room. I walked right in and ate at a table in the bar area, but the main dining room will give you all the fancy vibes. Want a spooky, semi-speakeasy time? Head to the basement!
*Pro tip: Reserve early (at least a month early!) if you want to dine in one of the vaults downstairs!
Read on: What to Eat in Savannah
6. Shop Local
One of the most charming, most lovely thing about Savannah is the dedication to local culture and locals! You can’t look left or right (or forward or backward) without seeing a local business. Everything from restaurants to boutique clothing and accessories to jewelry is available in and around Savannah. I got an amazing new purse from Red Clover over on Bull Street, enjoyed an amazing lavender latte at Savannah Coffee Roasters, and had breakfast with my friend Kristin of Kristin Baird Jewelry to design a piece of jewelry incorporating some family pieces I rarely wear.
With the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) right in the historic district, it’s no wonder so many talented people have made Savannah their home!
5. Walk Around the Historic District
It sounds cheesy, but it’s just the truth: walking through Savannah’s historic district is just like taking a walk into the past! The squares, the architecture, the gardens, the fountains, the statues, the mature trees, the Spanish moss, it’s all as if from a page in a book. Or a scene from a movie! Or a step into history. Just a walk down Bull Street from Forsyth Park to River Street will take you through nearly 300 years of history or more. Stop to read the historical markers, sit on one of the many benches, and admire the care the people of Savannah have taken to make their town a place deserving of recognition.
More here: Things to Love about Savannah
4. Explore a Ton of House Museums
No really, a ton! There are so many beautiful, historic homes to explore, and missing out on them means missing out on a huge part of Savannah’s culture and history. Some of my favorites are the Mercer-Williams House, the Davenport House, and the Harper-Folwkes House, just to name a few!
3. Get Ice Cream at Leopold’s
If you go to Savannah and don’t get ice cream at Leopold’s, did you really go? I think not. Leopold’s has been serving up homemade ice cream to Savannaians since 1919, when three brothers opened their first shop. Its line is known to stretch out the door and down the sidewalk, but on a hot Savannah summer’s day, you’ll find an ice cream makes everything better than it was before!
*Pro tip: Go soon after opening for little to no line; I walked right in at 11:45am! I’ve also heard the same if you go just prior to closing, perhaps after your ghost tour? But that’s after my self-proclaimed bedtime, so I can’t say for sure. You’ll have to let me know!
2. Visit the American Prohibition Museum
This was awesome! This museum is the only one of its kind, and it was fun to explore! There were several handsomely-dressed folks inside to answer your questions, and the exhibits were interactive and informative, too! I really didn’t know much about prohibition before I went, but now I’m more interested in it than ever! The causes and reasons behind it are more surprising than you might think, and the ties to women’s suffrage are mighty interesting as well!
1. Stroll Forsyth Park
This is one of those iconic things you have to do in the world before you die. The park is beautiful, recognizable, and peaceful. It’s a perfect place for a morning run, a little picnic, an evening stroll, or a brisk morning walk with only the few other morning people who are up and about. If you only do one thing in Savannah, make it relaxing in Forsyth Park.
Are you ready for your own trip to Savannah? Comment to tell me what you’d do first! And check out my United States Page for more all-American adventures!
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