From meeting new people to experiencing new sights, sounds, and smells – is there anything more exciting or rejuvenating than a break from the day-to-day mundanity? Traveling is an excellent way to immerse yourself in a new culture, setting, or way-of-life, but the best part is this: you don’t have to venture far from home to enjoy what this world has to offer.
Whether your journey takes you across your own city, to an unexplored part of your state, or even to the other side of the world, there’s no doubt you will still learn a lot about your surroundings – and yourself – along the way.
While the culture an hour away from your home might not be drastically different from what you’re used to, you can still gain a deepened sense of appreciation for where you’ve laid your roots. Plus, traveling locally has a lot of benefits:
More cost-effective. Local travel is certainly a budget-friendly way to explore! Many activities and parks are free or have a low cost of entry. For day trips, you can also pack your own meals to save.
Eco-friendly way to travel. Travel is hard on the environment, but putzing around your area is more sustainable than air travel.
Quick trips. Getting out locally means you can do it more often! Long weekend trips are a lot easier to take when the destination is a short drive away.
Easy to plan. Preparing your itinerary for a local getaway will likely save you some time and stress.
More convenient. Especially if you have little ones, sticking close to home may be much more convenient than far-off destinations. If you forget something, have an emergency, or need to cut the trip short, being closeby definitely has its benefits.
Besides its all-important role in U.S. history and being the setting for the beloved film Forrest Gump, Savannah has lots more to offer. Here are some of our favorite things to see, do, and experience in Savannah, Georgia.
*Note: Some of the suggestions may not be doable due to coronavirus closures, but keep this list handy for when things start opening back up more! Be sure to check individual pages for specific operation details.
Along with its intriguing historical significance and quaint city life, Savannah is also home to a bounty of beautiful outdoor areas that exhibit the unique charms of the south. Here are some of the best state and national parks and preserves in the Savannah, GA area.
Nestled along the southern shore of the Ogeechee River and home to a well-preserved defensive fort used by the Confederate troops, Fort McAllister State Park is a big draw not only for history buffs, but also for outdoor adventurers of all stripes. The park hosts 4.3 miles of hiking trails as well as waterfront access for boating, paddling, and more, as well as an interesting and informative museum stocked with many unique artifacts from the Civil War era.
A stretch of countryside sandwiched between the urban oasis of Savannah and the wilderness of the Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge, Skidaway Island State Park offers visitors a one-of-a-kind opportunity to get away from it all, without going very far away at all. Just shy of 600 acres, this park boasts hiking trails and campsites, as well as nearby access to both fresh and saltwater fishing and boating areas.
A sprawling wilderness on one of the barrier islands near Savannah, Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge is home to a vast array of unique wildlife that it’s hard to find elsewhere, such as loggerhead sea turtles, American alligators, and many types of shorebirds and waterfowl. The refuge is a great place for hiking and bird watching expeditions, and there are also hunting and fishing opportunities on-site.
Savannah may not have the same kind of reputation for hiking as, say, Denver — but don’t get it twisted, there are plenty of worthy trails in the area! Here are our favorite hikes around Savannah, for adventurers of all fitness and interest levels.
Perhaps the most popular hike near the Savannah urban area, the Sandpiper, Avan, and Big Ferry Trails Loop runs a total of just over four miles and sees about 50 feet in elevation gain — so while you won’t be climbing much, you will be wandering around for quite a while. Known for its riverside views and swampy marshlands, some of which are passable only thanks to an elevated boardwalk, this trail is a good option for those hiking with kids and leashed dogs, and also features a wooden observation tower.
Combine your love of history with your love of the great outdoors and visit the Wormsloe Historic Site Trail, which runs about three miles and maintains a relatively flat terrain throughout. Wandering amidst the remains of its namesake, Wormsloe, the colonial estate of Noble Jones dating back to the early 1700s, this trail also offers plush, green countryside views and a river, and the area is populated by a variety of local birds.
If you’re willing to cross state lines into nearby Hilton Head, South Carolina, Sea Pines Forest Reserve offers a unique look at the low country, featuring peaceful lakeside views, elevated wooden walkways, and a dog-friendly policy along its three-mile length. That said, you’ll want to keep kiddos and doggos alike close by… this is the south, after all, and those waters are inhabited by alligators. Just a warning!
Want to get outside without having to go very far at all? Tucked into one of the best city parks in town, the J.F. Gregory Park Trail runs just over three miles altogether and, like most trails in Georgia, is relatively flat throughout. Featuring a perfect mix of lush, Spanish-moss-draped tree cover and beautiful waterside views, this trail is the perfect local option for those looking for a quick walk or run after work.
Looking for a longer opportunity to stretch your legs — or even a reason to bring your off-road bike out of storage? Moon River at Downing Piers is a much-loved Savannah trail of nearly eight miles in length, which offers panoramic views of the local marshlands and grasses. It’s a good idea to bring navigational aids, as some reviewers say the trail is lost quite easily. That said, if you’re well prepared, this makes for a wonderful spot to catch a sunset or view some beautiful local wildflowers.
The south is known for its generous helpings of comforting, delicious meals — but no matter what you’re after, you can find it in Savannah, from fried green tomatoes to sushi. Here are some of the best restaurants in town to satisfy any craving.
A quintessential and iconic Savannah institution, The Olde Pink House is known not only for its delicious menu of southern delights, but also for its stunning atmosphere. Located inside an elegant colonial mansion in the heart of downtown, this place also makes good use of its cellar, which stands as a tavern hosting live music nearly nightly. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but we highly recommend you order a side of collards with ham!
Whether it’s date night or just one of those nights when nothing but something truly hearty and satisfying will do, sometimes, Italian is the answer — and if you’re looking for the best Italian in Savannah, you’re looking for Corleone’s Trattoria. Beloved by locals and visitors alike, this spot offers delicious classics, such as fettuccine alfredo and penne alla vodka, along with sandwiches, wraps, flatbreads and even burgers. There are plenty of vegetarian options, too!
If you head south of the border in Georgia, you’re heading to Florida, not Mexico — but you can still get some delicious Mexican eats in town. Tequila’s Town Mexican Restaurant is one of the best-loved local options, and in fact has been voted the best Mexican restaurant in Savannah for seven years straight! Choose from a wide range of classics like tacos, burritos, and more, and don’t forget to order a margarita to wash it all down with.
Southern cooking is wonderful and all, but it can be heavy on the animal products. If you’re looking for an alternative that doesn’t rely so much on our furred and feathered friends, the Fox and Fig Cafe has you covered. Offering a wide selection of indulgent plant-based goodies like burgers, garlic bread, mac-and-”cheese” and pancakes, this spot will feed vegetarians and vegans while still convincing even dedicated carnivores that it doesn’t have to be all meat, all the time.
If you’re looking for great Asian food in Savannah, check out Ta Ca Asian Fusion and Sushi Bar. Offering everything from sashimi to pho, this spot can truly satisfy any appetite, even if you’re hanging out with people who aren’t convinced by the whole “raw fish” thing.
Great dining, the great outdoors — and so much more! Here are some of our top picks for things to do in Savannah this weekend (or whenever), whether you’re hanging out with the family, striking out on your own, or looking for things for couples to do.
Savannah is an amazing place for kids and families. Here are some of our favorite all-ages options to add to your itinerary.
What kid — or adult, for that matter — isn’t at least a little bit obsessed with railroads? Savannah is home to the Georgia State Railroad Museum, a one-of-a-kind attraction that’s also on the register of National Historic Landmarks. Take a guided tour, explore restored historic railcars, and learn everything you didn’t know you needed to know about locomotives.
If you’ve got a Girl Scout in your family, a visit to the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace is non-optional. Come see where it all started more than a century ago, and enjoy a variety of scheduled events such as archaeology days, guided tours of the house itself, and more.
Offering kids the opportunity to get hands-on experience with the world around them can be far more interesting and validating than time spent in a classroom. At the Savannah Children’s Museum, kids of all ages are invited to make discoveries with their own two eyes and hands, and can also attend a variety of scheduled and organized events and activities.
It’s not hard to figure out what to do with yourself during the beautiful Georgia daytime, but what about after the sun sets? Here are some of the best things to get into in Savannah at night.
Do date night better at Savannah Smiles Dueling Pianos Saloon, where you can not only kick back and enjoy a refreshing cocktail, but also listen to some of the premier live entertainment available not just in the city, but in the whole state. The kitchen is also open late and serves satisfying bar snacks like soft pretzels and hot dogs.
Instantly recognizable thanks to its iconic marquee, the Trustees Theater has been a Savannah institution since 1946, and still offers some of the very best entertainment available in town. From live music to film and everything in between, be sure to check out their calendar of events before you make any other plans.
It can feel all too easy to overspend in Savannah — but don’t worry, you don’t have to go overboard to have a good time! Here are some of our favorite affordable options to explore.
Even if you’re not a bookworm, you’ll enjoy a trip to Flannery O’Connor’s Childhood Home, which showcases the way of life the famous author knew in her early days. The home also features some of the author’s books on display, and you can see the marginalia she made as early as eight.
Modelled after the ubiquitous free walking tours that help visitors get acquainted with European cities, Savannah’s Free Walking Tour is in the “cheap” section of our guide because it is customary to tip your leaders at the end — and this company does such a good job, you’ll want to shell out! Get familiar with the history of this unique town and gain a fuller understanding even if you’ve been there for a long while.
Still after some totally-free to-dos in town? You’re in luck! Here are some of our favorite no-cost activities in Savannah.
While meandering a cemetery may sound kind of morbid, this 160-acre green space is as beautiful as they come, draped in Spanish moss and punctuated with unique headstones, some of which are in ornate, decorative shapes. See gravesites dating back to the 1800s and discover why Bonaventure is considered by many to be one of the world’s most beautiful cemeteries.
Featuring both formal and naturalistic plant displays, as well as a network of walking trails and a historic house that can be rented out for events, the Savannah Botanical Gardens is a picturesque place to spend an afternoon meandering, and you don’t have to pay a dime to do it.
You don’t have to be Catholic — or religious at all, for that matter — to enjoy a visit to Savannah’s Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, a structure that originally dates back to the 19th century. Whether you go for a mass or visit during the open hours (a donation of $3 is suggested, but not strictly enforced), this stunning architectural masterpiece will have you looking toward heaven.
What’s more indulgent and relaxing than a day at the spa? Whether it’s to recover from a long day in the Georgia sun, or just because you feel like it, here are the best day spas and salons to treat yourself to in Savannah.
A full-service day spa that’s won “best of” contests in town many times, Savannah Day Spa is the quintessential oasis in this southern city, offering everything from skin care to nail services and massage in a wide range of modalities. Visit for a relaxing couple’s massage with your sweetheart or a more therapeutic, deep-tissue option. And take advantage of special packages to ensure you get the most for your money.
One of the most well-loved local beautifying boutiques, 40 Volume Salon and Spa is primarily geared toward hair care, offering cuts, coloring, and styling services for men, women, children, and special occasions. However, you can also get lash extensions, hair removal, and special conditioning treatments, all done with a side of smiles and friendly southern charm.
Staying in shape will do more for you than get you ready to hit the beach come summertime — it’ll keep you ready to face everything life has to offer. Here are some of the best places to grab a sweat sesh in Savannah.
A quintessential fitness center stocked with everything you need to meet your goals, The Zoo Health Club also offers individualized personal training, group training sessions, tanning, spin classes, childcare and more. In other words, it’s your one-stop shop for all things body and soul.
Yoga is more than merely physical exercise. It’s a psychic and spiritual journey, too — one best done in a supportive, loving environment and community atmosphere. At Savannah Yoga Center, you can choose from a variety of classes suited to yogis of all walks of life and know you’ll be accepted and welcomed just as you are.
As rich with adventure opportunities as Savannah is, there are also some incredible places worth day tripping to in the immediate area! Here are some of the most worthwhile day trips and weekend getaways near Savannah.
Come see why this stunning stretch of beach has been considered a resort destination for years — and don’t forget to take in the history of Fort Screven and the Tybee Island Light Station while you’re at it! Close enough that you can get home in time for dinner, Tybee is worth running out to even just to enjoy a sunset.
While you’d be forgiven for thinking the oldest American settlements are north of you in Georgia, the real truth lies south of the border. St. Augustine, FL is the oldest continually-inhabited European settlement in the states, though it was originally settled by Spain instead of England — which may account for while you don’t recall it from your history books. Either way, this seaside gem of a town is awash with fun, mystery, and delicious eats.
As a final reminder, some of these activities may need to wait until businesses fully reopen from coronavirus closures. However, there is still much to see and experience in Savannah that you can enjoy today! What are your favorite spots in Savannah? Send them our way to firstname.lastname@example.org or by tagging us on Instagram @rvshare and using the hashtag #rvsharelocal.