Savannah is one of the South’s true gems, and for eager travelers, it’s got a lot to offer. It’s a bustling port with plenty of water related activities, a top destination for partying and bachelors/bachelorettes, and one of America’s most cherished historical centers. While it’s not a huge metropolis on its own — with under 200,000 residents in Savannah proper — the city attracts millions of domestic and international tourists each year. It’s a city that’s grown into its role as a vacation hub, which means there’s no shortage of things to be done, seen, and experienced.
In case that wasn’t enough to convince you of a visit, Savannah is the right size for excellent walking and can be seen over the course of a long weekend.
Picking the top activities for your Savannah trip, however, will come down to who you’re traveling with and your ultimate goals for the visit. We’ve highlighted three of the city’s most popular visitor activities, along with tips to get the most out of your stay — whether it’s for business, family, or something a little more risque.
1. Explore the Graveyards
It sounds a bit gruesome at first, but don’t get scared off by the spirits just yet; Savannah is home to some of America’s oldest, most beautiful, and famous graveyards. Many are open to tourists during daylight hours and feature impressive stonework and architecture, along with mausoleums for some of the city’s most prominent residents and families.
The city’s most famous graveyard destination is Bonaventure Cemetery, featured prominently in the hit book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” The cemetery also features many unique and unusual gravestones, including one shaped like a piano. It’s a leisurely walk from downtown and can be seen on a self-guided tour.
2. Party in Style
Bachelors and bachelorettes from around the Southern United States flock to Savannah for its nightlife. RIght along the Savannah River lie streets filled with large and hospitable bars and dance halls, many of which feature great live music on the weekends (Bluegrass and country are usually the sounds of choice). Several of downtown’s hotels feature rooftop bars that overlook the water.
While Savannah is generally a walkable city, it lacks large-scale public transportation (relying on buses, mostly). So if you’re not staying right in downtown, getting to and from party destinations can be a bit challenging. Fortunately, there are also Savannah party bus rentals for those who want the ease of barhopping transportation without worrying about finding a designated driver (plus, the fun can continue on the journey from bar to dance hall and back to hotel).
3. Immerse Yourself in History
Savannah has been an important destination for many events in American history, including the Revolution and Civil War. As such, the city is steeped in history, with important battlefields, buildings, and other sites around every turn. The city’s downtown and historic districts feature dozens of buildings on the National Historic Register, many of which can be toured for cheap or free by history buffs. Throughout the year, many of these buildings also feature actors dressed in costume for various time periods, including colonial and 19th century garb.