9 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Savannah (2023)
The most idyllic south city and the oldest city of Georgia, Savannah is a name every American knows about. Be it for being the most beautiful historic district in the United States or offering the quintessentially southern, the popularity of Savannah knows no end. And of course, with that, the sightseeing tourism charm here is famous amongst all hardcore and novice travelers. You may belong to any part of the world, but the vibes at Savannah will shower you with a new and unique experience.
The best time to explore Savannah is from March to July. It is when the temperature is a little warm and tree leaves, and azalea blooms out of hibernation. This is also when most of the Savannah events and festivals infuse life into all nooks and corners of the city. Hotels rate may rise during the phase, though the experiences and memories will undoubtedly make it all worth it. Oh, confused about where to start and what to include in your Savannah itinerary? Well, our list of the top attractions in Savannah, Georgia, will help you with that.
9 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Savannah
Have a look at our choicest picks:
1. Forsyth Park
Forsyth Park is the largest park in the Savannah district occupying 30 acres. Reportedly the most popular icon of Savannah, it has multiple fashionable features that draw visitors from the city and across. Beginning with its centerpiece, the large cast-iron fountain was added in 1858 and has been admired for over 150 years. Besides that, Forsyth offers lovely paved paths for taking a walk, especially early morning and late evening. The beautiful live oaks and Spanish moss make even a simple walking experience a grand one here.
Visiting Forsyth Park in the right season opens up opportunities of watching the best of nature’s colors. The lush landscapes featuring trees, flowers, and other foliage are extremely photogenic. Forsyth Park also organizes a weekly farmer’s market, occasional open-air concerts, and more modes of entertainment and engagement.
2. Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
The biggest church and the most iconic building in the city, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, is undoubtedly a must-visit in Savannah. Its architectural beauty and the charm of its interiors will definitely make your jaw drop. The church was initially built in the 1870s and has its latest restoration in the 1990s, though still much of the original is alive. From the outside, the towering spires and stained-glass features will leave you impressed. Whereas from inside, a 9,000 pounds marble altar brought down from Italy along with incredible Renaissance-style murals will take your heart away.
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is ideal for both a spiritual visit and as a tourist attraction. Tours of the building are available from Monday through Saturday, 9 am to 11:45 am and 12:45 pm to 5 pm. And since entry for the same is just $2, you have no excuses to miss the chance. One can also visit the Cathedral to attend regular mass prayers.
3. The Owens-Thomas House
The most important historic home in Savannah, Owens- Thomas House, is a staple while you are exploring the city. The building is a prime example of English Regency architecture and one of the finest in the nation as well. Besides that, it is one of the oldest and best-preserved urban slave quarters in the American South. A walk inside the main house will introduce you to fabulous furnishings and period pieces. However, what gains more attention than this are the slave quarters besides. Touring these quarters will allow visitors to learn about slave life, how they were kept, their children, and much more.
Tours for exploring the Owens-Thomas house are given daily at 15-minute intervals. Beginning from 10 am, the last tour begins at 4:15 pm. While kids under 5 are given entry for free, adults have to pay $22 per person. For any history enthusiasts, tours here are one wonderful experience.
4. Savannah Historic District
Savannah’s Historic District is the largest National Historic Landmark District in the United States. There is no better place to start with for a perfect Georgia vacation. It has everything from museums, churches, mansions, monuments, and famous forts that talks tales of past and present. The district begins with City Hall (1905) at the intersection of Bull and Bay Streets. The 1852 U.S. Customs House stands opposite it, and south of it is Johnson Square. Besides that, there are multiple city squares, including Christ Episcopal Church, along with coffee shops and restaurants.
The charm of the Savannah Historic District lies in those manicured gardens, oak-shaded parks drizzling with silvery Spanish Moss, and the splendid cobblestone streets. Many of the popular attractions in the city are part of its historic district, making it convenient for explorers to navigate. No doubt, despite climate and weather considerations, it hosts millions of visitors every year. It is also great for shopping, dining, and experiencing live entertainment.
5. Tybee Island
Tybee Island is a small coastal community within 20 minutes driving distance from Savannah’s historic district. It is one of the top-rated tourist attractions near Savannah. Tybee Island has welcomed and entertained individuals since the 1800s for its natural beauty and history. The island is home to over three miles of beautiful beaches with different personalities and charm. The sun-kissed sand here allows individuals to lounge while basking in epic views out over the Atlantic. One can try popular activities like sunbathing, swimming, and kayaking.
Tybee Island is also home to a historic lighthouse, Marine Science Center, and Fort Pulaski. Besides that, there are chains of restaurants and beachfront bars serving authentic seafood, southern cuisines, and drink delights. Before going back, do not forget to experience the Dolphin tour, one of the best offerings of Tybee Island.
6. Bonaventure Cemetery
One of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world, Bonaventure Cemetery is another must-visit in Savannah. This iconic historic landmark features a sprawling Victorian layout and beautiful stonework monuments. It though is a cemetery by purpose but can beat several gardens and green spaces when it comes to natural beauty. Bonaventure Cemetery covers over 100 acres and has graves from as early as 1846. Over 1,300 veterans of the Civil War and the Spanish-American War are resting their final journey here. Tombs here appear everything from spooky to examples of stunning marble work.
Bonaventure Cemetery has free walking guided tours on the second Sunday of each month. A local historian and author will join the enthusiasts in sharing fascinating tales about individuals resting here and much more. Bonaventure is also known for some spooky and bone-chilling experiences, and if you are seeking any such, you should definitely plan a visit here.
7. Telfair Museums of Art
For all the art and science lovers, there is no better place in Savannah than the Telfair Museum of Art. It is the oldest museum in Georgia and even the entire south of the United States. The museum presently hosts a huge collection of over 4,500 American and European paintings, sculptures, paintings, and paperwork. The collection is spread evenly between three landmarks, including the contemporary Jepson Center for the Arts, the 1818 Telfair Academy (formerly the Telfair family home and the 1816 Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters.
To explore the best of Telfair, the first and best place to reach is the Telfair Academy. The building housing this splendid museum in itself is a 200-year-old mansion known for its impressive Neoclassical Regency style architecture. Individuals can choose from the self-guided audio tour that focuses on the architectural part. Or, go for guided tours where a well-informed individual will help you delve nicely into the museum’s history.
8. Mickve Israel Temple
Mickve Israel Temple is another popular attraction in Savannah, the only Gothic-style synagogue in North America. Besides that, it is United States’ third-oldest Jewish congregation as well. The structure was originally found back in 1735 by a group of 42 Sephardic Jewish immigrants. Over the year, it gained immense importance amongst the community and later became a National Historic Landmark. Its tall central tower presiding over fine facades attracts architectural enthusiasts from all over the nation.
Mickve Israel Temple offers tours from morning to evening continuously and closes for only one hour in between. Individuals can also attend the Shalom Y’all Food Festival. The festival falls on the 4th Sunday of each October from 11 am until 3 pm. It is when you can peek more into Jewish culture and enjoy their authentic cuisine and live musical entertainment. Tours of Mickve Israel Temple are paid, though there are no entry charges for attending the festival.
9. Wormsloe Historic Site
When in Savannah, there is nothing more appealing than taking a walk in the Wormsloe Historic Site. This must-see tourist attraction of Savannah was once Wormsloe Plantation, an estate that Noble Jones founded. The place originally belonged to the 1700s; however, it still has high importance amongst both locals and visitors. Once you pass through the gate, you will find yourself standing in front of a wide walkway under sprawling live oaks draped with moss.
Wormsloe Historic Site is a similar natural landmark that you may have seen in many quintessential Southern photos. These 822 acres of forest, marsh and former farmlands take you into a time of peace and secludedness even while in the middle of Savannah. It is ideal for walking with friends, partners, or family and having quality time together.