How To See the Best of Savannah, Georgia in 24 Hours
Words do not do this place justice; Savannah is truly a city you must experience for yourself. Even if you have just 24 hours to spend in Savannah, it is truly worth it. Read on for our suggested itinerary below for how to spend one day in Savannah followed by additional tips on things to do in Savannah.
Why Should You Visit Savannah For One Day?
It’s hard to find a better place to eat and drink yourself through time. When General James Oglethorpe founded the city in 1733, he devised a plan to build the city in squares. Today those 22 squares make up the thriving historic district where travelers stroll tree-lined streets, tour Southern homes, have dinner at fabulous restaurants, duck into a pub for a beer, or simply rest and watch the people go by.
With so many things to do and see, you will be hard-pressed to find yourself bored in Savannah.
One Day In Savannah: Suggested Itinerary
Time needed: 1 day.
How to Spend 24 Hours in Savannah, GA
- Savannah History Museum
Your first stop during your one day in Savannah should be at the Savannah Visitor’s Center on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. While there, not only can you gather information about anything that might interest you in Savannah, but you can also visit the adjacent Savannah History Museum.
The history covered in the museum date back to 1733. Exhibits cover the culture and history of Savannah and even include some pop culture displays, like the bench featured in Forrest Gump. Making the museum even more interesting is that it’s located in the historic Central of Georgia Railway Train Shed.
While you are there, go ahead and tour the Savannah History Museum; a little background will make your exploration of the city more fun.
- Bonaventure Cemetery
Bonaventure Cemetery is the original location where you could see the Bird Girl statue from the cover of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which helped to put the cemetery on the tourist map. The statue is now in the Savannah History Museum, but Bonaventure Cemetery is beautiful and worth exploring.
- Take a walk on The River Walk
The River Walk is made from old cobblestones and follows along the Savannah River. There are numerous places to sit and watch the people walking by or admire the river. There is always something interesting going on, sometimes an old saxophone player or a man making roses out of palm fronds. There are ice cream and fudge shops if you need a sugar boost during your visit.
- Go Shopping and have lunch on River Street
Walking on your own will give you the freedom to explore, and the layout of the city makes it simple to find your way around. River Street is a great place to start with its many shops and restaurants. Stop in at Savannah Candy Kitchen and watch taffy being pulled, or sit on one of the many benches along the Savannah River and watch the barges travel the waterways.
If you are hungry, try Huey’s New Orleans Café or The Shrimp Factory. River Street is also a great place to buy souvenirs or relax and have a drink. Definitely take a walk down this street at night and listen to live music in the pubs or from the street musicians. Kevin Barry’s Irish Pub is a neat place to eat and listen to live Irish music.
Factors Walk is another shopping and dining area located in the River Street area; stop at the Cobblestone Café for breakfast and write about your Savannah experience in one of the journals located at all of the tables. Try the Six Pence Pub on Bull Street if you are interested in experiencing an authentic British atmosphere and food in addition to an extensive beer list; the French onion soup is wonderful there.
- Visit Forsyth Park
There are many other points of interest that you may or may not see on a tour. Forsyth Park with its beautiful fountain and the tree-lined walk was the setting of a famous scene in Forrest Gump.
- City Market
The City Market is also a great place for shopping and eating. This area of the city is located at Jefferson and West St. Julian Streets, in the same area that was the original City Market that began in 1755 when it was the social and commercial center of Savannah. Today you can find art galleries, restaurants, shopping, and live music.
- Nighttime Entertainment
When the sun goes down, it’s time to get spooky in Savannah! Try a paranormal adventure or haunted pub crawl. Two to check out are the Historic Savannah Theatre Investigation and the Creepy Crawl Night-Time Haunted Pub Walking Tour of Savannah’s Historic District.
Read More: Most Romantic Getaways in the South
Other Ways To Tour Savannah
We know everyone travels a bit differently so here are some more options for how to explore and fill 24 hours in Savannah.
Hop-On, Hop-Off Trolley Ride
If you don’t want to do too much walking, explore Savannah via a hop-on, hop-off trolley. A trolley ride through the historic district is very informative and fun. You can get on and off at numerous places. You will see magnificent old homes built around beautiful parks, old churches, and more shopping at the City Market.
Check It Out: Tickets for the Hop-On, Hop-Off Trolley Ride
Savannah Walking Tours
One of the best ways to experience Savannah is to walk, either on your own or with a tour guide. There are many walking tour companies that offer a variety of tours around Savannah.
Popular Walking Tours to Check Out in Savannah
- Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil Narrated Walking Tour (Likely to Sell Out)
- Historical Drinking Tour of Savannah
- Rising Voices: Underrepresented History (Likely to Sell Out)
- Savannah Culinary & Cultural Walking Food Tour (Likely to Sell Out)
- Savannah Historic District Walking Tour
There are also Historic Homes walks, Civil War walks, Sip and Shop walks, Dessert Walks, and one of the most popular: ghost walks…
Savannah Ghost Tours
Savannah is often called one of the most haunted cities in the United States, a fact that leads to plenty of nighttime entertainment. Many different ghost walking tours are available that offer plenty of spooky history and interesting facts about Savannah.
Ghost Tours to Check Out in Savannah
- 90-Minute Savannah History & Haunts Candlelit Walking Ghost Tour (Likely to Sell Out!)
- Ghost City “Dead of Night” Walking Night Tour
- Savannah Ghostwalker Tour and Ghost Hunt
- Spooky Savannah Haunted Pub Crawl and Walking Ghost Tour (Likely to Sell Out!)
- Genteel and Bard’s Savannah Dark History and Ghost Encounter Walking Tour (Likely to Sell Out!)
There are also pirate tours and haunted pub tours available for nightly entertainment.
Tybee Island, a Beach Destination Close to Savannah
If you are going to Savannah, you should drive an extra thirty minutes out to Tybee Island to see the lighthouse and visit Fort Screven.
If you have never been to a lighthouse, take this opportunity to explore the tallest and oldest lighthouse in Georgia; make sure you climb the 178 steps to the top because the view of the Atlantic, the island, and the marshes are absolutely incredible.
Need a hassle-free way to get to Tybee Island? Check out the Tybee & Savannah Private Driver Land Tour from Savannah Historic District excursion.
While in Tybee Island, you can also tour the light-keepers home that has been restored into a museum.
In addition, one of the oldest remaining coastal artillery batteries in the United States, Fort Screven, is located just across the street from the lighthouse. The battery has been there since 1898 and now houses the Tybee museum, which exhibits island life from colonial days through World War II. Walk through the museum, and then climb to the top of the fort for great views of the Atlantic.
For foodies, there are many highly touted restaurants on Tybee Island: Can’t Chris Restaurant, Dolphin Reef Restaurant and Lounge, The Grill Beachside, and many more.
One that is unique and highly recommended is The Crabshack, whose slogan is “where the elite eats in their bare feet.” Indeed, it looks like a shack as you approach, but the restaurant includes a large deck that overlooks the marshes and is heated with wood fires in the winter so that you can enjoy the fresh air all year long. The food is great and the atmosphere is fun and relaxing.
Have a Great Day in Savannah, GA
Savannah is one of those rare places that stay with you long after you have departed her Southern charm and hospitality; you will not want to leave and you will always want to return to Savannah. Her beautiful squares lined with graceful historic homes and timeless live oak trees draped with Spanish moss will make their way into your soul before you even realize you have been enchanted.
Read More: One Day in Charleston, SC Itinerary