Savannah Travel Guide
Savannah, Georgia is a city of many faces, both a bona fide necropolis with some of the most haunted places in the U.S. within its limits and a warm and welcoming city with delicious food and joyous outdoor events. Savannah really does have something for everyone. History buffs will love its many tours, conducted by walking, horse-drawn carriages, and by trolley. Foodies will love sampling the best dishes from the many award-winning restaurants and bakeries. Nature-lovers won't want to miss the hiking and stunning vistas on Tybee and Whitemarsh Islands. Music-lovers will be drawn by the many festivals spanning every genre, both indoor and outdoor. And there are few better places to visit if you're interested in paranormal activities — world-renowned Bonaventure Cemetery, the infamous Gribble House, and more are all contained within the most haunted city in America.
Eastern Standard Time
Best Time to Go
Savannah is an amazing place to go to escape winter, as it rarely gets cooler than around 40 degrees and is frequently in the lovely and temperate mid-fifties. And Savannah is an underrated Halloween destination – the city thrives on its history, much of which is a little spooky. Ghost tours of specific haunted places and of the city as a whole are popular year-round but kick it up a notch in late September. If you choose to visit during the summer, know that it gets quite hot and muggy, but the live music and seasonal cuisine makes it entirely worth it. Spring and fall are always lovely times to travel, and moreso when your destination tends toward humidity — Savannah's spring and fall are less muggy, but still warm, and are particularly excellent choices if your goal is to enjoy Savannah's surrounding islands.
Things to Know
Savannah is a decent-sized city, but visitors almost never go beyond the Historic District. It's not that other areas lack for things to do; more that the Historic District has most of the things that Savannah is most famous for, is very walkable, and has the largest concentration of hotels.
Savannah really embraces its identity as one of the spookiest cities in America. There's a reason this guide focuses so much on the haunted attractions of the city; there are so many of them, and it is a favorite destination for history buffs, ghost chasers, and anyone who likes a good haunted house tour. There are many other things to do in Savannah, but the city is the subject of one of the most best-selling true crime novels of all time, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, and has been the subject of some of the most-viewed episodes of beloved ghost hunting shows.
In the true spirit of famed Southern hospitality, Savannah locals are warm, friendly, and more than happy to point you toward their favorite places or help you get where you need to go. Sidewalks tend to be wide, allowing the city to be accessible to folks with wheelchairs; it has very few hills, so people with mobility limitations should find Savannah an easy and enjoyable place to visit.
How to Get Around
Historic Savannah, where most visitors spend their time, is extremely walkable and it's unlikely that you'll need more than your own two feet to see everything you'd like to see. However, if you'd like to venture further or faster, here are your best options.
Trains: Savannah is not serviced by any local light rails, as the city is on the smaller side. There is an Amtrak station if you want to use Savannah as your base to explore surrounding areas of Georgia.
Buses: There are two bus services, the CAT and the DOT. The CAT serves not only Savannah but the surrounding Chatham area, and costs $1.50 per one-way trip. The DOT is completely free, and services 24 stops in the Historic District, including Belles Ferry. The DOT is also ADA-accessible, making it a wonderful service for differently-abled people who want to enjoy all that Savannah has to offer.
Taxis: Yellow cab service is available in Savannah, though visitors usually use it mainly to get from the airport to their hotels. Elite Taxi is the company of choice, with the highest ratings and most frequent recommendations.
Car service: Uber and Lyft are always good options for transportation. If you are an able-bodied person who enjoys walking, you will likely never need a car to get around Savannah proper. However, if you want to visit the islands around the city or have mobility limitations, ordering a car rarely requires much of a wait. As always, you can order a private car or join a carpool.
Things To Do
Neighborhoods to Know
Historic District — North: The southern Historic District is home to one of the most iconic settings in America: Chippewa Square, where Forrest Gump sat and waited for a bus and told his life story. Most travelers will stick to the Historic Districts, both North and South, as they are the most walkable and feature the vast majority of hot tourist spots. The North district meets the river and contains within its bounds City Market, the Jepson Center, famous River Street, and several of Savannah's many House Museums. The Historic Districts are just that: historic! There's no street to walk down that isn't redolent with Savannah's rich history, and it's easy to spend a full day wandering through the neat, cobbled streets looking at 1800s mansions and parks that predate the United States themselves.
Historic District — South: Don't miss the gorgeous fountain in Forsyth Park, or the many House Museums and boutique shops surrounding the park. An easy walk from the river, the Historic District — South starts at Harris St. and extends most of the way down the park. The Andrew Low House (the home of the founder of the Girl Scouts), Flannery O'Conner's childhood home, and the infamously haunted Mercer Williams house are all within this district.
Victorian District: For any architecture lover, the Victorian District is for you. The 50-block neighborhood is lined with historic and beautifully restored homes that make for a nice relaxing sightseeing stroll. Built as the city's first suburb, the area's architecture mainly dates back to the 1800s. The area abuts Forsyth Park and is just south of the Historic Districts.
Thomas Square Streetcar District: Another centrally located neighborhood, just south of the Victorian District, Thomas Square has plenty of history all its own. Designated a National Historic District in 1997, the area is home to over 1,100 historic buildings, making it one of the country's largest such districts. Named after Thomas Square Park in the center of the neighborhood, some people refer to it as "Metropolitan" or "Mid City" due to its central location.
Spring in Savannah is pleasant and warm, though rainy — the area averages around 15-20 days of rain in March through May. However, with the city in full bloom, there are fewer more beautiful times to go; the temperature during these months ranges from 50-84°F, so be sure to check the weather before you pack.
Summer can be muggy and gets hot, but with that heat comes the southern atmosphere most folks delight in when visiting Georgia and other southern states. With music festivals, events, and outdoor dining galore, Summer is a celebratory time to visit Savannah — just make sure you bring your sunscreen and a water bottle, and an umbrella in case of thunderstorms. Temperatures range from 72-92°F on average.
Fall is a pleasant, dry time in Savannah, with temperatures ranging from 50-86°F on average and little rain compared to the rest of the year. Outdoor dining, walking tours, boat rides, and the like should all still be enjoyable. Nights get a bit cooler, so bring layers if you plan to be out and about all day and into the night.
Winter is a wonderful time to visit Savannah, especially if your goal is to escape the more brutal temperatures of the northern part of the country. Temperatures stay between a cool 41°F to a comfortable 65°F on average, so you should have no problem enjoying outdoor activities such as walking tours and hiking.
Apps to Download
Download the DOT route map