Travel by Brit - Day Trips from Charleston, SC

Savannah, GA, is one of the most beautiful (yet interesting!) cities I’ve ever visited. If you are looking to visit a place with southern charm, delicious food, and exciting history—there are plenty of things to do in Savannah that you’ll absolutely love! 

Savannah wasn’t always on my radar or travel bucket list. However, after searching for safe locations to travel for our anniversary during the Covid pandemic, my husband and I decided to spend a weekend in Savannah as part of our Southeastern U.S. road trip from Charleston to Asheville. 

I’ll be honest—I expected Savannah to be my least favorite city we visited on our road trip—but it turned out to be my favorite. There are so many fun things to do in Savannah! Out of all the fun things to do in Savannah, I fell in love with the city’s charm and became engrossed in the unique, spooky history. 

I created this guide to help you discover the best things to do in Savannah for a memorable weekend trip. So, without further ado, let’s get started! 

Disclosure: Some of the links in this blog post are affiliate links, meaning that I earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. This helps me keep the content on my website free for you to enjoy!

Tips for Your Weekend in Savannah, GA

Before we get into all the best things to do in Savannah, here are some general things you should know:

Don’t Rent a Car

If you stay in Savannah’s Historic District, you will not need a car to see the city’s main attractions. All of the best things to do in Savannah, from one side of the town to the other, shouldn’t be more than a 20-minute walk! 

When to Visit

Aside from the hot, humid summer months (July-September), Savannah’s weather is enjoyable year-round. However, the most beautiful time to visit Savannah is in April when the flowers are in full bloom! 

Partner Your Weekend in Savannah with Charleston

Add a few days in Charleston to your weekend in Savannah for a week-long trip! 

Read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Before exploring all the best things to do in Savannah, read (or watch!) Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil to get a small taste of Savannah’s charm and history! 

Where to Stay in Savannah, GA 

Savannah has no shortage of charming and comfortable accommodations to host you during your visit—from haunted historic hotels to cozy bed and breakfast stays. 

We found a killer deal on to stay at The DeSoto Savannah for three nights during our weekend in Savannah. We are so glad that we stayed at this charming hotel with close access to all the best things to do in Savannah! 

The DeSoto - Weekend in Savannah - Where to Stay in Savannah - Travel by Brit
The DeSoto - Weekend in Savannah - Where to Stay in Savannah - Travel by Brit

1. The DeSoto Savannah

I would highly recommend The DeSoto to anyone staying in Savannah. Here’s why!

  • The hotel is in a perfect location with easy access to all the best things to do in Savannah.
  • The lobby is charming, with gorgeous chandeliers, a coffee shop, and a beautiful ambiance.
  • The views from the top floors of the hotel are incredible. I would argue it’s the best view in Savannah!
  • You can enjoy relaxing at the rooftop pool, which offers a spectacular view of the city.

Even though I would personally recommend The DeSoto, here are some other fantastic options for accommodations: 

2. Hamilton-Turner Inn

The Hamilton-Turner Inn is a bed & breakfast is located in charming Lafayette Square. It is speculated to be the inspiration for Disney’s Haunted Mansion! 

The Hamilton Turner Inn - Where to Stay in Savannah - Travel by Brit

3. Marshall House

The Marshall House is Savannah’s oldest and most haunted hotel. Travel & Leisure’s named the Marshall House one of the “13 Most Haunted Hotels in America” in 2020, and USA Today ranked the Marshal House the 8th most haunted hotel in the world. 

No matter where you stay in Savannah, it’s vital for your home base to be located in Savannah’s Downtown Historic District, especially if you plan to forgo a car. 

For close access to all the best things to do in Savannah, choose accommodations that are: 

  • North of Gaston Street 
  • South of Bay Street 
  • East of Montgomery Street 
  • West of Price Street 

If you’re looking for a peaceful, romantic stay, I recommend staying south of Liberty Street. If you are looking to be near the action, stay north of Liberty Street. If you stay within these streets, all the places in this guide will be no further than a 20-minute walk, no matter which direction you are coming from! 

How to Get to Savannah, GA 

There are several ways to get to Savannah, GA. If you are flying, the closest airport to Savannah is the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, which is located just 30 minutes from Historic Downtown Savannah. 

If you’re driving to Savannah, you’ll likely arrive via the I-26 or I-95. Some of the closest major cities to Savannah are: 

  • Charleston, SC—107 miles 
  • Jacksonville, FL—139 miles 
  • Atlanta, GA—248 miles 
  • Charlotte, NC—252 miles 

Unless you drive your own car to Savannah, I would highly recommend forgoing a vehicle in the city. Parking in Savannah can be expensive. Unless you plan to take a day trip to Charleston, Hilton Head Island, or Tybee Island during your weekend in Savannah, everywhere in Downtown Historic Savannah (and on this guide!) is walkable. 

12 Best Things to Do in Savannah, GA

There’s no shortage of fun things to do in Savannah! Here are 12 things to do in Savannah that you can’t miss during your time in the city. 

1. Dine at The Olde Pink House 

During your ghost tour, you might stop by The Olde Pink House—one of Savannah’s most iconic (and haunted!) restaurants. Dining at The Olde Pink House is a must during your weekend in Savannah—trust me! 

The Olde Pink House is the perfect location for an upscale dinner, a romantic date night, or a fancy celebration. My husband and I celebrated our first anniversary here, and we couldn’t have chosen a better location for an unforgettable evening. The staff is fantastic, and the food is excellent! 

The Olde Pink House also has a fascinating history. The home was built in 1771 as a private residence and held secret meetings to secure the thirteen colonies’ independence from England. The house didn’t become a restaurant until the 1920s after a woman transformed the home into a tea room. She painted the home pink—and the color stuck!  

This restaurant is one of the most popular in Savannah, so don’t forget to make a reservation before your weekend in Savannah. We made our reservations on OpenTable. 

If you miss the chance to make a reservation, don’t worry—there are tons of awesome restaurants in Savannah. Check out my list of the best places to eat in Savannah for more recommendations! 

The Olde Pink House - Weekend in Savannah - Where to Eat in Savannah - Travel by Brit

2. Explore Savannah’s 22 Squares 

You might be surprised that one of the best things to do in Savannah is simply walking around the city. 

Historic Savannah is built around 22 picturesque squares and parks, perfect for strolling through or relaxing in. Most squares also include a monument or plaque, so it’s a great way to learn more about Savannah’s history! 

If I had to choose, my five favorite squares and parks are: 

  • Lafayette Square 
  • Calhoun Square 
  • Monterey Square 
  • Forsyth Park 
  • Chippewa Square 

Of course, you’ll have to decide your favorites after visiting! 

Lafayette Square - Weekend in Savannah - Travel by Brit
Forsyth Park - What to Do in Savannah - Travel by Brit

3. Enjoy Ice Cream at Leopold’s 

Leopold’s Ice Cream is undoubtedly Savanah’s most iconic dessert spot and one of the best things to do in Savannah. This ice cream shop has been around since 1919 and is a Savannah tradition. 

The store has authentic, vintage touches—the black marble soda fountain, wooden back bar, and telephone booth were all transferred from the original location!  

The most popular flavors are Lemon Custard, Rum Bisque, and Tutti Frutti—rum ice cream with candied fruit and Georgia pecans. I got the Savannah Socialite—chocolate ice cream with toasted Georgia pecans and swirled with bourbon caramel—and I thought it was delicious! 

4. Walk Down River Street 

Savannah was built along—well, you guessed it—the Savannah River!

When Savannah was constructed in the 1600s, the river was used for fishing, transportation, and trade. Now, the Savannah River is situated beside River Street—one of the most popular places in Historic Savannah to walk around, shop, or grab a drink.  

When you walk down to River Street, you feel like you are stepping back in time! The streets are lined with cobblestones, steamboats are chugging down the river, and the shops and restaurants look like you would imagine they have for decades. 

Here are the best things to do in Savannah along River Street: 

  • Enjoy a Savannah Riverboat Dinner Cruise
  • Stop by Huey’s for some delicious beignets (the best I’ve ever had!). 
  • Check out the unique vendors at the River Street Market Place
  • Visit Savannah’s Candy Kitchen for a massive assortment of candy, along with homemade caramel apples, popcorn, and fudge. 
  • Peruse A Christmas On the River to find a Christmas tree ornament (or to get in the holiday spirit!). 
Savannah's River Street - What to Do in Savannah - Travel by Brit
Travel by Brit

5. Go on a Spooky Ghost Tour 

Did you know that Savannah is haunted? Like, really haunted? I knew Savannah has a haunted history before visiting but fell in love with learning about the city’s interesting, spooky ghost stories during our weekend in Savannah.  

One of the best ways to learn more about haunted Savannah is to take a ghost tour during your time in the city. We went on The Beyond Good and Evil Ghost Tour by Ghost City Tours, and it was fantastic—our tour guide was so informative! 

Here are some other unique ghost tours in Savannah: 

Before your visit, check out my blog post about six haunted places in Savannah that you can’t miss during your weekend in Savannah!

6. Peruse E. Shaver’s Booksellers

I’ve always been a sucker for quaint, cozy local bookstores. So naturally, I was over-the-moon excited when we stumbled upon E. Shaver’s Booksellers in Madison Square. It easily became one of my favorite things to do in Savannah, GA! 

E. Shavers Booksellers is a full-service independent bookstore that is in an old house. The décor is warm and welcoming, and the staff is so friendly—even the resident cats. They have a vast selection of books to choose from, and to my delight, a whole section dedicated to the Young Adult genre. 

You could spend hours exploring the adorable nooks and crannies of this bookstore. After spending about an hour there, my husband and I each bought a book to read on our plane ride home. 

Check out E. Shavers during your weekend in Savannah! And please buy a book while you are there—in the age of Amazon, local bookstores need our support more than ever. 

Travel by Brit
E. Shaver Booksellers - Best Things to Do in Savannah - Travel by Brit

7. Walk in Forsyth Park 

Visiting Forsyth Park is by far one of the most popular things to do in Savannah, GA. The park spans over 30 acres and is most easily recognized by the city’s most famous fountain—modeled after the French fountains at Place de la Concorde in Paris. 

During your weekend in Savannah, stroll through the mossy oaks that line Forsyth Park to snap a picture with the fountain, or grab a bite to eat at the Collins Quarter at Forsyth Park! 

Forsyth Park - Travel by Brit

8. Visit the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist 

The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist is hard to miss. At nearly 215 feet tall—it stands as one of Savannah’s most prominent landmarks in Lafayette Square. 

The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist is a 19th-century Roman Catholic church and an example of neo-gothic architecture. The church reminded me of many of the stunning Gothic cathedrals and churches we saw during our trip to Europe, like Sainte Chapelle! 

We were lucky to arrive during a guided tour to learn interesting facts about the building’s history, architecture, and traditions that we would have missed otherwise. Admission to the Basilica is free, but the church requests a $3 donation per adult to upkeep the beautiful space for decades to come. 

Tip: After visiting the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist, walk across the street to Mirabelle Savannah to enjoy a fantastic liege-style waffle (I recommend the peach cobbler waffle!). 

Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist - Things to do in Savannah - Travel by Brit
Mirabelle Savannah - Best Places to Eat in Savannah - Travel by Brit

9. Tour a Historic Home 

During your weekend in Savannah, you can’t miss a chance to tour one of Savannah’s many historic homes—one of the most popular things to do in Savannah. Here are a few of the most popular options:

1. Juliette Gordan Low Birthplace

Home where the founder of Girl Scouts of America was born & raised. 

2. Mercer-Williams House

The famous, historic mansion where the murder takes place in the Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. If you are interested in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, check out this walking tour that visits all of the most famous spots in the book and movie! This is also a great way to become acquainted with Savannah’s most popular attractions. However, do note that this tour excludes entrance into the Mercer-Williams House. 

3. Owens Thomas House and Slave Quarters

Most well-known for being a boarding home and where Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette gave a speech during his time in Savannah. Check out this tour for admission into the Owen-Thomas House, Jepson Center Art Museum, and Telfair Academy for only $21 per person! 

4. Sorrel-Weed House

This beautiful antebellum home once hosted Confederate General Robert E. Lee and is best known for its dark, haunted history.  Other popular museums to tour include the Telfair Academy and Jepson Center. You can read about them here!

10. Shop at the City Market 

City Market is located just west of Ellis Square and is one of the most fun things to do in Savannah. There are tons of places to shop at City Market. Some of my favorite places to visit here are: 

  • The American Prohibition Museum—From smuggling to speakeasies, this adults-only museum offers brings the history of the Prohibition Era to life. After the tour, visit the speakeasy attached to the museum to enjoy Prohibition-style drinks! 
  • The Georgia Tasting Room—Enjoy six wine tastings for only $3 at the Georgia Tasting Room! Check out my Savannah Food Guide for more information about the Georgia Tasting Room. 
City Market in Savannah - Best Things to Do in Savannah - Travel by Brit

11. Walk Down Jones Street

Did you know Jones Street is considered the prettiest street in America? And for a great reason! The gorgeous mossy oaks and beautifully decorated homes make a beautiful stroll on this street one of the best things to do in Savannah.

Fun Fact: This street is also suspected to be where the phrase “keeping up with the Jones’s” originated. Who knew, right? 

Jones Street - Best Things to Do in Savannah - Travel by Brit

12. Relax at the Paris Market 

The Paris Market is one of my favorite things to do in Savannah! This adorable boutique sells high-end furniture, stylish gifts, and antique Parisian treasures. 

The best part of the Paris Market is the Paris Market Café. This quaint café is tucked away in the boutique and serves espresso, tea, wine, champagne, and pastries. The café is chic and charming—in fact, the founder modeled the space after one of her favorite spots in Paris! 

Tip: After visiting the Paris Market, walk down the street to the Savannah Bee Company—another one of Savannah’s cutest stores where you can sample honey & mead! 

Best Coffee Shop in Savannah - Travel by Brit - The Paris Market
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Enjoy the Best Things to Do in Savannah for the Perfect Weekend Trip

Well, there you have it—all the best things to do in Savannah for the perfect weekend trip! Which of these awesome things to do in Savannah sounds the most fun to you? Let me know in the comments! 

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If this blog about the best things to do in Savannah inspires you to plan a weekend in Savannah (and Charleston!), here are some other posts to help you plan the perfect trip! 

About the Author

Hi, I'm Brit! I'm a writer from Phoenix, AZ who loves coffee, golden retriever puppies, and obviously, travel! I help ordinary women (like me!) dream, plan, and do extraordinary travel experiences.