One Day in Savannah Itinerary – Best things to do in Savannah, Georgia

There is something truly magical about the city of Savannah, Georgia. Its charming atmosphere, its numerous parks, its rich history… no matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it here. Not to mention the famous Southern hospitality and cuisine. Thanks to all of that, the place has retained its alluring charm over the centuries and today offers a very special experience to all its visitors. Spending just one day and exploring what there is to do in Savannah will show you so much about this incredible part of the United States. Enjoy!

One-day-in-Savannah-itinerary,-Georgia

What’s the best time to visit Savannah?

Because of its position in the Deep South and its vicinity to the Atlantic Ocean, Savannah is a warm place indeed. In fact, it can get so warm during summer here that you may want to avoid it from June to August if high temperatures bother you. For the best weather conditions, consider coming here in April or October. Mind you, winters in Savannah are also quite mild compared to most other places, so coming here for your Christmas break may be a good idea.

St. Patrick’s Day parade here is one of the biggest in the whole country, while Savannah Music Festival at the end of March showcases dozens of artists. Tybee Island Pirate Fest is also an interesting event to visit, but no matter which month you come you won’t have to worry about what to do in Savannah, GA.

St Patrick's Day Parade, Savannah
St Patrick’s Day Parade, Savannah, Author: Bruce Tuten, Source: Flickr

A few facts about Savannah

Savannah is actually Georgia’s oldest city, dating back all the way to 1733. It was created by the settlers from the ship Anne who were led by a British general named James Oglethorpe. Throughout its history and thanks to its position, the city has been a prosperous port and it avoided destruction during the Civil War when it surrendered peacefully to General Sherman.

Rooftop picture, Savannah
Rooftop picture, Savannah, Author: Eric Harrison, Source: Flickr

The city actually got its name from the Savannah River, and it is also the place where Girl Scouts first started to conduct their activities. Today, it is a fairly well developed industrial city and a very popular destination for visitors from all over the U.S. and beyond. With approximately 150,000 people, it is the fifth largest city in Georgia.

Savannah
Savannah, Georgia

One Day in Savannah Itinerary

Follow this guide and make the best of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the best sights and things to do during your one day in Savannah.

Start your day within Forsyth Park

There are plenty of wonderful shaded squares in Savannah (22, to be exact), but if you want to really enjoy a stroll surrounded by greenery head to Forsyth Park. It’s the best thing to do to start your one day in Savannah. Beautifully designed, the park has a magnificent fountain surrounded by some magnificent trees which make for a photo-op you really shouldn’t miss. Furthermore, a bustling farmer’s market is held here every Saturday, so visit it if you’re in town on that day.

Fountain at Forsyth Park, Savannah
Fountain at Forsyth Park, Savannah, Author: subherwal, Source: Flickr

Marvel at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Just a few blocks north from the park stands the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. This Roman Catholic church is the oldest of its kind in the whole state, dating back to 1876 (although it was almost destroyed in a fire in 1898). It is an absolutely amazing architectural feat, both from the inside and outside. An array of colors awaits you inside, from the church’s stained windows to its walls adorned with minute details. Without a doubt, one of the best things to see in Savannah.

Cathedral St John the Baptist II, Savannah
Cathedral St John the Baptist II, Savannah, Author: Distinguished Reflections, Source: Flickr

Walk around Colonial Park Cemetery

Colonial Park Cemetery, right next to the Cathedral, is a major part of Savannah’s Historic District and has been around since the mid-1700s. Therefore, it represents an intriguing way to explore the city’s history. Button Guinnet, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence is buried here, and the whole area exudes peace and serenity. Savannah is known for its green spaces, and this place is certainly one of the reasons why. Walk around and reflect a bit before you go back to the city streets.

Colonial Park Cemetery, Savannah
Colonial Park Cemetery, Savannah

Head to the City Market for lunch

After all that sightseeing you must be getting hungry. Fortunately, the City Market is nearby and it really is a lovely place to visit, especially on a sunny day. Shops, restaurants and many other interesting establishments will give you loads of opportunities for window shopping and picking up a souvenir or two, so take your time and explore what is essentially an open-air mall.

Flowers at the City Market, Savannah
Flowers at the City Market, Savannah, Author: Ron Cogswell, Source: Flickr

Obviously, there are plenty of choices to eat here. Belford’s Savannah is a good place to sit down for a nice meal, especially if you like steaks and/or seafood. For something a little more unique, head to Pie Society to choose from a variety of sweet and savory pies. And if you want a quick bite of a delicious pizza, Vinnie van Go-Go’s is a great choice!

Vinnie Van GoGos. Savannah
Vinnie Van GoGos. Savannah, Author: Katherine Bowman , Source: Flickr

Explore Juliette Gordon Low’s Birthplace

Once you’re done eating, continue your stroll through the Historic District and go to Juliette Gordon Low’s Birthplace. She was the founder of Girl Scouts, and the place is today owned by that organization and acts as a museum. There are guided tours through the house which is designed as a place primarily for girls, so if you are one or if you have girls with you this is one of the most inspirational and fun things to do in Savannah. Do try to book tickets online, as this is a must-see for most tourists.

Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, Savannah
Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, Savannah, Author: tengrrl, Source: Flickr

Visit the Telfair Museums

Slightly northwest from the cathedral are the most important museums in town and one of the best answers to the question “What to do in Savannah?”. The Telfair Museums are composed of three institutions: Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters, Jepson Center for Arts and Telfair Academy, the latter being one of the first museums in the U.S. The name Telfair comes from a local illustrious family, and the museums house thousands of splendid works of art ranging from German Impressionism to African art.

Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters, Savannah
Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters, Savannah, Author: Mike Steele, Source: Flickr

Stroll down River Street

You can’t come to Savannah and not go to River Street. It is another must-see in Savannah because it is a window into this city’s past, lined with cobblestone and surrounded with buildings that are now restaurants and shops with some street performers sprinkled around just for good measure. The place oozes an incredible vibe and is a great location for some people watching, too. Plenty of photo ops, or you can just sit down in a cafe and just soak everything in. Either way, you’ll love it!

River Street, Savannah
River Street, Savannah

End your day in Historic Savannah Theatre

Another fun thing to do in Savannah is to go to the old theatre located in the Historic District. Believe it or not, this has been around since 1818 which makes it the oldest theatre in the whole country! They do put on plays in the evenings and the actors are very talented, so you can expect a great show. Not only that, but in front of the theatre is the bench from Forrest Gump, so you’ll have a great place to take photos there, too.

Historic Theatre, Savannah
Historic Theatre, Savannah, Author: Brandon , Source: Flickr

The nearby square is also the hub of Savannah’s fun and nighlife. Therefore, if you have the energy after one day in this city, you can easily go for a nice drink or even dinner. Husk Savannah is a great place for the latter, while places like Peregrin and Artillery should be able to quench your thirst.

Where to stay in Savannah?

Perry Lane Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Savannah

Perry Lane Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel

256 East Perry Street, Savannah, GA 31401

Not only is Perry Lane Hotel located in the very centre of the city, but it also offers absolutely everything you’d expect from a five-star hotel and more. It has evening entertainment, a brilliant rooftop bar, large and incredibly comfortable rooms and a fantastic restaurant. On top of that, many of the fun things to see in Savannah are very close by.

BOOK A ROOM HERE

The Marshall House, Historic Inns of Savannah Collection

The Marshall House, Historic Inns of Savannah Collection

123 East Broughton Street, Savannah, GA 31401

Spending a night in The Marshall House is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Savannah if you’re looking for excellent accommodation. The beautiful brick building is from 1851 and located in the Historic District, while the high-class restaurant will satisfy even the most demanding guests. The rooms are absolutely beautiful with great touches of antique furniture that blend in this incredible building fantastically. You’ll love it here!

BOOK A ROOM HERE

Homewood Suites Savannah Historic District Riverfront

Homewood Suites Savannah Historic District

611 East River Street, Savannah, GA 31401

Another great place to stay in Savannah Historic District is Homewood Suites. This hotel provides an excellent value for your money and is located in a quite beautiful building with a rooftop outdoor pool. The rooms are nice and comfortable, and some of them provide a great view, too. Add to that modern furniture, a gym and free full breakfast, and you can be sure you will get plenty of well-deserved rest on your Savannah day trip.

BOOK A ROOM HERE

Kehoe House, Historic Inns of Savannah Collection

Kehoe House, Historic Inns of Savannah Collection

123 Habersham Street, Savannah, GA 31401

Another exceptionally beautiful hotel, Kehoe House is actually a mansion dating back to 1892. This stunning brick building is surrounded by some lovely greenery, and the rooms are furnished to reflect its history. Made-to-order breakfasts are served daily, which adds a nice little touch to the whole experience. And given the hotel’s location, you will have plenty of nice places to visit and things to see nearby.

BOOK A ROOM HERE

Day trips from Savannah

If you have more than just 24 hours in the city, you may want to consider going on some of the lovely day trips from Savannah. Georgia has a lot to offer, no matter what you’re interested in. Therefore, a few suggestions are in order to put you on the right track.

Tybee Island

Tybee Island is incredibly important to the people of Savannah. Not only do they go there for festivals, but this is also where the most popular beach is located. So, if you’re here during summer and are wondering what to do about the heat, this is where you need to go. However, it would be a shame to miss out on a dolphin tour while there and not to see these fantastic animals up close.

Atlanta

If you have a car with you and you’re willing to get a slightly earlier start, why not spend one day in Atlanta? It takes between 3.5 and 4 hours to get there, and there is quite a lot to see in that big city. The CNN Center, the Coca-Cola museum, the Olympic Park… all that and loads of culture and history, especially when it comes to the Civil Rights Movement, make this one of the most entertaining and educational day trips from Savannah you can make.

Beaufort

History of the United States interests you? Well, then head to Beaufort, South Carolina, just across the state border and some 45 miles away from Savannah. There you will find plenty of Civil War homes in tip-top condition and you can even see a plantation or two. A river boat tour is also something that can really make your day while here, plus the whole town is wonderfully picturesque and quaint. A fantastic day out!

Golden Isles

Looking for a way to just get away from it all and enjoy the Atlantic Ocean from beautiful sandy beaches? Then Golden Isles is the place to go. Don’t worry, you can get there easily by car. The ride itself is something else too, with plenty of spectacular sceneries and great photo opportunities. Sun, the ocean and the light breeze on your skin – what more could you ask for?

Extra tips for visiting Savannah

  • Savannah’s weather conditions are quite humid most of the year (except in winter), so dress accordingly
  • Remember the movie Fried Green Tomatoes? Well, that side dish is very much a symbol of Savannah. Make sure you try it during your 24 hours here!
  • If you’re visiting during the warmer months, always carry a bottle of water with you. It can get REALLY hot in the city.
  • There are plenty of fun things to do in the city, especially in the evening. That’s why you should remember that when it comes to tipping in bars and restaurants about 15% is usually expected from customers.
  • A free shuttle operates around the Historic District and takes you to all the best things to see in Savannah. Make the most of it and save time if you don’t have a car with you!

If you have any other propositions for this One Day in Savannah Itinerary, feel free to share it in the comments below!

Logistical Tips and Tricks

Organize your trip in five easy steps!

BOOK A FLIGHT!

Obviously, if you’re going on a trip somewhere far a way, you’ll need to book a flight. There is absolutely no need to worry about this, though, because with Skyscanner, you will be able to find a cheap flight anywhere in the world. And their website is extremely easy to use, so you will have your seat on a plane in no time at all!

BOOK A ROOM!

To easily find the best possible room in the city you’re visiting, just head to Booking.com. They have quite literally thousands of options, a reliable rating system and will always get you a great deal. On top of that, you can learn a lot from the comments people leave there, too. No matter if you’re looking for an apartment or an elite hotel, you’ll find what you need here.

GET A CAR!

If you want the ultimate sense of freedom while on your trip, a car is a must. Fortunately, there is a simple way to get one – just visit Booking’s Rentalcars and they’ll have your vehicle ready in a jiffy. Now you’ll be able to explore the new city thoroughly and, who knows, maybe even make a trip outside it.

INSURE YOURSELF FOR PEACE OF MIND!

Accidents, mishaps and other troubles happen to everyone. The key is to be prepared. That’s why getting a travel insurance is such a great idea: it can help you deal with any health issues, theft and even cancelled flights. World Nomads know full well about the problems that can arise on a trip because they are passionate travelers themselves. That’s why they can offer you the very best deals.

FIND SOMEONE TO HELP YOU GET AROUND!

Want to have some company as soon as you land? Through Welcomepickups.com, you can find a local to meet you at the airport and help you find your way around the new city. They can also set things up for you, give you some useful tips and be helpful in general. The whole project is a great idea and very well executed, so do go and see how these people can make your trip a more pleasant one.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED

Here are some of the top travel items you must bring to your next trip. These items will make your trip a lot more relaxing and you’ll surely get rid of some extra hassle.

Make sure to travel light, safe and stylish following our travel item guide for 2019.

Anca One Day Itinerary
Anca B.
Travel writer at

Anca is a travel writer and the founder of One Day Itinerary - the biggest collection of travel itineraries for those who are time-limited or just want to maximize their time while traveling. Although she easily becomes homesick for Croatia, she thinks travel is essential to her happiness. She has traveled to more countries than she is years old and doesn’t plan on changing that fact. In her travel guides she aims to inspire people to travel whenever they have a spare day (or two).

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