Here are a few ideas on how to spend a day in Savannah.
Getting to Know the Historic District
Walk over to the Colonial Park Cemetery at the corner of Oglethorpe and Abercorn. Its dramatic iron gateway is a popular spot to pose for photos, and inside you’ll find graves dating back to the Revolutionary War. Walk west along Oglethorpe until you reach Bull Street and then turn north toward Wright Square. There you’ll find two impressive 19th-century courthouses overlooking the lovely shaded square. For a sweet treat, drop into the Wright Square Café, where you’ll find a selection of artisan chocolates. Continue west on York or State streets until you reach Telfair Square. The Jepson Center for the Arts and the Telfair Museum of Art are here, and each hosts a diverse array of exhibitions. From there, follow Barnard north until you reach the statue of Johnny Mercer in Ellis Square, which is Savannah’s most recently restored square. Stroll west through the colorful City Market. From there you can either cross Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to visit the beautiful walled gardens at the Ships of the Sea Museum, or turn to the north until you reach River Street, to hit the restaurants and bars.
Among Savannah’s draws are the city’s well-preserved historic homes. Start at the Isaiah Davenport House, which was built circa 1820 and is now a museum focusing on early 19th-century Savannah. Next, head west to the Owens-Thomas House, a pristine example of English Regency architecture designed by the prominent local architect William Jay. Then head south to Lafayette Square, where you’ll find the childhood home of Southern Gothic writer Flannery O’Connor as well as the Andrew Low House.
Beyond the Historic District
To explore farther outside the downtown Historic District, you’ll need a car. Start by heading south toward Victory Drive. Stop at Forsyth Park, if you haven’t already; there’s usually parking along the southern edge. Proceed to Victory Drive and head east. Visit the historic Bonaventure Cemetery, which sits along the banks of the Bull River and is the final resting place of local notables like Johnny Mercer and Conrad Aiken. Afterward, continue east on Victory, which becomes Highway 80, and head to Fort Pulaski, a national park site with a small museum within the walls and trails that wind out into forest and marsh. On your way back into town, stop for some barbecue at Wiley’s Championship BBQ on Whitemarsh Island.
Sun and Sand
Tybee Island is only about 18 miles east of downtown Savannah, but it feels like a different world. This quaint and quirky beach town is definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re looking to get some sun on your trip. Arrange to take a guided kayak tour, or rent boats and explore on your own in the morning. Grab lunch on the island, and then slather on some sunscreen and head out to the beach to swim, relax, or build a sandcastle in the afternoon.