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Free Things To Do in Savannah

If you have extra time, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is worthwhile.
  • #1
    Things to do in Savannah
    View all Photos
    #1 in Savannah
    1 mile to city center
    Free, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    1 mile to city center
    Free, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Go to this 30-acre park in the heart of Savannah's Historic District to relax after a long day of sightseeing. Keep your camera ready, though, as there is plenty to see here as well. Stroll past the stunning white-stone Forsyth Fountain, memorials dedicated to the Confederacy and the Spanish-American War, the Fragrant Garden for the visually impaired and the 300-year-old Candler Oak tree. From the park, you can see several historic sites within walking distance, including Hodgson Hall (home to the Georgia Historical Society) and the old Poor House and Hospital, which was used to treat wounded soldiers during the Civil War.

    Recent visitors noted the park's urban cosmopolitan vibe, with locals and tourists alike picnicking, dog walking and even painting. They also say that street parking nearby the park is free on Sundays.

  • #3
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    #3 in Savannah
    0.2 miles to city center
    Free, Neighborhood/Area, Shopping
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    0.2 miles to city center
    Free, Neighborhood/Area, Shopping
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you're planning to tour Savannah's Historic District, City Market is a great place to start. Spread out across four blocks, the open-air marketplace features restored warehouses sheltering everything from restaurants to boutiques to art galleries. When you're not shopping, listening to live music or enjoying a casual bite to eat, simply sit and people-watch: past visitors said this area is great for resting weary feet and taking in the Savannah scene. Plus, City Market is also home base for trolley and carriage tours, so if you need to kill time before or after your tour, you'll find plenty to see and do here.

    Recent travelers said City Market was a great place for a leisurely stroll or a relaxing break from sightseeing with plenty of seating in the shade. This area is also home to several bars, so keep this in mind if you're here in the evening: some visitors said the market can get a bit rowdy. 

  • #4
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    #4 in Savannah
    0.4 miles to city center
    Free, Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    0.4 miles to city center
    Free, Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Towering over Lafayette Square in the Historic District, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist's Gothic towers should lure in any architecture buff. The original cathedral was constructed in 1799 by the first French colonists to arrive in the area. At the end of the 19th century, the old building was torn down to make room for the larger, stone cathedral that you see today. If you've ever seen photos of it, you've likely seen the cathedral's intricate gold-leaf designs, Italian marble altar and stunning stained-glass windows.

    Most travelers who took the time to see this cathedral were flabbergasted by its beauty, comparing it to Europe's medieval churches. Even if you're not interested in attending Mass, you should still set aside 10 to 15 minutes to take a brief peek inside the stunning interior. However, recent visitors said attending Mass here is worth considering (even if you're not Catholic), thanks to the beautiful atmosphere and talented choir. Feel free to take a self-guided tour inside the cathedral, but remember to be respectful as it's still an active house of worship.

  • #5
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    #5 in Savannah
    3.5 miles to city center
    Free, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    3.5 miles to city center
    Free, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    While a stroll through a cemetery may sound a little morbid, recent travelers agreed that a visit to the more than 100-acre Bonaventure Cemetery is a must for lovers of the written word. Keep your eyes peeled for the tombstones of such celebrities as poet Conrad Aiken and lyricist Johnny Mercer. You should also make a point of looking for the grave of Danny Hansford (buried in the neighboring Greenwich Cemetery), whose murder inspired John Berendt's best-selling book, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."

    According to visitors, the hauntingly beautiful Bonaventure won't disappoint, but travelers said that bug spray, a water bottle and comfortable walking shoes are a must. You can tour the cemetery on your own, but recent visitors said you should also consider signing up for a guided tour to gain a better understanding of the cemetery's intriguing history. 

  • #6
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    #6 in Savannah
    0.7 miles to city center
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    0.7 miles to city center
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Running alongside the Savannah River in the Waterfront district is River Street, a lively area perfect for afternoon strolls. According to recent visitors, this area has renounced its seedy identity from 30 years ago; once a hot spot for cruising sailors and unruly teens, the cobblestone street is now lined with more than 75 souvenir shops, galleries, restaurants and pubs housed in old cotton warehouses. However, River Street is still the place to go for pub crawls, making it attractive to party-seekers and slightly less family-friendly after dark. Plus, the area comes alive with street musicians after the sun sets.

    Recent visitors recommended spending a few hours here for the gorgeous river views and excellent people-watching, though they do warn that you shouldn't expect much from the shops as most are filled with kitschy souvenirs. 

  • #8
    View all Photos
    #8 in Savannah
    14.9 miles to city center
    Beaches, Free, Neighborhood/Area, Recreation, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    14.9 miles to city center
    Beaches, Free, Neighborhood/Area, Recreation, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    When you've had your fill of ghost stories, green squares and historic homes, head to Tybee Island. Just a half-hour east of the Historic District, Tybee Island is home to 5 miles of beachfront, the famous Tybee Island Light Station and the Marine Science Center, among other attractions. On your way to the beach, consider a stop at Fort Pulaski Monument, a Civil War landmark sandwiched between Savannah and Tybee Island.

    Recent visitors described Tybee Island as relaxing thanks to its clean beachfront and stellar views of the Tybee Island Light Station. If you're looking for an easy daytrip from Savannah, the island should be at the top of your list, according to travelers. Plus, thanks to its proximity to the shore, Tybee Island is chock full of casual seafood eateries.

  • #12
    View all Photos
    #12 in Savannah
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Savannah African Art Museum is home to a collection of more than 1,000 pieces of artwork from West and Central Africa. The African art on display here includes a variety of 19th- and 20th-century spiritual and ceremonial objects, created from metal, wood, ceramics and more. According to the museum, its mission is to "provide engaging experiences that educate and start conversations about the power, diversity, and spirituality of African art." Tours of the collection are available daily, running every 30 minutes, and typically last about an hour. Visitors can choose a tour of the West Africa collection or the Central Africa collection, or join a highlights tour overview of both collections (this is the recommended experience for first-time visitors).

    Recent travelers call this museum a hidden gem in Savannah and many were impressed with the variety of artwork here from masks to textiles to sculptures. Several compliment the knowledgeable guides, who are able to shed some light on the history of the various art.

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