How to Spend One Day in Savannah: The Perfect 24-Hour Itinerary (2024)

Planning the ultimate road trip in the Southeast USA? Be sure to carve out at least one day in Savannah, Georgia. The leafy and historic city of Savannah is one of the South’s biggest surprises. Georgia’s second-biggest city is every bit as charming & hospitable as its nickname “The Hostess City of the South” implies.

You’ll have no problem filling out your first 24 hours in this lovely city. The difficulty lies more in knowing what to leave out! On this 1-day Savannah itinerary, you’ll spend much of your time roaming around the city’s Historic District, sprawling several blocks south of the Savannah River. Along its cobblestone streets lie most of the city’s top attractions. You’ll stumble upon historic houses, beautiful city squares, and museums, and get a chance to explore Savannah’s burgeoning culinary scene.

Ready to figure out where to go in Savannah in one day? Get started with this complete 1-day trip plan!

Looking for more ideas for your trip? Check out our other city itineraries and our Savannah Travel Guideand Georgia Travel Guide for more recommendations on when to visit, where to go & what to do!

Why Treksplorer? Founded in 2011 by Ryan O’Rourke, Treksplorer provides travel recommendations and advice to millions of readers every year. Our content is rooted in our writers’ firsthand experiences, in-depth research, and/or collaborations with other experts and locals. Read more about our editorial policy.

Where to go in Savannah in one day: A complete 1-day itinerary

Enjoy a morning walk in Forsyth Park

Looking for a quiet start to your day in Savannah? Set your sights on Forsyth Park. The massive 30-acre park sits on the southern edge of Savannah’s Historic District.

Forsyth Park is the perfect introduction to green & leafy Savannah. The park’s walking paths meander through a weeping canopy of moss-covered oak trees flanked by wide-open fields.

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Besides the relaxing pathways, the most interesting feature of the park is its iconic fountain. Built in 1858, the glorious fountain resembles those at Place de la Concorde in Paris. It’s often ringed by artists and street performers looking to catch the eyes of locals & visitors.

Before heading into Forsyth Park, grab a coffee to go at The Sentient Bean. The popular local café offers a superb selection of fair-trade coffee to fuel your day.

Explore around Lafayette Square

From Forsyth Park, continue your first 24 hours in Savannah with a walk north along Bull Street. When you hit Madison, swing two blocks east. You’ll end up at Lafayette Square, one of the 22 historic squares on the 18th-century original city plan.

Lafayette Square is famous for its glorious fountain and the historical buildings surrounding it. Next to the square, you’ll find the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist. It’s one of the city’s most beautiful churches. It’s worth a peek if you’ve got time on your 24-hour Savannah itinerary.

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Andrew Low House, a favorite stop on Savannah ghost tours, also sits on the western edge of the square. One of Savannah’s most popular museums, The 200-year-old house is reputed to be haunted. Even if the paranormal doesn’t interest you, Andrew Low House is worth checking out for its historical value.

Bookworms can also visit the Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home. The house sits on the southeastern tip of the square. Take a guided tour to learn more about the famed Southern Gothic American author.

Walk through early American history at Colonial Park Cemetery

Walk north of Lafayette Square along Abercorn Street. Within two blocks, you’ll land at Colonial Park Cemetery. Dating back to 1789, Colonial Park Cemetery is one of the city’s most important burial grounds.

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Several notable locals are buried at the cemetery. The most famous is Button Gwinnett, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. If you’re interested in early American history, be sure to take a stroll around this 6-acre park.

Relax in Chippewa Square

From the cemetery, walk east two blocks. Continue your tour of Savannah in 24 hours at Chippewa Square. Dating back to the early 19th century, this spectacular square sits near the center of the Savannah Historic District. It’s wedged between Bull Street, Hull, and W Perry. The square commemorates the Battle of Chippewa during the War of 1812.

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Chippewa Square centers around a spectacular nine-foot statue of General James Oglethorpe. Around it, you’ll enjoy a shaded canopy of mature trees and a garden.

If you’re a film buff with a keen eye, you might recognize the park from the movie Forrest Gump. Chippewa Square was the backdrop as Forrest narrated his life story to passers-by from a bus bench. (You can see one of the benches used in the film at the nearby Savannah History Museum.)

Visit the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters

Savannah’s historic houses are among the the best places to visit in Savannah. One of the most interesting is the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters. The museum is less than a 10-minute walk northeast of Chippewa Square.

Built in 1819 in English Regency style, the Owens-Thomas House dates back over 200 years. Today, the home still remains one of the finest examples of the Regency architectural style in the United States.

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Hop onto a guided tour of the home to explore its historic rooms. They’re jam-packed with interesting art & architectural pieces, along with interactive exhibits.

Outside the main house, explore the carriage houses and the beautiful Parterre Garden. Save time for a tour of the Slave Quarters to get a more well-rounded history of the home.

Cool down at Leopold’s Ice Cream

The Georgia heat got you down? Before continuing, pop into Leopold’s Ice Cream. Located a block north of the Owens-Thomas House, Leopold’s is one the oldest ice cream parlors in the United States. (It’s even been voted as one of the best in the world!)

Brave the line-up and give it a lick to see what all the fuss is about.

Grab some delicious food at City Market

Need a break from Savannah’s history? Walk a few blocks northwest to the City Market. Open since the 1700s, the open-air market spans four blocks between Franklin Square and Ellis Square.

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At City Market, you’ll find a barrage of vendors peddling everything from handicrafts to artwork. The square is also surrounded by several art galleries, restaurants, and bistros.

Built up an appetite? City Market is the perfect place to stop for a bite with a side of people-watching. For quick pub food, pull up a chair at the Café at City Market or at the unfortunately-named Wet Willie’s. Want a more upscale lunch? Chow down on seafood & steak at award-winning Belford’s Savannah.

Stroll down River Street

From the market, it’s a few blocks north to River Street. The popular avenue runs along the historic Savannah riverfront. For visitors, River Street is one of the most interesting areas in the Historic District.

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Many of the historic buildings along the waterfront and River Street were once warehouses connected to the cotton trade. Since their heyday, they’ve been renovated and restored. Today, they house some of the coolest hotels, galleries, and restaurants in the city.

As you stroll along River Street, weave into its boutiques to do a little casual shopping. The area is also home to plenty of cafés and pubs. It’s a great place to stop for a sip and enjoy fantastic views over the Savannah River. Nearby Bay Street also has an excellent selection of bars & restaurants to choose from.

RELATED: Top-Rated Day Trips from Savannah, GA

Got a sweet tooth? Be sure to pop into River Street Sweets. Its signature pralines are a crave-worthy Southern delight.

Enjoy the sunset on Savannah Riverboat Cruise

To explore the riverfront to its fullest, carve two hours in your evening for a Savannah Riverboat Cruise. Hop aboard the historic Georgia Queen for a relaxing sunset cruise you won’t soon regret.

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On the cruise, you’ll enjoy the refreshing river breeze as you watch the sun dip below the city from the open-air deck. Grab a drink from the onboard Skyline Bar and Grill. Float by the city sights to the sounds of live music, recreating a 1950s-era Southern vibe.

PRO TIP: Want to save time? Book your Savannah Riverboat Sunset Sightseeing Cruise online!

Chomp on Southern food delights in Savannah Historic District

Back on shore, head back into the Historic District to enjoy a delicious dinner. There’s a wide selection of restaurants & gastropubs to choose from. You’ll find a variety of great choices at every price range along River Street and Bay Street.

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Another option is to head down to Starland District, south of the historic center. Not long ago, the neighborhood was a no-go zone for visitors. In the last decade, Starland has cleaned up its act, and today, it’s one of the hippest up-and-coming neighborhoods in central Savannah.

Starland District is jammed with cool cafés, restaurants, vintage shops, and craft breweries. Grab some Southern comfort food at the food trucks around Starland Yard,or sip on craft beer at the popular Two Tides Brewing Company. (For safety at night, use a taxi to travel to and from Starland.)

PRO TIP: Savannah is often listed as one of America’s most haunted cities. Add a little creepiness to your evening with the Savannah Haunted History and Ghosts Walking Tour. The ghost tour visits 8 locations. Stops include Kehoe House, Davenport House, The Juliette Gordon Low House, and The Cursed Wright Square.

Where to stay with 24 hours in Savannah

For first-time visitors, the best area to stay in Savannah is the Historic District. You’ll find hotels & accommodations in all price ranges, from budget to luxury.

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River Street Inn

Located on the waterfront, this historic inn is the perfect choice for your adventure. The rooms here are charming and show off both modern and turn-of-the-century motifs. The hotel’s daily wine and hors d’oeuvres reception is classy & fun for guests.

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Olde Harbour Inn

This historic riverfront inn dates back to 1812. Rooms are spacious and surprisingly modern given the hotel’s heritage façade. Like other top hotels in the area, the inn hosts a nightly wine & cheese event.

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Perry Lane Hotel

For a luxury stay in Savannah, this 5-star hotel is a gem. The rooms are stunning & modern, but amenities like the elegant outdoor pool push this property ahead of the pack.

More Savannah itinerary ideas

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Bonaventure Cemetery

The famous 160-acre Bonaventure Cemetery is a little too far outside the city center to visit on a time crunch. The cemetery is known for its spectacular Victorian monuments and its appearance in the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

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Tybee Island

Got a day to spare? Start it off with a trip to Tybee Island. Located about 30 minutes east of the center, this barrier island is known for its military fort, museums, and some of the top beaches around Savannah. History buffs will love the 19th-century Fort Screven.

When to visit

The best time to visit Savannah is between March and June. In these spring and early summer months, the weather in Savannah is at its best. With the warmer weather returning, the city’s trees and flowers spring back into bloom. Visiting at this time of year, you’ll enjoy Savannah at its most colorful.

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The high season in Savannah falls in its summer months during the school holidays. Not only are prices higher, but July and August are also uncomfortably hot & wet in Savannah. You’ll do your best to avoid visiting at this time of year.

Winter is the cheapest time of year to travel to Savannah, but also the coolest. In winter, temperatures can dip as low as 30ºF (3ºC). If you don’t mind bundling up, you can find some fantastic accommodation deals at this time of year.

How to get there

By air

Savannah is served by Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV). The airport is located 8 miles (13 km) northwest of the city center. Several major airlines fly into SAV from destinations around the United States, including:

  • Allegiant Air
  • American Airlines
  • American Eagle
  • Delta Air Lines
  • JetBlue Airways

By road

Savannah is well-connected by road to other major cities in the Southeast. Popular routes and estimated driving times include:

  • Atlanta, GA (3h47m)
  • Charleston, SC (1h58m)
  • Charlotte, NC (3h48m)
  • Jacksonville, FL (2h2m)
  • Montgomery, AL (5h23m)
  • Myrtle Beach, SC (3h53m)
  • Nashville, TN (7h31m)
  • St. Augustine, FL (2h48m)
  • Asheville, NC (4h43m)

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How to Spend One Day in Savannah: The Perfect 24-Hour Itinerary (2024)


How to Spend One Day in Savannah: The Perfect 24-Hour Itinerary? ›

Trying to absorb the depth and complexity of a magical city like Savannah in a 24-hour period has its challenges but it's far from impossible and worthy of your time. Established in 1733, the inherent beauty of Georgia's First City is fascinating and it's reflected in nearly everything you can explore in this city.

Can you do Savannah in one day? ›

Trying to absorb the depth and complexity of a magical city like Savannah in a 24-hour period has its challenges but it's far from impossible and worthy of your time. Established in 1733, the inherent beauty of Georgia's First City is fascinating and it's reflected in nearly everything you can explore in this city.

What is the prettiest street to walk down in Savannah? ›

Jones Street. Often described as "The Prettiest Street in Savannah", Jones Street is renowned for its picturesque beauty and historic charm. Lined with majestic oak trees draped in Spanish moss, this cobblestone street exudes a timeless elegance.

How to spend a few hours in Savannah? ›

Popular Tours
  1. Savannah Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour. from $31.03.
  2. Savannah Ghosts & Gravestones Trolley Tour. from $39.54.
  3. Savannah Land & Sea Combo: City Sightseeing Trolley Tour with Riverboat Cruise. from $74.00.

Is downtown Savannah walkable? ›

Downtown Savannah is notable for the ease with which pedestrians can get around simply by walking. Mobility & Parking Services works with other city departments to help expand walkability throughout the city. Learn about the free shuttle, streetcar and ferry system operating in the Historic District.

Where to walk around in Savannah? ›

Best Walking Trails in Savannah
  • Sandpiper, Avian, and Big Ferry Trails Loop. Easy• 4.5(1025) ...
  • Big Ferry Loop. Easy• 4.5(613) ...
  • Wormsloe Historic Site Trail. Easy• 4.5(586) ...
  • Sandpiper Trail Loop and Avian Loop. Easy• 4.4(325) ...
  • Savannah Riverfront. ...
  • Forsyth Park Loop. ...
  • Whitmarsh Island Preserve Trail. ...
  • Blue Sky Preserve Trail.

How long is the Savannah Belles ferry? ›

Savannah Belles Ferry.

The complimentary crossing takes 3-5 minutes. City Hall Dock, River St., Historic District, Savannah, Georgia, 31401.

What does a red door mean in Savannah, GA? ›

Fun Facts: A red front door holds the historical significance of meaning people are welcome at the homes that host a painted door. It told travelers that they were welcome. During the Civil War, runaway slaves saw a red door as a sign of a safe house.

Is it safe to walk in historic Savannah at night? ›

For the most part, Savannah is safer than other major cities. According to the latest crime statistics, the majority of crimes are car break-ins and petty theft. With that said, use common sense as you would anywhere else. Walking alone at night is usually fine, but if you're feeling nervous, opt for a taxi or pedicab.

What is Jones Street in Savannah known for? ›

Jones Street was laid out in the early 1850s and is considered by many to be the most prestigious street to live on in Savannah. As a matter of fact, Southern Living Magazine called Jones Street the most beautiful street in the South.

What food is Savannah known for? ›

Enjoy the warm hospitality of the south by tasting some local bites in either a hole-in-the-wall joint or an upscale restaurant in Savannah. Typical dishes here include barbecue favorites, such as deep-fried chicken, as well as seafood dishes like locally caught shrimp.

Where is the Forrest Gump bench? ›

The bench that Hanks/Forrest sat on was actually a movie prop that has since been placed in the Savannah History Museum. But the location of the bench for the movie in Chippewa Square is still a popular spot for photographs.

What is Savannah, GA best known for? ›

Savannah, Georgia – a city where historic charm, Southern grace, and captivating beauty converge under the canopy of moss-draped oaks. Known for its enchanting landmark district, cobblestone streets, and beautiful architecture, Savannah beckons you to step into a bygone era.

Is there a free trolley in Savannah? ›

The historic district is considered to be very safe. It's best to be street smart however and not walk alone at night. Yes, the DOT Trolley provides free hop on hop off bus transportation throughout the Historic District.

What is the most famous street in Savannah GA? ›

River Street is one of the most popular places for tourists to visit in Savannah. Not only are there great restaurants and shops on RIver Street, it is filled with history. Looking to learn about the City of Savannah? Take a stroll down River Street!

Is it better to stay in north or south Historic District in Savannah? ›

There is no one district that is home to a majority. In fact, the entire historic district is only 2 square miles, so you are close to everything whether you're in the north or the south. Choosing between the two is merely a preference because you will tour both throughout your stay.

How long do you need to spend in Savannah? ›

If it's your first time visiting, you'll need to spend at least three days in Savannah to even scratch the surface. Most travelers choose the weekend, arriving mid-day on Friday. This is a great time to get your bearings and explore without an agenda. Saturday is when you'll see most of the attractions and museums.

How long is the Savannah walking tour? ›

Get to know Savannah's most influential residents of days past. And, of course, dig into the city's complex history, from the Native tribes who once occupied the region to the battle between enslavers and abolitionists and beyond. The tour takes 2-4 hours, depending on how long you want to spend at each stop.

Is Savannah a good place to be single? ›

Savannah, GA

Boasting a large unmarried population and a low cost of living, it is also a great place to be single. Home to the Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah is also a leading force in the contemporary art world, the capital of comfort food, and a hub of historic preservation.

What is the best way to see Savannah, GA? ›

Take a Trolley

Old Town Trolley Tours are distinctive for their orange and green designs, as well as their popular tours. Old Savannah Tours heightens its intimacy with Savannah's history through historical interpreters, making for entertaining and educational visitor interactions.

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