25 Savannah travel tips you need before you go
Savannah’s welcoming, “Slow-vannah” pace offers something for everyone: foodies, history buffs, art aficionados and adventurers. Use these 25 Savannah travel tips to plan your trip and discover all this grand, southern belle has to offer.
What makes Savannah so special?
Savannah, Georgia was founded in 1733, the first planned city in America.
Way back when, James Oglethorpe designed Savannah around four “squares.” The grid layout made the city easy to defend — with each square surrounded by residents and community buildings.
The city kept using the grid design through the 1850s, ultimately leading to 24 squares anchoring small neighborhoods.
Today, 22 of the 24 squares remain, shaded by Live Oak trees, branches heavy with Spanish moss.
25 Savannah Travel Tips
The Savannah historic district is one of the most popular destinations in the United States, so use these tips to beat the crowds, enjoy the best meals and experience the great history of Savannah.
There’s no particular order to these Savannah travel tips…. all are helpful!
- Familiarize yourself with a map of Savannah’s historic district before you go.
- Request a visitor’s guide from VisitSavannah.com, the city’s convention and visitor bureau. If you want one mailed to you, request it 30 days ahead of travel or more. The online version is available instantly.
- Take a guided tour the first day, whether by trolley, horse and buggy, or pedicab. It’s hard to get lost after taking a tour.
- If you take a “hop-on, hop-off” trolley tour and your guide is bland, hop-off and catch the next trolley. Two standout guides were Wayne and Stew! We enjoyed their entertaining style!
- With Savannah travel, you can skip hotels that serve breakfast, unless taking the kids. There are so many great restaurants in Savannah, that you’ll want to dine out.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes, not brand new. Savannah is a walking city, and you’ll want happy feet!
- Remember the camera. The preserved homes in Savannah are simply spectacular. If you have a great camera, pack it! (I forgot mine and regretted it from day one!)
- Stay in the riverfront/historic areas, all within easy walking distance to anything in the historic district. Leave the car parked, and enjoy the city on foot.
- Take the free ferry across the river to enjoy the amazing city view from the convention center. A trip across the river takes about 10 minutes. Go once during the day and again at night.
- Make dinner reservations before you travel! I use Open Table to make reservations wherever I travel. It’s easy to use and offers accurate reviews.
- An important Savannah travel tip for museum goers: Weekday visits are less crowded than weekends. We visited Wednesday through Sunday, and on Saturday the crowds had easily tripled.
- Use crosswalks! Savannahians know that tourism is vital to the city’s success and most tend to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks. Outside the crosswalks, and that’s Savannah travel you don’t want to risk!
- With that said, don’t assume that vehicles will stop for you! Be aware!
- Take advantage of freebies! We enjoyed a spontaneous tour of Savannah’s oldest fire station, one of our favorite places! This station is located across the street from the city’s main cemetery.
- Get the Savannah tour pass to save on admission to more than 30 attractions in Savannah. This pass offers convenience — no standing in line to purchase tickets — and offers great savings over buying tickets at each place.
- Allow approximately one hour to tour historic sites. Some take less time and others take a bit more. Plan for an hour per site to avoid overbooking your day.
- Most tour homes open around 9:00 or 10:00 a.m. and close at 4:00 or 5:00 p.m.
- Bring your umbrella. It’s helpful for those pop up rain showers the south is known for. And, if you’re standing in line, it provides shade from the sun.
- Enjoy the market areas: River Street, The City Market and Broughton Street. Each area offers unique shopping experience, dining options and atmosphere. There’s something for everyone in Savannah.
- Visit the Forsyth Square Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings between 9:00 and 1:00 — earlier is better. While small, the market offers organic foods including some prepared breads, fruit popsicles, honey, fruits and veggies. Grab a snack and enjoy the park.
- Sample the pralines at River Street Sweets (on the riverfront) and Savannah’s Candy Kitchen (in the City Market). Pick up pralines or peanut brittle for a souvenir snack to enjoy once you get home.
- Ask the hotel concierge for assistance. Savannahians are proud of their tourist friendly city and will do whatever they can to help you enjoy your trip. Pam, the hotel concierge where we stayed, offered great Savannah travel tips throughout our stay.
- Drink water! The summer heat and all that easy walking are draining. This easy carry water bottle is an easy way to stay hydrated!
- Talk to people. We met wonderful people from Savannah and across the U.S. Savannah is a friendly city — and the locals are quite happy to share Savannah travel tips — or a little history about the city!
- Linger. There’s no need to rush in “Slo-vannah.” The city moves at a relaxed pace. Enjoy it! Read historic markers, take photos (even pose on the staircases for grand shots), enjoy an ice cream cone mid-day. The possibilities are endless.
More Savannah travel tips to answer common questions
Since first writing these 25 Savannah travel tips, people have asked more questions about visiting Savannah. I hope you find these tips for visiting Savannah helpful as you plan your visit to this beautiful, historic city.
How many days is enough for Savannah?
My first trip to Savannah was four days, arriving Wednesday evening and heading home Sunday morning. That was just about perfect! We had plenty of time to take a city tour, see the historic sites, and enjoy amazing food. But, if you only have one day in Savannah, that’s enough time for a couple historic site tours with time to explore Savannah’s historic district.
What is the best month to visit Savannah?
The most popular times to visit Savannah are between the months of March and July. The trees and flowers are all in bloom, and warm temperatures mean no need to carry coats. But, this is also the most crowded time in Savannah.
Traveling during the shoulder season, August-October, means a greater risk of rain, but fewer crowds. And, it’s cheaper here in the fall.
And of course, the holidays are beautiful in Savannah.
Ha! There’s no bad time to visit!
Is it easy to get around Savannah without a car?
YES!!! We parked our car at the hotel and left it there our whole stay! The historic district is laid out in a grid, with all those beautiful parks to enjoy. It’s fairly level, and crosswalks are clearly marked.
If you want to explore beyond the historic district to Wormsloe State Historic Site or extend your trip to Georgia’s Golden Isles (the beach), you’ll need a car.
Is the trolley in Savannah free?
The Savannah trolley tours are not free. But, a Savannah trolley tour pass is good for two full days. When you want to give your feet a break, hopping on a trolley is a great way to learn more and take a rest! The ferry to the convention center is free, and offers great views of the city!