Trip Ideas

8 Can’t-Miss Things to Do in Savannah, Georgia

Don't judge Savannah by its size: this beautiful southern city is packed to the brim with antebellum mansions, shaded parks, excellent restaurants, independent shops, and more to do than you might realize. How to narrow it all down? We found eight can't-miss things to do in Savannah, so you can get the most out of your trip.

The Mansion on Forsyth Park, Savannah, Georgia
The Mansion on Forsyth Park, Savannah, Georgia
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Forsyth Park and The Mansion on Forsyth Park

Forsyth Park is the largest green space in Historic Savannah and arguably its prettiest, where people come to stroll, picnic, and people-watch. The large fountain at the park’s north end is one of the more popular spots for a photo-op; on Saturdays, a farmer’s market sets up shop, where you can pick up picnic fixings or that night's dinner ingredients. On the park's eastern end sits the dramatic, red-brick Mansion on Forsyth Park, a 19th-century former funeral home that's become one of the city's most luxurious hotels. Even if you're not staying on property, it's worth peeking inside to see its impressive art gallery (the owner was a serious collector) and extensive vintage hat collection, which features a wedding bonnet from the 1860s.

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The Paris Market, Savannah, Georgia
The Paris Market, Savannah, Georgia
The Paris Market, Savannah, Georgia

Images Courtesy of The Paris Market

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The Paris Market

The beauty of what lies inside The Paris Market won’t be lost on world travelers: the owners, a married couple, have amassed an incredible collection of eclectic finds from the world’s most diverse marketplaces—the bazaars of Cairo and Alexandria, the souks of Rajasthan, the flea markets of Belgium, London, and France. From taxidermy to pillows, jewelry to French-milled soaps, rare books to hand-stitched clothing, you’re bound to find a curio you can’t live without. Visiting during a holiday? Don't miss their dreamy window displays, which have featured scenes like Christmas trees being tended to by full-size swans and a spooky dungeon covered in spiderwebs.

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Wormsloe Historic Site

Few places in Savannah are as photographed as the Avenue of the Oaks—a dreamy, one-and-a-half-mile road lined with mossy oak trees that leads to the Wormsloe Plantation. This antebellum mansion and estate, built by founding colonist Noble Jones, has been in the same family since the 1730s, and remains a residence for his descendants. Today, you can tour the old colonial ruins and see demos of bygone trades such as blacksmithing, woodworking, and cooking by costumed characters.

Savannah Theatre in the night after live show.
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Historic Savannah Theatre

Built back in 1818, America’s oldest continually operating theater is a treasured timepiece. Its 40s-era Art Deco façade—complete with a shimming marquee—is as Instagram-worthy as the interior, all red velvet and uplighting, where actors and actresses perform on stage to live musicals and plays (the recent roster shows Mamma Mia! and The Piano Men) and movies are screened to the masses.  

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Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room

A historic 1870 townhouse is the unique setting for this ground-floor Southern diner, which, until her death in 2002, was run for decades by chef and cookbook author Sema Wilkes. Everything here smacks of home—guests sit at communal tables and pass dishes around, and there’s no set menu, so on any given afternoon (only lunch is served) you might dig into fried chicken, candied yams, okra gumbo, or sweet potato soufflé. It’s a unique chance to meet both locals and other visitors, and experience real southern home cooking in a setting to match.

Perry Lane Hotel, Savannah, Georgia
Perry Lane Hotel, Savannah, Georgia
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Perry Lane Hotel

Follow the city’s style set to the new Perry Lane Hotel, the buzziest hotel opening to hit Savannah in years. Inside is a fusion of past and present—think eclectic artwork, pendant lighting, lots of leather, and antiques galore. Low-country cooking classes are all the rage at the ground-floor Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market, though it’s the rooftop bar Peregrin that draws visitors from all over town, thanks to its stellar cocktails (try the Perry Lane Special, made with cognac, dry curacao, absinthe, and sparkling wine) and unrivaled panoramic city views.

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Artillery Bar in Savannah Georgia
Artillery Bar in Savannah Georgia
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Artillery

For a fancy night out, be sure to show up early to Artillery, the place to go in Savannah if you’re after serious good cocktails and an atmosphere to match. The former armory it occupies is now a beautiful vision of 19th-century Paris: cane-back chairs, a white marble bar, candle-burning chandeliers, jewel-tone banquettes, and buttons that summon waiters whenever you’re in need of a refill. (Go for the Artillery Punch, made with rum, brandy, rye, sloe gin, green tea, and sparkling wine.) Just be sure to leave your hats, flip-flops, and tank tops at home. Rules are rules!

Leopold's Ice Cream in Savannah Georgia
Leopold's Ice Cream in Savannah Georgia
Leopold's Ice Cream in Savannah Georgia
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Leopold's Ice Cream

While the location of this classic ice cream parlor may not be the original (it reopened next to a classic movie theater after being shuttered for more than 30 years), its Greek recipe flavors remain unchanged since their conception in 1919. Every month features a roster of seasonal flavors, but classic scoops like Lemon Custard, Rum Bisque, and the legendary Tutti Frutti are the perpetual crowd favorites. (We also love their less-expected flavor combos like Chocolate Chewies and Cream, which features bits of their house-made cookies and Georgia pecans.) However you take your order—in a classic cone, in milkshake or fountain soda form, or pressed between two cookies—is entirely up to you.

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