If you sat down and thought of what a southern city should look like, then you would likely conjure up images of Savannah. The Georgia city is the ideal southern town with its charming streets, parks, and architecture.
Savannah was one of the only cities in the south that was spared by the Union troops. By sparing the city, Savannah was able to keep many of its original buildings and some still stand today.
Savannah sits on the Atlantic coast of Georgia at the mouth of the Savannah River. It borders South Carolina, making it easy to travel to the state.
The Georgia city is known for its lovely squares and public places. There is also plenty of southern culture to soak up. If you are looking for some unforgettable activities in Savannah, then try these top picks.
Forsyth Park is Savannah’s most popular park. It is also the largest park in the city as it was built in the mid-1800s, when American cities focused on crafting big public spaces for recreation. A large cast-iron water fountain is the focal point of Forsyth Park. It was placed in the park in 1858 and remains its primary feature today. The large shade trees provide protection from the sun on warm Georgia days. If you want to exercise or just take a break, then a visit to Forsyth Park is a must.
The Telfair Museum is south’s oldest art museum. Housed in a classical Regency mansion, the art museum was founded Mary Telfair through a bequest. Telfair was one of Savannah’s most prominent citizens of the time. The house was a part of the Telfair family until 1875 when the house and furnishings were given to the Georgia Historical Society. The Telfair Museum holds a collection of more than 4,500 American and European paintings, sculptures, and works on paper across three buildings.
River Street was the area of the city where Savannah’s warehouses were located. The River Street area was supported by the cotton industry, which helped Savannah thrive at one time. Due to the yellow-fever epidemic in the late 1800s, River Street was abandoned by the city. In the 1960s, the area was rediscovered and people returned to Savannah waterfront. The streets are picturesque with cobblestones, local businesses, and old warehouses right on the waterfront. There are shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars to explore at the waterfront today. It is an ideal part of town any time of the day.
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Built in the 1870s, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist was rebuilt in 1899 following a devastating fire. It took over 10 years to redecorate the cathedral and it later experienced restorations in the 1950s, 1960s, 1980s, and 1990s. The cathedral has Renaissance-style murals and an incredible pipe organ possessing 2,308 pipes. The main altar in the cathedral weights 9,000 pounds and was cared in Italy. It is worth seeing alone.
Old Fort Jackson
Old Fort Jackson is Georgia’s oldest standing brick fort. It was built in 1808 and today, welcomes 50,000 visitors a year. Old Fort Jackson was named after James Jackson, a British-born political figure who lived in Georgia and made significant contributions to the state. You can take self-guided tours of the fort and enjoy fantastic views of the Savannah River.
The Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum
Dr. Ralph Mark Gilbert is credited as the man who kicked off the civil rights movement in Savannah. The Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum is dedicated in the good doctor’s memory. Gilbert was a pastor at the local First African Baptist Church. He was also the NAACP president in Savannah for eight years. The museum honors the role Gilbert played in the civil rights movement with exhibits on his life. Photographs, letters, and interactive displays are available to view.
Skidaway Island State Park
Skidaway Island is situated a short drive from Savannah’s downtown area. If you are seeking to camp out on your trip to Savannah, then set up a tent in the park. It is a great alternative to the expensive hotels around Savannah. You will find a large selection of wildlife and hiking trails on the island. You can hook your RV at the park and use one of the 87 sites. There are also a trio of cabins perfect for a holiday. The cabins come with kitchens, beds, bathrooms with showers, and most importantly during summertime, air conditioning.