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Savannah is the perfect destination to explore over a weekend. It’s a small city, you can see most of it on foot, and just walking from place to place is just as entertaining as the sights themselves!
Itinerary blog posts are a bit of a pet peeve of mine — it seems that bloggers get them wrong so often. I can’t tell you how many bloggers write New York itineraries telling you to check out Williamsburg! Then go see Central Park! Then go shopping in SoHo! Then see the Empire State Building! No New Yorker would ever recommend that…
This one, however, I worked on to make sure it was logical and well-timed and worked perfectly. Savannah is a special place to me and I want you to love it as much as I do.
Know one thing — this three-day itinerary isn’t ironclad. The world won’t implode if you don’t follow this itinerary to the letter.
The most important part of visiting Savannah isn’t explicitly mentioned here: exploring the many squares that dot the city. That said, if you’re walking throughout the Historic District, you’ll hit the squares constantly. Take time to see what makes each square special!
Day One: Best of Savannah
Wake up whenever you’d like — and eat light. You’re having the meal of your life for lunch, and it could be on the early side, depending on how willing you are to wait.
10:30 AM-12:00 PM: Get in line at Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room. The line forms from early in the day. I once got in line at 10:30 and was seated at 11:30 AM, so be sure to plan it carefully.
Kate recommends: their fried chicken is the BOMB! And those cheesy mashed potatoes are heavenly. Try everything. Everything is fantastic here.
Afternoon: Explore Jones Street and the surrounding area. Jones Street is home to some of the most beautiful houses in Savannah. Walking around is a great way to walk off your heavy Mrs. Wilkes lunch!
Venture down to Forsyth Park. Head down through the southern squares, pausing at the Mercer-Williams House en route. (Fun fact: when a movie was being filmed in Monterey Square, in front of the house, then-resident Jim Williams was disgruntled with the film crew, so he hung a giant Nazi flag from his house to stop the filming. It worked.)
Once you hit the park, the fountain is one of the symbols of the city. Also, the houses surrounding the park are just as beautiful as those on Jones Street, if not more so!
Head back north and explore the shops of the area. The southern part of the Historic District is home to some unique shops like One Fish Two Fish (gifts and housewares), Satchel (incredible handmade leather goods), The Book Lady (used books), and Chocolat (artisanal chocolates).
Grab an afternoon pick-me-up at Gallery Espresso. This artsy coffee shop is a good spot to take a quiet break with a beverage. They also have a gorgeous selection of cakes.
Explore the shops on Broughton Street, if you have time. My absolute favorite is The Paris Market, which sells Paris-themed housewares and adorable things you didn’t think you’d ever need; there are many others including The Spice and Tea Exchange of Savannah.
Kate recommends: if you love to shop, consider bringing a fold-up bag in your main luggage. The Paris Market will probably test your willpower!
Dinner at Alligator Soul. Alligator Soul is one of the more whimsical restaurants in Savannah, serving exotic meats on a constantly changing Southern-influenced menu. The chic basement setting, formerly a grain storehouse, is as interesting as the menu.
Go on the Dead of Night Tour. To get a sense of Savannah’s haunted history, take a ghost tour. I’m not one for ghost tours ordinarily, but the Dead of Night Tour is one of the best tours I have ever done, anywhere. Seriously. It’s late at night, adults-only, and it’s not as scary as I feared it would be — just incredibly interesting. Most of that has to do with Skippy, who is a fantastic guide.
Day Two: Deeper Into Savannah
Start with breakfast at your hotel or a nearby cafe. If you’re visiting on the weekend, check out the fried green tomato Benedict at B. Matthew’s Eatery.
Tour an old house of your choice — or more than one! There are plenty of historical homes to tour in Savannah. Here are some options:
The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace is a must for former Girl Scouts — Juliette Gordon Low founded the organization! She also had a very interesting life and a beautiful home.
The Owens-Thomas House is the top recommendation of the Savannah Architecture Tour and admission is included as part of the Telfair Museums, including the Jepson Center for the Arts, which I mention below.
Have lunch at Collins Quarter. This funky cafe is modern, bright, and has lots of outdoor seating overlooking Oglethorpe Ave.
Kate recommends: the avocado toast is fabulous, but the true standout here is the lavender spiced mocha. My new favorite coffee in the world!
In the afternoon, explore the Riverfront and the City Market area. Both areas are good for shopping. If you feel like a treat in the afternoon, head back to Broughton Street for an ice cream at Leopold’s.
Dinner at the Olde Pink House. The Olde Pink House has a reputation for being Savannah’s top restaurant. And people aren’t wrong! I definitely recommend experiencing the finer side of dining in Savannah, along with some unique southern fusion dishes.
I recommend making a reservation here in advance if possible. If you’re traveling solo, head to the bar. I met two fellow solo female travelers there and we shared our dishes!
Kate recommends: the shrimp and grits and the BLT salad. Both are appetizer-sized portions. Best option? Get a few appetizer dishes.
Drinks at Jen’s & Friends. Jen’s & Friends is just a few blocks from the Olde Pink House. It looks like a nondescript dive bar, but then you realize that they have 300 crazy martinis on the menu! Perfect place to close out an evening.
Kate recommends: the birthday cake martini if you’re celebrating something, or a watermelon lemon drop if you love all things super-sweet and super-sour!
Day Three: Beyond the City
Start with breakfast at your hotel, or a quick bite nearby. You’ll need to be ready for a 9:30 AM tour start.
Take an Architectural Tour of Savannah. An architecture tour is a great way to get an overview of Savannah’s history and learning about the city’s unique layout and buildings. You’ll also learn tidbits that you wouldn’t have heard when exploring on your own.
Check out the Jepson Center for the Arts. The architecture tour finishes right in front of the Jepsen Center, and by then, you’ll probably be eager for air conditioning! This museum has a surprisingly good selection of art for its size, along with some rotating exhibits.
Lunch at the Back in the Day Bakery. This little place is south of the Historic District and will be worth taking a taxi, as you’ll be taking another taxi to your next destination. You’ll love the vintage decor and the Rosie the Riveter outfits the staff wear!
Kate recommends: the Earl Grey cookies and lavender cookies are both delicious! Also, if you have time, you might want to stop here on the way to the airport to bring goodies home.
Afternoon, Option 1: Visit Bonaventure Cemetery. This is the big, famous cemetery outside the city. Several graves of prominent residents are located here, and the area is great for getting spooky Southern photos.
Note: the famous Bird Girl statue on the cover of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is no longer located here; she’s been moved to the Jepson Center for the Arts.
Kate recommends: go see Little Gracie’s grave, stand slightly on the left side of the gate, and look into her eyes. It will give you chills.
Bonaventure Cemetery is a shorter trip; you definitely won’t need more than two hours here. If you head back afterward, explore more of the squares in the Historic District.
Image: Ryan McKee
Afternoon, Option 2: Visit Tybee Island. Savannah is home to a beautiful stretch of sand just outside town. Tybee Island is a beach destination in its own right, but it’s equally satisfying as just an afternoon trip. (And even though it’s an island, don’t worry — the road goes straight there and you won’t need to take a ferry!)
However much time you decide to spend here, get back to Savannah in time for dinner.
Dinner at Vinnie Van Go Go’s. Honestly, by this time you’ll probably be in the mood for something a little different from Southern fare. Vinnie Van Go Go’s is home to pizzas that are as ENORMOUS as they are delicious.
Where to Stay
On my most recent trip, I stayed at the Andaz Savannah and not only loved it, but also thought it was ideal for solo female travelers.
Why solo female travelers? I always recommend women on their own choose accommodation that is in a bright, open, well-traversed, easy-to-get-to place. Andaz is located on Ellis Square, a busy area in the Historic District. The elevator requires guests to swipe a key card, which adds an extra level of safety.
And I appreciated the leg-shaving stand in the shower, as well as the sleek, feminine decor.
If not the Andaz, I recommend staying anywhere within the Historic District. Here are other hotel options.
Keep in Mind
I want to reemphasize that this is just a rough itinerary — feel free to customize it to your preferences!
Beyond that, Savannah is the kind of city that lends itself to wandering. My favorite thing to do in Savannah is just wander and explore the squares and beautiful homes. It might not be official “sightseeing,” but it certainly isn’t a waste of time in my book!
Spend your days the way you want to and I’m sure that you, too, will fall in love with Savannah.
Essential Info: Unless you plan on doing a lot of driving, I recommend getting around Savannah on foot and using Uber or Lyft when you need them. A 20-minute Uber to the airport cost me $18; a trip from my hotel to the Back in the Day Bakery, a few miles away, cost $6.
The hotel I stayed in on my first visit two years ago has since closed, but check out other Savannah properties here. Just make sure you stay in or adjacent to the Historic District.
Tours of the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace cost $15 for adults, $12 for students, and $10 for Girl Scouts (call ahead on the latter).
Tours of the Mercer Williams House cost $12.50 for adults and $8 for children.
The Dead of Night Ghost Tour costs $29.95 (get 10% off when you sign up for the newsletter) and is a late-night adults-only tour.
Architectural Tours of Savannah cost $30 and are held daily at 10:00 AM.
My top recommendation is to read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil before your trip! Even if you aren’t planning a trip yet, this nonfiction novel will have you booking a flight to Savannah before you know it.
Have you been to Savannah? What would you add to this list?
This campaign is brought to you by Visit Savannah. All opinions, as always, are my own.