Free SAVANNAH

Walking tours.

free walking tours savannah ga

Your mind blown in 90 minutes, or you don’t pay a dime

So, you’re coming to our beloved Savannah. If you’re like most visitors, coming just for a few days, your time here is limited and precious. You need  a tour. But, how will you know you’re not wasting your money, or signing up for boring time? How can you ensure the tour you’re taking isn’t crappy? The truth is – you can’t. Tours in Savannah don’t guarantee anything. And this is why we created the Free Savannah Walking Tours. Our tours are amazing, because we don’t get paid if they’re not.

Note : there’s a $2.85 fee when you book. The city of Savannah enforces a tour tax for each person (and a limit of 30 people per group), so we ask each participant to pay the tax to avoid over-bookings & no-shows. The tour itself is free and operates on a name-your-own-price-basis. O nce you book, we’ll send all the details (starting location, etc) to your email.

free walking tours savannah ga

5/5 on Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google

free walking tours savannah ga

“Informative, entertaining tour. It was a really large and somewhat unwieldy group of about 25 people, but the tour guide did a great job of herding everyone. He seemed very knowledgeable about Savannah history. We all thought it was a great way to spend the afternoon. Highly recommend.  (We had five in our group and we tipped him $80.  Well worth it.)” Audrey E. Chapel Hill, NC

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“Great walking tour of Savannah’s history! Chuck, our tour guide in this hour and a half tour, was a wealth of knowledge. He took us back to England in the late 1600’s and provided a colorful description of how this beautiful city evolved since Oglethorpe’s arrived in these shores mixing wit and humor in his delivery. I highly recommend this tour for a crash course in history and fun facts while walking through the many parks and monuments of this beautiful city. Keep in mind this is a tour where you decide how much value you get out of it. Ask for Chuck for an added valuable experience. “ Sergio S . San Diego, CA

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“I’m not sure if these tours are always this incredible but my Guy Joe did a great job on the morning of April 26th!!!! That guy seriously killed it. You could hear the passion and love for the city as we walked around. He is very animated and appropriately alters the inflection in his voice to both emphasize key points but also maintain the audiences engagement. You can tell that he is going to be a great guide from the minute he starts his introduction. He was very knowledgeable about the history of the city, and as a local was able to toss in some fun facts from his own family’s stories. He even offered some tips for great restaurants to stop at for food. Plus, he called us to make sure we were still coming, because we were that group that walked up exactly on the hour. Would highly recommend this tour for anyone visiting Savannah, and if you can book Joe!” Abou K. Los Angeles, CA

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“Do not pay for another tour! My husband and I actually purchased ticket to another walking tour in Savannah and it was cancelled last minute. The night prior I looked up the free walking tours and thought we would give it a shot. Our tour guide Chuck was great! He was so knowledgeable of the city and the history of Savannah. I highly recommend this tour and appreciate the tour being free (only pay the cost of taxes) and giving the tour guide a larger gratuity.” Jill D. Talleyville, DE

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“A great tour that gave bits of info about Savannah. Topics ranged from history, flora, landmarks, and pop culture. Perfect duration, very informative. Large tour group size, but I believe everyone was able to hear the guide without difficulty. Loved the business model as it allowed all our party members to enjoy the tour without worrying if it would “feel worth it” to everyone.” Pamela B. Homestead, FL

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“ We decided to opt for a walking tour rather than a trolley tour whilst visiting Savannah. Daniel our tour guide was very knowledgeable and made the tour interesting. The tour covered appx 1 mile of the historic district and Daniel found good shady places for us to listen to his narrative. The tour is free but the guides rely on your tips to earn a living average $10-$20 per person, and worth every cent. Daniel was also keen to answer any other questions that we might have about Savannah, after the tour finished. Great walking tour. “ Mel V. Birmingham, England

free walking tours savannah ga

“This is the best tour in Savannah. We had Daniel (Chris is the other guide available). He was wonderfully charismatic and overall fantastic. He packed our tour with tons of historical info and fun tidbits of information. Great for anyone including kids and families. Loved the stops along the way including most of the “squares”.  If you’re trying to figure out which tour to take look no further. Don’t let the fact that it’s free dissuade you. It was a quality tour that’s completely worth your time. The only money they make comes from the touring visitors so tip accordingly. “ Lauren H. Chapel Hill, NC

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“ We really enjoyed this tour of Savannah. Chris was super knowledgeable and kept us interested the whole time. It’s a great way to get yourself acclimated to the city. “ Rob D. Cranford, NJ

free walking tours savannah ga

“My friend Stacy and I took a Free Savannah tour on the Martin Luther King holiday. Our guide was Daniel. We were hemming and hawing about whether to do this or take one of the trolley tours. At the last second we opted for this. Yes the free price tag is nice but we’re not above paying for a solid tour, so it was more about wanting a unique, up close and intimate experience with Savannah, our guide and the overall tour. And we got it. Daniel was awesome. He is whip smart, friendly, passionate and very patient and kind. We happened to have a small group on the afternoon tour, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have mattered if we had had 50 people. He went out of his way to make sure that everyone was following and encouraged questions. He’s also got a natural ability to explain history and culture and will have you laughing in the process. He knows so much about Savannah and seems to love it, which was infectious. The essence of his tour that he gave us was about a surprisingly progressive city in the south that has seen dark times and tragedy and been down on its luck but has always retained a strong resilience and hope for better days ahead. And a sense of its cultural and historic fabric that makes it so unique and charming. We packed a lot in to the 2 hours (we went over a tad bit which was just fine with us) and saw and learned a bunch but not so much that it was exhausting or overwhelming. Cannot say enough about Daniel. He was one of the highlights of this trip. We tipped him what we thought was a fair tip and it was still less than one those trolley tours would have been. You should go. Bring comfortable shoes and water and show up at Johnson Sq. a few minutes early. This is my second free walking tour (did one also in Vancouver) and they’ve both been awesome. So personal and informative. And great way to see and learn more than you otherwise would. “ Phillip G. Los Angeles, CA

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“The Free Savannah Walking Tour was entertaining and interesting. My boyfriend and I had been wandering around beautiful Savannah and began to look for tours so we could learn more. Savannah is such a walk-able city and I am so glad we chose to do the walking tour with Dan. We walked through the squares, learning about the monuments and the history of Savannah. One thing I loved about this tour (and the previous ‘free walking tours’ I have done) is that they are never dry. Dan did an amazing job of making sure the historical facts were presented in a fun and interesting way. My boyfriend and I came out of the tour with tons of fun facts about Savannah that we shared with our friends who were also visiting. Thanks Free Savannah Tour for a great afternoon!” Kala R. Waterville, VT

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“What a fantastic tour. Last 1.5 hours and it’s filled with education and a big dose of comedy to make it interesting. Chris was really great. My suggestion would be for him to bring up money. Never be afraid to ask for money. This is a free tour and he should make a comment at the end that tips are accepted. I would highly recommend. “ John S. Jacksonville, FL

Life is like a box of chocolates… don’t miss out on anything!

free walking tours savannah ga

Would you like to see where Forrest Gump’s bench was?

Most people coming to Savannah have planned their vacation for months. They’re afraid of getting lost, of missing out on what our unique city has to offer. We won’t let that happen. Your time here is short, so we’ll pack it full of adventure, and we’ll visit all the important spots and squares that hold Savannah’s essence. All that, under the shade and moss of our massive, 150 year-old Live Oak trees. Combine that with our lazy Southern accent and world-famous Southern Hospitality, and you’ve got yourself a winning vacation. So, if you were wondering, “ how do I fill my time in Savannah and what activity offers me the most? ”, the Free Savannah Walking Tour has got you covered. We will surprise you. We will excite you. We will even show you where Forrest Gump’s bench was installed in the movie, which was filmed in Savannah! How cool is that?

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“ Chuck was our tour guide. He was amazing. I love doing these free tours Bc they are just so much fun and so informational. Chuck gave us great information about Savannah and all the history surrounding the city and how it came into existence. We visited lots of great areas and took lots of pics. I definitely recommend this tour of this beautiful city. “ Miranda Z. Honolulu, HI

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“Wonderful, engaging Tour! We have used free tours by foot in many cities, even abroad, and we have only once ever been let down. This was not that time! Joe was our tour guide, and he was a lot of fun – very engaging, even with kids! Our children remembered his stories and referred to them throughout the rest of our trip. Book this tour, you won’t regret it!” Kelley M. La Crosse,WI

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“ Our tour guide was Chuck, and I found him very knowledgeable. He kept us moving at a nice pace so it never got to be too long in one place, and the historical anecdotes he shared were fun and informative. The overall length (90 min) was perfect. Can highly recommend for something to do with friends or family. “ Sine T. Brentwood, TN

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“Fun and informative with a native son ! We enjoyed our two hours with Joe and roughly 18 other visitors. The tour was filled with interesting anecdotes and historical tidbits that create a robust picture of the city’s origins and culture. I highly recommend and urge you to tip generously because these guides provide so much insight into the city and it’s people . Take their dining and sightseeing suggestions as well. “ Jackie F. Arlington, VA

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“Daniel was our tour guide on a chilly Sunday morning in February, besides the discomfort from the cold, the tour experience was perfect. The 90 minute tour started in Johnson Square, just one of the 22 currently ‘operating’ squares in downtown Savannah. From there we walked to Write Square, then over to the Owen-Thomas House on Oglethorpe Square (although we didn’t tour the house, we talked about it’s significance). We then walked to Colonial Cemetery and over to see the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (you MUST go look inside, they don’t give you a chance on the tour, but just break off for a moment and take a look if you don’t plan on going back) and Lafayette Square. Next onto the Green-Meldrim House  on Madison Square and back to Chippewa Square to finish (where Forest Grump’s bench scenes were filmed). This tour is all walk and no play, you’ll be on tour the entire time, no chance to stop for a coffee halfway through (or more likely an alcoholic beverage), so make sure you’ve got something in hand pre-start. The tour is broken down into the history of Savannah (and layout), historical persons, architecture and influence. I learned the perfect amount on the tour and definitely felt like it was a great way to see the city and squares you’ll know Savannah is famous for. At the end of the tour, I didn’t feel pressured into tipping Daniel, he simply puts a bucket out and says he’d love to recommend further places for you or help you on your journey. You SHOULD tip him, because is fantastic, but he’s very tactful in his approach. Highly recommend this tour, it’s kid friendly and moderately healthy elderly person friendly as well. Strollers would be fine on this tour as well.” Rose L . Durham, NC

free walking tours savannah ga

“Fun and informative with a native son ! We enjoyed our two hours with Joe and roughly 18 other visitors. The tour was filled with interesting anecdotes and historical tidbits that create a robust picture of the city’s origins and culture. I highly recommend and urge you to tip generously because these guides provide so much insight into the city and it’s people. Take their dining and sightseeing suggestions as well. “ Ray H . Orlando, FL

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“As mentioned by other Yelp reviews, this will be another broken record.  The tour is free, and it is worth far far more than that. I took a tour with Daniel a few weeks ago, and couldn’t have been happier.  The sheer volume of knowledge that he has about Savannah is top notch, and his interest and pride in Savannah shows in the tour. This was an experience in Savannah that I would strongly encourage any visitors to try. In particular, I would advise this as your first stop on your trip because it will give you a greater appreciation for the city for the rest of your trip.  The tour is slated to last 1.5 hours, but depending on how many questions there are, it would last up to 2 hours (well worth it). “ Jason A. Providence, RI

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“ Great walking tour! This is a great way to see downtown Savannah and learn a lot of history. Our guide, Daniel, one of the two owners was a a terrific history guide! He made monuments come alive. In fact he should become either a history teacher or an actor! They offer this tour as a free tour but you are expected to pay them what you think it is worth. What other business do you know that would have this kind of self confidence to offer something like this? “ Stephen J. Oakland Park, FL

free walking tours savannah ga

Safer. Cheaper. Better.

You’ll love it. guaranteed., you decide the price., 5 stars on yelp & tripadvisor.

free walking tours savannah ga

“MUST DO IF YOU’RE STAYING IN SAVANNAH!!! We had nothing to do one morning so we decided to look up some cheap or free stuff to do nearby. We came upon this tour and were a bit skeptical. We decided to meet up where the at Johnson square(where the group was meeting up). At first we couldn’t find the tour, but we came across a guide that looked like the pictures. We asked him if this was the free tour, and he booked us a spot right away! We weren’t expecting much from this tour bc it was free, but we were very pleased! Joe our tour guide was incredibly funny and and knew a lot about Savannah. He kept the crowd laughing and answered any questions that we had. He took us around to many squares, and tried to keep us under the shade as much as possible. Even though this is free you should definitely tip your guide because they’re teaching you so much for free! I would definitely recommend this tour for anyone who doesn’t want to waste money on incredibly expensive bus tours. “ Aishah M. Bellmore, NY

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“Awesome tour! “Free” is what caught my attention, but I gladly would have paid full price plus tip for this tour! Chris was our tour guide and he was great! He was funny, energetic, and knew his Savannah history. It was my fifth trip to Savannah, and I learned so much in those 2 hours than I ever did googling information about the town. Although it is a walking tour, it’s not 2 hours of non stop walking. Much of the tour takes place in the town’s squares, so you get a chance to sit for a few minutes here and there and get some shade under the oaks. The tour ends at Forsyth Park, which was perfect so you can take your time exploring and taking photos at the fountain. There are also nice restrooms and a Starbucks located at the park. I did the afternoon tour and about halfway through, the Savannah sun was baking me. I suggest doing a morning tour as summer approaches, dress in light comfortable clothing, and bring a water! The guides work for tips, $10-20 per person. Definitely worth $20.” Lola H. Atlanta, GA

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“Definitely worth FREE! Chris is a history buff and after traveling around the world for a few years he settled back in Savannah and started this tour company. It is heavily history based and discusses the important figures that are buried around Savannah or influenced Savannah in some way. The tour started at Johnson Square and ended at Forsythe Park. Took 90 min and it is recommended that you tip at the end ($10-$20/person).” Brittney R. Indianapolis, IN

free walking tours savannah ga

“ Very enjoyable! We did the walking tour and also the trolley tour with Oglethorpe. Both were enjoyable but the walking tour was the better of the two. It felt way more personal and I liked walking and stopping at the spots and listening to the stories rather than being driven around. The trolley tour felt rushed and you didn’t have a chance to ask questions like with the walking tour. The walking tour never once felt rushed and the guide really seemed to care about giving us the best experience .” Jason M. Traverse City, MI

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“We took a Free Walking Tour with Daniel today and lived every minute! His enthusiasm is contagious. His commentary is informative and at the same time entertaining. The walk was at a comfortable pace for us senior citizens, and we didn’t want the tour to end even though we had been walking for almost two hours. We highly recommend spending an afternoon with Daniel. “ Heather S. New York, NY

Secrets of Savannah Fully Unveiled

Two persons visit Savannah. Each takes a different tour…

free walking tours savannah ga

person one…

… ends up feeling like he’s wasted his time and money. He has walked for hours, and learned nothing new. His tour guide felt like she had better things to do that day, and the whole group suffered as a result. Another vacation gone wrong.

Person two…

… feels like it was just the vacation he needed. We can speak all day about our amazing guarantee, but what really makes people rave about our tour is a simple fact: We are passionate about Savannah. Born and raised here, there’s nothing we enjoy more than spreading that passion to visitors.

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Person three…

… is you. Wouldn’t you like your experience to be more like that of Person Two? We’ve served thousands of visitors, and optimized our tours to be as enticing and captivating as possible. We want you to have the most amazing day ever. Positive side effect: You’ll support locals, and leave the tour with a Ph.D in Savannah Life.

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“For my first time in Savannah, I wanted to go on a tour either by trolley or walking. I found a couple of good ones on Yelp, but this tour caught my eye because it’s FREE (tips only)! We have just eaten lunch at the Ole Pink House which is a short walk to Johnson Square which is where the tour starts at. Our tour guide Daniel was very knowledgeable about Savannah and entertaining. I liked how this is a walking tour because we are right up next to spot and it feels more personal than just driving by. The tour is about 1.5 hours long but I think ours lasted almost 2 hours. I definitely recommend taking this tour if it’s your first time in Savannah, so you can have a general feel of the city and its history. Then go back to visit those spots again particularly any of the houses you see. “ Rhoda G. Raleigh, NC

free walking tours savannah ga

“Great walking tour! Our guide Joe was very informative. I loved the way he tried to make the history entertaining by cracking jokes and using his personal young memories with us. Ask him anything about Savannah, he can tell you.. or try his best to answer it. I ABSOLUTELY RECOMMEND!!! “ Pretty S . Atlanta, GA

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“This is a great tour! We have done trolley tours in Savannah before but I much preferred the walking tour because it wasn’t a fly by of the city. You’re walking and talking with an awesome guide, Chris, who is quite entertaining and knowledgeable of the rich history and haunts of the city. Savannah isn’t “small” but it’s small enough that you’re able to see the historic district on the tour. We had a large group but our guide made sure we could all hear and made stops in places big enough to accommodate our group (32). Highly recommend. I love history and often on these types of tours there is a bit of exaggeration and stretching to truth to entertain, this tour was true historic facts with a great guide who makes it entertaining and fun! Which was awesome because we had our kids with us! Take this tour! You’ve got nothing to lose but I’d bet you’ll be more than satisfied.” Kody G. Johnson City, TN

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“Joe was our guide and got things started right by having everyone introduce themselves and then tell what the agenda was. The next hour and a half was amazing as we moved from Johnson Square down Bull Street to Forsyth Park. Joe’s spiel was certainly educational and delivered in such a humorous manner. Learned so much about the characters, buildings and landmarks of Savannah. Would highly recommend Joe and this tour. “ Greg W. Winnipeg, Canada

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“To be honest, I’ve never taken a walking tour with a guide that wasn’t pleasant and knowledgeable. People that do this job, especially the Free (tip only) Walking Tours, are doing it because they love what they are doing.  Free Savannah Tours is no exception. Very pleasant and knowledgeable guide and humorous at times.  I really liked that he flirted with all the women joggers. LOL. Tour was a bit shorter than your average walking tour (1.5 hours) but covered lots of info. Definitely recommended.” Jeff C. Seattle, WA

free walking tours savannah ga

“ Learned a lot on this great tour! Chris led us around some of the most beautiful places to see in Savannah just after we arrived in the city, and it was a great introduction to Savannah. He was very knowledgeable and we learned a lot about this historic place. Highly recommended! “ Arthur F. Orlando, FL

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“This tour really exceeded my expectations, and I was surprised to learn that this tour company was relatively new- less than two years old. Our tour guide was Chris and he did a FABULOUS job of showing us around the city and sharing his passion and love for Savannah. Our tour group was larger than usual, and Chris even admitted it was bigger than he was used to, but we had no problem hearing him speak as his voice carried well, and he was careful to include everyone in the group when he was speaking. He is a vibrant and interesting storyteller, my attention never swayed although the tour was close to two hours long. Of course we made a donation, but he made it clear that the tours are free and you pay only what you think the tour is worth. I wish this company all the best, and would HIGHLY recommend to others visiting Savannah. Thanks Chris for the tour!” Morgan T. Cleveland, OH

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“We took the tour with Chris and had a great time. My mind tends to wander on some tours, but Chris was very energetic and kept my attention the whole time. His presentation style was fun and he not only gave us the facts, but linked events together that made you think “what if?”. Our path took us through several park squares in the city which are not only pretty, but have a bit of history around them as well. The length of the tour is about right and provides you with information to decide what places you may want to explore further.” Gloria R. Baltimore, MD

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“These guys were great, especially for free!!!! They really have a huge heart for Savannah and I absolutely appreciate it! I’ve taken other tours of Savannah and no other tour guides had more enthusiasm for the town than this company. If you don’t mind walking about a mile or more, and really taking in Savannah, then I highly suggest going with Free Savannah Tours. I tipped them just as much as I would pay a regular tour because they deserve it!!! Thank you!!! “ Lan T. Washington, DC

Lift Your Mood

Have you ever noticed how happy you are outdoors? The sun directs your body to produce vitamin D and serotonin, resulting in an immediate uplift in mood. Who of us couldn’t use some of that? Come join us for 90 minutes of joy. Our tour will lift your spirit, and you’ll carry those great vibes for the rest of the day.

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“Excellent tour. This was our first walking tour based on the “pay what you feel like” model and it was just a great experience. The guide is a local who has done these tours in several other countries and his love for history and sharing stories is fantastic. Highly recommended.” Kapil J. San Francisco, CA

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“Great! Chuck was our guide. Excellent in history and a great story teller. Covered from the founding of the state to last week. Enough walking to make it a true walking tour. Very responsive to questions. Twigs your imagination in the way he spoke. Can’t imagine the paid tours are any better. “ Elvis A. Arlington, TX

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“ Thank you yelp for showing me this! We signed up for a tour through yelp and they were prompt in sending both email and text confirmations. Chris was our tour guide and he was at the appointed place early. He walked around the square a few times, approaching people to find all the participants. He was friendly and nice and did a great job at making us excited about the tour. And the tour was great! Chris focused on the squares and the history of the monuments, but also gave a great overview of the history of the midnight in the garden of good and evil. He answered all questions, told great stories and was very patient with our young daughter. Highly recommend this tour.” Beth S. Tucson, AZ

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“Walk and learn the history of Savannah! Enjoyed guide Chris on a 12/31 morning tour. He’s a native of the area and gave some nice insider details on the local history, both from the founding of the city to more recent events. The group was maxed out with visitors in for the holidays, but it was still a great experience that explained a lot of the background of how and why Savannah is set up the way it is. Great for all ages, as there are benches in the squares and the overall distance is quite easy, as you stop every few blocks for information. “ Karen C. Charlotte, NC

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“Very very pleased with the level of knowledge and professionalism displayed by our tour guide, Daniel. It was very obvious that the tour was being given by someone who was well-educated and meant to work with people. Daniel’s use of appropriate accent and pronunciation added a bit of flair, and his ability to convey large amounts of info in a fluid manner really helped to sustain the group’s attention throughout the tour. Highly recommended!” Ryan R. Lower East Side, Manhattan, NY

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“History Comes Alive! Daniel took us on a walking tour starting in Johnson Square. He highlighted the layout of the city and the story of each square we visited. He talked about the Colonial Cemetery, some of the historical homes and a variety of historical figures. Daniel is a local with a deep history interest, is energetic with a good sense of humor with a bit of charming drama. He does work only for the tips. Suggested amount is $10-20 per person. He is well worth this gratuity!!!!” Betsy Z. Becker, MN

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“Our tour guide was Daniel. He was enthusiastic, youthful & very knowledgeable on the history of Savannah. He weaved a nice story of the beginning of Savannah until the present as we walked throughout the historic district for 90 minutes. At the end he summarized our experience on the tour. He is a local and his pride for his home town is reflected in his tour. Call to reserve a spot. You will receive an email with pertinent info. You pay at the end based on your experience.  I find it important to support a local-grown business. You will not be disappointed. “ Rich S. Alexandria, VA

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“Loved it! Chris was a great guide. He was full of info relating to ghosts, Forrest Gump, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and local history. He was also very conscious of how hot it was and trying to find shade and benches. I would highly recommend him! “ Orianne G. Boston, MA

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“ This is the first time I have ever written a review on Yelp.  However, after taking this tour on 12/30/2014, I am compelled to sing its praises!  Chris, our tour guide, was extremely knowledgeable.  He made the city’s history interesting and entertaining.  His passion for his native city is contagious!” Stacey L. Charlotte, NC

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“ Awesome tour! I went with a group of girls for a bachelorette party to get a feel for the city. It was an awesome tour, got to walk through all the beautiful parts of town and the guide (Chris) was super knowledgeable. He answered all our questions and really tailored the tour to our group. We even went over the time by a bit, but he did not cut it short, he was very thorough. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone visiting Savannah! “ Caroline T. Kansas City, MO

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Book Your Free Historic Savannah Walking Tour

We’ll stroll through Savannah and absorb the old city, the historical squares, and the Spanish moss of the Live Oaks. Throughout our adventure we will discuss Savannah from present day, back to Colonial times, and through times of war, prosperity, famine, plague, and stardom. The tour lasts 90 minutes. Tours often get fully booked way ahead of time, so book your spot(s) now if you’re interested. What do you have to lose? You won’t pay a dime if you didn’t like it (won’t happen!).

free walking tours savannah ga

“What an excellent tour. We stumbled upon this by accident (good luck really) and it was one of the best things we did while we were in Savannah. Our guide, Chris, was everything a guide should be: engaging, funny, and enthusiastic. He kept me wanting to learn more about Savannah and history in general. I have done paid tours that were not as good as this one. The tour is free but don’t forget to tip!!” Edith G . Astoria, NY

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“ Great walking tour – Chris was an amazing tour guide. He provided history in an interesting manner and interacted well with all of the people on the tour. It is an amazing value for a brief overview of the downtown area of Savannah. “ Hope B. Holt, MI

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“ Chris took us around Savannah on a fun walking tour. You tip whatever you feel at the end and at least on our tour there was no pressure. We got to know Savannah, some history, and plenty of insider info about where to go (e.g. where to get cheap and delicious drinks). Chris was friendly and informative! I love free walking tours all over the world and I’m so glad they are now in the US! “ Kate H. Brooklyn, NY

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“We did a walking tour with Daniel on our first day in Savannah and loved it. We had originally booked a 1pm tour but these all got cancelled due to the heat so after a couple of emails to sort things out we ended up with the late afternoon tour and even then it was still pretty hot. Good decision guys – it would have been unbearable at 1pm. Daniel took us on a ramble through the squares of Savannah and it gave us a great introduction to the city. He was knowledgeable and funny at the same time (although if you are reading this Daniel you DO need to work on your Scottish accent when talking about Lachlan McIntosh!). He gave us lots of information about the history, famous people, and landmarks of the city. It really helps that your guide knows and enjoys his stuff, especially in a beautiful city like Savannah … it served as a great launchpad for the next 4 days of our trip as we could use the info we got from Daniel to decide which sights we wanted to go back and see again in more detail ….. As others have said … please make sure you tip. It is definitely worth it. We were on a similar ‘free’ tour in Paris on a previous trip and in both cases the tour guides were more passionate (and knowledgeable) than others who demand that you pay up front and sometimes just go through the motions … presumably because in this business model their income depends on how well they do and how much you enjoy the tour. Daniel worked hard on this tour and even at the end was happy to hang back for a while and give a few pointers or suggestions on various things we had questions about. We have absolutely no hesitation in recommending this tour .” Scott M. Toronto, Canada

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“This tour is a must is you are visiting Savannah! Chris was funny, friendly, and highly entertaining. When we signed up for this tour we figured that it would either be really great, or so boring that we would use our preschooler as an excuse to get out of it early. Thankfully it was really great. “ Nydia M. Miami, FL

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“ Fantastic!! Chris was our tour guide and he was super funny and very helpful. Excellent tour and very informative about the history of the city. He will also help you navigate and give suggestions on places to go to. He even said hi to us when we ran into him later on. It is very hot, so remember to bring water. He was also considerate and checked on how everyone was feeling throughout the walk. Be sure to tip because they really do a good job and deserve it! “ Jas S. Suwanee, GA

free walking tours savannah ga

“ Yes, definitely the right choice! My bf and I only had about 24 hours in Savannah and this was the way to go! 1) Easy meeting spot 2) Chris was super friendly and funny 3) Good balance of anecdotes and info 4) Good balance of walking and stopping 5) Strategically ends by right a bathroom–smart. We didn’t do any of the paid tours, so I can’t compare… But this seems like a great free option! I love history and felt pretty satisfied with the amount we learned. And it didn’t feel rushed which was nice. ALSO, most free tours in other cities just end up taking you to stores that sponsor them and make you wait there for 10 minutes so you can “have a look around.” That’s how they get you. But none of that here!! Just free fun times. Definitely recommended.” Krina S. Philadelphia, PA

free walking tours savannah ga

“Chris did a great job of bringing the historic district and city squares to life with insightful stories, anecdotal information and of course the history of beautiful Savannah. The length of the tour was just right as my two kids (14,12) were just hanging on. All in all a very good experience overall.” Chris K. Richmond, VA

Forget expensive tours, you want this one

Again, if you’re not absolutely delighted with us, you don’t pay a dime. The only way we get paid is if you’re so amazed by our tour that you feel motivated enough to tip us. No other tour company offers such a guarantee. So, what are you waiting for? If you’re looking for a fancy tour with trolleys that keep you static, we’re probably not for you. But if you want an exciting, healthy, educating time with passionate guides — and the best guarantee in the business – you’re going to love us. Click to book:

free walking tours savannah ga

“Super, excellent tour! We really and truly enjoyed this tour! History, funny and lots of good walking. Tour guide was also owner of company, and he was simply amazing! This is a must! Excellent!!!!” Debbie L. Caldwell, NJ

free walking tours savannah ga

“My husband and I did a free walking tour on a Saturday morning while we were in town. I can’t recommend it enough. Not only was it free, it was better than pretty much any other tour in town. We overheard a lot of tours, and none compared; especially those trolley ones that don’t really let you experience the city.” Samantha M. Washington, DC

free walking tours savannah ga

“Had a great, educational tour of Savannah with Chris! Learned a lot about this beautiful city that we would never know just walking around by ourselves. Walked through many of the squares, learned about some military history, pop culture (Forrest Gump filming locations), and about the architecture. This was a great stop on our year long tour of the US! “ April R. Charlotte, NC

free walking tours savannah ga

“A lasting impact that made our trip better. Chris was a fantastic tour guide. He had so much energy and was great at tell stories of the past. I really liked all the “taboo” stuff that he shared. Even if you have already walked around the city, you will have a much better time with the tour. We learned about “keeping up with the Jones” and so much more. It was funny that the guide was reading my face when he was telling one of his many interesting stories because I was so caught up in the moment that he pointed out..” you didn’t expect that uh, that was quite a twist of faith. ” I was really amazed that he never asked for a tip or said anything about money. If you do decided to do the tour, please give what you can. Free Savannah Tours is a great thing and I hope they stay in business for a long time.” Tiffany E. Nashville, TN

free walking tours savannah ga

“Had an amazing time learning about Savannah history, culture, and architecture on our tour. Chris was awesome and did a great job of making everyone feel welcomed. We saw a lot of interesting places and it was great to hear about some of the history of this beautiful city. Couldn’t have asked for a more pleasant experience! “ Jessica B. Orlando, FL

Frequently Asked Questions

Why offer free savannah tours.

By offering the tours for no upfront cost, we eliminate your risk and make sure we have the pressure to perform. Free Savannah Tours business model would be of little value otherwise.

Do I have to make a reservation?

Reservations are not required, but keep in mind that the city of Savannah has a maximum of 30 people allowed on any walking tour. Certain times of the year are quite busy, so make a reservation if you would like to play it safe.

Can bad weather cancel our tour?

We operate in most weather conditions. However, a tour will be called off if we believe the weather conditions are unsafe to conduct it. We will let you know in advance, of course.

Will my kids like it?

Definitely. Our goal is to entertain everyone in the group, and that includes kids. We cater each tour specifically to the group, so if your kids are more interested in the legends of the city, let your guide know and he would be more than happy to adjust.

Do you offer private tours?

Yes. If you’re interested in a private tour, please send us an email with your information (link at the bottom of this page).

Are dogs welcome?

Sure, why not? Savannah is a very dog-friendly city. As long as your dog isn’t aggressive, or barks a lot for no reason, you are more than welcome to tag it along.

What does the tour cover?

We like to give a view of Savannah’s history, from the Colonial Times up to current day society. There’s a lot to see.

Where do we meet?

The Free Savannah Tours organize in Johnson Square. Look for the big central monument, you can’t miss it.

Is parking available?

If you are driving directly to the tour, make sure to factor in a couple extra minutes to find a spot. Parking garages in the area are plentiful and very inexpensive to use for the day.

Is it a walking-only tour?

Yes. By avoiding highly expensive overhead — such as a trolley or a bus — we retain the ability of offer the tours at no up front cost. Plus, it’s way more fun, active and healthy that way!

How hard is the walk?

You’ll walk for about an hour and a half, normal walking speed, with plenty of stops. Not difficult at all, even for older folks.

Is it handicap accessible?

Absolutely.

What if it gets hot?

It’s usually nice and warm. If it gets a little hot, we have shaded spots strategically spread all across the tour.

Are there toilets along the way?

free walking tours savannah ga

“All the other reviews are true! Enjoyed all the usual pleasures of a weekend in Savannah, but my trip didn’t feel complete without knowing more about the history of this wonderful city. Free Savannah Tours took care of that! In an hour and a half walking tour that flew by, I learned so much interesting information about Savannah’s history, architecture, and it’s people. Made me appreciate the city so much more. Highly recommend for all the history, war, and architecture buffs. “ Kendall K. Wake Forest, NC

free walking tours savannah ga

“Perfect intro to this beautiful city! Having never been to the South before, my wife and I knew we wanted a good tour of this beautiful city to capture not only a bit of Savannah but a sense of historical life under the Mason-Dixie. I browsed a few tours and after reading a few reviews both here and other sites I thought we’d be in good hands with either of the two guides from Free Savannah Tours. Was I right or what?! Daniel was excellent. It ended up being a private tour because of a threat of rain. Daniel went above and beyond giving us “bonuses” and “free tangents” (as he liked to call them) which were very informative and made me smile because I could feel the love he had for his city. My wife and I are self-proclaimed history nerds and asked a plethora of questions to which he quickly and thoroughly answered. We also got to discuss elements of the Colonial and Civil War period where there was fun banter between the three of us. In the end, we had a two hour (plus!) tour, of which he had guaranteed an hour and a half (our questions and chatting took it past that!) of fun stories, interesting tidbits and great historical facts all while getting a good walk and feeling like we had made a new friend in Savannah. Thank you Daniel!” Joey D. Flagstaff, AZ

free walking tours savannah ga

“ We recently took the Historic Savannah Tour, with Bob as our guide. We were torn with which tour company to reserve with, but thanks to Yelp and these great reviews, we selected Free Savannah Tours, and we’re very glad we did! Bob was super laid-back and funny, very informative without inundating us with too many details, and we covered a lot of the sights and history of Savannah. Another great thing about Bob is that he kept the tour about the sights and history, rather than pushing his own agenda, or making the tour about him (which we’d previously experienced, elsewhere). We booked this tour during the front-end of our trip, which is something I recommend. Gives you time go back and revisit anything you’d like, in more detail. The owner(?) of the tour company, Chris, was also fantastically helpful in setting up our tour and helping secure the date/time we wanted.” Brenda “Raaaaaah-chester” K. Rochester, NY

free walking tours savannah ga

“Excellent tour. I am a huge fan of ‘free tours’; I have taken several of them in Europe (Amsterdam, Vienna, Krakow, etc.) and have always been impressed with both the enthusiasm and knowledge of the local guides. This was no exception. Chris was an excellent guide, clearly enjoyed and knew his local history, and interacted effortlessly with everyone on the tour. A bright and engaging tour guide makes all the difference, and Chris certainly fit the bill. Please remember that the tour guides on these types of tours make their income from tips, and they work very hard to deliver a quality service. Well done, Chris!” John L. Grand Bend, Canada

free walking tours savannah ga

“ Historical Savannah Tour with Madelyn – UNBEATABLE! We met our tour guide Madelyn in Johnson Square, with a “full” group of 30 people which did not bother us as it still felt very intimate. Madelyn began with an incredible amount of interesting history there, and as we made our way down Bull Street stopping in each square, we learned more and more as the city became newer chronologically. Madelyn is a SCAD student in architecture and history (I think?!) – SO knowledgeable, well spoken, witty, and overall just fantastic. We couldn’t have wished for a better tour or guide! “ Sarah S. Austin, TX

Would you like to contact us?

Chris, the owner, is available on email:

For anything technical (regarding the website), contact Reggie . If you’d like a premium, adult-only tour, we also operate Savannah Ghost Tours .

free walking tours savannah ga

“ They say the best things in life are free – this is definitely true with the Free Savannah Tour. Chris is a wonderful, friendly guide. You get a good idea about the history of Savannah and the “side stories” eg Forrest Gump makes the tour enjoyable. It is a good way to start your visit in Savannah. “ Dee D. Ghent, Belgium

Strawberry Tours

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Free Walking Tour Savannah

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Free Tour - Savannah

As We Saw It

One Day in Savannah: A Walking Tour Itinerary

Colonial homes along a sidewalk in Savannah, Georgia. Text overlay says

Only 90 minutes north of the Georgia-Florida state line, Savannah’s exit signs get little more than a passing glance. Sadly, millions of travelers ignore this charming colonial-American city as they rush-rush-rush down I-95.

Maybe it’s an American thing: We tend to focus on getting to our destinations and forget to take the time to savor the journey. But let’s be honest: Way too many of our deadlines are self-imposed.

Guilty as charged: When we visited Charlotte, North Carolina for an event, we planned to drive straight home after lunch the next day. (We always share the driving, so 9-hour drives are no big deal to us.)

And then we thought about it. What’s the rush? Would the world really end if we were to get home later than we’d originally planned?

How many times over the years had we said “We should visit Savannah” as we sped along the interstate? When, if not now? It’s such a historic city and there are so many things to do and see. Couldn’t we spare at least one day in Savannah? Or was it all talk?

Here’s what happened when we did.

Sign says from Savannah with love

Why visit Savannah, Georgia

If you exit from the speeding interstate, you’ll find that Savannah is the antithesis of rush. This colonial Grande Dame is a slow, Southern drawl of a city. Stately trees drip miles of lacy Spanish moss from their branches, creating shady, canopied streets and squares. everywhere you go.

The Savannah historic district is renowned for its beauty, peppered every few blocks with a lush miniature park that just begs visitors to “set a spell.” Indeed, no one, local or visitor, seems to hurry from place to place here.

Each of the city’s squares (22 to be exact) is different, named for a notable person, and surrounded with historic homes that are just as unique and just as enchanting as the next. Some of the squares may have fountains, others may have statues, but they all have benches.

Spanish moss drips from tree branches on a square in Savannah, Georgia

Plenty of people accept the benches’ unspoken invitation every day, enjoying the cool shade and watching frolicking children as birds chirp overhead and horses clop-clop around the square. We were no exception, and you won’t be either.

This is a long read, but Savannah is worth it. I’ll be your virtual tour guide on this Savannah walking tour itinerary and show you why.

How to visit Savannah in a day

back of Savannah cycle tour guide's shirt on left. Horse and carriage on right. Both are used to get around Savannah, Georgia

One of the best places to get accurate information about a city is at its tourist center. Along with plenty of brochures and tips, they have a map of the main attractions. It’s almost always free of charge.

Get one. If you plan on touring Savannah Georgia, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with a city map before you begin your walking tour.

The Savannah Visitor Center is easy to get to from the interstate. We arrived at 10:30 on a Sunday morning – later than we had planned – and left our car in the parking lot. Then we went inside to get our map and use the restroom before setting out.

ⓘ TIP:  Visit Savannah on a weekend for less traffic and free parking.

What’s the best way to tour Savannah Historic District?

Savannah’s entire historic district fits into an area of less than one square mile. And even though Savannah’s Historic District is small, you could easily spend two or three days there and not see it all.

We find that guided tours are the best way to learn about a new city and make the most of limited time. And if you have a special interest, you can use sites like Get Your Guide and Viator to book everything from food tours to Civil War tours, to comedy and ghost tours . And while walking tours are the most popular, other options include trolley, bicycle, segway, and horse-drawn carriage tours. And as you might expect, there are Riverboat Sightseeing Cruises as well.

Or, maybe you simply want to explore on foot and soak up the city’s ambiance. For us, a self-guided walking tour of Savannah made the most sense.

We got a lot of exercise, but our feet got tired and hurt by the end of the day. If you plan to walk, wear good shoes. And consider resting your feet for a while by riding around on the hop-on/hop-off trolley.

Don’t make our mistake (please!)

Looking back, the biggest mistake we made in trying to see Savannah in one day was in not having a tour book ahead of time. Reading up on the Savannah attractions beforehand would have made our time there so much easier.

  • For one thing, we could have reviewed the Savannah historic district map and not had to backtrack as much as we did, and
  • for another, it would have helped us avoid stopping all the time to read about what we were seeing.

We found a walking tour booklet at the Visitor Center gift shop and chose an itinerary that promised to take us through half of the Historic District in an hour and a half.

Ha! Not in our case! In reality, it took longer because Dan had his camera and Savannah is chock full of beautiful things to see and photograph.

ⓘ TIP:  By reader request, here is the Amazon link to the book we used for this walking tour. The author has done her research and created walking tours for a variety of interests. She shares a whole lot more information than any single article could ever include.

One day Savannah walking tour

Entry gate to Colonial Park Cemetery. D.A.R. is carved on the lintel and an eagle with his wings spread is atop the entry

As a city, Savannah is one-of-a-kind. It was laid out in 1733 by General Oglethorpe. His basic idea was to set up an easily expandable grid system: four open squares, each surrounded by four residential blocks and four civic blocks.

Anyone who walks through the historic district will agree that the original plan (now known as the Oglethorpe Plan ) was absolutely brilliant.

History oozes from every well-planned block of this city. Most of Savannah’s squares were named in honor or in memory of a person, persons or historical event, and many contain monuments, memorials, statues, plaques and other historical mementos. Read on and you’ll see what I mean.

ⓘ TIP:  When you tour Savannah GA, be aware that most historic sites and museums charge admission fees to cover costs of upkeep. Budget roughly $10 per ticket. If you want to visit a few of Savannah’s homes or museums, ask about combination tickets; they can offer considerable savings. Be warned, though: photography inside these buildings is sometimes not allowed.

Orleans Square

Columned front of Harper Fowlkes House, Savannah

Only a few short blocks away was our first stop: Orleans Square. It was laid out in 1815 and commemorates General Andrew Jackson’s victory in the Battle of New Orleans that year. The fountain in the center of the square honors early German immigrants to Savannah.

With four two-story-tall Corinthian columns in front, the Harper Fowlkes House (aka Cincinnati House) is hard to miss. Its dramatic portico was copied from the Temple of the Winds in Athens, Greece, which I’d guess is why many people consider it to be one of Savannah’s most unusual homes. It is now open to the public.

Chippewa Square

Statue of James Oglethorpe atop a concrete column

Chippewa Square was named for the Battle of Chippewa in the War of 1812 . In the corner of the square is a monument to James Oglethorpe, who founded Georgia in 1735 with the following rules: No hard liquor. No Catholics. No slaves. No lawyers. We’re glad those first three didn’t stick, but it’s rather a shame that last one didn’t, ha-ha.

Anyway, this square is known for its nightlife and entertainment, partly because of the historic Savannah Theatre. The Savannah Theatre is one of the oldest continually-operating theaters in the United States and still produces shows nightly.

Nearby is the First Baptist Church, the oldest church building in Savannah, which welcomed troops from both sides of the conflict during and after the Civil War.

For some people, though, Chippewa Square’s biggest claim to fame is that this is where Forrest Gump sat while eating his box of chocolates and telling his life story to anyone who would listen.

Fun fact: They changed the traffic pattern during filming, in order to have the characters step off the bus right in front of the bench.

The bench was located on the north edge of Chippewa Square Park, at the corner of Hull and Bull Streets.

ⓘ TIP:  Sorry, guys, but there’s no bench there now; it was just a film prop. If you want to see it, you’ll find it in the Savannah History Museum.

Forrest Gump sitting on Savannah park bench

From Chippewa Square, we walked down Bull Street past Juliette Gordon Low’s birthplace. The house was one of the first house museums in Savannah. We didn’t stop in, but having been there before we can say that if you’re interested in historic homes, it is well worth your time.

Also, if you were a Girl Scout, you should also visit the Andrew Low House , which is where she later lived.

ⓘ BUDGET TIP:  There’s a Savannah Pass that includes admission to over 30 of the city’s top tours, attractions, and historic sites. You can make advance reservations, use interactive maps, and find detailed attraction information with the handy mobile pass and guide.

Three story house where Juliette Gordon Low was born

Wright Square

We quickly arrived at Wright Square, the square where the courthouse has always stood. A simple granite memorial stands in one corner as a tribute to Tomochichi, chief of the Yamacraw tribe, who became a good friend of General Oglethorpe and offered peace and cooperation with the settlers. This was his original grave site, but sadly, his bones were removed in order to erect a statue to William W. Gordon.

stone with plaque Memorial to Tomochichi

You can see the statue in the center of the square. Gordon brought immense wealth to Savannah by constructing a railroad which brought cotton into Savannah’s wharves from distant plantations. William Gordon was grandfather of Juliette Gordon Low.

Oglethorpe Square

Tree frames the lower floor and entry of Owens Thomas House. I'm told it's one of the best  plantation tours in Savannah GA.

Turning onto York Street, we found Owens-Thomas House at the next square . Our guide book said that architectural historians consider the building to be one of the finest examples of English Regency architecture in America.

If you visit, you can also see the slave quarters in the carriage house, which contains items that were constructed and used by slaves. If you don’t, you can still peek through a gate to see the home’s beautiful garden.

Colonial Park Cemetery

gravestones at Colonial Park Cemetery

Nearby is Colonial Park Cemetery. Used from 1733-1850, it’s now a peaceful city park.

The most famous person buried at Colonial Park Cemetery is Button Gwinnett. He signed the Declaration of Independence.

A stack of headstones is piled along one wall. When General Sherman’s troops camped there during the Civil War the soldiers decided that it would be entertaining to alter and move gravestones. Most of the stones were replaced after they left, but that pile contains the ones they could not relocate afterward.

My tour book said that some of the dates show that someone had died before he was born!

Columbia Square

Simple metal fountainshoots one stream of water directly upward. The pool around the fountain is made of brick

The next square on York is called Columbia Square. There’s a fountain in the center, which came from a nearby plantation that was owned by the wealthiest man in Georgia colony.

romantic old brick inn in Savannah

Kehoe House is a Renaissance Revival mansion that was built in 1892 and looks out over the square. It was built for William Kehoe, his wife Anne, and their ten children.

Mr. Kehoe ran an iron foundry, so many parts of the house were made of iron when it was built. It was beautifully fixed up, and now it’s a high-end bed and breakfast.

Davenport House

Another remarkable house on the square is the Davenport House, which is open to visitors. It boasts some of the finest wrought iron in town.

Even if you don’t go inside, look for the dolphin downspouts on each corner. Also check out the third step on the front staircase: there’s a boot scraper placed below a heart!

Greene Square

Second African Baptist Church

Laid out a short time after the Revolutionary War, this square was named to honor General Nathanael Greene, who was second in command to George Washington. (Greene, along with his son, is actually buried in Johnson Square. Go figure.)

Greene Square was once the center of Savannah’s African-American community. On one of the adjacent lots is Second African Baptist Church. It was here that General Sherman read the Emancipation Proclamation and promised the newly freed slaves “40 acres and a mule.” A century later, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood here as well, and practiced his famous “I had a dream” speech before delivering it in Washington, D.C.

Washington Square

rough surface of tabby sidewalk in front of Savannah row houses

They named it Washington Square to commemorate a visit from America’s first president.

This is where the Trustees’ Garden was, where they tried out different crops that could make money for the new colony. Most of these attempts, like growing mulberry (for silkworms), hemp, olives, and indigo, failed, but the peach trees did well. Yes, that’s how those well-known Georgia peaches got their start.

By the way, as you walk around town, you might notice the “tabby” material used to pave the streets. Roads and buildings were often made of tabby. It is a useful mixture of oyster shells, lime, sand, and water.

Pirate’s House

Pirate's House, a landmark Savannah restaurant

Walk to the end of Houston Street and look across Broad Street. The weathered building, known as Pirate’s House was once an inn for visiting seamen.

Now a restaurant, it has a shady history because, according to legend, a tunnel ran from the cellar to the river. Patrons of the tavern were given strong drinks and when they passed out they were carried, unconscious, to ships waiting in the harbor. When they awoke, they would find themselves at sea on a strange ship bound for a port half a world away.

Pirate’s House was an inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson as he wrote Treasure Island. Indeed, Savannah is mentioned in the book more than once.

Seems to me, though, that if there really is a tunnel under the city, there would be a tour or something. Wouldn’t you think?

Warren Square

Yellow row houses on a Savannah street

Warren Square was named for General Joseph Warren, a Revolutionary War patriot. He had been President of the Provincial Government of Massachusetts and was killed in the Battle of Bunker Hill. Several of the homes there were completely restored in the 1900s, but not all. A double house on the south side of the square was built in 1998.

We followed St. Julian Street to get there. This street has some of the oldest houses in the Historic District (from the 1700s). You can tell it because the architecture is completely different.

Reynolds Square

This square was named for Capt. John Reynolds, governor of Georgia in the mid-1750s. The bronze statue in the middle honors John Wesley, founder of Methodism. Wesley spent a few years in Savannah (1735–1738), during which time he founded the first Sunday school in America. He is shown preaching outdoors, just as he did when leading services for Native Americans.

Statue of John Wesley in Reynolds Square

Had it been open, Dan and I would have stopped for lunch at the Olde Pink House. Thanks to surviving a devastating city fire in 1796, it is Savannah’s only surviving 18 th century mansion. It earned its name because the soft native brick began to bleed through the white plastered walls, and the Habersham house turned Jamaican pink.

Despite being closed, they kindly let us take a look around and shoot endless photos of the atmospheric dining rooms. I must say, I was surprised at how affordable the prices are, considering the incredible ambiance. The chef created a very well-thought-out menu, and best of all, he or she is very willing to work with people who need to avoid things like sugar or gluten. Brilliant!

collage of images of Olde Pink House, Savannah

Johnson Square

Remember Greene Square, named after Nathanael Greene? This is where his and his son’s remains are buried. The obelisk in the center of the square is a memorial to the general.

Memorial obelisk to Nathanael Greene

Also on Johnson Square are two fountains, as well as a sundial dedicated to Colonel William Bull, the namesake of Savannah’s Bull Street. Bull surveyed Savannah’s original street grid.

Bay Street and a nice walk run along the Savannah River

Time to take a break from Savannah square-seeing. Instead, we ambled over to Bay Street, where the hundred-year-old City Hall stands, its pretty gilt dome glittering in the noonday sun.

Domed building that serves as Savannah City Hall

It wasn’t City Hall that interested us, though. Our goal was a close-up look at the historic Washington Guns.

Washington Guns

Washington Guns in Savannah Georgia

Sitting peacefully under an unassuming canopy near City Hall are two relatively nondescript “guns” (cannons?) that are fondly referred to as “George and Martha.” Tour guides will tell you that they were captured from the British during the American Revolutionary War and that they were a gift to the Chatham Artillery from George Washington when he visited in 1791.

Cotton Exchange

After checking out the historic weapons, we continued past the Exchange Fire Bell. Once upon a time, this old-fashioned method was how they used to alert citizens of fire.

The bell got its name because of its location: It’s near the old Cotton Exchange. Once upon a time, the world’s daily price of cotton was set in this very building. The men who negotiated the rate were known as Cotton Factors. I’ll tell you about that in a moment.

The fountain in front boasts a really nice-looking griffin in the center. Griffins are mythical beasts that were said to guard ancient treasure.

Old building that was once the Savannah Cotton Exchange. Griffin fountain in front.

Factors Walk

The Cotton Exchange is not far from my favorite part of Savannah, Factors Row and Factors Walk, both of which sit atop a bluff along the Savannah River. Factors Row is a unique collection of huge red brick buildings, two or three stories tall, that were used in the cotton trade back in the day.

Iron walkway at Factors Walk

The top floors once contained the cotton factors’ offices, while the lower floors were used as warehouses and faced the river. A series of iron and concrete walkways, known as Factors Walk, connected the buildings to the bluff.

Look down between Bay Street and the Factors Walk, and you’ll see a cobbled street and ramps leading down to the river. Their cobblestones were used as ballast when the empty ships sailed here from England. They were abandoned on the riverbanks as the ships were loaded with cotton.

These picturesque iron walkways aren’t just photogenic, they have an interesting history. The Cotton Factors would stand on these bridges and bid on the loads, as wagons full of cotton passed underneath.

These days, these historic buildings are occupied by pricey antique shops, historic inns, cafes, and exclusive offices.

Ellis Square

children romping in the Ellis Square fountain

Rested and refreshed, we were ready to tackle the rest of the city. Ellis Square marks one end of an area known as City Market. This has been an area for public marketing since 1755. The beautiful market building once located here was demolished in the 1950s so that they could build a parking garage on the site.

After years of complaints about its ugliness, Savannah finally caved and demolished it. The space is now a public square ABOVE an underground parking garage. The new public square features a bronze statue of songwriter-lyricist Johnny Mercer (“Moon River,” “Days of Wine and Roses”), and fittingly, has open spaces for public concerts.

There’s also a small tourist office, which was staffed when we were there. In good weather, children romp and play in a spot where water spurts from the ground in patterns. The fountain was still running, as were the kids, when we were there on a warm mid-October day.

City Market

Pedestrian area of Savannah city market, restaurant, sign and shops

Tucked between Ellis and Franklin Squares, there’s a pedestrian shopping area known as City Market. A shopper’s paradise!

Expect live music, cute boutiques, quirky art galleries, tempting sweet shops, trendy bars, and mom and pop restaurants to vie for your attention.

ⓘ TIP: This is also a good place to arrange for a bicycle taxi or horse-drawn carriage tour.

Franklin Square

Haitian soldier statue in the middle of Franklin Square

Franklin Square was named for Benjamin Franklin, who had died the year before. In the middle of the square is a statue honoring the many Haitian soldiers who fought for America’s independence in the Revolutionary War. That Haitians had defended the Colonies was a surprise to me.

First African Baptist Church overlooks the square. This still-vibrant church is the oldest African American congregation in the U.S. Much of the building’s features are original.

As a part of the “Underground Railroad,” members would hide slaves in the church before their flight north to freedom. They hid them on a finished sub-floor four feet beneath the lower auditorium floor.

The church has a museum and offers tours. Check their website for details.

First African Baptist Church in Savannah

By this time we had worked up a good thirst from all our walking and the waterfront along River Street began to beckon us. What could be better than to enjoy the breezes along the water and a bit of refreshment as we rested our feet and watch the boats tooling along on Savannah River?

Telfair Square

By the way, I have no idea how I managed it (I was in charge of the map) but somehow we completely missed seeing Telfair Square. I only realized my error after we got home. (Dang, it was right nearby!)

I’m very disappointed actually, because Telfair Square contains tributes to the Girl Scouts of the USA, founded here in Savannah by Juliette Gordon Low. I have fond memories of my times as a Girl Scout, from Brownie to Senior.

Telfair Square was one of the most fashionable neighborhoods in early Savannah and it is the only square honoring a family rather than an individual. One of the original mansions on the square was owned by Mary Telfair. She deeded it to the city in her will and it opened as Telfair Academy in 1886.

I hope her kids weren’t too upset when the lawyer read her will.

Heading to River Street

Cobbled street leading from Bay Street to Savannah River Walk

Always suckers for cobbled streets we walked back along Bay Street to Factor’s Row and descended to the lower level. Now we were at the lower levels of the cotton warehouses, below Factor’s Walk.

Here’s a Choose Your Own Adventure decision:

  • head down the cobbled ramp to the middle of River Street or
  • follow the narrow street to the end?

Option #2 was a great idea in theory, but we quickly realized we’d have to pay attention to where we stepped. Those cobbles aren’t smooth and it would be so easy to take a nasty tumble!

The waving girl

As we approached the end or the street, a trolley passed us heading down to the water. We followed its path to a park with a statue that has long been a Savannah landmark. The sculpture portrays a woman waving to passing ships.

Waving Girl statue in Savannah. Dog at her feet

The real life woman, Florence Martus, had once lived on nearby Elba Island with her parents and brother. When their parents passed away, she became the housekeeper and her brother took over the duties as lighthouse keeper.

From the age of 19 until her death, Florence waved to every ship entering or leaving the harbor. She became known as the “waving girl.”

Now felt like a good time to give our feet a break. Heaven: A bottle of cold water and a table overlooking the river.

Cold water and camera on a wrought iron table on River Street in Savannah

The blazing sun couldn’t reach us as we sat under an umbrella, and a cooling breeze wafted from the river. We watched the passersby and marveled at the variety of trinkets for sale in a nearby shop.

Why buy all that stuff? It was probably all made in China, I thought, cynically. Same worthless dust collectors as every other touristy place, just with a different city’s name stamped on the t-shirts.

Okay, so I was partially wrong.

Sure, they had a lot of knick-knacks, but the market had just as many craft stalls staffed by local artisans. One woman had some gorgeous silver earrings I almost succumbed to but (unfortunately) didn’t.

Serves me right, I suppose.

Entry to River Street Market in Savannah Georgia

River Street

Trolley tracks lead down the cobbled road at Savannah River Street

With the variety of unique nightspots, elegant inns and hotels, quaint brew pubs, and fabulous restaurants, I would imagine that River Street glitters after dark. By day, it’s the century-old cotton warehouses that tempt visitors, with all their antique shops, jewelry boutiques and galleries.

Actually, there is something for everyone along the cobbled street, including those made-in-China souvenirs. And of course, there is food galore, from grilled fish to cappuccinos to ice cream to hand-made pecan pralines.

Tell you what, I’d have liked to visit the honey tasting room we passed beneath the Hyatt Hotel. If it hadn’t been for our diet….

Cruising the Savannah River

River cruise ship docked along Savannah River Street

If the tang of the ocean in the air gets too tempting, you can board a boat for a Savannah River cruise. It’s a popular option, with everything from a daytime tour to a dinner cruise with live entertainment.

That would be a nice way to end a day in Savannah.

The other half of Savannah’s historic district

Sigh. Time to leave the river.

Here it was, mid-afternoon, and we’d only seen half of the historic district! We hadn’t seen Forsyth Park or the eight squares on the other side of Liberty Street … but we didn’t think we could manage a whole ‘nother walking tour.

Nope, our feet were loudly complaining that they had had enough. So we found a way to finish our tour the energy-efficient way.

How about a pedicab?

touring Savannah GA on a bicycle taxi

Always eager for new experiences, we hired a pedicab at City Market. As soon as we learned that he could charge for a set amount of time we asked him to give us a half-hour tour so we could see the few squares we had missed that morning.

I told him he could take any route he wanted, but please make it a point to go around Lafayette Square and pass the fountain in Forsyth Park.

ⓘ TIP:  It really pays to check multiple resources before you start a trip. Aside from the Visitor Center, advice from locals, blog posts, and YouTube videos, try clicking “Images” in Google’s search results. That’s how we discovered that gorgeous fountain.

Lafayette Square

Lafayette Square is a “don’t miss” spot because it has three notable buildings on it:

  • Andrew Low House, built by Juliette Gordon Low’s father-in-law, was where she spent most of her life and the site of the first Girl Scout headquarters.
  • Hamilton Turner Mansion, which was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s famous “Haunted Mansion” and
  • Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, which rivals the sky with its brilliant blue steeples. Its stained glass windows were made in Austria and its wood carvings of the stations of the cross came from Bavaria.

View of two blue steeples for Savannah's cathedral

Temple Mickve Israel

We also wanted to see Temple Mickve Israel on our tour. The temple is remarkable for two reasons:

  • It is the only purely Gothic revival synagogue in the United States
  • It has the oldest Torah in the country
  • The congregation received a perpetual charter from Governor Telfair in 1790, which makes it the third-oldest congregation in the U.S.

exterior of Temple Mickve Israel, Savannah, Georgia

Had it not been a weekend, we’d have liked to visit the temple. We understand that the tour is very interesting. (Tours are available from Monday-Friday 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm.)

If you visit and have more than one day, consider spending a while in Forsyth Park, too. It fills the space that two of Savannah’s squares should occupy. We rode past its dramatic fountain but unfortunately, Dan’s photos didn’t come out.

Before we knew it, our half-hour ride was over and we were back at the Visitor Center. Time to get out and cross the street to our car.

Bonaventure Cemetery

On the way out of town, we stopped by Bonaventure Cemetery. Three locals had recommended it so highly that we wanted to see why.

Once we got there, we understood.

Columns that mark the gated entry at Bonaventure Cemetery

We drove through its gates at 5 pm with the late afternoon sun slanting through the branches and Spanish moss overhead. Here and there the rays cast golden light onto grave markers, birds chirped and shadows grew long. It was quite peaceful, and not just because there were only two or three cars in the entire place.

All we knew when we entered its gates was that there’s a scenic bluff that overlooks the Wilmington River. We didn’t know who the famous people buried at Bonaventure Cemetery were … and we didn’t care to look for their resting places anyway. We just drove around as the mood took us, which was super fun. Besides, we didn’t have a map, haha.

carved headstones at Bonaventure Cemetery

It wasn’t long before we arrived at the bluff, where we found a convenient spot to park. We climbed out and found some dramatic grave markers nearby. It would have served us right if we were locked in overnight. After all, we had entered at closing time and the cemetery hours were clearly posted on the gate. Still, a little time is better than none at all; it was certainly worth just the few minutes we were able to spend there.

Most of our “one day” experiences include dinner and evening activities, but this time we had to cut our visit short. Time to head home to Florida. A shame that we had to, because Savannah is full of inviting places to enjoy an evening meal.

There are so many things to do in Savannah that one day is not enough.

Save this Savannah walking tour for later

Add it to Flipboard or pin it to your Pinterest travel board!

Colonial homes along a sidewalk in Savannah, Georgia. Text overlay says

Where to stay in Savannah

The best historic hotels in Savannah include:

  • The Suites at Bay offers four quaint apartment-style homes on the riverfront. Located in the Oglethorpe Lodge Building, a historic landmark dating from 1822.
  • Kehoe House faces Columbia Square. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, each of its 13 guest rooms is appointed with elegant furnishings and antiques. Guests must be over 21 years old to stay there.
  • Hampton Inn Savannah Historic District is a good option if you’re not into historic hotels. It’s conveniently located on Bay Street near Reynolds and Johnson Square, River Street Market Place Shopping Center and Owens-Thomas Museum.

Where to eat in Savannah

Welcome to the coastal South, where you can expect to find shellfish and pork on nearly every menu. Actually, some places don’t offer much else. If you’re not a fan, this is one place where it pays to inspect the menu beforehand.

Besides The Olde Pink House and the Pirate House (which we’ve already mentioned), two other well-known places to eat are:

  • Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room (107 W. Jones St.) began as a boardinghouse in 1943 and now serves its food family style. Eating here means lining up outside, then sharing a table-for-ten with other hungry visitors. It may be hit-or-miss as to whether you’ll like what’s being served. Just like at home, they bring out the food in big dishes and soon your table will be crowded with traditional Southern specialties like fried chicken, meat loaf, cornbread dressing, sweet potato souffle, black-eyed peas, okra gumbo, corn muffins and biscuits.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, The Lady and Sons (102 W. Congress St.) has no lines because it requires reservations. Savannah natives Paula Deen — celebrity chef from the Food Network — and her two sons offer a buffet of Southern dishes as well as a varied menu for those who’d prefer to eat something healthier. (If you have an allergy, be aware that they cook with peanut oil.)

For a fast and budget-friendly option, try Five Guys Burgers (on Bay Street near Ellis Square). Their burgers and hot dogs (Hebrew National brand) are prepared to order, and you can even get them served without a bun. Beware if you’re counting calories, though: One order of their fresh-cut French fries is more than enough for two people!

ⓘ TIP: If you want to try a variety of authentic Southern cuisine, book a culinary tour of Savannah. You’ll hear fun stories from Savannah’s past and visit some of the best foodie spots in the historic district. This tour sells out fast.

Savannah Southern Flavors Food, Pub Crawl, and History Combo Walking Tour

Plan your Savannah visit

For more photos of this beautiful city, see our Savannah photo gallery.

This walking tour was based on the book, A Self-Guided Tour of Savannah by Maryann Jurkofsky.

You can find advertised tours in travel brochures and magazines. They are available at Georgia Welcome Centers, many highway rest stops and Savannah Visitor Center. Some are discount coupons. If the one you want is booked, some ticket agents will honor competitors’ coupons.

Inspired? Pin this post and share it with your friends!

Follow this itinerary for a walking tour that can be done in one day in Savannah, Georgia.

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Written by Linda

Linda is multilingual and has been to over 50 countries. Her insatiable love of travel, cuisine, and foreign languages inspired her to create As We Saw It, where she documents her trips, shares practical itineraries, and offers insider tips. She’s passionate about helping fellow travelers save time, money, and hassle, and loves to discover new places to explore.

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24 thoughts on “one day in savannah: a walking tour itinerary”.

Thanks for this! I was really looking for places to visit at Savannah Georgia! Aside from our usual Downtown stroll, I think a beach trip to Tybee Island will be fantastic as well! Thanks for sharing!

So beautiful! I fell in love with Savannah the moment I stepped foot into that incredible city! Such an amazing town for foodies too, was fortunate to try so many amazing Savannah restaurants we found on https://www.visitsavannah.com/food-drink during our trip last Feb.

Visit Savannah has a lot of good information. And you’re spot on, it’s an amazing town for foodies! Do any of the restaurants in Savannah stand out in your memory?

Thank goodness Catholics are “allowed” now. Only mildly offensive writing there 😏

Yeah, and thank goodness hard liquor is allowed, too. 😉 I’ve reworded it; don’t want anyone to misunderstand what I was trying to say.

Still incredibly offensive writing there – you might want to check that, unless you mean to say you’re glad they finally allowed slaves

“…James Oglethorpe, who founded Georgia in 1735 with the following rules: No hard liquor. No Catholics. No slaves. No lawyers. We’re glad those first three didn’t stick, but it’s rather a shame that last one didn’t, ha-ha.” Wtf.

In case you’ve forgotten your history, slavery wasn’t abolished until 130 years later. Oglethorpe wouldn’t let slaves in town. Savannah didn’t let that stick. That’s a good thing.

If you want to read it another way, it’s only because you’re looking for a reason to be offended.

We have driven past that Savannah exit sign multiple times and said the same thing, “we should go there someday”. After reading your post I really need to make it happen. The architecture is so beautiful and it looks like such a fun place to go exploring.

We hope you do, Adree. You can see a lot, even in just 3-4 hours. Besides, all it takes is turning the steering wheel toward the exit.

Where is a good place to stay, we want to see 22sq, historicdistricts, riverwalk. We don’t like B&B and we are Wyndham hotel members, just thought I would ask. Our first time to Savannah thanks

DeAnna, we’d love to help but we don’t know of any Wyndham properties in Savannah’s historic district, just the ones along the highway. We suggest calling their 1-800 number and ask if they have any new hotels in the historic area. If they don’t have a property that fits your needs, you can check Booking.com and read the reviews. We’ve had good luck with that site – we use it a lot.

Do you remember the book you used… also how long would you allocate … i know it said an hour and half, but based on your experience would you allocate more?

Thanks for asking about the book, Lauralee. It was just the incentive I needed to seek it out and insert it into the story. I was happy to find it on Amazon…at the same price we had paid at the Visitor Center. We think it would be pushing it to expect to see everything in an hour and a half. I’d allocate at least 3-4 hours at a minimum, not counting break times for shop browsing, eating and resting your feet while people-watching. And of course, an hour or two of extra time if you decide to check out Savannah’s historical cemeteries; they’re quite beautiful and not at all depressing.

What a great review and guide! Thank you for taking the time to do such a thorough and interesting job on this!

Glad you enjoyed it, Jocelyn. Have you been to Savannah yet?

awesome pics of savannah it’s looking dream city

Regards shahid

Thank you. We agree: Savannah is beautiful. I don’t know of any other city quite like it. I hope you will be able to see it yourself some day, Shahid.

I haven’t been to Savannah in YEARS, but somehow it is still one of my favorite places. So much history, Spanish moss on all of those trees and so close to the ocean. You’ve inspired me to consider making a day trip myself. We actually might have a chance to even move there! 🙂

Move there? That would be totally amazing! Have you also visited Charleston and St. Augustine? Those are fascinating too!

I really enjoy Savannah, I opted for the walking tour. There is so much history and southern charm everywhere! Thank you for the wonderful article 🙂

We are also guilty of bypassing Savannah on our road trip in January. From your description though it sounds similar to Charleston, which we really enjoyed, but due to the polar vortex we froze and cut our visit a day short. Now that we’re based on the east coast, maybe we’ll get down south again and we’ll make a point of visiting Savannah. Have you read the book, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil?” It’s set in Savannah, a good read!

The statue on the cover of that book was a marker in Bonaventure Cemetery … I’ll cover our visit in Part 2 on Monday. Sadly, it’s been moved to a museum, so Dan wasn’t able to create his own dramatic shot of it while we were there.

Savannah looks like a charming town! Perfect place for strolling aimlessly and clicking pictures. 🙂

You’re very right. It’s the perfect place for wandering if you’re a photographer. Dan had a blast.

Comments are closed.

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9 Free (Or Nearly Free) Things To Do In Savannah, Georgia

free walking tours savannah ga

  • Destinations
  • United States

Georgia’s oldest city is a tourist hot spot, welcoming millions of tourists a year. One visit to this charming southern town, and you will quickly understand why. Historic Savannah, Georgia, boasts gorgeous tree-lined squares, fabulous historic sites , an incredible food scene, and loads of southern charm. Savannah truly has something for everyone.

Luckily, many of the best things to do in Savannah , Georgia, can be done for free (or nearly free), and I am here to tell you all about them in this post! 

Johnson Square; Savannah, Georgia

1. Savannah’s Historic Squares

Savannah’s Historic District, which is also a National Historic Landmark, was first designed in 1733. Each neighborhood is laid out around four open squares, which are surrounded by four residential blocks and then four civic blocks. This unique design continued throughout the city for many years, creating 24 historic squares around the city, of which, 22 remain today.

Each of the squares in Savannah is like a mini-park. Take time to enjoy strolling along the cobblestone walkways as you rest under the towering oak trees covered in Spanish moss. While each park has a distinct personality, you especially don’t want to miss Johnson Square, the first small park in the city of Savannah. 

Factors Row in Savannah

2. Take A Free Walking Tour

To learn more about Savannah’s rich history, be sure and take a free walking tour. Companies such as Free Savannah Walking Tours take visitors on a 1.5-hour guided tour through the city. These free walking tours highlight loads of Savannah attractions and hidden gems and often include stops at unique places like the bench used in the filming of Forrest Gump .

Just make sure that you register for the tour in advance as they are often limited on space and this is one of the free things to do in Savannah that you don’t want to miss! Of course, you should always tip your guide at the end of any tour!

Jones Street; Savannah, Georgia

3. Savannah’s Prettiest Street

If you were to ask any local to name the prettiest street in Savannah, most would not hesitate to tell you, “Jones Street.” Located near Forsyth Park in Savannah’s Historic District, Jones Street still delights locals and visitors to this day. Stroll along the brick-lined street taking in the gorgeous historic homes as you imagine what life was like in Savannah 150 years ago. The historic homes are flanked by huge oak trees and many proudly fly American flags on the exterior of their homes, creating a wonderfully patriotic scene. 

During your time on Jones Street, be sure to notice the unique street signs as well, like the concrete sign on the corner of Barnard and Jones. The meticulously landscaped gardens and flower beds only add to the charm of this glorious street. It is truly a photographer’s dream!

Forsyth Park; Savannah, Georgia

4. Forsyth Park

Savannah’s 30-acre Forsyth Park is the perfect place to relax during your time in Savannah, and like most parks in the city, it is completely free! Take a stroll along the one-mile paved trail to walk off some of that delicious southern food you are eating, or enjoy a quiet picnic on the grass under the trees. Of course, the highlight of a visit to Forsyth Park is the gorgeous (and famous) white cast iron, two-tier fountain that was made famous in the movie, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil .

If you are traveling with children, then you will be happy to know that Forsyth Park is also home to not one, but two playgrounds. There is also a great little park café that serves breakfast and lunch items, including coffee, beer, and wine!

First African Baptist Church; Savannah, Georgia

5. Tour Savannah’s Historic Churches

Savannah is home to several historic churches and many are worth a visit during your time in the city. One of my personal favorites is the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist . I just found it so charming with its glorious white exterior and beautiful stained glass windows. You can take a free self-guided tour Monday through Saturday to learn more about the church’s history and architecture. 

Other historic churches in Savannah include the Independent Presbyterian (which was rebuilt in 1891 after a fire) and the Christ Church on Bull Street, which was built in 1733. The Christ Church has special historical significance as it was the first house of worship in the state of Georgia. The Historic First African Baptist Church first began welcoming worshipers in 1774. This historic church features pews built by slaves and has a subfloor that was used by the Underground Railroad. 

Pro Tip: History lovers will want to take a tour of the First African Baptist Church as it is a fascinating part of American History. Just note that there is a small fee involved. 

Jewish section of the historic Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia

6. Savannah’s Cemeteries

Ok, I know, this free thing to do in Savannah is a bit unconventional, but trust me, the cemeteries are truly gorgeous! One of the most famous (and beautiful) burial grounds in Savannah is the Bonaventure Cemetery , which was featured in the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil . Sitting on the banks of the Wilmington River, the cemetery is home to huge moss-covered oak trees and rows of elegant headstones and statues. Prominent Savannah residents Conrad Aiken and Johnny Mercer are buried here. Free guided tours are offered every Sunday at 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3 p.m., or you can take a free self-guided tour any time during opening hours.

Colonial Park Cemetery near Downtown Savannah was established in 1789 and is the final resting place for many of Savannah’s plague victims. Another cemetery in Savannah that may pique your interest is the Laurel Grove Cemetery. Here you will find the final resting place of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts, in addition to many plots dedicated to slaves and free people of color.

River Street; Savannah, Georgia

7. River Street

Savannah’s historic River Street is the perfect place to do some shopping, even if you are only window shopping. The gorgeous cobblestone street is home to numerous fun and eclectic shops, so you are sure to find something that appeals to you. Housing a bookshop, an amazing candy shop (that gives free samples of pralines), boutique clothing stores, and art galleries, it is easy to spend the entire day on River Street.

Of course, you will also find numerous bars and restaurants on River Street, perfect for when you need a break from all of that shopping. The area is also known to host special events throughout the year in which vendors are selling their items in open-air markets. 

Pro Tip: Savannah’s River Street has a very tumultuous past and is said to be one of the most haunted places in the city. If you are interested in learning more about this, be sure to take a tour of the River Street area.

8. Savannah Botanical Gardens

Savannah’s Botanical Gardens is a must-visit for nature lovers. This beautiful oasis in the city features numerous gardens including a rose garden, a perennial garden, a fern garden, a children’s garden, a vegetable garden, and more. In addition to the gardens, the property also includes walking trails, a two-acre pond, an amphitheater, and a 19th-century historic home. The large walkway through the garden is wheelchair accessible and the garden offers several areas to sit down when you would like to take a break. The Savannah Botanical Gardens is one of the best free things to do in Savannah.

Pro Tip : If you don’t want to walk the entirety of the property, then download a garden map so that you can head straight to the areas that interest you.

Tybee Island Beach in Savannah

9. Tybee Island Beach

When you are ready for a change of scenery, head to Tybee Island. The island is located about 20 minutes drive from Downtown Savannah and while you will pay to park (around $2), the beach is completely free to visit. Tybee Island is the perfect day at the beach during your visit to Savannah. The North Beach area is quieter and has a great view of the Tybee Lighthouse, while the beach near the Tybee Pier and Pavilion offers a livelier experience thanks to its proximity to restrooms, bars, and restaurants. 

In addition to the beach, there are also several historic sites on the island that you can explore. The Tybee Lighthouse has been in operation since 1732 and is considered one of America’s most intact historic lighthouses. Please note that there is a fee to go inside the lighthouse and museum. More information can be found on their website .

The Fort Pulaski National Monument is an example of the fortifications put into place to defend the United States from overseas threats. There is a small fee to enter the fort. Please visit their website for more information. 

10 Tybee Island Vacation Rentals Near The Beach

Pro Tip: Tybee Island is such a fun experience. Be sure to explore the little town as it has several quirky shops. Also, grab a scoop of ice cream at the Sugar Shack, you will be glad you did!

Related Reading:

  • 7 Amazing Experiences In Savannah Related To ‘Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil’
  • 12 Charming Savannah Vacation Rentals For Your Next Southern Getaway
  • 8 Things To Do In Beautiful Savannah, Georgia

Image of Michelle Snell

This love of travel has allowed her to visit numerous countries and to fall in love with Italy. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel. Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.

9 of the best free things to do in Savannah

Amritha Alladi  Joseph

Aug 14, 2023 • 7 min read

free walking tours savannah ga

From walking through its historic squares to riding the ferry, here are Savannah's best free experiences © Walter Bibikow / Getty Images

Savannah is brimming with hospitality from every corner of its many squares.

Nothing is more indicative of this southern city’s generosity than the friendliness of its residents and the free access it provides to attractions. Together, these sites offer a thorough view into the area’s history, culture, economic significance and transformation over time – at no charge. 

Whether you choose to walk, weave or ride the waterways through the Hostess City, you are bound to find ways to stay entertained and informed without spending a single penny. Here are the best things to do in Savannah for free.

1 . Travel through time walking Savannah’s historic district 

The cast metal and marble monuments that serve as the focal point of the city's squares could be considered mile markers along Savannah’s historical roadmap. From the granite boulder marking the resting place of Savannah’s earliest settler, Yamacraw Chief Tomochichi, to the bronze figures of Haitian soldiers honoring the revolutionary volunteers who fought the British at the Siege of Savannah, each statue pays tribute to a brave leader or troop who have shaped the city’s story in some way. 

If you weave your way through the streets starting from Johnson Square, the oldest square in America’s first planned city, to the Civil War Memorial at Forsyth Park , you’ll pass symbols marking about two centuries' worth of events. Catch vestiges of Savannah’s early settlement by founder James Oglethorpe, colonial red-brick paving along Jones Street, and the Green-Meldrim House that served as a sanctuary for Union General William Sherman during the Civil War.

2. Learn through the landmarks of the old town by free trolley 

Hop on to one of the garish grape-purple and green trolleys that twist through about 20 notable spots across the historic district. The dot Express Shuttle  serves as free city transportation rather than a tour bus, so visitors can hop off at any of the stops located at or within walking distance of some of the city’s major cultural attractions, including the birthplace of Juliet Gordon Low (founder of the Girl Scouts), the Girl Scouts’ first headquarters, the Savannah College of Art and Design, which owns more than 100 of the city’s buildings, and the First Baptist Church, one of few edifices in the city to survive its many fires because, unlike others, the building was made of concrete. 

A green and white ferry is docked alongside a historic waterfront as the sun sets

 3. Promenade the riverfront boardwalk

Savannah is surrounded by swampy, coastal marshlands, so heat and humidity prevail during most parts of the year . However, every now and then, one can catch a breeze along the riverwalk while gazing at the galleries and shops that line the way. Clothing and beauty boutiques, restaurants, specialty food stores and markets abut the waterfront leading all the way up to the Plant River District, a restored 1912 power plant that now whirs to life with concerts, dining and nightlife in the evenings. 

Strolling along the riverfront, you’ll pass landmarks of 20th-century history: the African American monument and the bust of Civil Rights leader and Nobel Laureate Martin Luther King, Jr. King’s Emancipation Day Address, delivered while he visited Savannah in 1961, is etched into the pedestal holding his bust. 

4. Float the Savannah River by ferry 

Bob along the Savannah River from the downtown riverwalk to Hutchinson Island. From the ferry, you’ll catch views of Savannah’s riverside, which glitters at night once the city is illuminated and reflected in the waters.

Like the trolley, the Savannah Belles Ferry (not to be confused with the Southern Belle Riverboat) shuttles commuters to three popular spots for free: City Hall Landing, Trade Center Landing and the Waving Girl Statue. 

Each of the four boats in the ferry’s fleet honors historic women of Savannah: Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the American Girl Scouts; Susie King Taylor, a formerly enslaved woman who started one of Savannah’s first schools for African-American children; Florence Martus, the waving girl, who greeted ships entering Savannah with the wave of her cloth for more than 40 years; and Mary Musgrove, a Native American who helped with interpretation and negotiation between Savannah’s earliest settler, Yamacraw Chief Tomochichi, and the city's founder, James Oglethorpe.

A boardwalk through palm trees leads down to a beach

5. Soak up the sun at Tybee Island beaches

The golden sands at Tybee Island , just a 20-minute drive from Savannah, are a perfect place to plant your toes, catch some rays and frolic in the waves. The island has three public oceanfront beaches and two riverfront beaches, so beachgoers of varying types can choose a vibe to their liking. These freely accessible waterfronts are popular hangouts for locals and visitors from afar, who swarm to the shores to cool off, particularly in the summer months.

6. Have a feast for the senses at Savannah Botanical Gardens 

Vibrant blossoms burst open amidst the natural and formal arrangements at Savannah Botanical Gardens . The public areas of the garden are free to access, so sit back on a butterfly bench and breathe in the fragrance of English roses.

Look for ferns creeping along cobbled and wooden pathways and check out the herbs and produce flourishing in the vegetable garden. In the evenings, an art nouveau light installation bounces rays off surfaces and natural foliage, turning the garden into an animated landscape.

7. Tour Savannah’s historic places of worship 

The milk-white towers of the Cathedral Basilica of St John the Baptist hover above most of historic Savannah, making this Catholic church one of the most iconic sites in the city. Its blue spires topped with gold crosses are visible from many parts of downtown, beckoning visitors as it once did immigrants fleeing Haiti and France. When service isn’t being conducted, visitors today can walk inside the basilica for free to view the grandeur of the lavishly decorated vaulted ceilings, marble pillars and stained-glass windows.

Although Oglethorpe founded Georgia as a settlement strictly forbidding Catholicism, he eventually had to open doors to other religions out of necessity. Initially, he feared that if Catholics placed roots in Georgia and conflict ensued between Spanish and English forces, Catholic residents would sway pro-Spanish. It wasn’t until after the American Revolution that Catholics could officially settle in the state.

When bouts of illness ravaged early settlers, Oglethorpe also welcomed the help of Jewish doctor Samuel Nunez and eventually allowed Jewish settlers to own land and establish the Temple Mickve Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation in the South. The temple houses what is considered the oldest complete Torah in the new world, wrapped in deerskin and brought over by the original founders. 

A large sculpture stands tall in the center of a mausoleum surrounded by Spanish oak that droops low from the trees

8. Pay your respects at Bonaventure Cemetery

Glossy granite gravestones shine in the midafternoon sun but cast shadows over tombs in the moonlight at Bonaventure Cemetery . With garlands of Spanish moss drooping from the live oak trees and ornately designed mausoleums, this burial ground has become a scenic and revered garden of remembrance.

Visitors can walk or drive through for free to see the intricate carvings imprinted into the marble stones, obelisks noting the final resting place of some of the South’s wealthiest families, and burial chambers enshrined behind patinated gates. Don’t step onto the actual plots, as they are private property. Those who wish to pay their respects or take photographs can do so from one of the benches.

9. Celebrate African culture at the Savannah African Art Museum

One of the few museums in town to offer free admission, this gallery features a collection of art and artifacts from West and Central Africa across 28 countries and 180 cultural and ethnic groups, including those that have influenced the history, culture and flavors of Savannah. 

Oglethorpe originally banned the trade of enslaved people from Georgia due to its inconsistency with his beliefs, but with a sharp labor demand from thriving cotton, rice and peanut agriculture, the ban was lifted in 1750. Savannah’s strategic position in Atlantic trade made its port a hub for the trade of enslaved people from West Africa. They brought their language, food and traditions, which seeped into Savannah’s cultural, artistic and culinary fabric.

The Savannah African Art Museum celebrates the people and traditions of those regions. Wooden figures carved by people of the Lobi culture, thrones and sculptures from Cameroon, and Mukenga masks woven from a variety of textiles and inlaid with beadwork are displayed at the exhibits, and special workshops have been hosted on the impact to the Igbo people of Nigeria as a result of enslavement.

This article was first published October 2021 and updated August 2023

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Savannah Free Walking Tour

Savannah free walking tour is the best way to explore the charming coastal city of Savannah, located in the state of Georgia, known for its historic architecture, picturesque parks, and vibrant cultural scene. The city is home to many popular tourist attractions, such as the historic district, Forsyth Park and the Savannah History Museum. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, such as strolling along the riverfront or taking a boat tour of the city. Savannah’s food scene is also renowned, with a wide range of options from classic southern cooking to modern fusion cuisine. The city also boasts many farmers markets and local seafood options.

free walking tours savannah ga

General information

♦ Meeting point: Savannah Visitor Center

♦ Start times: 11:00 hrs / 18:00 hrs

♦ Duration: 2 hours

♦ Language: English

♦ Availability: Everyday

♦ Price: Tip only basis

♦ Note: Booking this tour is mandatory

Free Walking Tour Savannah – Itinerary

Free walking tour Savannah is the perfect way to experience the city and take in all of its sights and sounds. Start the tour at the Savannah Visitor Center. Here you will learn about the city’s history and culture.  

Next, visit the Savannah Historic District. This is the heart of the city and it’s home to many of the city’s most important landmarks. Take a stroll through the district and admire the beautiful architecture of the homes and buildings. Some of the must-see stops include the Mercer Williams House Museum, the Andrew Low House, and the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace.  

After that, head to the Forsyth Park. This is a beautiful park located in the heart of the city. Take a stroll through the park and admire the beautiful fountains and statues. You can also take a walk around the historic district as the park is a great starting point for a stroll through the historic district.  

Next, visit the River Street. This is a historic street located along the Savannah River. Take a stroll along the river and enjoy the beautiful views of the river and the city skyline. River Street is home to many shops, restaurants, and bars. You can also take a riverboat tour of the city from here.  

Finally, visit the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. This is a beautiful Roman Catholic church located in the historic district. The Cathedral is known for its beautiful architecture and it’s a great spot to take in the city’s history and culture.

Self guided walking tour of Savannah

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We recently returned from a trip to Savannah, and it was a city that totally surprised me. While it does still have that city feel, it’s on a much smaller scale and the city is absolutely walkable; you could easily take yourself on a self guided walking tour of Savannah and see the sights in one day. I’ve put together a small tour with some of the most popular attractions and how I think it’s best to tackle how and when to see them on a walking tour.

I’ve included some of savannah’s famous squares, museums and places of historic recognition, and other places that we just thought were perfect places to take a stroll. it’s not a comprehensive list, and of course there are more things to do, but i’ve just included our favorites. take a look.

Overview of Savannah, Georgia

free walking tours savannah ga

Savannah is located in North East Georgia, not far from the coast and just a few miles from the South Carolina border. It has its own regional airport, Savannah International Airport, which is serviced by all major airlines like Delta, United, Southwest, etc. It’s also not far from I-95 if you’re driving. For us, it was about a four and a half hour drive from Orlando.

Savannah was founded as a new colony in 1733 by General James Oglethorpe, who was sent to create a military buffer between the wealthy English colony in South Carolina and the Spanish Colonies in Florida. It’s the oldest city in Georgia, and was dubbed America’s first planned city, since it was the first to be organized into grids.

Savannah is a very walkable city. It’s small and well laid out, with plenty of amazing places to see. We visited in November and temperatures were chilly, but it can be very hot and humid in the summer so I would definitely suggest walking with a bottle of water, and maybe planning some stops for ice cream along the way!

How to best get around Savannah

free walking tours savannah ga

Since this guide is a self guided walking tour of Savannah, I would obviously recommend walking around this beautiful city. If you’d prefer a different option however, then we used Old Town Trolley Tours during some of our trip. We’ve used them in various cities, including a weekend in Key West and visiting Boston with kids , and not only do they provide a great commentary on the history of the city, but they’re a good option for if your feet start to get tired.

Forsyth Park

free walking tours savannah ga

Forsyth Park is a great place to start your walking tour. It sits at around 30 acres and dates back to the 1950s. Here you can find the Garden of Fragrance (a small garden containing a selection of scented plants), a playground, a café, and public bathrooms. There is plenty of green space to walk around, or just pick up a coffee to start your walking tour.

Forsyth Park also contains a beautiful fountain at the very North of the park that you see in a lot of photos of Savannah. The fountain actually came from a mail order catalogue (seriously!) and is over 150 years old. It’s a beautiful piece of architecture, and a great place to take photos.

Also to the North of the park is the Armstrong Kessler Mansion (sometimes called the Armstrong House), which you really can’t miss. It’s a huge white building that used to house Armstrong College, and is a great example of Italian Renaissance architecture. Pay special attention to the wrought iron fence surrounding the building; it was built as an exact replica to that outside Buckingham Palace in London!

Temple Mickve Israel and Monterey Square

free walking tours savannah ga

Walking North from the park, you come to Monterey Square and the Temple Mickve Israel . This temple houses the third oldest Jewish congregation in America, and was the first synagogue built in Georgia. It’s a unique example of Gothic architecture, and was voted one of the most beautiful synagogues in the world by Conde Nast.

Monterey Square is also where you can find the Mercer-Williams House , famous for the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (the movie was also partially filmed in the house.)

Massie Heritage Center and Calhoun Square

free walking tours savannah ga

Next up you’ll come to the Massie Heritage Center and Calhoun Square. Calhoun Square is the only square with all of its original buildings intact, and underneath the square is actually an old cemetery built as a burial ground for slaves (those buried here were mostly moved to Laurel Grove Cemetery). Not surprisingly, it’s considered Savannah’s most haunted square.

The Massie Heritage Center was designed to build citizenship through learning about local history. The building was built in the 1850s and was originally used as a public school. A wide array of exhibits are featured, including on the history of slavery in Savannah. It’s a fascinating place to learn about the history of the city.

Whitefield Square, Troup Square, and Jones Street

free walking tours savannah ga

Next up is Whitefield Square , which I thought was one of the prettiest squares in the city. In the middle of the square is a gazebo that was donated by Burt Reynolds after he filmed the movie Gator in Savannah in 1975. It’s a beautiful location, and very peaceful.

Also in Whitefield Square is The First Congregational Church , which was built in 1869. It was the first institute in Savannah for newly freed slaves, and now serves as the African American Cultural Center.

Walking towards the next sight on this walking tour, you’ll pass by Troup Square . In the middle of the square you’ll see the Armillary Sphere, which is a beautiful Victorian-era bronze sculpture. At the base of the sculpture are little bronze turtles, and someone who lives in the square dresses them up for holidays; we were there over Thanksgiving and the turtles wore little pilgrim hats!

Also on the way to the next stop you’ll pass over Jones Street . This was voted one of the most beautiful streets in America thanks to the red brick streets, stunning historic houses, and the abundance of trees and gardens. We thought it would have looked a lot more beautiful without the cars parked all along the street, but it certainly was very pretty.

Cathedral of St John the Baptiste and the Colonial Park Cemetery

free walking tours savannah ga

The Cathedral of St John the Baptiste is a a neo-gothic Catholic Cathedral that is open to the public. The Cathedral is beautiful, both inside and out, and it’s definitely worth a visit. The Cathedral is free to enter, but a cash donation is suggested.

Across the street from the Cathedral is the Colonial Park Cemetery , which has served as the cemetery in Savannah for over 100 years. There are over 9,000 graves located here, and covers over six acres. Many of the headstones in the cemetery are extremely weathered and the inscriptions are hard to read, but there are signs throughout featuring the stories of some of the more interesting people buried there.

Chippewa Square

free walking tours savannah ga

To the West of the cemetery is Chippewa Square . Although this square isn’t exactly on the walking tour headed North, it’s worth taking a little detour here to see this square.

Chippewa Square is where Tom Hanks filmed the bench scenes in Forrest Gump (the ones where he sits on the bench telling his story to various people over the course of the movie). Although the bench has since been removed from the square (it’s now in a museum), you can still see where it sat in the square, which is pretty cool for movie fans.

In Chippewa Square you can also find the monument to General James Oglethorpe, the founder of Savannah.

Owens-Thomas House

free walking tours savannah ga

Next up we have Oglethorpe Square (named for General Oglethorpe but oddly, not where his statue stands) and the Owens-Thomas House . This house was built in 1819 and is considered to be one of the finest examples of Regency Style architecture. It was built with mostly local materials and marries Greek, Roman, and Georgian styles.

You can book a guided tour of this house (it’s recommended to book online in advance) to walk through the house, gardens, carriage house, and slave quarters; previous owners of the house had a very dark history of slave ownership and 15 enslaved men, women, and children lived here over the years. While it’s not comfortable viewing, I felt this was an important part of Savannah’s history.

On your way from this spot to the next one, you have to stop in at Leopold’s Ice Cream . Established over 100 years ago, this ice cream is some of the best I’ve ever had – the lemon custard was amazing, even on a cold day! The ice cream parlor is incredible to look at too; one of the owners is Stratton Leopold, son of the original owner, and Hollywood movie producer – his movie posters line the walls!

River Street

free walking tours savannah ga

From Ogelthorpe Square, it’s a short walk to River Street which is – as the name suggests – along the riverfront in Savannah. This was one of our favorite places to walk; not only are there some wonderful shops and restaurants along here, but you can watch the huge (and I really mean huge!) container ships headed out to sea.

We found some great places to eat along River Street. We loved The Shrimp Factory for shrimp and grits (they also made the amazing homemade peach cobbler!) and I loved the pralines at River Street Sweets . We also heard really good things about the breakfast at Two Cracked Eggs . There were plenty of places with outdoor dining and lots of balconies with gorgeous views over the water.

We walked along River Street multiple times over the few days we were there. We would usually start at the Waving Girl Statue (a tribute to Florence Martus, who waved at ships in the ocean hoping that one would bring her sweetheart home again) and walk along to the JW Marriott, before turning and heading back up the main streets.

Ellis Square

free walking tours savannah ga

From River Street, I’d suggest walking to Ellis Square . This square is one of two that was initially sacrificed to create more space in the city, and was built over as a parking garage. Thankfully, the square was later restored and the parking garage was moved underground, but the square is a lot more modern than any of the other squares in the city.

While you’re in the square, look for the statue of Johnny Mercer. He was born and raised in Savannah, and grew up to be a famous composer, responsible for such songs as Moon River and Hooray for Hollywood. His statue is fairly easy to spot to one side of the square, and it’s a great selfie opportunity!

City Market and the American Prohibition Museum

Our last stop on this self guided walking tour of Savannah is City Market, which houses some great places to shop and eat, as well as the American Prohibition Museum.

The American Prohibition Museum is the only one of its kind in the US, and tells the story of the history of prohibition. It features cool displays and exhibits, and even has an authentic speakeasy you need to find out the password to!

City Market has shops, bars, restaurants, art galleries, and is a great place to sit and people watch. Since it sits between Ellis Square and the neighboring Franklin Square, you can also grab food from here and go and sit in one of the squares.

This is a great last stop on the walking tour because you can finally sit and grab some food and rest those weary feet! By this point you’ll have seen many of the best sights the city has to offer, but if you do want to keep exploring, you’re in a great location to keep going.

free walking tours savannah ga

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This Is My South

A travel guide to the Southern USA

Free Savannah Walking Tours

February 2, 2015 By Caroline Eubanks 1 Comment

free savannah walking tours

One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new city is to go on a walking tour. Free Savannah Walking Tours delivers just as the name implies, free walking tours of the city. I met up with my ponytailed guide Chris in Johnson Square on a Saturday morning with a large group from all over the world, including foreign exchange students who were attending university in Atlanta .

free savannah walking tours

What to Expect from Free Savannah Tours

The tours start out with the history of the city and its modern references in film. Over the course of 90 minutes, we stopped by the famous Chippewa Square, where  Forrest Gump ‘s bench once sat, and ended at the majestic Forsyth Park Fountain. It isn’t too much walking for most people and there’s plenty of time to stop and sit along the route.

The best part about the free Savannah walking tours is that the information you get on these tours is of a higher quality than on some other tours, as it’s led by two history buffs. They don’t throw out random facts that may or may not be true.

free savannah walking tours

Tips are, of course, appreciated, but by no means required. You’ll want to tip your guide at the end of the tour because you’ll be impressed at what you’ve learned. And be sure to ask them for recommendations for other places to see during your visit!

Tours run Monday through Saturday at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm, and on Sunday at 1:30 pm. Times and tours are subject to change or cancellation. I highly recommend going on a free walking tour to start your visit to Savannah off right. Skip the carriage tours and see the city how it was meant to be experienced: on foot.

free walking tours savannah ga

About Caroline Eubanks

Caroline Eubanks is the editor of this website, a Lowell Thomas award-winning travel writer, and the author of This Is My South: The Essential Travel Guide to the Southern States. Her stories from the South have appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Afar, Thrillist, Roads and Kingdoms, and BBC Travel.

Reader Interactions

free walking tours savannah ga

April 18, 2015 at 11:47 am

Such a beautiful city! Love it!

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10 Best Tours in Savannah

By Paul Oswell

10 Best Tours in Savannah

Compact, but so full of history, Savannah is a near-perfect city to tour. Most of it is eminently walkable, and there's a cinematic ambience surrounding the 18th century squares and evocative architecture, much of draped in Spanish moss. You can easily explore all of these in as much detail as you like. Then, of course there are food tours to show off the city's culinary scene , socially conscious tours to show off its complicated past, and after dark, ghost tours to show off its spooky secrets. Without further delay, these are our picks for the very best tours in Savannah, Georgia.

James Oglethorpe Statue in Chippewa Square Savannah. Georgia

Architectural Savannah Arrow

Architectural Savannah, which has been around since 2005, starts its 90-minute walking tours in Oglethorpe Square. There are several memorable houses, including the oldest cottage in Savannah and the wonderful Kehoe House (now a bed and breakfast). The standout, though, is the Owens-Thomas House. Anyone who wants to understand how Savannah developed and learn more about its main architectural styles will love these tours. The buildings reflect changing demographics and politics, and the guide brings charisma and zeal to the subject matter.

Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah Georgia

Bonaventure Don: History in Headstones Arrow

History in Headstones is a one-man operation and the passion project of Don, the guide, who embraces a conversational style over lectures. Fans of "Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil" will love just being in this cemetery , which features heavily in the novel (and movie). Don’s expertise is also memorable; he brings to life the city’s history through the graves of its most famous residents, from Savannah’s founding through the Civil War and beyond.

Savannah First Squares Food Tour

Savannah Taste Experience: First Squares Food Tour Arrow

Among the plethora of food-focused tours in Savannah, First Squares Food Tour is one of the longest-running, with an emphasis on fun and variety rather than nerdy facts. The three-hour jaunt takes in a selection of some of downtown Savannah’s favorite eats, with quirkier dishes and a focus on international flavors. Half-a-dozen stops include items like shrimp and grits, a Southern classic, British savory pies, pork belly sliders, and gourmet raw honey.

Mercer WIlliams House Savannah GA

Ghost City Tours: Beyond Good and Evil Tour Arrow

Savannah claims to be the most haunted city in America , so it is the perfect place for a ghost tour. Its brutal history and Southern Gothic atmosphere make for a perfect storm of weird and macabre. Of the dozens of ghost tours here, Beyond Good & Evil is one of the best established. Along a 90-minute walk, you'll learn all sorts of striking tales, including ones about people being buried alive in a graveyard, a "killer boy giant," and a haunted house known simply as "The Dark Place." If nothing else, it’s hard to pass up the the chance to take a guided walk around Savannah’s beautiful squares on a lovely moonlit night.

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Old Pirates House Savannah GA

Bonnie Blue Tours: Lightly Sauced Arrow

This drinks tour, which has been operating since the mid-2010s, is a polished and professional operation with a natural, charismatic guide at the helm. It looks at Savannah's history through the lens of one of its most famous elements: drinks. Naturally, this is one of the more social tours; your group will plant down in restaurants and bars , and you're likely to feel an instant camaraderie with your fellow tourees as you sip madeira, mint juleps, and mead.

Savannah River Tours Georgia

Savannah Riverboat Cruises Arrow

The city sprung up around the Savannah River, which still plays a large part in daily commercial life. Savannah Riverboat Cruises' two classic riverboats—The River Queen and the Georgia Queen, with capacities of 600 and 1,000 respectively—glide along the water for 90 minutes, visiting points of interest and serving up some tasty Southern treats. It's worth tuning into the cheery narration blaring from the speakers on the top deck and if you keep a sharp eye on the water, you might spot some dolphins.

The Perry Lane Hotel Savannah Georgia

Savannah Art Walk Arrow

Savannah Art Walk is a self-guided tour that takes place every Saturday. There’s a diverse range of art experiences and galleries, from smaller, independent places to larger outlets. The Tiffani Taylor Gallery, for instance, features the namesake artist's wonderfully vibrant works; the shopSCAD shows off dozens of works from students at the Savannah College of Art and Design . The final reception, at The Perry Lane Hotel , is a highlight, with drinks, a raffle, and more local art.

Hamilton Turner Inn Savannah GA

Savannah Bike Tours Arrow

Savannah Bike Tours meet on Habersham Street in the middle of the historic district, where you'll saddle up on a street cruiser. Dee, the tour guide, explains a few rules and safety points, and then it’s away you go to see the sights of downtown Savannah. This is a relaxed, easy tour that lends itself to all ages and abilities (you only cover about three miles over two hours), and because Savannah is a fairly flat city, there are no steep uphill climbs. The tour hits Savannah's most famous landmarks like Forsyth Park and mansions like the Hamilton Turner Inn .

Fountain in Johnson Square in Savannah Georgia

40 Acres and a Mule Arrow

40 Acres and a Mule is a very specific tour that looks at the lives and politics of the white elites throughout Savannah history as well as the struggles of the slaves in the area. The company sprung from the long-held passion of the guide, Fritz, a playwright who has studied and written about this subject for many years. The 90 minutes of walking through Savannah's downtown squares is for people that want delve deeper into the city’s (and the nation’s) history than the usual superficial trolley-type tours will allow.

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Old Savannah Tours Arrow

Old Savannah Tours runs hop-on-hop-off tours that meander through Savannah’s downtown historic district. The charismatic drivers are trained guides who deliver entertaining and educational histories of the city. There are a bunch of trolley tours of Savannah, but Old Savannah stands out for its use of local "characters" to bring some of the stops to life. As the trolley draws up to various buildings, actors emerge playing figures like William Jay, the young British architect who designed some of the first townhouses, and Savannah's most famous fictional resident, Forrest Gump.

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Perry Lane Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Savannah

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Savannah, GA | Savannah.com

Walking Tours of Savannah

Savannah is one of the best, and most beautiful, cities to walk through..

Walking Tours of Savannah

With the historic squares , the hostess city of the south transports anyone who walks through it. The city offers many options for walking tours that allow visitors and locals alike to experience the city and what it has to offer.

What makes Savannah such an amazing city to walk through is the history woven throughout the streets. All around you will see original buildings and homes surrounded by squares that commemorate parts of our history. Around those squares you will also be blessed with the original, and preserved oak trees covered in Spanish moss that really transports you back in time.

A popular way to walk through the city and experience its history and haunts is with the History, Haunts, and Hops walking tour.

This pub crawl is the only all drinks included tour. On this two-hour walking tour, you will learn of Savannah’s deepest and darkest secrets. Visit local pubs where you can have a local beer or specialty cocktail. One of the stops is New Realm Distillery. They have a signature cocktail for this tour known as “The Haunt.” For a historic and haunting pub crawl you will need to try the History, Haunts, and Hops walking tour.

For more focus on history the Savannah Bonaventure Dash Tours is the one for you.

This full-service walking tour of Bonaventure also offers round-trip transportation to downtown Savannah. On this tour they discuss Victorian Era funerary practices and monument symbolism. You explore Savannah history and current happenings, debunk the myths and fabrications spread by other tours. Plus they give you the inside scoop on what to do while in Savannah. You will get all of this while walking through one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world. For a historic and beautiful walking tour, check out the Savannah Bonaventure Dash Tours.

If the boutiques and shopping is what piques your interest, then the walking tour for you would be the Sip N’ Shop Tour .

On this 3-hour guided walking tour of downtown Savannah and its squares you will get to shop at the finest boutiques and sip complimentary wine. On top of the complimentary wine, you stop at New Realm Distillery for an exclusive cocktail. Enjoy exclusive discounts of up to 20% at the boutiques along the tour. For a great walking tour for you and the girls, book the Sip N’ Shop Tour.

If food is what you are wanting to experience while in Savannah, then make sure to check out the Savannah Taste Experience .

On this 3-hour walking and tasting tour you will enjoy a fun, one-of-a kind culinary experience while strolling through the gardens and historic, cultural landmarks of the squares of Savannah, the “Hostess City of the South.” This tour is acceptable for all ages. Learn about the food, restaurants, history, and culture of Savannah. Sample delicious foods from several restaurants and specialty food stores. To experience what the food of Savannah has to offer, book the Savannah Taste Experience.

Savannah is easily one of the most beautiful and walkable cities with the historic squares and towering live oaks. Walking tours allow you to have unique experiences while also taking in the city. From pub crawls, food tours, and history tours there will be a walking tour for everyone.

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Savannah is one of the oldest cities in Georgia, and there are a lot of historic locations here that are reportedly haunted. If you’re interested in learning more about the spookiest sites in this city, consider one of the ghost tours covered in this post. Walking Ghost Tours The best way to experience Savannah's ghostly […]

This post provides information about the Savannah Tour Pass, how to use it, and other services which provide a discount on several fun activities in this historic city. Savannah Tour Pass MAX This discount pass provides access to dozens of Savannah activities for one low price. Each pass lasts for at least 1, 2, or […]

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The 17 best savannah tours: pub crawls, trolley rides & more.

Experience real southern hospitality when visiting Savannah with these top tours.

The Best Savannah Tours

angel statue in Bonaventure Cemetery

(Getty Images)

Whether you want to see Savannah's historic architecture, beautiful cemeteries or taste its food scene, you'll find a tour to suit your desires.

A great way to get to know Savannah, Georgia , is with the aid of someone who lives there and knows the city's history. With the help of traveler reviews and editor analysis, U.S. News selected Savannah's best guided tours, some of which focus on the city's architecture, others on its food and some on its ghostly residents . Whether you're walking through the Historic District or riding a Segway through a storied cemetery, you'll gain an insider's perspective on Savannah's culture and folklore on these tours.

Old Town Trolley – Savannah Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Price: Adults from $28; kids from $20 Duration: 1.5 hours

Old Town Trolley's hop-on, hop-off tours allow visitors to explore Savannah's most popular attractions at their own pace. Trollies make 15 stops in total, including Forsyth Park , City Market , River Street , Madison Square, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and Colonial Park Cemetery. If you choose to stay on for the entire ride, the tour takes about 90 minutes. Drivers provide commentary on the city and its sights – a point of praise for most tourgoers. Reviewers suggested riding the entire route at least once before hopping on and off so you can get a sense for the city's history and attractions.

Tours begin at 9 a.m. and depart every 20 minutes until 5 p.m. depending on the season. If purchased online, one-day passes with unlimited hop-on, hop-off privileges start at about $28 for adults and $20 for kids ages 4 to 12; kids 3 and younger ride for free. The tour company also runs a popular nighttime Ghost & Gravestones trolley tour.

View & Book Tickets: Option 1 | Option 2

Genteel & Bard – History Walking Tour

Price: Adults from $30; kids from $15 Duration: 2 hours

Genteel & Bard's History Walking Tour takes visitors to many of the city's most popular downtown attractions , including the Colonial Park Cemetery, the Green-Meldrim House, Jones Street and Lafayette Square. A local historian and storyteller leads the two-hour excursion. Many reviewers enthusiastically praise the guide's in-depth knowledge and passion. Others appreciate the microphone/earbud system that makes it easy to hear the stories even from 100 feet away.

Tickets start at $30 for adults and $15 for kids ages 7 to 12; reservations are required. Tours are generally available Monday through Saturday at 10 a.m.; an additional afternoon tour may be offered on the weekend, depending on the month. For those interested in the supernatural, the family-owned company also leads a Savannah Ghost Encounter Tour.

Ghost City Tours – Savannah Haunted Pub Crawl

Price: From $30 Duration: 2 hours

The Savannah Haunted Pub Crawl takes visitors to three bars and pubs deemed the city's "most haunted." Over the course of the two-hour walking tour through Savannah's Historic District, guides tell stories about the city's famously spooky history, as well as its distinct architecture and landmarks. It also includes a stop at the Colonial Park Cemetery. According to travelers, the guides are experienced and entertaining, though some wished the stories were scarier. Plus, thanks to the city's open container policy, visitors can carry their drinks in to-go cups from bar to bar.

Tickets, which must be purchased in advance, cost about $30. Tour-takers must be at least 21 years old. Tours are offered nightly at 8 and 9 p.m.; additional tours may be offered on Friday and Saturday evenings, depending on the month. Ghost City Tours also offers ghost tours suited for families and cemetery tours.

View & Book Tickets: Option 1 | Option 2 | Option 3

Best Savannah Tours

Pablo and Britt Photography | Courtesy of Savannah Taste Experience

Savannah Taste Experience – Port City Food Tour

Price: From $65 Duration: 3 hours

Savannah Taste Experience's Port City Food Tour takes visitors to a half-dozen eateries to sample everything from South African-inspired cuisine to ice cream. The Savannah food tours, which are offered up to four times a day Wednesday through Sunday, are limited to 12 people. Reviewers – including those familiar with Savannah – validate the accuracy of the "secret" part of the tour's name, acknowledging that they would not have found some of the restaurants on their own. What's more, guides win high marks for their good humor and knowledge of local lore.

Tickets cost about $65 per person. Tickets include food, but not adult beverages, which can be purchased separately. For families with young children, the company recommends signing up for its First Squares Food Tour.

Savannah Ghostwalker Tour

Price: From $25 Duration: 2.5 hours

Savannah Ghostwalker Tours stop at multiple cemeteries, battlefields and other purportedly haunted sites, including Colonial Park Cemetery. Guides, also known as "ghostwalkers," share their experiences of ghost research and related local history and folklore, which many reviewers find informative, entertaining and even a bit scary. As an added bonus, Ghostwalker Tours provides "ghost-hunting" equipment intended to detect paranormal activity. The 2 1/2-hour walking tours are limited to 15 people – a major pro for many travelers.

Tickets start at $25 and must be purchased in advance. Tours are generally available nightly at 9 p.m.

View & Book Tickets: Viator

Adventure Tours in Motion – Bonaventure Segway Tour

Price: From $75 Duration: 1.5 hours

According to reviewers, the best way to traverse Bonaventure Cemetery 's 100-plus acres is via a Segway with Adventure Tours in Motion. On this 90-minute tour, you'll glide past Spanish moss-draped oaks and the tombstones of famous residents like Conrad Aiken and Johnny Mercer while your guide shares historical and architectural facts. Along with the ease of using the Segways, travelers express praise for the guides, who they describe as insightful and funny.

Cemetery tours are generally offered daily at 9:30 a.m. Tickets, which include round-trip transportation from the Historic District to the cemetery, cost approximately $75 per adult. The company also offers 60- and 90-minute Segway tours of the city's Historic District, as well as a Movie Tour that visits some of the city's top filming locations.

Old Savannah Tours – Historic Hop-on, Hop-Off Tour

Price: Adults from $38; kids from $16 Duration: 1.5 hours

On this trolley tour, visitors can take a roughly 90-minute ride around the Historic District or hop off to explore at any of the 14 must-see stops along the way, including Savannah City Hall, River Street and Forsyth Park. Trolleys run every 15 to 20 minutes daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 or 5 p.m., depending on the season. Drivers provide running commentary and actors portraying historical figures appear at some stops – a highlight for many reviewers.

Tickets start at $38 for participants ages 12 and older and $16 for children ages 5 to 11; kids 4 and younger ride for free. If the hop-on, hop-off element of the tour doesn't appeal to you, the company also offers a continuous version of this tour that doesn't make any stops, allowing riders to stay on the trolley for the full roughly 90-minute experience. Several ghost-themed tours are also available.

Best Savannah Tours

(Courtesy of Blue Orb Tours)

Blue Orb Savannah – The Zombie Tour

Price: From $35 Duration: 2 hours

Blue Orb Savannah's Zombie Tour is a two-hour, adults-only walking tour that offers an in-depth, "uncensored" look at the ghosts that haunt the city. Along the way, guides share stories of paranormal activity recorded throughout Savannah. Reviewers regularly praise the guides' historical expertise and humor and say the two hours fly by.

Tours generally depart at 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Tickets start at $35 per person. The Savannah Shadows Tour is a shorter (90-minute), all-ages version of the tour with tickets starting at $25 for kids and $30 for adults.

Southern Flavors Savannah – Taste Tour & Pub Crawl

Price: From $55 Duration: 3 hours

Southern Flavors Savannah's Taste Tour takes small groups (of no more than 12 people) on a walk through downtown Savannah and along its riverfront with stops at six restaurants. In between samples of Lowcountry fare like shrimp and grits and pimento cheese bites, travelers pass by several of the city's top attractions, including its famous squares. The food, and the respectable quantities of it, receive fulsome praise from reviewers, as do the tour guides, who travelers describe as personable and insightful.

The excursion starts daily at noon and lasts about three hours. Tickets start at around $55 and are available for culinary enthusiasts ages 16 or older; alcoholic beverages are not included. Southern Flavors Savannah also conducts a tour focused exclusively on desserts as well as a haunted pub crawl.

View & Book Tickets:  Option 1 | Option 2 | Option 3

Savannah Dan Walking Tours

Savannah Dan's public walking tours take visitors through about half a dozen squares in roughly two hours. Throughout the tour, the colorful, eponymous guide – self-described as a "stand-up historian" – will offer his thoughts and opinions on the history, legends and myths of his city. Many reviewers find the self-billed Southern gentleman who leads the outings engaging and knowledgeable. Savannah Dan is also known for offering helpful tips on where to dine in the city. Reviewers also appreciate the tour's laid-back pace.

Tours start at 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Tickets cost approximately $35 per person. Savannah Dan also conducts private walking tours.

View & Book Tickets: Savannah Dan

Segway of Savannah/Savannah Glides – Historical Squares Segway Tour

Price: From $49 Duration: 1 hour

On Segway of Savannah's Historical Squares Segway Tour, you'll glide through the city's celebrated squares and take in its varied architecture while expert guides share stories of Savannah's history. Reviewers often cite the tour guides' attention to safety and vast knowledge of Savannah as reasons to take these tours.

Ticket prices vary by length of tour; they're about $50 for an hourlong tour and about $70 for 90-minute rides. Tour-takers must be at least 16 years old. Segway of Savannah offers several excursions per day starting at 9 a.m. In addition to the Historical Squares Tours, the company conducts private outings.

Best Savannah Tours

Savannah Bike Tours – Pedal Through History Bike Tour

Price: Adults from $39; kids from $19 Duration: 2 hours

Savannah Bike Tours offers two-hour cycling trips that take visitors to some of the city's most popular attractions. During the 3-mile ride, travelers pass by several of Savannah's famous squares, Forsyth Park, the Savannah River waterfront, historic mansions open to the public and sites that have been featured in well-known movies. According to visitors, the bike tour allows you to cover more ground than a walking tour and includes insider tips from the local guides.

Tours are offered daily at 9 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.; an additional 6 p.m. tour is offered on Friday and Saturday in summer. Tickets start at $39 for participants 12 and older and $19 for kids 11 and younger. The price includes use of bikes with baskets and bottled water. Helmets, which are optional for adults, but mandatory for children, are also available. Electric bike tours and ghost-themed bike tours are also available.

Gray Line Savannah – Savannah Land & Sea Tour

Price: Adults from $69; kids from $36 Duration: 3 hours

Enjoy two quintessential Savannah experiences on this tour, which includes a scenic river cruise and a trolley ride. You'll start your excursion with a 90-minute narrated trolley tour through the city's historic district. Then, you'll hop on a classic riverboat for a 90-minute cruise that features commentary from the captain about Savannah's historic port. Travelers applaud the humorous, engaging trolley tour guides, but are less impressed with the boat ride, saying there's not much to see.

Tours are generally available daily starting at 10 a.m.; the last afternoon tour begins at 1 p.m. Tickets start at approximately $69 for adults and $36 for children ages 3 to 12. Gray Line operates a variety of tours in Savannah, including one that explores the Wormsloe State Historic Site .

Noble Jones – Savannah Saunter

Price: Adults from $25; kids from $18 Duration: 2 hours

For a crash course in Savannah history, consider this two-hour walking tour led by Noble Jones. As you stroll past top sights like Forsyth Park and River Street, you'll learn about the city's Colonial and Civil War history, as well as its modern-day renaissance. Tourgoers rave about the guides, who they describe as personable and well-versed in Savannah history.

Savannah Saunter tours are available daily in the morning and afternoon (generally 9:30 or 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.). Tickets start at $25 for adults and $18 for youths ages 8 to 14. History buffs may also be interested in the company's Civil War walking tour, which offers a more in-depth look at Savannah's role before, during and after the war.

Best Savannah Tours

Explore Savannah – Heart of Savannah - 2hr Walking Tour

Hear stories about Savannah's founding, its reputation as one of the most haunted cities in America and its connection to the Girl Scouts on this approximately two-hour tour. Tours begin at Wright Square and end at Forsyth Park. Travelers are impressed with the tour's pace and the guides, who they say personalize the experience for each group and encourage questions. Some reviewers say this walking tour offers a better history lesson than the city's popular trolley tours.

Tours are offered twice a day at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Reservations are required. Tickets prices start at $30 for adults and $15 for kids ages 6 to 12. Explore Savannah also operates a ghost tour, as well as private walking tours.

Captain Derek's Dolphin Adventure

Price: Adults from $25; kids from $15 Duration: 1.5 hours

When you need a break from Savannah's historic squares and ghost stories, consider heading to Tybee Island for a cruise with Captain Derek's Dolphin Adventure. On this 60- to 90-minute ride, you'll cruise around the coastal waters of the barrier island passing historic lighthouses and Fort Pulaski National Monument while dolphins play in the boat's wake. Reviewers praise the adept captain and crew, and report seeing an abundance of dolphins. Many travelers say this is a great, family-friendly activity.

Tickets start at $25 for passengers ages 13 and older and $15 for children 12 and younger. Infants 2 and younger can ride for $5. Tour times vary by month; there is usually at least one morning departure and one afternoon departure. Boats depart from Tybee Island, about 15 miles east of River Street. Captain Derek's Dolphin Adventure also offers a sunset tour, in addition to private tours.

View & Book Tickets: Captain Derek's Dolphin Adventure

Hearse Ghost Tours – Public Hearse Ghost Tour

Price: From $35 Duration: 75 minutes

Ride around Savannah's Historic District in a convertible hearse on this 75-minute ghost tour. Each hearse, which was used by real funeral parlors for more than 15 years, can hold a maximum of eight passengers. As you ride around town, your guide will regale you with tales about Savannah's paranormal activity and the stories behind the famous ghosts that supposedly haunt its streets. Reviewers applaud the entertaining guides and call the experience unique. Though it is a ghost tour, travelers say the guides manage to incorporate a fair amount of levity in their storytelling.

Tour times vary by month; the company usually runs at least two tours a night. Tickets start at about $35 per person. Private tours are also available.

View & Book Tickets: Hearse Ghost Tours

You may also be interested in:

  • The Best Savannah Ghost Tours
  • The Best Things to Do in Savannah
  • The Best Hotels in Savannah
  • The Best Charleston Tours
  • The Best Charleston Ghost Tours
  • The Top Things to Do in Georgia
  • The Top Romantic Getaways in Georgia

Tags: Tours , Travel , Vacations , food and drink , Georgia , Georgia Vacations , US Vacations , Southeast Vacations

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Travel + Leisure

22 Best Things to Do in Savannah, Georgia, According to Locals

Themed walking tours, sunset drinks, and beautiful cobblestone squares await in this beloved Southern city.

Regularly on best-of lists in the travel world, Savannah, Georgia attracts explorers of all kinds. Some want to get to know the city's rich history, others simply want to enjoy its stunning cobblestone squares lined with live oaks and Colonial and Victorian homes. Jessica Osborne and Melissa Taylor, co-owners of E Shaver Booksellers , describe Savannah as “mysterious, beautiful , eclectic, and just a little weird." Immersing yourself in the city's history, food , and culture is the ultimate travel goal.

While many locals, including Taylor and Osbourne, recommend visiting the coastal community for at least three nights, Savannah is one of those places travelers can return to again and again, experiencing something new on each trip. Whether you’re headed to the Hostess City for the first time or you simply can’t stay away for too long, you’ll want to check off at least a few of the 22 best things to do in Savannah, Georgia. 

1. Stroll through the city’s parks and squares.

At 30 acres, Forsyth Park is the largest green space in Savannah’s Historic District, with ample room for walking, picnicking, and big events — if you're here in September, check out the annual Savannah Jazz Festival. Any time of year, stop by the famous fountain before making your way to Chippewa Square, where you’ll the “Forrest Gump” bench. 

2. Get your caffeine fix at The Coffee Fox.

Instead of your typical black coffee, opt for the signature horchata latte at The Coffee Fox to start your day. If you’re hungry, snag a kolache (a Czech pastry), or something off the all-day brunch menu at The Collins Quarter , just a five-minute walk away. 

3. Enjoy a beach day on Tybee Island.

Tybee Island, one of the best beach towns in the South , is about 20 minutes from downtown Savannah. Brandon Carter, executive chef and owner of Savannah restaurant Common Thread (more on it later) loves this easy excursion himself. “The drive out is great to help you decompress. Tybee has beach town vibes and great little shops. Don’t forget to hit Sea Wolf for strong drinks and tasty hot dogs,” he says. 

4. Browse the shelves at E Shaver Booksellers.

You don’t need to be an avid reader to appreciate the charm of E Shaver Booksellers, an iconic bookstore on Bull Street. If you are a bibliophile, you’ll surely leave with a new novel or two in hand — and don’t forget to wave goodbye to the store’s several cats as you exit. 

5. Load up on sweet treats at Back In The Day Bakery.

A midday pick-me-up is always a good idea, especially if you’re exploring the city by foot. Back in the Day Bakery , owned by Cheryl and Griffith Day, is just the ticket. A wildflower honey bun or a blueberry muffin will keep hunger at bay. 

6. View the latest exhibitions at the SCAD Museum of Art. 

Savannah hums with creativity, and a large part of that stems from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). The SCAD Museum of Art, a contemporary art museum affiliated with the school, has a series of rotating contemporary art exhibitions on display throughout the year; see what’s on view here . 

7. Venture down cobblestoned River Street.

Perry Lane Hotel ’s Mandy Heldreth, a lifelong Savannah resident, says this famous riverfront path is a must-see when in town. “Take a walk down the cobblestones on River Street. The historic walkway takes you along the Savannah River, where you can see the cargo vessels continuing into the Port of Savannah.”

8. Visit the three Telfair Museums, the first public art museum in the South.

The oldest public art museum in the Southeastern United States, Telfair Museums is actually made up of three museums. Two are National Historic Landmark sites: the Telfair Academy and the Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters. The Jepson Center for the Arts is the third structure, a modern one built in 2006 and home to an art collection that stretches from the 19th century to today. The best part? You only need one ticket for all three. 

9. Fill up on fresh seafood.

In a coastal city like Savannah, it’s no surprise that the seafood is wildly good. “There’s a walk-up fried fish place called Shabazz [with] a real sense of place. My order: fried whiting, fries, Shabazz juice, and a slice of 'Yusuf's World Famous Pie.' I love that place,” chef Carter said.

10. Sign up for a ghost or history tour. 

Walking tours are a great way to get to know this destination. Patt Gunn, founder of Underground Tours of Savannah , often leads 90-minute historical treks in town, highlighting the journey of enslaved Africans brought to Savannah and sold in Johnson Square — an important part of the city’s past. 

Whether you’d prefer to walk, bike, or catch a narrated ride on a boat or trolley, tour options abound —just pick the theme that best suits your interests. Check out Underground Tours of Savannah , Ghost City Tours (if you want a spookier take on Savannah), Architectural Savannah , Old Town Trolley Tours , and Savannah Riverboat Cruises , to name a few.

11. Immerse yourself in art, music, and shopping at City Market. 

Savannah’s historic City Market once welcomed fishermen, farmers, and horse-drawn carriages on a daily basis. Today, the open-air market, which spans four blocks, is a hub for galleries, shops, restaurants, and the American Prohibition Museum , which even has an onsite speakeasy. 

12. Escape the heat by visiting another city museum. 

Savannah’s museum roster is vast and varied. In addition to the Telfair Museums, the SCAD Museum of Art, and the American Prohibition Museum, there’s the Savannah African Art Museum , the Mercer Williams House Museum , and the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum , named for the “father” of the Civil Rights Movement in Savannah and the 13th pastor of Savannah’s First African Baptist Church.

13. Sit down for a meal at The Olde Pink House.

Known and named for its pink hue, The Olde Pink House is a tourist favorite in Savannah. The menu is distinctly Southern — think fried green tomatoes and fried chicken — and it maintains a fabulous reputation throughout the city. 

14. Pick up local produce at Forsyth Farmers’ Market.

If you’re in town on a Saturday, Taylor and Osbourne recommend “[starting] the morning with a walk around the farmers’ market at Forsyth Park .” Once you’ve made your selections, head down Bull Street toward Broughton Street to visit two of their favorite shops: The Paris Market and Terra Cotta .

15. Throw back a few oysters at Common Thread.

Named by Bon Appétit as one of the best new restaurants in 2022, Common Thread is an “ingredient and seasonally inspired restaurant concept” inside of a restored two-story home built in the 19th century. Chef Carter helms this beloved place, and his dynamic menu changes based on produce availability, but you can never go wrong with the oysters to start. For other meals nearby, Chef Carter recommends having a “light and flavorful” lunch at Wildflower Cafe on Telfair Square and a nightcap at Lone Wolf Lounge .

16. Stretch your legs in Bonaventure Cemetery.

Three miles from downtown is Bonaventure Cemetery , an azalea-filled resting place known for its role in John Berendt’s 1994 book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” Osbourne’s pro-tip for visiting the 100-plus acres? “Bring bug spray.”

17. Cool off with some ice cream at Leopold’s. 

Serving homemade ice cream since 1919, Leopold’s is a Savannah staple. When the Southern city’s temperatures reach the 90s, nothing takes the edge off quite like a scoop or two inside the famed ice cream parlor. 

18. Saddle up to a different kind of bar at Savannah Bee Company's flagship store.

Opened in 2008, the Broughton Street location of Savannah Bee Company treats visitors to both a honey-tasting bar and a mead-tasting bar. It’s the perfect way to break up your day, and you can also pick up a souvenir from your travels.

19. Make a reservation at Chef Mashama Bailey's The Grey. 

Chef Mashama Bailey is known throughout the culinary world; in 2019, she was awarded the title of Best Chef Southeast by the James Beard Foundation. In Savannah, her name is synonymous with her restaurant The Grey , which is set in an Art Deco building that was once a Greyhound station. According to Taylor, “You should absolutely eat at the bar in The Grey; the building restoration is a beautiful thing."

20. Have a rooftop drink at Perry Lane Hotel.

Peregrin at the Perry Lane Hotel grants visitors great views of the city, but they're particularly magical at sunset. The bar has signature cocktails, zero-proof concoctions, and multiple frozé options, including rosé, aperol, lillet rouge, and lemon.

21. Visit the First African Baptist Church and the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist.

A National Historic Landmark, Savannah’s First African Baptist Church is said to be the “oldest continuous African-American congregation in America.” Tickets for tours can be purchased here . The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist — about one mile away — is open for self-guided tours seven days a week, though hours vary. 

22. Wait in line for a seat inside Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room.

If you want Southern comfort food, there’s one place to go, and that's Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room . “Lunch at Mrs. Wilkes’ is totally worth waiting in line for,” says Taylor. Doors open at 11 a.m., and the lucky individuals inside are privy to a family-style meal of fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, butter beans, okra and tomatoes, and other mouth-watering delights.

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COMMENTS

  1. Free Savannah Tours • Best Walking Tour In Savannah, Georgia

    Book a free walking tour of Savannah's history, landmarks, and culture with a local guide who is passionate and knowledgeable. The tour is on a name-your-own-price basis and operates on a tip-based system, so you can enjoy the city without overspending or signing up for a boring tour.

  2. Free Walking Tour Savannah

    Quaint cobblestoned squares and avenues shaded by oak trees will welcome guests on the Free Walking Tours of Savannah. The well-preserved antebellum architecture of the oldest city in the U.S. state of Georgia has put Savannah on the bucket list of many adventurous travelers.

  3. Top 10 Best Free Walking Tours in Savannah, GA

    4.8 (108 reviews) Tours Savannah This is a placeholder "Chris was friendly and informative! I love free walking tours all over the world and I'm so glad..." more 2. Underground Tours of Savannah 4.7 (14 reviews) Historical Tours Walking Tours This is a placeholder "Patt Gunn's Underground Tour Savannah Walking Tour.

  4. 15 BEST Free Things to Do in Savannah, GA (2024)

    Take a free walking tour of the city and get a dose of history while visiting Savannah's most famous landmarks, including the famous squares and the Mercer Williams House. This tour, led by local historians, is based on tips, so you pay what you think it's worth. While it's technically "free," these guides are supported by visitors.

  5. Free Savannah Tours

    Free Savannah Tours 1,213 reviews #5 of 260 Tours & Activities in Savannah City ToursHistorical & Heritage ToursWalking Tours Sightseeing ToursPrivate Tours Closed now 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM Write a review See all photos About Your Mind Blown In 90 Minutes or You Don't Pay a Dime!

  6. 3 Self-Guided Walking Tours of Savannah

    1. Savannah Squares Walking Tour Takes you around each of the squares of Savannah with the route ending at Forsyth Park Savannah Squares 0.000 / 4.219 km miles > View route map for Savannah Squares on plotaroute.com Before visiting Savannah, a friend was telling me I absolutely had to check out all of the "squares" around the downtown area.

  7. Walking Tours

    Savannah Happenings. Savannah's 2023 St. Patrick's Day Parade. See Our Facebook Feed. HomeActivitiesSightseeing Tours Walking Tours. James Oglethorpe. Explore Savannah, Georgia now by clicking any of the key Savannah Walking Tours Listings below! Tybee Island - Savannah's Beach. Accommodations. FAQ.

  8. One Day in Savannah: A Walking Tour Itinerary

    It's almost always free of charge. Get one. If you plan on touring Savannah Georgia, it's wise to familiarize yourself with a city map before you begin your walking tour. The Savannah Visitor Center is easy to get to from the interstate. We arrived at 10:30 on a Sunday morning - later than we had planned - and left our car in the parking lot.

  9. 9 Free (Or Nearly Free) Things To Do In Savannah, Georgia

    To learn more about Savannah's rich history, be sure and take a free walking tour. Companies such as Free Savannah Walking Tours take visitors on a 1.5-hour guided tour through the city. These free walking tours highlight loads of Savannah attractions and hidden gems and often include stops at unique places like the bench used in the filming ...

  10. 9 of the best free things to do in Savannah

    The dot Express Shuttle serves as free city transportation rather than a tour bus, so visitors can hop off at any of the stops located at or within walking distance of some of the city's major cultural attractions, including the birthplace of Juliet Gordon Low (founder of the Girl Scouts), the Girl Scouts' first headquarters, the Savannah ...

  11. Self-Guided Savannah Walking Tour

    Discover the heart of the oldest city in Georgia with this self-guided Savannah walking tour! Listen to over 70+ audio stories along a 4.8-mile stretch of the city. Stroll along cobblestoned streets and past cute shops and restaurants on the beautiful riverfront. Admire beautifully preserved historic architecture.

  12. 5 Self-Guided Walking Tours in Savannah, Georgia

    Self-Guided Walking Tours to Explore Savannah, Georgia Welcome to Savannah - a city that perfectly captures the essence of southern charm, grace, and beauty. If you are visiting for the first time, our Introduction Walk will take you to the most essential sights.

  13. Free Savannah Tours

    Free Savannah Tours, Savannah, Georgia. 2,973 likes · 10 talking about this · 52 were here. Your mind blown in 90 minutes or you don't pay a dime!

  14. Self-Guided Walking and Shopping Tour

    Savannah's 2024 St. Patrick's Day Parade. See Our Facebook Feed. Savannah Happenings Activities. If you are coming to Savannah for a fun and unique shopping experience, then look…. Here are the Top 10 Ways to tour Historic Savannah. 1. WALKING TOURS Take the opportunity…. Nestled in the heart of City Market, Twinkle stands apart as one ...

  15. Free Walking Tour Savannah

    Savannah free walking tour is the best way to explore the charming coastal city of Savannah, located in the state of Georgia, known for its historic architecture, picturesque parks, and vibrant cultural scene. The city is home to many popular tourist attractions, such as the historic district, Forsyth Park and the Savannah History Museum. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of outdoor activities ...

  16. Self guided walking tour of Savannah

    Forsyth Park. Forsyth Park is a great place to start your walking tour. It sits at around 30 acres and dates back to the 1950s. Here you can find the Garden of Fragrance (a small garden containing a selection of scented plants), a playground, a café, and public bathrooms. There is plenty of green space to walk around, or just pick up a coffee ...

  17. Free Savannah Walking Tours

    Tours run Monday through Saturday at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm, and on Sunday at 1:30 pm. Times and tours are subject to change or cancellation. I highly recommend going on a free walking tour to start your visit to Savannah off right. Skip the carriage tours and see the city how it was meant to be experienced: on foot. Free Savannah Tours introduce ...

  18. THE 10 BEST Savannah Walking Tours (Updated 2024)

    THE 10 BEST Savannah Walking Tours Walking Tours in Savannah Enter dates Filters • 1 Sort Walking Tours Historical & Heritage Tours Sightseeing Tours Ghost & Vampire Tours & up & up & up English Spanish German Portuguese Savannah: Walking Tours Information

  19. 10 Best Tours in Savannah

    Architectural Savannah, which has been around since 2005, starts its 90-minute walking tours in Oglethorpe Square. There are several memorable houses, including the oldest cottage in Savannah and ...

  20. Walking Tours of Savannah

    Savannah is one of the best, and most beautiful, cities to walk through. With the historic squares, the hostess city of the south transports anyone who walks through it.The city offers many options for walking tours that allow visitors and locals alike to experience the city and what it has to offer.. What makes Savannah such an amazing city to walk through is the history woven throughout the ...

  21. Walking Tours in Historic Savannah

    The Savannah Walks specializes in providing walking tours of Savannah's National Landmark Historic District to tourists or groups of any size and any age. We can create customized tours for Girl Scout troupes, visiting schools, businesses and traveling tour groups. read more…. Tour some of Savannah's most beautiful gardens on the Gates and ...

  22. Savannah

    View Cities. March 29, 2023. 15 Spooky Savannah Ghost Tours. By Stephen Pickhardt. Savannah is one of the oldest cities in Georgia, and there are a lot of historic locations here that are reportedly haunted. If you're interested in learning more about the spookiest sites in this city, consider one of the ghost tours covered in this post.

  23. The 17 Best Savannah Tours

    Tours are offered daily at 9 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.; an additional 6 p.m. tour is offered on Friday and Saturday in summer. Tickets start at $39 for participants 12 and older and $19 for kids ...

  24. Don't Overlook The Free Attractions In Savannah

    Savannah, Georgia, is a happening city for visitors, full of cultural, artistic and musical activities. Concerts by Judy Collins, the Glenn Miller Orchestra and the Atlanta Rhythm Section were ...

  25. 22 Best Things to Do in Savannah, Georgia, According to Locals

    Themed walking tours, sunset drinks, and beautiful cobblestone squares await in this beloved Southern city. Regularly on best-of lists in the travel world, Savannah, Georgia attracts explorers of ...