For our Savannah first time visitor guide, we’re narrowing down and simplifying, since the city has so much to offer, that it can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out what to see and do on your first visit. If you only have a short time to visit or if it’s your first time in this historic city, there are few things you just can’t miss. We’ve compiled a list of the must-visit attractions along with an itinerary to visit and experience while you’re here.
What to do…what to see and why
WHERE TO PARK
Figuring out where to park in an unfamiliar city can be daunting. We’ll make it easy and recommend just one great place to park.
- Savannah Visitors Center: 301 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Savannah, GA | Park here since you can get free info and maps from the Visitors Center….there’s also restrooms as well. From here you can hop on a Trolley or walk to most places around town.
- Street or metered parking: In the off-season (October – February), you’ll find numerous metered parking around the squares and throughout the city.
- For more info read our Getting Around Savannah article.
KNOW YOUR TROLLEY TOURS
Savannah Trolley Tours are a great introduction to the city since these tours provide narrated historic overview of the city. You can hop on and off at different stops and use this as transportation while you’re here.
There are two types of Trolleys in Savannah, paid and free…yes there is a free version.
- Paid Hop On Hop Off Trolley: This tour costs money however you actually receive informative and entertaining historical facts about landmarks you will pass by. Included with TourPass Savannah – more info
- Free Hop On Hop Off Trolley: The city provides a free trolley that is not narrated. We recommend you do this trolley once you feel comfortable navigating the city.
- Bonus Tip: Do the paid trolley day #1 and the free trolley on additional days.
GET TO KNOW SAVANNAH’S HISTORY – BE HISTORIC
If you love history….you’ll love being historic in Savannah! We recommend experiencing Savannah’s historic past by walking in the same alleys, pathways and houses of those who have gone before.
- Riverfront and River Street Area: The city’s wealth was built with cotton farming, merchants, shipping, agricultural and unfortunately through Slavery. The buildings that line River Street where once where Cotton Factors, who regulated the price of cotton for import and export worked. Cotton Factors were akin to the Stock Traders of today.
- House Museums: There are quite a few to choose from. Checkout this article that covers the intricacies of the house museums.
- Carriage Tour: It’s a great way to see parts of the city and learn from an experienced guide. Included with TourPass Savannah
- Riverboat Narrated Cruise: The Savannah River was a crucial artery that supplied the city and was the reason…and still is a major reason why Savannah is relevant today. Tour is included with TourPass
- Historic or Ghost Walking Tours: Walk by and learn about why this or that is significant and all the amazing tidbits and facts on these tours. Tour is included with TourPass
WANT TO TOUR WHILE IN CHARLESTON?
Travel Smarter With TourPass
If so, checkout TourPass Charleston which provides an all-access pass with full admission to over 40 top tours, attractions and historic sites. With a TourPass you can make reservations in advance, skip the lines and make your vacations a little more stress-free. Purchase online only at: https://tourpass.com/charleston
Additional Frequently Asked Questions
There are a number of places to start your Charleston vacation such as:
- City Market area
- King Street
- Charleston Visitor Center
- The Beaches
Or you can purchase a Charleston TourPass which includes all of the top things to do
The best times to visit Charleston are in the spring season from March to May.
The fall season is also a great time to visit from September – December.
Due to the hot weather in the summer months (July and August), these are the times when most people visit but go to the beaches.