20 Best Free Things to Do in Savannah, GA


8 min read
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An aerial view of a city with buildings, a church, a bridge, and greenery
You'll discover various free things to do in exciting Savannah

Savannah, in the Southern United States, is an exciting and historical destination. The city features amazing architecture, lots of landmarks, and attractions for all types of travelers.

If you're traveling on a budget, there are many things to do in Savannah at no cost. From exploring various parks to visiting a battlefield and spotting dolphins on Tybee Island. To make the most of your trip without breaking the bank, check out these 20 best free things to do in Savannah, GA.

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Savannah Things to Do Map

Using the map of Savannah, you can explore all the things to do.

Stroll around the Savannah Botanical Gardens

The Savannah Botanical Gardens are a stunning collection of gardens located a little outside of downtown Savannah. Admission to the garden is free, and you’ll be able to see numerous plant, flower, and tree species. There’s also a large pond and various nature trails.

As you explore the gardens, you’ll encounter wildlife as well, including birds and butterflies. If you do want to spend a little, there is a garden center selling plants seen in the gardens.

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Riding the Savannah Belles Ferry is one of the best free things to do in Savannah, GA
Taking the Savannah Belles Ferry is one of the best free things to do in Savannah, GA

Ride the Savannah Belles Ferry

A ride on the Savannah Belles Ferry is quick but well worth it. The 5-minute free ferry ride takes you across the Savannah River from the downtown Riverwalk to Hutchinson Island. On the ride, you can enjoy views of the Savannah skyline.

The ferry also has historical connotations, with the “Belles” being famous Savannah women. These historical figures are Juliette Gordon Low, Susie King Taylor, Florence Martus, and Mary Musgrove.

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Explore the Historic Reinhard House

Located in the Savannah Botanical Gardens, the Historic Reinhard House is an 1840s German farmhouse. The house was originally constructed in the 19th century in what is now downtown Savannah. To avoid demolition, it was interestingly moved to the Botanical Gardens grounds in the 1990s.

Stopping by the historic farmhouse is a one of the must-do free things to do in Savannah, Georgia. The building is one of just two pre-Civil War farmhouses in all of Savannah, making it a significant landmark.

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A white cathedral building with two towers and gold and green details
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is a beautiful piece of religious architecture

Marvel at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist is a Roman Catholic church in downtown Savannah. This church is notably the Mother Church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah. Even if you aren’t religious, visiting the cathedral for the architecture alone is worth it.

The French Gothic design features stunning stained glass windows and tall white towers. Inside, you can appreciate the stained glass in more detail, along with beautifully painted ceilings and religious art and statues. If you are religious, services and mass are still actively held at the cathedral.

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View amazing art at the SCAD Sidewalk Arts Festival

The SCAD Sidewalk Arts Festival is one of the coolest art events in Georgia. It’s also one of the best free attractions in Savannah, GA. The annual event features an array of amazing designs placed directly on the sidewalks that surround Forsyth Park.

The art installation is contributed to by students of the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), with the best designs being awarded prize money and other honors.

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A white stone water fountain with a path in front and trees surrounding it
Viewing the iconic Forsyth Park water fountain is a must-do free activity

Hang out in Forsyth Park

Having originally been created in the 1840s, Forsyth Park continues to be a favorite spot in Savannah for locals and tourists. Best of all, visiting the park is free. The urban park features vast green areas, pretty plants, and an iconic water fountain.

You can walk around the park, hang out on the grass, take some great photographs, or do a quick workout. No matter what you do in Forsyth Park, visiting is an ideal way to relax and unwind after or before a busy day in Savannah.

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Spend a day outdoors at Skidaway Island State Park

Located just a 30-minute drive from downtown Savannah, spending a day exploring Skidaway Island State Park is a must-do for nature lovers! You’ll discover a range of trails to hike that take you through maritime forest and salt marsh.

There’s also a quaint boardwalk and even an observation tower to check out. Skidaway Island State Park is one of the best free places to visit in Savannah, GA, and should definitely be added to your itinerary.

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Gravestones and tombs on the grass with trees behind them
The Colonial Park Cemetery features notable graves and could be haunted

Tour the Colonial Park Cemetery

Colonial Park Cemetery is one of Savannah's historic landmarks that’s free to visit. This cemetery was the city’s main burial ground up until 1853 and is now a park. Some even say the site is haunted!

Despite burials no longer occurring here, you can still see the graves of those buried in the cemetery before the 1850s. Along with being the final resting place of 700 Yellow Fever victims, the graves of Archibald Bulloch, first Governor of Georgia, and Button Gwinnett, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, are found here.

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Take a picture of the Waving Girl Statue

The Waving Girl Statue is an iconic statue located on Savannah’s River Street, that’s also one of the must-visit free attractions in Savannah, GA. The statue depicts Florence Martus and her dog.

Florence lived in Savannah all her life, from 1868 until 1943. She became known as the woman who would safely wave in ships to the harbor. It’s said that she began doing this after falling in love with a sailor who promised to return to Savannah but never did.

Today, she still greets ships into the harbor, and getting a picture of the renowned statue is a must for anyone visiting the city.

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A path with greenery on either side, a bench, and a house at the end of the path
The Savannah Historic District is a must-see area of the city

Walk around the Savannah Historic District

The Savannah Historic District is one of the most famous areas of Savannah, and you can explore it for free when in the city. Just a handful of the landmarks in the area that you can spot include the Sorrel Weed House, the Mercer-Williams House, and the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace.

Forsyth Park is also located in this district. Wandering around the Savannah Historic District is a fun and relaxing way to see some of the most famous Savannah landmarks without spending a penny.

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Hike the McQueen’s Island Trail

The McQueen’s Island Trail is located just a 20-minute drive outside of downtown Savannah. The six-mile-long trail stretches across an old railroad bed and takes you through scenic marshlands.

On the trail, you can also see the Savannah River and it’s possible to extend your hike to reach Fort Pulaski. This trail is easy, so great for all hiking abilities. The trail is under some construction, so the amount you can access may vary.

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A regal city hall building with a tree-lined street in front of it
Savannah City Hall on Bull Street is one of the places to see on a walking tour

Take advantage of a free walking tour

One of the best free things to do in Savannah, Georgia, is taking a walking tour. Free Savannah Tours offers a 90-minute walking tour of the city at no cost. On the tour, your guide will take you to a range of landmarks, offering background and commentary on everything you see.

Places you’ll see include Forsyth Park, Bull Street, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, and much more! This walking tour is the ideal way to ensure you don’t miss any of Savannah’s landmarks.

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A tomb with a statue of a woman on top and trees surrounding it
You'll discover many interesting tombs and mausoleums at Bonaventure Cemetery

Dare to explore Bonaventure Cemetery

Bonaventure Cemetery sits on the historically significant site of the Bonaventure Plantation. The cemetery features ornate tombs and mausoleums as well as many gravestones.

The cemetery is the final resting place of notable people, including Johnny Mercer and Conrad Aiken. Bonaventure Cemetery was also featured in the Savannah-based novel “Midnight Garden of Good and Evil.”

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See the battlefield at Tricentennial Park

Tricentennial Park features three museums and a battlefield and memorial. Although in Tricentennial Park, the battlefield is named Battlefield Memorial Park. While the museums have an admission fee, you can see the battlefield and memorial for free.

Battlefield Memorial Park is a real battlefield that was the site of the Battle of Savannah during the Revolutionary War. This is one of the best free places to visit in Savannah, GA, if you’re interested in the Revolutionary War.

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A small house with a black and white striped lighthouse next to it
The Tybee Island Lighthouse is one of the area's most iconic landmarks

Take a trip to Tybee Island

Tybee Island is a barrier island near downtown Savannah. The island features many outdoor activities that are free to enjoy. Things to do on Tybee Island including hanging out on the beach, where you may spot dolphins, hiking, and seeing the island’s iconic lighthouse.

You can also fish at Back River Beach, and there are many places to play volleyball, soccer, and other sports. Spending a day on Tybee Island is also one of the best things to do with kids in Savannah.

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A Baptist church with a white door and red windows and trees in front of it
The First African Baptist Church is a must-see landmark in Savannah

Visit the First African Baptist Church

Founded in 1773, Savannah’s First African Baptist Church is the location of the first congregation organized by African American Baptists. The church additionally acted as the birthplace of the Civil Rights movement in Savannah and as a meeting place during segregation.

When visiting this historically significant church, you can admire the building’s many original features and the stained-glass window of Reverend Leile, the church’s founder. This is a free landmark in Savannah that everyone should see!

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Look around the Forsyth Farmers Market

Held every Saturday, the Forsyth Farmers Market is a great place to wander around and discover a range of local produce, even if you don’t buy. Products you’ll find here include meats, fruits and vegetables, honey, flowers, and much more.

If you do decide to buy, your purchase will help support local Savannah farmers. As the market is held in Forsyth Park, it’s the ideal place to stop by before or after exploring the park.

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A suspension bridge with two beams with water and boats in front of it
You can get the best views of Savannah from the Talmadge Memorial Bridge

View the Savannah skyline from the Talmadge Memorial Bridge

The Talmadge Memorial Bridge runs across the Savannah River and connects downtown Savannah to Hutchinson Island. Walking across the 1.9-mile-long bridge allows you to enjoy the best views of the Savannah skyline and surrounding river.

Even if you don’t walk the entire length of the bridge, you’ll get to appreciate the incredible views of the city. This activity also has the benefit of being a quick addition to your Savannah itinerary.

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Discover African artifacts at the Savannah African Art Museum

The Savannah African Art Museum features a collection of over 1,000 items from West and Central Africa. Pieces on display include spiritual and ceremonial artifacts made from wood, ceramics, and metal.

This vast and interesting collection also represents 28 countries and more than 180 cultures. Visiting the Savannah African Art Museum is a fascinating experience, and it’s definitely one of the best free attractions in Savannah, GA.

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A cobblestone street with buildings with awnings, street lamps, and trees
River Street is one of Savannah's most well-known areas

Wander Down River Street

River Street is one of Savannah’s most renowned streets. Located right by the water, the cobblestone street features stunning architecture and a range of shops, restaurants, and galleries to see.

When in the city, strolling along this street is a must and will allow you to appreciate the Savannah riverfront and see the boats on the water, from tanker ships to old-fashioned cruise boats. You'll additionally come across the Waving Girl statue and a handful of other statues.

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In Summary

Savannah is a must-visit city with an array of attractions and landmarks. Best of all, there's so much you can do in the city for free. From visiting museums and botanical gardens to hiking and going on walking tours. No matter what your vacation budget, you'll find incredible things to do in Savannah!


Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell WRITER Currently based in Canada, I've also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and travelled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. I love finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever I go!


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