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