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The Best Family Savannah City Guide

Savannah City Guide

Familydaysout.com has done ALL the hard work so you don’t have to with this ULTIMATE Savannah City Guide to print & use. Great Family Fun in Savannah

Savannah is one of the most magical and unique cities that you will find in the USA.  This Georgia gem is like a trip back through time, with unbeatable southern charm along with art, amazing food and period architecture are all found under a canopy of Spanish moss. Savannah also happens to have a LOT of fun things to do with kids, which makes for a GREAT family day out!

Parents can sip mint julips and kids explore the many museums, galleries, oak trees and maybe a ghost tour! (Savannah is considered THE most haunted city in the USA!)  So we can't wait to share with you the most popular things to do in Savannah, including our "Top 9 Family Attractions" that you can enjoy on your next family day out in the enchanting soul of Savannah.

There are so many fun things to do with kids in the gorgeous Savannah, so make sure check out our Savannah City Guide jam-packed with information, so you know exactly how to plan your family day out when you visit The Hostess City!

Image Credit: Visit Savannah

In this Savannah City Guide, we list out our top 9 things to do with kids and the family, as well as some unique experiences to really enjoy the Savannah experience.  We know budgets are often a concern when planning a family trip, so also in this Savannah City Guide we list some FREE things to do, so you won't break the budget! 

Savannah is really easy to explore without a car, so we'll also share some tips on getting around Savannah via public transport, plus we also list some fun fact about this gorgeous city so that you can impress your friends!

If you want to explore a bit further out, this Savannah City Guide also offers you a tip on the best day trip from Savannah. We also learn about some famous faces who started out life in Savannah, all of which help make your Savannah family day out the best it can be.

So whether this is your first trip to this historic gem, or maybe you were born right under the iconic Spanish moss but never had time to explore, and you think "I wonder what is there is to do near me in Savannah?", then keep reading, because we have the top 9 things to do in Savannah with kids...and so much more!

Image Credit: Visit Savannah

It wasn't until 1733 that Savannah's recorded history began. That was the year when a man named General James Oglethorpe and his 120 passengers arrived on a bluff high along the Savannah River, on the good ship "Anne". It was actually Oglethorpe who named the 13th and final American colony "Georgia" (after King George II of England), and Savannah officially became its first city. 

Originally, under the original charter, it was said that individuals were free to worship as they pleased, and that rum, lawyers and slavery were forbidden - for the time being.

What was interesting about Savannah's history, is that upon settling, Oglethorpe made friends with Tomochichi, the local Yamacraw Indian chief.  Tomochichi granted new arrivals permission to settle Savannah, and the area flourished without the warfare that most of America's early colonies experienced. 

Savannah is also known as America's first planned city. Then, Savannah had 24 original squares; 22 squares are still in existence today, which is pretty amazing!

Then, it was during the American Revolution that the British took control of Savannah in 1778, a position they held until 1782. After that, independence was secured, and Savannah flourished, with particular thanks to the rich soils that saw cotton and rice industries thrive. This created a wealth in the city that led to lavish homes and churches being built. 

Today, it's thanks to a group of women who saved the city from a wrecking ball in the 1950s that Savannah remains a true historic beauty. The Historic District began a National Historic Landmark in 1966, and is also one of the largest historic landmarks in the country. 

Image Credit: Visit Savannah

Experiencing and delving into Savannah's rich history will feature strongly on any iterinary in this Georgia favorite.  There is SO much history you could easily spend a week exploring nothing else.  There are eye-opening museums and historic sites like the Savannah History Museum, Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters, and Davenport House Museum

Savannah's history also lends itself to a very haunted reputation, so make sure you take advantage of one of the many ghost tours, like the aptly named Ghost City Tours of Savannah!

Savannah really does have so much for kids of all ages too, from the Savannah Children's Museum to the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum!

There is something for the whole family in Savannah, so let's all get out and explore!

Image Credit: Visit Savannah

It's very, very possible (and actually very fascinating!) to spend your time in Savannah strolling through what is actually the largest National Historic District in the USA, however with so much to see and do, your feet might need a break once in a while, and when they do, there are certainly other options to see Savannah in style! 

First, you have the DOT! The DOT is a fare-free service that runs every 10 minutes (during operating times), allowing you to get around downtown Savannah incredibly easily, servicing 18 stops in the Historic District as well as the Savannah Belles Ferry.

Or you might prefer the CAT. CAT offers 16 fixed bus routes in the city as well as Chatham County. A local one-way ticket is $1.50 however discounted weekly and monthly passes are available.

Of course, what would a trip to Savannah be without one of their amazing carriage rides or trolley tours? Visit Savannah have a great list of all the unique ways to see the city, including the popular Old Savannah Tours, so just make sure you take your camera!

Main Image Credit: Casey Jones via Visit Savannah

The First African Baptist Church in Savannah is the oldest continuous African-American congregation in the USA, and it's absolutely worth a visit, even just for a photo from the outside and to appreciate it's incredible historic importance.

Listed on the National Registry of Historic Landmarks and Places, the church was mostly built by enslaved members who worked on the plantaions during the day, and were permitted to work on their church in the evenings. The church was completed in 1859, but was organized in 1773, and constitued in December 1777.

Source & Image Credit: First African Baptist Church

Our Top 9 Fun Things To Do With The Kids In Savannah!

Our Top 9 Fun Things To Do With The Kids In Savannah! Our Top 9 Fun Things To Do With The Kids In Savannah!

1Ghost City Tours Savannah

Savannah is said to be the most haunted city in the entire USA, so it makes sense to enjoy a family friendly Ghost Tour to learn all about the bumps in the night and spooky happenings that people have been reporting!

Explore the haunted streets and spooky hot spots of the city, and hear spooky tales of Savannah's haunted past. Whilst they offer a number of tours, the Gravel Tales Ghost Tour is perfect for families and kids, but is also great for paranormal fans and history buffs alike!

Image Credit: Ghost City Tours

The Georgia State Railroad Museum is in itself a National Historic Landmark, making a fun and historic day out for all.  Located in Tricentennial Park, and located at the old Central of Georgia Railway Savannah Shops and Terminal Facilities, kids can explore historic railcars, experience the handcar, as well as go on fun guided tours!

With an operational turntable too, the Georgia State Railroad Museum also gives kids a chance to experience one of their Site Tours by Train on an actual historic steam or diesel locomotive! Choo Choo!

Image Credit: Coastal Heritage Society

The Davenport House Museum is one of the most important historic structures in Savannah, and via a guided tour you can learn all about this beautiful Federal-style property and its rich and fascinating history!

Built in 1820, Davenport House is one of the oldest brick structures in Savannah, with it's furnishings and artifacts offering a glimpse into home life in the 1800s! Kids will really feel like they have traveled back in time!

Image Credit: Visit Savannah

The Savannah Children's Museum is a completely outdoor museum perfect for kids to be create, have fun, learn, and use their imaginations, all within a colorful and exciting two- level exhibit space, spread across an acre.

The Savannah Children's Museum is also home to over a dozen exhibits specifically designed to expand the imaginations of kids, also incpororating an exploration maze, a reading nook and a sensory garden!

Image Credit: Coastal Heritage Society

The Pin Point Heritage Museum tells the fascinating story of the Gullah/Geechee community that was founded in 1896 by freedman after the Civil War, and lived in the area.

A visit to this open-air historic museum allows visitors to authentically learn about the Gullah/Geechee culture straight from actual residents who grew up in the small, close-knit community! It's also quite amazing that the museum is located in the former A.S. Varn & Son Oyster and Crab Factory.

Image Credit: Coastal Heritage Society

History comes to life at the Savannah History Museum, filled with exhibits and displays that tell the fascinating story of the city from 1733, through the American Revolution, and Civil War, and right through to today!

The museum is ocated in the former historic Central of Georgia Railroad's passenger station, and today holds over 10,000 artefacts with a focus on Savannah's musical, cultural and artistic contributions, with a highlight being the actual bench from the movie Forrest Gump!

Image Credit: Coastal Heritage Society

It's time to explore the oceans at the Ships of the Sea Museum, where you can explore exhibits that showcase model ships, maritime antiques and paintings, all from the time known as the great "Era of Atlantic" trade between the 18th and 19th centuries.

What's even more special, is that the Museum's collection is actually housed in the actual elegant home built for William Scarbrough, who was one of the principal owners of the iconic Steamship Savannah. Ahoy maties, it's museum time!

Image Credit: Ships of the Sea

Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters is an incredibly important stop in Savannah, as not only is it one of the finest examples of Regency architecture in America, but it's also a chance for families to take a guide tour around an early 19th century property and see how free and enslaved people lived and worked.

The guided tour will take you around the private rooms and public rooms that was once home to a number of families, as well as the gardens, plus the actual slave quarters where a number of people - even children - lived. There is also an exhibit area that outlines the indepth history of all who lived at Owens-Thomas House.

Image Credit: Telfair Museums

A short drive away from historic Savannah is the goregous 588-acre Skidaway Island State Park. Nature loving families will love exploring the trails that wind through maritime forests and past salt marshes, and kids will have a great time discovering the boardwalk and observation tower where they can watch for wildlife.

Deer, fiddler crabs, raccoon, egrets and other wildlife all can be found within Skidaway Island State Park where families can camp, hike, hire bikes, enjoy the playground or stop at the Visitor Center. The park only has a small parking fee, so a great option for all families, no matter what the budget!

Image Credit: Skidaway Island State Park

Famous Savannahians!

 Family Days Out: City Guide

Stacy Keach

Stacy Keach is an American actor, mainly known for his dramatic roles often revolving around law enforcement, most notable as fictional detective Mike Hammer.

He is a Golden-Globe winner and Emmy nominee, and received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2019.

Image Credit: Public Domain

 Family Days Out: City Guide

Miriam Hopkins

Miriam Hopkins was a versatile American actress who signed with Paramount Pictures in 1930. Her most notable roles were Trouble in Paradise, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Her Academy Award nomination for Becky Sharp made history when she became the first person nominated for a performance in a color film. 

Image Credit: Public Domain

5 Fun Savannah Facts

5 Fun Savannah Facts

Impress your friends with your amazing Savannah knowledge!

  • Savannah was actually a Christmas gift to President Lincoln in the Civil War!
  • The famous Spanish moss isn't actually Spanish, or a type of moss! It's actually closely related to the pineapple!
  • The First African Baptist Church in Savannah was actually the very first black church in the entire country!
  • Savannah is not only the oldest city in Georgia, but it was the first planned city in the USA!
  • The song Moon River is about Savannah

Top 5 FREE Things To Do With Kids In Savannah

Explore Forsyth Park

Explore Forsyth Park

Forsyth Park is not only the largest park in the district, sitting on 30 acres, but it also happens to feature one of the most iconic attractions in Savannah - that beautiful fountain! Moulded from fountains in Peru and dating back to 1858, a visited the park just to see the Forsyth Fountain is alone worth the trip. 

Beyond the fountain, Forsyth Park is perfect for family fun. There is plenty of picnic space, plenty of park space, and even tennis and basketball courts for those kids with too much energy, plus biking trails and free summer concerts. 

Image Credit: Visit Savannah

Be inspired at the Savannah African Art Museum

Be inspired at the Savannah African Art Museum

The collection at the Savannah African Art Museum holds over 1000 objects with origins from West and Central Africa, representing over 28 countries as far west as Guinea and as far east as Tanzania, plus over 150 individual cultures and ethnic groups. 

The collection itself features objects made from ceramic, metals and wood, highlighting a range of educational reproductions, spiritual and ceremonial objects across the 19th and 20th centuries. A collection 30 years in the making, and one well worth a visit on your family day out in Savannah! 

Image Credit: SAAM

Enjoy a FREE Savannah Walking Tour!

Enjoy a FREE Savannah Walking Tour!

Their tag line is "Your mind blown in 90 minutes, or you don't pay a dime" and that's exactly what you can enjoy with Free Savannah Tours! Savannah really is destination where a tour is invaluable, so why not take advantage of this incredible company run by people who just love Savannah. 

It's worth noting that the city of Savannah enforces a tour tax, so there is a $2.85 charge as a result when you book, but the tour guides are working for free, and if you want to pay them something for their time, that's up to you! 

Image Credit: Free Savannah Tours

Channel Forrest Gump in Chippewa Square!

Channel Forrest Gump in Chippewa Square!

Savannah has been the location for many Hollywood films, but none so famous as Forrest Gump. So, why not spend some time visiting those locations you might just notice from this Tom Hanks classic?

One of the most famous scenes in the film, is when Forrest is sitting on that simple, wooden bench waiting for the bus and talking about his life. Well, that bench happened to be in Chippewa Square and it's a great place to take some photos and wonder why life is like a box of chocolates. (Here's a fun fact, kids - they actually used four fibreglass benches in the film, and you can actually see one of the screen used benches at the Savannah History Museum!)

Image Credit: Savannah.com

Spend time at the Savannah Botanical Gardens!

Spend time at the Savannah Botanical Gardens!

Spend some time in nature at the free admission Savannah Botanical Gardens, which offer an amazing respite surrounded by beautiful flowers and plants. 

The garden includes both formal and naturalistic plantings which are always fun for kids to explore and learn about, as well as a beautiful two acre pond, amphitheater, nature trails which are always an adventure for kids, and even an archaeological exhibit too! Don't miss a visit to the historic Reinhard House either. 

Image Credit: Savannah Botanical Gardens

Savannah's Historic Restaurants!

A Fun Day Trip From Savannah!

Only 20 miles from Savannah is the gorgeous Tybee Island, located on the point where the Savannah River meets the Atlantic Ocean.

Kayaking, surfing, swimming, fishing and basking in the sun are favorites here, and if you're lucky enough, you'll see a beautiful pod of dolphins out in the waters! With the island's easterly direction offering the most beautiful sunsets, it's a wonderful way to spend a day!

Image Credit: Visit Savannah

Tybee Island has been a popular vacation spot since the late 1800s, but the history of the island as well as the name, has a number of interpretations. It is, however, a popular belief with historians that the word "Tybee" was derived from the Native American Euchee Indian word for "salt", which was once one of the many natural resources found on the island.

It was this natural resource that intrigued the Spanish in 1520, and in 1605 it was the Sassafroot roots that lured the French.  Tybee Island went on to play an incredibly important role within US history, including the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, when Tybee Island Lighthouse served as a warning beacon on any possible attacks from the British. 

There are still remnants of this fascinating history on the island too! 

Don't miss a chance to get to the lesser-visited Little Tybee Island, which is a completely uninhabited island that is only accessible via motorboat or kayak. It's quite a treat!

Here’s our top 3 Tybee Island things to do:

We hope you found this content useful! Please share with your friends, and if you have any comments, or want to let us know what we can do to further help you find fun days out with the family, then just email our team at [email protected]!

Let's get the family adventure started!

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