Are you looking for things to do in Savannah, Georgia, without a car? No problem! This charming southern city is a wonderful getaway with plenty of attractions and events that are enjoyable without driving your car. It is the nation’s largest registered Urban Historic Landmark District, with numerous historically and architecturally significant structures and twenty-two green squares within a two-and-a-half mile square area. You can see and do a lot on foot in Savannah.
I visited Savannah with eight other travel writers in February. We enjoyed several days of sightseeing on foot and the trolley. From historic homes and gardens to museums and restaurants, there’s something for everyone in Savannah. Don’t forget the beautiful riverfront setting with its walking paths. So if you’re visiting Savannah without a car, here is a travel guide with 17 great suggestions for enjoying the city. You’re sure to see the best of Savannah.
A trolley tour ride was provided by Visit Savannah. All opinions are my own.
1. Savannah Walking Tours
Savannah’s grid layout makes it easy to explore the town on foot! There are plenty of walking tours available that will show you all the best that the city has to offer. From historic homes to beautiful parks, you can take in all of Savannah’s sights and sounds without worrying about finding a place to park.
When we visited, a couple with us had visited multiple times and acted as our guide. We walked all over Savannah.
If you want to see the sights at your own pace, follow this guide to exploring Savannah in 10,000 steps!
Self-guided and group tours are available. Some of the most unique and popular tours are the Walk with Me Savannah Tours, Architectural Tours of Savannah, Sip n’ Shop Savannah Tours, and the 40 Acres and a Mule Tour. Another fascinating tour, Footprints of Savannah, threads a complete story of Savannah’s antebellum years into the walk.
Many of Savannah’s squares are spectacular public gardens. As we walked through Savannah, we peeked through private garden gates at scenes of breathtaking beauty. If this piques your interest, Savannah offers a yearly annual Savannah Tour of Hidden Gardens. You’re sure to see the best of Savannah.
Pro Tip: If you plan walking tours, pack footwear to accommodate all the walking.
2. Historic District
Wear your walking shoes and stroll the Savannah Historic District. You will see landmarks on every corner of Savannah’s Historic Landmark District.
Locals claim this area is the hub of the downtown scene — and it positively shines with historical beauty at every turn. It’s no wonder why tourists flock here by the thousands. It includes 22 beautiful park squares, numerous monuments, museums galore, dozens of boutiques, restaurants to please every taste bud, gorgeously restored 18th-century homes, and much more.
When we visited the northern part of the Historic District shops, we stopped at the Paula Deen Store on East Congress Street, and as we looked at the products, we noticed she was there greeting people. Evidently, she pops in often. So we met her, and a few of us had our photos taken with her.
3. Forsyth Park
Sheltered in the Historic Landmark District, the 30-acre park is known for its giant oak trees draped in Spanish moss, the gorgeous and iconic Forsyth Fountain, and the pedestrian/jogger-friendly sidewalks.
One of Savannah’s most recognizable landmarks is the huge fountain, and it is undoubtedly an Instagrammable spot to take a photo!
Locals and visitors love to take advantage of the park’s vast green, where concerts, festivals, and the Forsyth Park Farmers’ Market are held. There is abundant shade, space, and park benches to sit, relax, and enjoy the stately live oaks and nature surrounding you. This is definitely one of the most iconic spots in the city of Savannah that you don’t want to miss.
When we visited in February, people were sitting on blankets on the ground. Lots of people were out and about enjoying nature.
You can find several churches with deep histories and unique beauty in Savannah. Visit Savannah’s First African Baptist Church and the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist. The Congregation Mickve Israel is one of the oldest Jewish congregations in America. Savannah’s sacred spots provide plenty of photo opportunities. These historic sites are sure to teach you a lot about Savannah’s history.
5. River Street
Be sure to visit River Street when visiting Savannah. Walk the iconic cobblestone streets with breathtaking views of the Savannah River and shop, dine, and dance along this beautiful area.
We spent an afternoon browsing the stores and enjoying the view. Even in the rain, it was beautiful.
Visit Savannah has a helpful guide on “river street” for first-time visitors.
Pro Tip: Be aware, if traveling on foot, there are several steps or a steep grade to get to River Street.
6. The Grey
The Grey, a former 1938 art-deco Greyhound Bus Station turned restaurant, has a menu full of surprisingly elevated culinary creations. This highly-acclaimed restaurant offers up elegant fare in a unique environment.
As Executive Chef of The Grey, Mashama Bailey earned the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef Southeast award in 2019.
We stood in line and waited for this restaurant to open. We were the third group seated and dined in the booths overlooking the street by the diner bar. The Diner Bar at The Grey offers a more casual — but equally enjoyable — experience. You’ll love the delicious food and southern hospitality.
The Hostess City of the South, as Savannah is commonly called, is home to several museums that are worth a visit. The Telfair Museum of Art is the oldest art museum in the South, and the Georgia State Railroad Museum is perfect for train enthusiasts.
Several in our group got a kick out of visiting the American Prohibition Museum. These museums give visitors insight into pre- and post-Civil War era United States.
8. Lucas Theatre For The Arts
Catch a show at the 1,200-seat Lucas Theatre for the Arts. It was the first public building in Savannah to have air conditioning. They host significant events such as the Savannah Music Festival, the Savannah Philharmonic, and the Savannah Film Festival.
9. Colonial Park Cemetery
Stroll through Savannah’s Colonial Park Cemetery for a glimpse of the past. Located in the National Landmark Historic District, the nearly six-acre cemetery is the final resting place for numerous early Savannah residents.
The oldest intact municipal cemetery in Savannah, historic markers beside graves identify important people and events contributing to the state of Georgia’s history. More than 9,000 graves, including that of a Georgia signer of the Declaration of Independence, Button Gwinnett, can be found in the Colonial Park Cemetery. The cemetery has been closed to interments since 1853 and has paved walkways throughout, making it almost like a park.
10. Savannah Theatre
The oldest theater in America, Savannah Theatre, was built in 1818 with an art deco style. The 525-seat theater is still putting on shows today! Check their schedule to see what’s playing during your visit.
11. City Market
City Market is one of the most popular places in Savannah, especially if you’re looking for souvenirs or local artwork. The market is home to several galleries and shops selling everything from paintings to pottery to jewelry. You can also find plenty of places to grab a bite to eat, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon exploring.
12. Ghost Tours
Savannah is known for its ghosts and plenty of tours will take you to some of the most haunted spots in the city. If you’re feeling brave, you can even go on a “ghost hunt,” where you’ll use ghost-hunting equipment to find some spirits!
Our group went on a ghost tour one evening in Savannah. Some of us may have spotted unusual orbs roaming the area. It was great fun and a highlight for several. One popular stop for many ghost tours is the Mercer Williams House. However, this is also a close walk from Forsyth Park if you’re looking to get to know the history of this mansion more. This is a great experience if you’re looking for some fun nightlife activities in the city.
If You Have A Car: Bonaventure Cemetery
This is not within walking distance from downtown and is somewhat farther out from the main Savannah area, but it is worth a visit if you have a car. Bonaventure Cemetery is one of Savannah’s most popular tourist attractions, and it’s easy to see why. Considered one of America’s most beautiful cemeteries, it is filled with gorgeous live oak trees, Spanish moss, beautiful monuments, and statues. It’s also home to many famous “residents,” including poet Conrad Aiken and Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low.
Wander through Bonaventure Cemetery and learn about some of Savannah’s most famous residents. Besides the Bonaventure Cemetery, one cool place to see if you have a car is the Savannah College of Art.
Other Ways To See Savannah
If your feet are tired of walking or you want a speedier method of seeing the sights of Savannah, several options do not require a car to navigate the city.
13. Trolley Tours
All types of trolley tours are available throughout the Historic District of Savannah. The iconic garden green and bright orange trolleys of Old Town Trolley Tours of Savannah take locals and visitors alike around the city. We hopped on the classic white, Old Savannah Tours trolley to enjoy costumed characters who join your ride along the way. Visitors can save on multiple tour tickets by using the discounted TourPass option.
14. Carriage Ride
For a truly unique experience, take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the streets of Savannah. You’ll learn about the city’s rich history as you clip-clop your way through its cobblestone streets and see beautiful architecture and some of its most popular landmarks along the way.
Carriage rides are available throughout the day.
One of the best ways to see Savannah from a different perspective is by taking a riverboat cruise down the Savannah River. You’ll get great views of the city skyline and learn about its rich history while enjoying a leisurely ride down the river.
The Savannah Belles Ferry offers multiple departures from two locations. You can board the ferry on River Street or at the Savannah Convention Center. The ferry departs every 10-20 minutes and it’s completely free!
If none of these options suit, you can “ride” free of charge on the DOT public transportation bus. The DOT helps visitors and residents get around downtown Savannah and includes shuttles serving 18 stops, plus the Savannah Belles Ferry. This map shows all the stops.
If you’re looking for things to do in Savannah without a car, we’ve got you covered. From the city center and historic district to the riverfront, plenty of attractions and activities are within walking distance.
For more information on traveling to Savannah, Georgia, check out these articles: