Savannah is, without a doubt, one of our favorite cities on the planet. Its’ beauty, charm, and impeccable cuisine are hard to match anywhere in the world–and even 3 days in Savannah is plenty of time to fall in love with it!
We’ve designed this 3 day Savannah itinerary after several trips to the city (with several more to come in the future) to help guide you through the city over a short vacation or long weekend getaway.
We hope that it will help you enjoy the best of what this lovely corner of the south has to offer!
From stunning architecture to complex history to some of the absolute best food in the world, here’s how to see the best of Savannah in 3 days!
Table of Contents
- Day 1 in Savannah: Forsyth, Getting to Know Savannah + A Food Tour
- Day 2 in Savannah: More Food, Boutiques + Ghosts
- Day 3 in Savannah: History + A Half-Day Trip
- Where to Stay for a Long Weekend in Savannah
- Getting Around During This 3 Day Savannah Itinerary
- When to Visit Savannah GA
- Useful Savannah Travel Tips
Day 1 in Savannah: Forsyth, Getting to Know Savannah + A Food Tour
Kick off your morning with a stroll through Forsyth Park.
Savannah’s Forsyth Park, with its famous 19th-century fountain, is one of the most photographed corners of the city, and the perfect place to start your sightseeing.
We recommend approaching from the north side of the park–this is where you’ll find the famous fountain, along with plenty of green space, benches, shaded views, and for much of the year, colorful flowers.
Continue further south, and you’ll come to a beautiful, wide-open lawn, a small blooming garden, and the second location of The Collins Quarter.
If you’re looking to enjoy a morning latte, you can’t ask for a better place to do so!
Check out Monterey Square & Congregation Mickve Israel.
Our next stop, like many of these Savannah sightseeing stops, is located on one of the city’s 22 town squares–in this case, lovely and peaceful Monterey Square.
Also on this square is Congregation Mickve Israel, one of the oldest Jewish congregations in the USA, founded in 1733 (the synagogue itself dates to 1820).
In addition to interesting history and a beautiful synagogue, Congregation Mickve Israel is also in possession of some incredible historical artifacts, including a 15th-century deerskin Torah that is the oldest in North America, and a Torah belonging to a congregation in the Czech Republic that made its way to the USA during the Holocaust.
Depending on how much sightseeing you plan to squeeze into your few days in Savannah, you may or may not want to dedicate 45 minutes to taking a tour here, which includes seeing the historical Torahs.
But either way, it’s worth admiring the synagogue as you pass through the square!
2022 Update: Earlier blog readers may remember that I used to mention the magnificent Alex Raskin Antiques which discussing Monterey Square. Unfortunately, I have confirmed with Alex that the shop is now permanently closed.
Admire the Mercer Williams House.
Much like Congregation Mickve Israel, whether or not you tour the Mercer Williams house while in Monterey Square is a matter of personal preference (for this 3 day Savannah itinerary, we recommend choosing at max, one of the two), but it’s worth noting either way.
This is the home of Jim Williams, a notable antique dealer in Savannah who was tried (and acquitted) four times for the 1981 murder of Danny Hansford.
This murder mystery is one of Savannah’s most famous and was the subject of the incredibly famous book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which you should definitely start reading immediately as you plan your Savannah weekend getaway.
Because Jim Williams’ sister owns the house, its most famous story is decidedly not told on the tour, which instead focuses on Jim Williams’ impressive collection of antiques and eclectic objects from around the world.
If you’re a big fan of the Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil book and/or movie, though, you might want to check out this Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil tour of Savannah!
Head up to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
When Savannah was established as a colony in 1733 and the city as we know it today was founded, a few surprising things were immediately outlawed, among them slavery, lawyers… and Catholics.
That quickly changed, however, once founder James Oglethorpe (who worked closely with the local Yamacraw tribe and its chief Tomochichi in the early years of the city) returned to Britain, and by the 1790s, there was an early Catholic parish in Savannah.
The current, beautiful cathedral we see today was built at the turn of the 20th century, and is among the most stunning houses of worship we’ve ever seen in North America.
It is absolutely worth slowing down long enough to take a peek inside during your Savannah vacation!
Eat your way through Savannah on a food tour.
After getting a feel for the city’s layout during your first morning in Savannah, it’s time to switch gears to focus on something else the city is known for: its food!
Taking the incredibly popular First Squares Food Tour will not only allow you to enjoy more of Savannah’s beautiful squares and streets while learning more about the history of the city, but it will also leave you stuffed to the gills with delicious southern food!
Whenever possible, we always recommend taking a food tour on the early side of a trip.
That way, you’ll know what new favorite dishes are worth ordering for the rest of your meals!
Southern food is one of our absolute favorite cuisines in the entire world, and Savannah arguably serves the best of them all (and, uh–it is an argument. There are several cities that compete for the top foodie spot in the south!).
Book your Savannah food tour today!
Explore City Market.
Once you wrap up eating your way through Savannah, you’ll be near City Market, a warehouse-district-turned-tourist-attraction, home to souvenir shops, a few boutiques, and even more food, not that you’ll be in the mood for that at the moment!
City Market is one of the most popular places to visit in Savannah and a fun, quick stop during your quest to visit Savannah in a weekend.
If you’re interested in the prohibition era of the USA, it’s also where you’ll find the interesting and quirky American Prohibition Museum!
Make your way down to River Street.
After a quick stroll through City Market, head down to River Street for a walk along the river and a chance to check out some of Savannah’s best nightlife.
We also highly recommend ducking into River Street Sweets, home to what are possibly the best pralines on the entire planet.
No matter how full you are from your food tour earlier, yes, it is definitely worth taking a sample of warm, fresh praline if they offer you one!
Depending on how quickly you make your way through this itinerary and what your interests are, you may also want to take a riverboat cruise along the Savannah River at this point!
From sunset cruises to dinner cruises, there are plenty of options.
Book your sunset riverboat cruise in Savannah today!
Day 2 in Savannah: More Food, Boutiques + Ghosts
Kind of a strange item to call out on a Savannah travel itinerary, I know, but trust me–we’ll get to why soon.
Amble up Jones Street and snap plenty of photos.
Frequently hailed as the most beautiful street in America, Jones Street is an absolutely stunning place to snap gorgeous photos of Savannah!
Lined with mature oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, magnificent mansions, cobblestone staircases, and plenty of American flags for a pop of color, Jones Street happens to be one of my favorite places to visit in Savannah.
It doesn’t really matter where you start, but personally, I like starting on the east end and working westward–which also works with the next stop on your weekend in Savannah itinerary!
Get in line for Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room.
Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room is an absolutely legendary Savannah restaurant with–because this is Savannah–some peculiar tidbits that you need to be aware of in order to eat there.
Located on Jones Street, the food at Mrs. Wilkes is all-you-can-eat southern, served family-style at tables of 10-12 people. No reservations allowed.
The dining room is small–hence why you need to get in line!
It’s worth the hassle, though: the food at Mrs. Wilkes is so phenomenal, and the experience itself so much fun, that it absolutely belongs on your 3 days in Savannah itinerary.
Mrs. Wilkes is open from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on weekdays only (so you may need to move this itinerary around a bit to make sure you get there on a weekday).
Meals are $30/person, cash or check only.
It’s best to be in line before 11:00 AM to ensure you get seated quickly, but I promise–the food and experience are worth the hassle!
Check out Chippewa Square.
After all that food, you’re no doubt going to want to get a walk in!
Start by making your way up to Chippewa Square, one of my personal favorite squares in Savannah.
On another corner, you’ll find the beautiful Foley House Inn, famous for being both a lovely place to stay and for finding a skeleton in its wall in the 1980s (it also happens to be one of my favorite places that I’ve personally stayed in Savannah).
Chippewa Square is best known, though, for a different kind of fame entirely: this is the filming location of the bench scenes in Forrest Gump.
While Forrest’s actual bench has been moved to the Savannah History Museum, it’s still definitely worth checking out the spot where filming took place!
Head over to the First African Baptist Church.
This part of your 3 day Savannah itinerary is a bit flexible, because, in order to tour the First African Baptist Church, you’ll need to join a tour, which is currently given at 1:00 PM, Wednesday through Saturday.
I’ve updated those dates and times as of May 2022, but they have changed over the years, so be sure to double-check the current tour dates and times here.
The schedule is absolutely worth working around, though, because the tour is truly phenomenal and an excellent way to learn about a historically black congregation that predates even the USA!
The congregation was founded in 1773 and was primarily built, literally and figuratively, by enslaved people.
The building itself was completed in 1859 (read: two years before the outbreak of the Civil War) and has survived ever since, including through the Civil War, Reconstruction, its time as a stop on the Underground Railroad, and the Civil Rights Movement–just to name a few.
Go boutique hopping on Broughton Street.
Savannah’s premier shopping street is home to some of the best boutiques and restaurants in the city and is a fabulous place for photos, shopping, and snacks.
You’ll see several national and international chains on the street, but the real standouts are the independent boutiques.
You won’t want to miss The Paris Market and Brocante (truly a wild place–don’t miss the basement!) or the Savannah Bee Company (consider stopping for a honey and/or mead tasting).
Broughton Street is also home to Leopold’s Ice Cream, the most famous ice cream parlor in Savannah and arguably one of the best in the world.
Famous for their Tutti Frutti ice cream, the flavors are truly out of this world.
Close out your evening with an epic Savannah ghost tour.
If there’s one thing Savannah does well, it’s ghost tours.
Want a light-hearted ride in a hearse? They’ve got that.
A grisly late-night tour where drinking is recommended and kids are best left at home? Yep, got that too.
Horse and carriage ghost tour? Check. Paranormal activity tour? Check.
Whatever flavor of ghost tour is for you, and whether you’re a true believer or a die-hard skeptic like me, ghost tours in Savannah are a great way to get to know the legends of the city, and I highly recommend adding one to your Savannah weekend itinerary!
If you’re looking for a solid, not-too-corny, not-too-gory Savannah ghost tour, check out this trolley ghost tour!
Prefer a more supernatural bent? Try this popular paranormal activity tour (skeptics welcome)!
For a classic walking ghost tour, this option gets great reviews.
Day 3 in Savannah: History + A Half-Day Trip
Grab breakfast at The Collins Quarter.
You may have already had coffee at The Collins Quarter in Forsyth Park on your first day in Savannah–but if you did, I’m sure you’re eager to repeat the experience!
The Collins Quarter is easily one of the most popular brunch places in Savannah, and for good reason.
Their food, coffee, and atmosphere make for the perfect combination.
If the weather is beautiful, sit outside if you can: the views of trolleys, bikes, cars, and horse-drawn carriages passing by on shady Oglethorpe Avenue make the experience of eating at The Collins Quarter even better.
Also, let me be approximately the 772nd person to recommend the spiced lavender mocha from The Collins Quarter in a Savannah blog post: I generally don’t even like lavender in my food, and this drink is still in the running for the best coffee I’ve ever had in my life.
Seriously. It is that good.
Not a chocolate fan? The Madagascar vanilla latte is a very close second.
Stop by the Colonial Park Cemetery.
Though I wouldn’t consider Colonial Park Cemetery to be the most essential stop on this 3 days in Savannah travel guide, it’s free to visit and doesn’t require going far out of the way in between The Collins Quarter and your next stop, so it’s worth a quick look.
Dating back to 1750, Colonial Park Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Savannah and is most notable for being the final resting place of 700 people who fell victim to the yellow fever epidemic of 1820, who were buried in the cemetery together in a mass grave.
Tour the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters.
The Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters is our top pick for a house museum tour for those looking to peek into the often very dark history of Savannah.
As you can tell from the name (updated in 2018 to specifically include the slave quarters), Owens-Thomas makes a concentrated effort to highlight the enormous amount of labor enslaved people were forced to put into making these antebellum mansions as beautiful and regal as they were, complete with references to primary sources (letters, etc.) whenever possible.
Our tour was very well done, covering both the history of the white families who lived in the home, and the enslaved people who were forced to work there.
The tour also covers other interesting pieces of history, such as the fact that Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette stayed here during the home’s run as a boarding house in the late 18th century.
Depending on time, head over to the Telfair Academy or Jepson Center.
There are a couple of great options on how to spend your final afternoon in Savannah (more on that below), so depending on time, you may want to continue right onto your afternoon adventure.
However, your ticket to the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters also includes entrance to the Telfair Museum, including both the Telfair Academy and the Jepson Center, which make up the oldest art museum in the south.
They’re great additions to this Savannah itinerary depending on time!
Spend the afternoon either on the beach… or in a cemetery.
A beach and a cemetery: talk about two totally different options!
Such is life when visiting Savannah (and yes, if you’re driving yourself and only opt for a quick look at Bonaventure, you can probably squeeze in both).
Here are a few options for how to spend your last afternoon when visiting Savannah!
Option 1: Tybee Island
Though it’s hard to imagine when strolling through the squares, Savannah is located extremely close to delightful sandy beaches!
Tybee Island is just 25 (ish) minutes away from the historic district, and the perfect place to dig your toes into the sand for the afternoon.
While you’re there, you can try to spot some wild dolphins on a tour, climb the lighthouse for a beautiful view, and if you’re so inclined, stop at Fort Pulaski on your way to or from the island.
Option 2: Bonaventure Cemetery
A cemetery may seem like an odd destination for a tourist–but this is Savannah, the land of ghost stories, and Bonaventure is no average cemetery.
Located on a beautiful bluff above the Wilmington River and just a 15-minute drive from the historic district, Bonaventure Cemetery is considered one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the USA.
As you stroll through it, you’ll notice that in places it looks more like a sprawling sculpture garden with a rooftop of Spanish moss dangling from the many oak trees than a modern cemetery.
As you wander through, you’ll likely also notice plenty of names that are familiar to you after spending 3 days in Savannah, including that of six-year-old Gracie Watson, one of Savannah’s most beloved ghosts.
You can explore independently, but the cemetery is very large and overwhelming–if you want to find the most relevant and interesting places quickly, this is a great place for a guided tour.
Book your tour of Bonaventure Cemetery today!
Option 3: Stay in Savannah
Don’t have a car or just aren’t done with the city?
No worries: there is plenty more to do in Savannah!
Consider touring the Andrew Low House (birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts), visiting the birthplace of Flannery O’Connor, taking a riverboat cruise if you haven’t already, perusing art at shopSCAD, or simply continuing to enjoy Savannah’s many town squares, shops, and small museums as you stumble across them!
We have a full (read: gigantic) Savannah bucket list here if you want to peruse for some hidden gems!
Say goodbye to Savannah with a phenomenal meal at The Olde Pink House.
There are plenty of restaurants that would qualify as an epic final meal in Savannah (and that are also, let’s be real, a bit of a splurge on the wallet): The Grey, Elizabeth’s on 37th, Vic’s on the River, Husk, Alligator Soul, and plenty more would qualify.
But, I have to admit, I have a soft spot for The Olde Pink House and think it makes the perfect final addition to this long weekend in Savannah travel guide.
The Olde Pink House serves up impeccable classic southern food in a gorgeous mansion, the atmosphere is magnificent no matter where you sit (I’ve eaten both downstairs and up in the ballroom), and the service is wonderful.
You’ll want to make reservations a few days in advance, especially if you want to sit in a specific area, and take it from me (and Food Network): you should definitely start with the BLT salad served with fried green tomatoes.
Where to Stay for a Long Weekend in Savannah
There’s only one place to consider staying when in Savannah: in the historic district (or at least as close to it as you can get).
Forget downtown–it’s a lovely place, but miles away from the tourist attractions that will fill up your 3 days in Savannah.
Stick with the historic district, and you’ll be able to walk to most of the stops on this Savannah itinerary.
From a haunted bed and breakfast to a modern hotel, here are some highly recommended places to stay in Savannah!
Unlike some of our city guides, these Savannah hotels are a bit closer in price than you might think.
Savannah has a shortage of extreme budget properties like hostels, but historical bed and breakfasts can be an excellent value for the experience you receive.
We’ve also included a stunning apartment rental that we’ve personally stayed in and can highly recommend!
Best Western Savannah Historic District — If you’re looking to stick to a budget during your weekend in Savannah while still being in a walkable area, the Best Western Savannah Historic District is the perfect spot for you!
Featuring parking onsite, an included breakfast, and easy access by foot to all the historic district highlights, we were completely satisfied with our stay in this hotel and would be happy to stay again if we were looking for something with a similar budget!
The Marshall House — Located on trendy Broughton Street (and dangerously close to Leopold’s Ice Cream), the gorgeous Marshall House is a fantastic option for those looking to stay in a historical inn in Savannah while sticking to a reasonable budget.
Featuring a popular included breakfast, a fantastic location in the heart of Savannah’s historic district, and phenomenal reviews, you can’t go wrong with a stay at The Marshall House!
Foley House Inn — Easily my favorite hotel that I’ve stayed in while in Savannah, the Foley House Inn is absolutely beautiful inside and out, and has a perfect location right on Chippewa Square.
The included breakfast is delicious (as are the included afternoon treats–don’t miss the lemon pound cake!), the service excellent, and the decor absolutely gorgeous.
Though there isn’t parking onsite, street parking is plentiful and easy to find.
I’d be thrilled to stay here again–even if it is potentially haunted (the Foley House Inn is featured in many of Savannah’s ghost tours!).
Bird Baldwin Parlor — Housed in the historic Bird Baldwin House (built in 1838), this apartment is both absolutely beautiful and incredibly well-located.
Located on Liberty Street just steps away from Pulaski Square and Savannah Coffee Roasters, you can’t ask for a better location in a Savannah apartment.
The apartment has a full kitchen–perfect for cooking or, let’s be honest, leftovers–and onsite, off-street parking, a huge convenience in the historic center.
There is some street noise from Liberty Street, but we didn’t find it too bothersome and would love to stay here again!
If the parlor is booked, the Bird Baldwin House does also have several other beautiful spaces available, including the Magnolia Suite, Forsyth Suite, and Twelve Oaks, among others, but be sure to check the inclusions–not all of them have kitchens.
Getting Around During This 3 Day Savannah Itinerary
We’ve intentionally designed this Savannah weekend guide to be extremely walkable.
If you are comfortable walking throughout the day and choose a well-located hotel in the historic district, you can easily avoid driving during your entire Savannah vacation, with the exception of the afternoon that you leave town to visit Bonaventure or Tybee Island.
If you are flying into Savannah and would like to avoid renting a car, you absolutely can!
If you fly into the Savannah/Hilton Head airport and grab an Uber into town, you can spend an amazing long weekend in Savannah without a car–for the afternoon trip out of town, you can either join a tour, hire an Uber, or simply skip it and hang out in Savannah’s historic district longer–there’s certainly plenty to do!
Savannah is one of the most walkable cities in the USA, and that is one of its many charms.
However, if you’d like to rest your feet, the free Dot Express Shuttle runs throughout the historic center of Savannah.
Hoping for more of a tour experience as you zip around town?
For those who would like to limit their walking a bit more, Savannah’s Hop On/Hop Off Old Town Trolley tour is the perfect solution and an easy way to get around during your 3 days in Savannah.
Grab tickets for Savannah’s hop on/hop off trolley tour today!
When to Visit Savannah GA
Personally, I would never turn down a trip to Savannah, so if you only have one time available, go whenever it is!
If you have more flexibility on your dates, though, here’s what we suggest: avoid the worst heat of the summer in July and August, and unless you’re coming for the raucous party, avoid the week of St. Patrick’s Day as well (Savannah throws the second-largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the USA, right behind NYC).
Savannah summers are intense and very humid, and they tend to start early and stick around for a long time.
Late March, April, and May are excellent months to visit Savannah, as the flowers will bloom and the heat will (hopefully) not have set in yet.
September through November are also popular, though depending on the year it can be getting chilly by the end of November.
Useful Savannah Travel Tips
Sleep in a bit.
Waking up early to avoid the crowds and make the most of your day is common travel advice for a good reason–but it doesn’t work for Savannah!
Good luck finding anything but breakfast restaurants and coffee shops open before 10:00 AM here!
All the more reason to relax and enjoy the opportunity to sample life at a leisurely pace.
Pick up a paper map before you get started exploring.
We love using Google maps on our phones, but honestly, in Savannah, it’s often easier to orient yourself with a paper tourist map!
We’ve found ourselves turning to ours frequently on our last couple of trips.
You can pick them up just about anywhere–tourist offices, hotels, restaurants, etc, frequently have a stack.
Consider reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil before you go.
Told in the form of a nonfiction novel, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a book that is practically synonymous with Savannah travel, and you’ll see it for sale absolutely everywhere in the city.
The book features Savannah itself as a main character, which is a large reason for its fame and popularity, but the actual plot revolves around the 1981 murder of Danny Hansford that took place in the Mercer Williams house.
It’s a compelling read (and though this is a Savannah blog post, it’s also worth mentioning that if you enjoy Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, you’ll likely enjoy The City of Falling Angels from the same author as well, which uses a similar writing style to tell the story of an arson in Venice).
Big fan of the book and/or movie?
Book this popular tour focused entirely around Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil!
Go slow–wandering is half the fun.
We covered a lot of ground in this 3 day Savannah itinerary, but even with checking off all the places to visit in Savannah mentioned here, you’ll still have plenty of time to wander around!
With some of the loveliest architecture in the USA and 22 town squares to explore, even checking out every square in the historic district generally won’t be accomplished on a long weekend in Savannah.
But, this is a city that no doubt will always leave you curious about what’s around the next corner.
Leave plenty of time for food.
Eating delicious, delectable southern cuisine is absolutely a highlight of sightseeing in Savannah.
Some of Savannah’s most popular tourist attractions are restaurants and candy shops!
The food is a huge draw for those visiting Savannah, and because of that, we recommend planning long periods for meals and planning where to eat in advance.
In a city packed with delicious food, you don’t want to accidentally waste a meal on a dud.
… and consider splitting some meals.
If you’re not traveling alone, Savannah is the perfect city to split meals with your travel companions.
Portions tend toward being ridiculously big, and you’ll definitely want to leave room to sample appetizers and desserts as well.
Basically, the more dishes you get to sample, the better.
Decide in advance which house museums are right for you.
Savannah is absolutely full of house museums–basically, mansions-turned-museums that tell the stories of different aspects of the city.
Each one has a vibe and a focus all its own, so it’s especially important to match what kind of tourism you’re looking for to the house you visit to avoid disappointment.
We included this Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters in this long weekend in Savannah itinerary, specifically because it does an excellent job at highlighting just how much labor enslaved people put into maintaining these illustrious homes.
Different homes focus on different topics, though, and depending on your interests, you might also like to visit the Mercer-Williams House (of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil fame, though since the sister of the man accused of the murder owns the house, you won’t hear a thing about it on the tour!), the Andrew Low House (birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts of America), the Davenport House (the first Savannah mansion to be restored), or the Sorrel-Weed House (often considered to be haunted and the focus of several ghost stories).
You can definitely squeeze a couple of house museum tours into 3 days in Savannah, so feel free to pick and choose your favorites!