23 Free and Cheap Things to do in Savannah, Georgia
Looking for free and cheap things to do in Savannah, Georgia to keep your vacation on budget? We've got 20 suggestions that even the pickiest people in your group will enjoy!
Savannah is one of the most beautiful towns in the country. If you haven’t been before, you’re in for a treat! With art, history, delicious food scene, beaches, and more, you’re sure to stay busy for as long as your visit lasts. While there’s plenty of paid activities that could quickly run your budget up, there are plenty of family friendly activities that are free or cheap in town.
While this blogpost is focusing strictly on free and cheap things to do in Savannah, Georgia, we have another blog post that serves as a better overview of the city complete information about getting to Savannah, where to stay, and more. To check it out click HERE.
Like this post? Share or save it for later using the images below!
Notes about Visiting Savannah
A couple of other things to budget for:
Most parking in town isn’t free. There are plenty of city run parking garages as well as street parking, but most of those are going to cost you. Parking is much cheaper than major cities, but it’s not free. There are certain streets throughout town that offer free parallel parking on the street after business hours (usually after 5:00pm), but those are pretty hit or miss so keep your eyes peeled and be sure to read street signs that list any rules or restrictions.
Hotels and food are obviously not listed here in our “free and cheap” guide. If you’re looking for suggestions of places to stay in Savannah, check out our post “Complete Guide to Savannah, Georgia” HERE.
Year Round Free and Cheap Things to do in Savannah, Georgia
Visitor Center (FREE)
I know this doesn’t sound exciting, but stick with me. We always recommend starting any trip at the local visitor center for a couple of reasons. Grab some brochures (sometimes coupons are available for area attractions, too!) and talk to the locals at the counter who likely have the inside scoop of what’s good in town. The Savannah Visitor Center is also home to free exhibits that give a brief overview of the city’s history making it a great introduction to your time in Savannah.
Tybee Island is located just 25 minutes east of downtown Savannah and is the perfect place to spend a relaxing day in the sun. Grab your sunscreen and swimsuit and get out there! While you’re on the island we recommend checking out the Tybee Beach Pier (FREE) at the southern end, and the Tybee Island Lighthouse at the north end of the island (lighthouse is not free, see below). If you're traveling on a budget, time on Tybee Island is one of the best cheap things to do in Savannah, Georgia!
Standing at 145 feet tall, the Tybee Island Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in the state of Georgia. With history stretching back to 1736, the grounds the lighthouse is on still hosts the cottages of the three lighthouse keepers, as well as the Tybee Island Museum housed in the 1899 Military Battery. “Tickets include admission to the complete Light Station, a Tybee Raised Cottage, and the Tybee Museum in Battery Garland” (source).
Admission Adults: $10 Seniors (62+): $8 Children (6-17): $8 Children (5 and under): Free Groups (10 people or more) with a reservation: $8 Military (Must present ID): $8 Coast Guard (Must present ID): FREE
River Street (FREE)
Historic River Street is exactly what it sounds: a street along the Savannah River. This cobblestone street has a pedestrian pathway directly next to the water which is the perfect place to take a stroll anytime of day. Along the southern side of the street you’ll find shops and galleries in the Riverfront Plaza. Frequently you’ll find live music and street fairs along River Street adding to the ever changing scene of bustling activity. This is very much a touristy site, so if you’re not big on crowds, try and visit early in the morning at sunrise which, by the way, is beautiful to see rising over the Savannah River.
Directions to get there via Google Maps can be found HERE.
While praised for their spring roses, Savannah Botanical Gardens are beautiful anytime of year. If you’re looking for a quiet afternoon, be sure to stop by and enjoy the beauty of the Savannah Botanical Gardens.
Forsyth Park is undeniably the prettiest place in Savannah, Georgia. With impressive fountains, Spanish Moss covered oak trees lining wide sidewalks along beautiful green lawns, this iconic park is the perfect place to spend a relaxing day (or days if you’re like us). Every time we’re in Savannah we gravitate towards Forsyth as the perfect place to unwind and relax outdoors for a while.
NOTE: Savannah gets very hot and very humid in the summer months, and the shaded parks in town like Forsyth are the perfect place to dodge the harsh heat.
If you’re planning on spending an extended period of time in Forsyth park, or you’re just looking for an iced latte to cool off with during your walk, stop by Collins Quarter location in the park. This Australian inspired cafe is open daily from 9:00am-3:00pm and serves a menu of brunch dishes, various espresso and tea drinks, as well as wine and beer.
If you’re going to be in town on a Saturday, we highly recommend combining your trip to Forsyth Park on a Saturday during the year around Forsyth Farmers Market. Personally, we love finding a good farmers market when we travel! It’s a great way to get a feel for the city, meet some of the locals while also supporting the local economy. Grab some fresh produce or some coffee from Perc and enjoy a stroll from the park.
Hours Saturdays 9:00am-1:00pm
One of the most interesting things about Savannah is it’s history. If you’re a history buff, or you’re just looking for somewhere interesting to take a walk, try stopping by one of Savannah’s famous cemeteries. We recommend visiting either Bonaventure Cemetery or Colonial Park Cemetery.
Walk Jones Street (FREE)
One of my favorite things about Savannah is the beautiful historic homes along the oak and spanish moss lined streets. Jones Street is the most famous of all the historic neighborhoods with colorful, unique homes lining the brick sidewalks for several blocks.
NOTE: Be careful walking the sidewalks! With historic streets comes uneven sidewalks so watch your step!
Enjoy the 24 City Squares (FREE)
In the original plans for the city of Savannah were 24 city squares/parks. Of those 24, 22 still remain today and are beloved by both locals and tourists alike. While there are lots of streets that touch the park's perimeters, I recommend walking Johnson Square south down Bull Street until you reach Forsyth Park. Walk the city squares is a must on our list of cheap things to do in Savannah, Georgia!
Note: If you plan on taking a walk down Jones Street, keep in mind that Jones Street and Bull Street intersect HERE so it might be worth your time to combine these two activities.
Did you know that Savannah is home to one of the most prestigious art schools in the world? SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) sprawls all across the city and gives the entire town a young, vibrant flare you might not expect in a southern, historic city. On top of a regular list of scheduled events the school hosts throughout the city, SCAD also has its own art museum which is well worth a visit. While it’s not free, they do have a wonderful collection of art including rotating exhibits and admission is affordable placing it on this list of cheap things to do in Savannah.
Admission General Admission: $10 Senior/Military: $8 College and High School Students : $5 Family (three or more): $20 SCAD alumni: $5
Kayak the Intracoastal Waterways
While the ocean is beautiful, the intracoastal waterways are one of the things that makes this region of the country so unique. We love renting kayaks and recommend renting through Moon River Kayak Tours. Located just 14 minutes from downtown Savannah, Moon River offers guided kayak tours as well as rentals intended for people who would rather navigate the intracoastal on their own.
Visit their website HERE for more details regarding pricing and availability.
Historic Churches (FREE)
Savannah has a number of historic churches, but the most famous would be Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. This beautiful church allows self-guided tours Monday-Saturday except during mass or other religious events. Docent-led tours are also available but you must call and schedule those in advance ((912) 233-4709). Both the self-guided tours and the docent-led tours are free.
Like much of the south, Savannah is steeped in Civil War history. Fort Pulaski National Monument stands as one of Savannah’s best preserved civil war landmarks. While there is an admission cost to the monument, it is free if you have an America the Beautiful Pass. At the Fort you can find guided tours, bird watching, and walking trails including the McQueen Island Rails to Trails (see below).
I mentioned this just above when talking about Fort Pulaski, but it’s worth giving the trail it’s own mention because it’s truly a gem! Standing at 6 miles in length, this packed travel trail is great for walking, running, or cycling. While the trail is accessible from Fort Pulaski, the trail itself is free to use.
Admission Adults: $8 Students/active military: $6 Children (12 and under): free, excluding groups
Self-Guided Walking Tour (FREE)
Self-guided walking tours are a wonderful option for every vacation, regardless of whether you’re on a budget or not. We typically prefer self-guided to a group tour because of the freedom to change your route, linger longer at your favorite stops, or take a coffee/food break along the way. For a free self-guided walking tour itinerary we recommend checking out Free Tours By Foot HERE.
Located directly across from the Savannah Visitor Center, the Tricentennial Park consists of three museums and Battlefield Memorial Park. While the museums aren’t free, the battlefield is available for guests to enjoy without the cost of admission. We recommend reading about the Battle of Savannah before walking through the park. The three museums onsite include the Savannah History Museum, Georgia State Railroad Museum, and the Savannah Children’s Museum.
Wormsloe might be the most famous plantation in the country. With it’s oak and Spanish moss lined driveway, this place is enough to take your breath away! The property contains the oldest standing structures in Savannah, and while it’s not free to drive the driveway or explore the property, it’s well worth the cost of admission (one of the most worthwhile cheap things to do in Savannah). It should also be noted that if all you want is to catch a glimpse of the famous driveway, there is a parking area at the entrance of the property where you can hop out and grab a picture for free.
EVENTS & SEASONAL free and cheap things to do in Savannah, Georgia
Savannah Bananas Baseball Game
While the Savannah Bananas are a newer team, they instantly gained national recognition not just for their success as a skilled baseball team, but largely for the experience visitors have while watching a game. This city loves their baseball team and spending an afternoon or evening at Grayson Stadium is one of the best ways to enjoy the summer months. You can check their schedule HERE and purchase tickets to a game HERE. A Savannah Bananas game is one of the absolute best cheap things to do in Savannah!
SCAD Sidewalk Arts Festival
(Usually held the end of April, CANCELLED FOR 2020 DUE TO COVID-19)
Every spring the students and faculty of the Savannah College of Art and Design take to the sidewalks of Forsyth Park and turn them into works of art. The event is free to attend and is a wonderful way to enjoy the warmer, sunnier days of spring.
Did you know that Savannah is home to the second largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the country? It’s true. If parades and parties are your thing, this event might be right up your alley. Because this is such a popular week to visit the city, you’ll want to make your reservations early.
Every September the Coastal Jazz Association puts on a week long FREE music festival in Savannah. This event attracts some of the most talented jazz musicians in the world and is open to all to attend. For more information you can visit their website HERE.
As you can see, Savannah is rich in culture and history and offers a little something for everyone! There are plenty of free and cheap things to do in Savannah, Georgia and we hope this list helps you keep your budget in check and your wallet happy during your vacation!
If you’ve been to Savannah before and you have a suggestion you think we should add to our list of free and cheap things to do in Savannah, drop it in the comments below. Have a wonderful trip, y’all!
Looking for more travel help and inspiration? Visit us over on Pinterest!
Throughout our website you’ll find affiliate links for various products and services. Affiliate links are a way for us to earn a small commission when you purchase through our links at no additional cost to you. For more information about what affiliate links are or want to know why we use affiliate links, you can read more over at our affiliate page HERE.
We're Chris and Sara
A creative husband and wife duo from a small-town in Tennessee with passion for all things travel. Checkout the links below to join us on our past, present, and future adventures!