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 which you can find here: Savannah, Georgia: What to know before you go
A couple of other things to budget for:
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.
Hours: Everyday 9:00am-5:30pm
How to get there: 303 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Savannah, GA | Google Maps
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!
How to get there: Google Maps
Standing at 145 feet tall, the Tybee Island Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in the state of Georgia and a wonderful option to add to your list of things to do in Savannah. 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).
Monday: 9am - 5:30pm
Wednesday: 9am - 5:30pm
Thursday: 9am - 5:30pm
Friday: 9am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 9am - 5:30pm
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
How to get there: 30 Meddin Dr, Tybee Island, GA | Google Maps
Historic River Street is exactly what it sounds: a historic street along the Savannah River. It's also one of those must-dos on our list for things to do in Savannah. 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.
How to get there: River St, Savannah, GA | Google Maps
While praised for their spring roses, Savannah Botanical Gardens are beautiful anytime of year. If you’re looking for a quiet afternoon activity to add to your list of things to do in Savannah, be sure to stop by and enjoy the beauty of the Savannah Botanical Gardens.
Monday - Saturday: 8:00am-8:00pm
How to get there: 1388 Eisenhower Dr, Savannah, GA | Google Maps
Forsyth Park is undeniably the prettiest place in Savannah, Georgia and should have been listed at the top of this things to do in Savannah, Georgia list. 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.
How to get there: 2 W Gaston St, Savannah, GA | Google Maps
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
How to get there: 13 E Park Ave, Savannah, GA | Google Maps
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. Even if a cemetery tour doesn't interest you, you should still include something historic on your things to do in Savannah itinerary.
How to get to Bonaventure Cemetery: 330 Bonaventure Rd, Thunderbolt, GA | Google Maps
How to get to Colonial Park Cemetery: 200 Abercorn St, Savannah, GA | Google Maps
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. Bonus: Jones Street makes for a great photo opportunity. Really any of the streets around Jones Street are great options for a casual (and historic) walk for your things to do in Savannah plans.
NOTE: Be careful walking the sidewalks! With historic streets comes uneven sidewalks so watch your step!
How to get there: Jones Street, Savannah, GA | Google Maps
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 (Google Maps link to intersection) so it might be worth your time to combine these two activities.
Johnson Square to Forsyth Park route: Google Maps
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, Savannah is also home to their art museum, the SCAD Museum of Art, 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. It's a great place to cool off in the AC and a way to support the local art scene.
General Admission: $10
College and High School Students : $5
Family (three or more): $20
SCAD alumni: $5
How to get there: 601 Turner Blvd, Savannah, GA | Google Maps
While the ocean is beautiful, the intracoastal waterways are one of the things that makes this region of the country so unique. Hitting the water is one of our favorite things to do in Savannah, and we 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.
How to get there: 25 Diamond Causeway, Savannah, GA | Google Maps
Savannah has a number of historic churches, but the most famous would be Cathedral Basilica 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.
How to get to Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist: 222 E Harris St, Savannah, GA | Google Maps
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).
Visitor Center: 9:00am-4:30pm
General admission (16 and over): $10
*Free if you have the America the Beautiful Pass.
I mentioned this just above when talking about Fort Pulaski, but McQueen Island Rails to Trails is worth mentioning separately 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. We're always looking for things to do in Savannah, Georgia that get us moving because we tend to eat a lot of good southern food when we're in town. ;)
How to get here: Google Maps
American novelist and short story writer, Flannery O’Connor was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia. Reading enthusiasts and history buffs can visit Flannery O'Connor's childhood home.
Friday - Wednesday 1:00pm-4:00pm
Students/active military: $6
Children (12 and under): free, excluding groups
How to get there: 207 E Charlton St, Savannah, GA 31401 | Google Maps
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 these Free Tours By Foot. Savannah is a relatively small town and you can often walk between the different things to do in Savannah and can take in a walking tour getting from one activity on this list to another.
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. If you have children traveling with you, the kids museum is one of the best things to do in Savannah.
How to get there: MLK Jr Blvd @, Louisville Rd, Savannah, GA | Google Maps
Wormsloe State Historic Site 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.
Monday - Sunday 9:00am-5:00pm
Adults (18–61): $10.00
Seniors (62+): $9.00
Youth (6–17): $4.50
Children (under 6): $2.00
How to get there: 7601 Skidaway Rd, Savannah, GA | Google Maps
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!
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. It's definitely one of the best things to do in Savannah in April.
The 2023 SCAD Sidewalk Arts Festival event will be held April 22.
How to get there: 2 W Gaston St, Savannah, GA | Google Maps
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.
Be sure to check the latest information for the Savannah St. Patrick's Day celebration on the official website.
Every September the Coastal Jazz Association puts on a week long FREE music festival in Savannah call the Savannah Jazz Festival. This event attracts some of the most talented jazz musicians in the world and is open to all to attend. This is one event I would plan my trip to south Georgia for because it's such a fun event and one of the best things to do in Savannah, Georgia.
As you can see, Savannah, Georgia 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!