Savannah in 3 Days: a guidebook for getting the most out of your visit

If you are visiting Savannah in 3 days, read this travel itinerary with the best things to do in the famous Georgia city.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

10 min read

Savannah in 3 Days: a guidebook for getting the most out of your visit

Paseo de palmeras |©Brandon Dolley

There are many things to see and do in Savannah in 3 days, from boating on the river to a ghost tour of the mysterious Bonaventure Cemetery. During your visit you can also sample the specialties of some of Savannah's best restaurants and get an in-depth look at the history of the most famous city in the state of Georgia.

Day 1: Trolley and boat ride and tour of Bonaventure Cemetery

Savannah boat ride|©faungg's photos
Savannah boat ride|©faungg's photos

For your second day in Georgia, you will tour the city by both land and sea. You'll take a nice ride on the historic trolley and enjoy the views from the river aboard a boat. As if that weren't enough, you'll visit Bonaventure Cemetery, a place steeped in history and unparalleled beauty.

Historical tour of Savannah by land and sea

The second day will be mostly dedicated to one of the best activities you can do in the city of Savannah. This is a historic tour by both trolley and boat. First, you'll board Savannah's famous historic trolley car. During a 90-minute ride on wheels, you will see the main sights of the city.

For example, you will see the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and Savannah's historic district, which is notable for its perfectly linear construction with more than 20 squares. After the streetcar tour of the city, you will board the Savannah Riverboat and cruise the river. In this second part of the tour, you will visit Old Fort Jackson, a restored 19th century fort, where the Fort Jackson Maritime Museum is located today.

You will also see River Street, a collection of buildings that were once cotton warehouses and today house antique stores, boutiques, art galleries, breweries and nightclubs. This two-part tour lasts approximately 5 hours and includes transportation to your hotel or anywhere else in Savannah.

Since it will take up the entire morning and early afternoon, I recommend that you bring some snacks or lunch for lunch during the tour. Keep in mind that the restaurants will have closed their kitchens by the time you return from your tour. So, don't forget your camera and your lunch.

Book a historic land and sea tour in Savannah

Bonaventure Cemetery

Bonaventure Cemetery is one of the must-see places on your visit to Savannah. You'll have to drive, as it's located just outside the city, more than an hour and a half walk away. If you go by car, it will take you less than 15 minutes to reach your destination. If you do not have your own vehicle, you can also go by bus. You have two options: take the 10 at Oglethorpe & Jefferson EB or take the 31 at Liberty & Whitaker EB.

Bonaventure Cemetery is a beautiful place that looks like something out of a movie. In fact, it is among the most beautiful cemeteries in the world. You can stroll through its gardens with stunning oak trees and beautiful sculptures. Originally, this place was a plantation owned by a British colonel named John Mullryne. However, with the War of Independence, the plantation was turned into a hospital for the French troops.

In 1907, Bonaventure became the cemetery it is today. It is considered one of the most haunted places in Savannah, a city famous for its paranormal occurrences. If you are a fan of this subject, I definitely recommend a group tour of the cemetery.

The tour is one of the best ghost tours in Savannah. It lasts approximately two and a half hours and is led by Shannon Scott, a specialist in the mysteries surrounding Bonaventure Cemetery.

Book a group tour of Bonaventure Cemetery

Day 2: See the best museums in Savannah

Railroads at the museum|©Craig Brown
Railroads at the museum|©Craig Brown

The first day of your visit to Savannah will be spent among Savannah's best museums, from history museums to children's museums. You'll also dine in true American style and enjoy fine dining at one of the city's best restaurants.

Savannah History Museum

The Savannah History Museum is located on Martin Luther King Jr. Street inside the Roundhouse Railroad Museum. This is the most complete pre-war railroad station in the United States.

At the History Museum you can see several permanent exhibits that tell the story of the past of this famous Georgia city. You will be able to see the geographic origin of the city and hear the stories of the main founders and important people who made Savannah what it is today.

The museum also shows a short film that summarizes the history of the city and its major historical milestones. In addition to all of the above, the Savannah History Museum is home to the bench featured in the famous movie Forrest Gump.

Roundhouse Railroad Museum

The Georgia State Railroad Museum, formerly the Roundhouse Railroad Museum, is located in a historic district of the city, adjacent to the Savannah History Museum. The complex in which it is located dates from 1853, just before the outbreak of the American Civil War. The buildings that comprise it were declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976.

To this day, places such as the machine shop, blacksmith shop and boiler shop are still present, as well as the sheds and carpenter store. Most of these places are open to the public, although there are some that are not accessible.

This place is a prime example of Victorian railroad design and has exhibits of antique machinery, period locomotives and miniature trains. You will also see the oldest portable steam engine in the United States. After this visit you're sure to want to take one of the best trolley tours of Savannah.

Savannah Children's Museum

If you are going with the whole family to Savannah, you must visit the Children's Museum. This is one of the best things to do with kids in Savannah. It is an educational activity center where children can have fun and learn at the same time. The museum is outdoors, so it is one of the best things to do in Savannah in May, since you will be able to take advantage of the good weather in the city during this month.

All the exhibits that the museum has are made to explore the creativity of the little ones. Here, kids will find everything from slides and orchards to mazes. Since it is located in the historic center of the city, you can easily reach it from any of the historical and tourist attractions. The Savannah Children's Museum is open Monday through Saturday during the summer months. In the winter, hours are Wednesday through Sunday.

Lunch at Crystal Beer Parlor

Just an 8-minute walk from the Children's Museum is one of Savannah's best restaurants, the Crystal Beer Parlor. This place is among the top ten restaurants in the city, and has both an indoor area and an outdoor terrace. Before you go, you should take into account that the restaurant is closed on Mondays. As you can guess from its name, the house specialty is beer.

In fact, The Crystal Beer Parlor was one of the first establishments to sell alcohol after the repeal of Prohibition. On the walls of the restaurant you will see some of the city's most famous citizens. The interior and decor of the place have been minimally altered so that the aesthetics remain the same as they were at the time.

Here you can eat fried green tomatoes, blue cheese fries, the typical American onion rings, chicken wings or one of the house specialties: creamy crab stew.

SCAD Museum

SCAD Museum sculpture|©Pedro Vit
SCAD Museum sculpture|©Pedro Vit

A 6-minute walk from the restaurant is the Savannah Museum of Art: the SCAD Savannah. This is a relatively new venue, founded in 2002. It is part of the Savannah College of Art and Design and was formerly known as the Earle W. Newton Center. Newton Center. The museum has an exhibition of more than 4,500 pieces. Among them you can see all kinds of works of art, from sculptures, to paintings, drawings, photographs or haute couture garments.

In addition, a part of the museum is dedicated to African American culture, which tries to highlight the art and literature of this culture. The SCAD Museum has a 250-seat theater, an outdoor projection screen, a tactile orientation table and a cafeteria where you can have a drink. As if that weren't enough, the building in which the museum is located is also worth seeing. It is a Greek Revival-inspired building dating back to 1856.

Green-Meldrim House

The Green-Meldrim House is an 8-minute walk from your previous stop and is one of the finest examples of neo-Gothic architecture in the southern United States. The building dates from 1850 and is named for being the home of Sir Charles Green, a British army officer who became general officer commanding the Northern District.

The historical significance of this house lies in the year 1864, specifically in the month of December, when Sir Charles Green, gave up his house as headquarters before the occupation of the federal army in Savannah.

Thus, it was from the Green-Meldrim house that the well-known telegram was sent in which General William Tecumseh Sherman offered President Lincoln the city of Savannah as a Christmas gift. Thus, this place was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976.

Today, it belongs to St. John's Church and is occupied as a parsonage. The house is located in Madison Square and can be visited on Tuesdays and Fridays, except on some dates for special celebrations that you can check on their website, with hours from 10 am to 4 pm, so I recommend you to visit it right after lunch.

Telfair Academy

A 10-minute walk from the Green-Meldrim house is the Telfair Academy. Neoclassical in style, this imposing two-story mansion dates from 1819 and was designed by William Jay. At the Telfair Academy you will find two period rooms from the 19th century and an exhibition of both American and European art from that period, where you can see everything from paintings to decorative arts.

The house is located in the same place where the colonial government house was, which was the residence of the royal governor James Wright. It receives this name because it was designed for Alexander Telfair, a Scottish merchant who had a great fortune. It was in 1875, when the heiress of the family fortune, Alexander Telfair's sister, donated the house to the Georgia Historical Society to become a museum.

It was at this time that architect Augustus Schwab remodeled the building and added an addition for the art collection. Thus, the Telfair Academy is considered the oldest public art museum in the southern United States and the first museum in the country founded by a woman.

Dine at one of Savannah's finest restaurants

The 45 Bistro is located at 123 Broughton Savannah Street, an 8-minute walk from your previous stop. It has a bar area and a dining area. Dining hours are Monday through Thursday from 6:00 to 9:30 and Friday and Saturday from 6:00 to 10:30.

Since it is one of the best restaurants in the city and is usually in high demand, I recommend that you book in advance. The restaurant is located in a historic Savannah home, The Marshall House.

The building was built in 1852, but was renovated in 1999 to improve the quality of the facilities without losing its original essence. Currently, in addition to being a restaurant, the 45 Bistro is known as an event venue. Among its dishes, I can highlight the Georgia wild shrimp with local stone ground grits and crispy onion rings. You can also opt for the tuna or veal carpaccio; as well as the wild mushroom risotto, the gorgonzola fries or the black Angus filet mignon.

Day 3: visit Wormsloe and tours of the historic squares

Wormsloe|©Jeff Sents
Wormsloe|©Jeff Sents

On your third and final day in Savannah, you will travel to the old Wormsloe Plantation, a place of great importance in American history. You will stop for lunch at one of Georgia's most famous chain restaurants and walk along its perfectly linear streets in search of its most famous squares.

Get to know Wormsloe

Wormsloe is a former plantation located just outside of Savannah, about a 20-minute drive from the historic downtown. If you want to go by bus, it will take you about an hour to reach your destination. You can take either the 31, 4 or 28 bus, depending on where you are in the city.

Wormsloe covers a total of 822 acres, which equals about 330 hectares. At the time, this place was owned by one of the founders of Georgia: Noble Jones. You will be amazed by the avenue with tall oak trees and the ruins of the old house that remain today. You can also see the museum, which depicts the daily life of the colonial era, so you can imagine what the plantation was like at the time.

Lunch on the way to your next stop

When you take the car on the way to your next destination, I recommend a stop at a Chick-fil-A, a fast-food restaurant chain founded in Georgia. Their specialty is the chicken sandwich with two pickles on a toasted butter bun, and you should definitely order it during your visit.

The Chick-fil-A restaurant I recommend along the way is located on Victory Drive Shopping Plaza, a 10-minute drive from Wormsloe.

Touring Savannah's Historic Squares

Just a ten-minute walk from the restaurant is Pulaski Square. This is one of 22 squares that make up Savannah's historic district. It is named after Count Casmir Pulaski, a Polish Revolutionary War hero. The reason I recommend the place is its beautiful oak tree, which is one of the most beautiful in the city.

Next to Pulaski Square is Madison Square, named in honor of U.S. President James Madison. In the square you will find old cannons from the former Savannah Armory. It is famous for its haunted and ghostly history, so it is perfect for you if you are a big fan of paranormal happenings. Since the square has multiple restaurants, I recommend you sit down for a coffee and rest at one of them.

Afterwards, walk in search of Lafayette Square, home to the charming Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and the Semiquincentenary Fountain. From there, you will go to Calhoun Square. Nearby, you will see many restaurants, stop at one of them to end your trip on a high note.

As you have seen, there are many things to do in Savannah in 3 days. Although it is a short period of time for a trip to the city, if you know how to organize yourself well, you will be able to make the most of your days of visit. In case you stay a little longer in the city, you can always look for more options of the most fun things to do in Savannah.