Looking for cheap and free things to do in Savannah, Georgia? We’ve got you covered! We have over 20 ways to see Savannah on a budget.
Cheap And Free Things To Do In Savannah
We were very excited to finally be heading to Savannah! We had only ever driven through, so this was our chance to finally explore the city that we’d heard so much about. But, of course, we’re always trying to be careful with our spending. We started researching free things to do and things that weren’t too expensive. Luckily, we didn’t have to pay for accommodation since we were house sitting.
Because we were in Savannah just over a week, we managed to do quiet a bit of stuff. We’ve now put this list together of cheap and free things to do in Savannah so that it can help you during your next visit. If you only have a few days, go through the list and see which attractions you’re most interested in.
Free Things To Do In Savannah
Below are the best free things to do in Savannah:
Free Walking Tour
One of the best free things to do in Savannah is take a walking tour. Free Savannah Walking Tours offers visitors 90-minute tours through Savannah’s historic district. We thought it was a great way to get a layout of the area and figure out what we wanted to revisit later on.
Our guide Joe was great. He really knew his stuff and you could tell he was passionate about the city and its history. As we walked and he told us stories, Joe also pointed out favorite restaurants and offered tips.
Two tours are offered daily; one at 10:30 AM and one at 1 PM. We recommend the morning one because it does get hot. We were given a a quick break to head into a shop to get water and use the restroom, but you should definitely bring your own water as well.
Keep in mind that although this is a free walking tour, guides work off tips so have cash with you. When you reserve your tour online, there is also a $2.85 fee.
Without a doubt, Forsyth Park is Savannah’s most beautiful public park. And it’s free to visit! Its 30 acres provide plenty of space to have a picnic, kick around a soccer ball, or simply sunbathe. If you’re visiting Savannah with kids, Forsyth Park also has two playgrounds.
Forsyth Park is also home to an iconic two-tiered, white cast-iron fountain. It’s arguably the most photographed attraction in Savannah.
Savannah has 22 public squares. They are all beautiful, with large oak trees and benches to enjoy the shade. Each is unique, though, with different water features or statues that tell the history of the city. One of the most popular is Oglethorpe Square which honors Savannah’s founder, James Edward Oglethorpe.
Statues And Monuments
Another free thing to do in Savannah is to visit its many statues and monuments. Yes, many can be found in the city’s squares. However, there are a lot more scattered around the city. Many can be found on River Street, including the “Waving Girl” and the “African American Monument.”
Savannah is home to many cemeteries. The three most popular to visit are Colonial Park, Bonaventure, and Laurel Grove. All are free to enter, with opening hours from 8 AM to 5 PM. If you are visiting Savannah with dogs, the cemeteries are dog-friendly as long as they are on a leash.
Colonial Park is in the Historic District and is Savannah’s oldest surviving cemetery. In it can be found vaults of many of the most important figures in Savannah’s early history. Bonaventure is the most well-known of Savannah’s cemeteries, made famous by Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil. There are different tours of Bonaventure, however, if you’re doing Savannah on a budget we recommend the free walking tour of Bonaventure. It is held by the Bonaventure Historical Society on the second Sunday of each month. Reservations are not required.
Laurel Grove is divided into two sections, each with its own entrance. The north section was for Whites and the south section for Blacks. Laurel Grove’s south section is one of the largest surviving Black cemeteries in the South and has graves of enslaved people and many of Savannah’s most historically-significant African-Americans.
Something interesting to note is that the city of Savannah frowns upon the association between its cemeteries and spirits. Therefore, ghost tours inside of the city’s cemeteries are forbidden.
Many films and television shows have been filmed in Savannah. The two most well-known are Forest Gump and Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil. You can stroll around Savannah looking for film locations to reenact your favorite scenes.
The historic homes in Savannah a really quite impressive. Jones Street is one of the best streets to walk along to admire remarkable architecture. Some historic homes are open to the public and tours are available with prices averaging $12. Many historic homes have also been converted into B&Bs or museums. But even if you only admire the homes from the outside, there’s no denying that they are gorgeous!
You should definitely have these three historic churches on your list of things to see when visiting Savannah. They are free to enter, although a small donation is appreciated. The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is known for its white exterior, stained glass windows, and renaissance-style murals. Christ Church was built in 1733, making it the first house of worship in the state. The Historic First African Baptist Church was built in 1774. Its pews were built by slaves and they have markings in an African dialect that are still visible today. The church also has a subfloor which was part of the Underground Railroad.
Overlooking the Savannah River, you’ll find the fun and lively River Street. It’s one of the best free things to do in Savannah because you can have a great time window shopping and getting free samples from some of its candy stores. Make sure to stop into River Street Sweets; they hand out complimentary warm pralines!
Another really fun area of Savannah is City Market. This open-air market has been around since the 1700s and is now home to art galleries, gift shops, book stores, and restaurants. Take a seat in the shaded pedestrian courtyard and watch locals and tourists go by. And if you get hungry, Vinnie Van Go-Go’s has huge slices of pizza for only $4.
Georgia Civil Rights Trail
The Georgia Historical Society has created Civil Rights Trail markers throughout the state that tell of important events that occurred from Reconstruction through the late twentieth century. These events helped end Jim Crow and secured civil rights for African Americans.
There are over 10 Civil Rights Trail markers in and around Savannah. As you’re exploring the city, be on the lookout for them and learn of the important role that Savannah played in securing equal rights for all Americans.
Ghost Coast Distillery
If you’d like to learn how whiskey, vodka, and rum are made, and for free, visit Ghost Coast Distillery. They offer free 40-minute tours of their distillery and guides will tell you all about their history, the machines they use, and even product recipes.
Savannah Botanical Garden
Located about 15 minutes south of the Historic District is the Savannah Botanical Gardens. This is considered one of the top free things to do in Savannah. There are multiple gardens, including a rose garden, camellia collection, and a children’s garden. There are also nature trails and a pond.
Ferry To Hutchinson Island
Want to get a great view of River Street? Take the free Savannah Belles Ferry across the river to Hutchinson Island. There are two landings on the Riverwalk, one at City Hall and one at Morrell Park near the Savannah Marriott Riverfront. The ferry ride to Hutchinson Island is only about ten minutes long and it runs daily from 7 AM to midnight.
The Savannah Belles Ferry fleet is made up of four boats and they are named after important women in Savannah’s history. The four women are Juliette Gordon Low, Susie King Taylor, Florence Martus, and Mary Musgrove.
Free Annual Events In Savannah
While visiting Savannah on a budget, make sure to take advantage of the many free events held throughout the year. Did you know Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration is the second largest in the country? Another popular and free event is the annual Sidewalk Arts Festival hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design in April. And if you’re visiting Savannah with kids, check out the Children’s Book Festival in Forsyth Park, held every November.
Cheap Things To Do In Savannah
If you’re visiting Savannah on a budget but can spend a few dollars, these are places we recommend:
This place is so cool! Starland Yard is made up of repurposed shipping containers and there’s a bar, pizzeria, and rotating food trucks. There’s also plenty of space to just hang out, including a rooftop courtyard. We loved how colorful it was and its fun vibe. And we definitely recommend the pizza at Pizzeria Vittoria. Pizzas run between $12 and $16, and you can easily share one if you’re on a budget.
Another cool thing about Starland Yard is how you pay for your meals and drinks. When you first arrive at “The Yard,” you check-in at a booth and swipe your credit card to open a tab. Anything you buy at the bar, pizzeria, or any food truck will go on your tab; just give them your name. Then when you’re done for the night, check out at the booth and make one payment. Easy peasy!
Two Tides Brewing Company
Next to Starland Yard is Two Tides Brewing Company. This funky brewery offers many different beer options and a flight is a great way to sample a few of them. They also have pinball machines that you can play for free!
Savannah History Museum
To really understand the city, we recommend visiting the Savannah History Museum. It covers the city’s history, starting in 1733, all the way to today. And it’s actually inside what used to be the Central of Georgia Railway Train Shed, which we think is pretty cool. The museum is open seven days a week from 9 AM to 4 PM. Admission is $9 per adult and $5 per child (ages 2-12).
If you have time and you’re interested in visiting any other two Coastal Heritage Society museums, they do have a great deal available. It’s called the “See 3” discount ticket and its $20 for adults and $15 for children. According to the Coastal Heritage Society website, “See 3 tickets are valid for 3 days once redeemed to visit any 3 of the following Coastal Heritage Society Participating Museums: Georgia State Railroad Museum, Savannah Children’s Museum, Savannah History Museum and Revolutionary Battlefield Memorial Park, Old Fort Jackson, Pin Point Heritage Museum, and Harper Fowlkes House.”
SCAD Museum Of Art
The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has a great Museum of Art that is very affordable if you’re visiting Savannah on a budget. Admission is $10 per adult, $5 for college or high school students, and children under 14 get in free. They also have a Family Admission rate (3 or more people) for $20.
The Museum of Art is located in an 1853 brick building that was once a railway depot for the Central of Georgia Railway. This contemporary art museum has both permanent and rotating exhibits. They also work hard to feature local artists.
Skidaway Island State Park
Located about 25 minutes southeast of the Historic District is Skidaway Island State Park. Parking is only $5 and there are some great hiking trails. We did the Big Ferry Trail Loop and really loved the views from the observation tower. The park also has an interpretive center that is famous for its giant sloth!
Tybee Island can be an expensive destination, but if you’re only spending the day there you won’t spend too much. It’s about a 30-minute drive east of Savannah and home to beautiful beaches and one of the best lighthouses on the east coast. The beaches are free, although you will have to pay for parking. If you’d like to visit the lighthouse, tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children (ages 6-17). Tickets also include admission to the Tybee Museum in Battery Garland, across the street from the lighthouse.
Pricier Things To Do In Savannah
Although we’re focusing on cheap and free things to do in Savannah, we do realize that you may have an opportunity to splurge a bit. So although we didn’t do the below attractions ourselves, they do look fun and come highly recommended.
Old Town Trolley Tours
We do like hop on and hop off tours like this one. We did one in Boston and think it’s a great way to learn about a city. You don’t have to walk as much or worry about constantly re-parking your car. The Old Town Trolley Tours in Savannah cost about $40 per adult and $20 per child (ages 4-12).
Savannah Riverboat Cruises
Savannah Riverboat Cruises actually has two riverboats that you can take a cruise on. They have regular sightseeing cruises and also lunch, dinner, and sunset cruises. Prices start at about $33 per adult. We saw the Georgia Queen go by as we were exploring the Riverwalk and it sounded like everyone on board was having a great time.
Final Thoughts On Cheap And Free Things To Do In Savannah
We really enjoyed our time in Savannah. In fact, we now think it’s one of the best cities to visit in Georgia! The architecture and squares are really beautiful and it’s such a walkable city. We also liked that there were so many free thing to do.
One final thing we want to mention is parking in Savannah. If you’re willing to park south of Liberty Street and walk, the odds of finding free parking are much greater. Just make sure to read all posted signs. Also, parking in the Historic District is free on Sundays.
As you can see, Savannah doesn’t have to be expensive. We hope this article helps you enjoy the city while staying within your budget. As always, if you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them below. Until next time!
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