Savannah is one of the most charming cities in the Peach State. Much of that charm lies within the 22 squares of the Historic District. You can see many historic sites, including the Mercer Williams House from “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” to the oldest public art museum in the South. If you are planning a weekend trip to this city, make sure to add these fascinating places to your to-do list.
This is one of the most picturesque places in the city. This 30-acre park is located within the heart of the Historic District, and it is the perfect spot to start your weekend or wind it down. The main draw of the park is the white-stone Forsyth Fountain that is dedicated to the Spanish American War and the Confederacy.
Another interesting spot is the 300-year-old Candler Oak Tree, which is considered the oldest living landmark in the city. The visually impaired (or anyone) can enjoy the Fragrant Garden with its variety of sweet-smelling flowers. From the park, you can reach several historic homes and sites, including Hodgson Hall (now the home of the Georgia Historical Society) and the Poor House and Hospital, which serviced the city during the Civil War. Throughout the weekend, many tourists and locals love to explore this area. If you do spend a Sunday at the park, there is a perk: free parking on Sundays.
With a city full of history, where do you begin? The City Market is one of the best places to start. This open-air market stretches out for four blocks, and you can find everything from art galleries to unique boutiques to local cafes. The City Market is alive with music on the weekends, and it also makes a great place to people-watch. If you have already spent the day touring around the city, this is a wonderful place to kick back and relax. There are plenty of spots to rest and grab a seat in the shade. For those wanting to experience some of Savannah’s nightlife, many bars populate this area, and it can be lively towards closing time.
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
The weekends are the best time to visit some of the amazing architecture in Savannah. For those buffs, you will not want to miss the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist with its Gothic towers. This building is nestled in Lafayette Square’s Historic District. It was initially constructed in 1799 by French settlers, but the building was torn down in the 19th century to make way for the current structure. Make sure to explore the interior of the church, including the stained-glass windows, gold-leaf designs, and Italian marble altar. Many people compare this Cathedral to the great churches from medieval Europe. Guests can attend a Catholic mass on Sundays, along with a performance from the choir. All the tours are self-guided, but remember, it is still a house of worship.
Mercer Williams House
“Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” has made the Mercer Williams House one of the most popular spots in the city. This house was once the home of lyricist Johnny Mercer. However, it became famous for another notable resident, Jim Williams. He is the only person to be tried four times for a single crime. The murder allegedly took place in the house. Many tourists visit this home to see the 18th-century furnishings on the first floor. However, most of the home is off-limits to guests. When you sign up for a tour, you might be disappointed that the guides do not talk about the book or the alleged crime. Despite that, if you want to see an iconic piece of Savannah, then you will need to visit this home.
If you want to see one of the oldest public art museums in the South, a stop at the Telfair Academy is a must-do. This museum holds many artworks from the 19th and 20th centuries in this former mansion. You can browse over 4,500 pieces of art, including a plaster cast of the Venus de Milo, period furniture from the Telfair family, and many paintings from the Impressionist period. If you are a big fan of the “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” then you might want to check out the Bird Girl statue located inside the museum. Since the museum is small, visitors can view the entire collection in a few hours.
Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters
Another historic spot on your list should include Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters. This house was built in 1830 by George Welshman Owens for his family. Make sure to take the tour and learn what life was like for those in 19th century Savannah. The famous house takes its inspiration from Greek architecture, and it features many stunning stained glass windows. Guests should visit the carriage house and the slave quarters, which offer a stark contrast to those rooms in the main home. Docent-led tours are offered on the weekends. When you pay for admission, you can also visit the Telfair Academy and Jepson Center as well.
If you had your fill of Savannah’s old-town charm, you might want to head over to Tybee Island. This island is just a half-hour from the Historic District, and it is home to the Marine Science Center and the Tybee Island Light Station. Many people head here on the weekends for a relaxing day at the beach. For those who want to explore more of the area’s history, it is also close to the Fort Pulaski Monument, which is a Civil War landmark. When you are at Tybee Island, don’t forget to check out the many seafood restaurants located near the shore.
As you can tell, Savannah is full of fascinating places to set out and explore. You might need a few weekends to check out the wonder of this city. For many visitors, Savannah is the jewel of Georgia’s coast that you will want to visit year after year.