48 Hours in Savannah: The Ultimate Itinerary

Downtown Savannah, GA

TripSavvy / Ivey Redding

Known for its rich history (and with that, plenty of haunted tales and ghost stories), its lush green spaces plotted throughout the city, and its Southern culture and charm, Savannah is an ideal place to spend a weekend. With so many great things to do, this itinerary will navigate you through the city’s best sights in a short amount of time.

Day 1: Morning

10 a.m. Drop off your bags at the Perry Lane Hotel, a luxury hotel in Savannah's historic district, before venturing out to explore the city. If you need an energy boost to start your day, you can grab a coffee at the cafe adjacent to the lobby. Change into comfortable shoes before heading out! The easiest and best way to explore the city is by walking. 

10:30 a.m. A few blocks away from the hotel is Collins Quarter, an Australian restaurant named and styled after Collins Street in Melbourne and a perfect first stop to fuel up for the day ahead. True to its namesake, the beverage menu is loaded with specialty coffees, including a traditional Australian flat white as well as more adventurous options like a spiced lavender mocha, and the brunch menu (served all day) is the reason the place is likely packed when you walk in. Indulge in hearty options such as the buttermilk biscuits or the bananas Foster French toast, or keep it simple with the avocado smash or granola cereal. 

Day 1: Afternoon

12 p.m. Walk off your meal, heading in the direction of the waterfront, about a half-mile away. You should map out your walk to stroll past (and through) some of Savannah’s historic squares on the way; though, that won’t be hard to do, as the city is home to 22 of these beautiful green spaces that were designed during the city’s planning in the 1700s to give residents places to gather for leisure or communal activities. Admire the towering oak trees and Spanish moss as well as the statues, memorials, and other pieces of history found in each. 

12:30 p.m You’ve made it to the waterfront! Check out City Market, a historic, four-block open-air market home to shops, art galleries, restaurants, and more. Grab an adult-friendly slushie from Wet Willie’s, and take it with you as you walk around the area—Savannah’s one of the few U.S. cities without open container laws. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you can visit the Byrd’s Famous Cookies store on Jefferson Street and West St. Julian Street to sample the popular bite-sized cookies made in Savannah since 1924. 

3 p.m. Head back to the water to catch a sightseeing riverboat cruise (3:30 p.m. departure). This 1.5-hour ride will take you up the river to the ports and down to Old Fort Jackson, a 19th-century fort built to protect the city. You might even see a cannon firing, depending on the schedule. Along the way, you’ll learn about the history of the city and its ports and get great views of the Savannah skyline. 

5 p.m. After docking from the riverboat cruise, head back to the Perry Lane Hotel to relax and freshen up for dinner. Nibble on a few more Byrd cookies (find a complimentary jar of the sweet treats in your room), or head to the rooftop bar, Peregrin, for a pre-dinner drink and sweeping views of the city. 

Day 1: Evening

6:30 p.m. For a delicious and unique dinner experience, make a reservation at The Grey, an upscale restaurant serving reimagined Southern comfort staples in a refurbished art deco Greyhound Bus terminal from 1938. Mashama Bailey, chef and co-owner of The Grey, won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef in the Southeast in 2019, making the space especially popular lately, so be sure to reserve in advance.  

8 p.m. A couple blocks away is Alley Cat Lounge, a speakeasy-style basement bar with creative cocktails. In theme with the restaurant, the menus look like old newspapers, but instead of serving you the news, it’s presenting you with more than 150 cocktail options. Order the most “authentic” Savannah cocktail, the Chatham Artillery Punch, which was created in 1791 for George Washington (giving him a severe hangover), or have a drink based on your sign or alcohol content. The table of contents at the beginning will guide you through the menu.

10 p.m. If you’re up for more nightlife, stop at few other watering holes nearby. Jazz’d Tapas Bar, The Jinx, and Barrelhouse South are all popular stops with live music. Or head back to the Perry Lane to rest up for tomorrow’s activities.

Day 2: Morning

10 a.m. Rise and shine with brunch at the Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market located on the ground floor of the Perry Lane. Choose from several classic breakfasts (such as a hash, omelette, or avocado toast), and be sure to order a side of the buttery, fluffy biscuits to go with your meal. (If you happen to be an American Express Platinum cardholder and booked your stay through Amex Travel, your breakfast here is free for two people, as it's an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property.)

12 p.m. Make sure you're wearing comfortable shoes for a walk or jog through Forsyth Park, a 30-acre green space in the city with a theater, tennis and basketball courts, playgrounds, and more. It's also the host of events like farmers markets and the Savannah Jazz Festival. The most recognizable attraction in the park is probably the Forsyth fountain (dating back to 1858). On the way to the park, you’ll pass more squares and gardens that are living tributes to the city's history, including the Mercer House near Chatham Square. Stop to admire this architectural gem, famous for its beautiful red-brick exterior, tall arched windows, and intricate ironwork balconies, but also for the murder that took place here, which was the inspiration for the book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”

Day 2: Afternoon

3 p.m. Engage with a little more of the city’s history at the Prohibition Museum. This museum walks you through that dry spell in our history, starting with exhibits about the leaders of the movement and its beginnings, to its role in the rise of gangs, violence, speakeasies, and economic troubles, and finally to the year it was repealed. And Savannah is the perfect spot for this attraction—Georgia went dry in 1908 (national prohibition didn't pass until 1920), and Chatham County (which comprises Savannah’s historic district) was strongly against the movement, even threatening to secede. It’s a small museum, but the walls are packed with information, so plan to spend at least an hour there. Afterward, check out the gift shop and onsite speakeasy.   

5 p.m. Walk back to the Perry Lane to relax and freshen up before dinner.

7 p.m. Your history tour isn’t over yet. Go to The Olde Pink House for dinner tonight, which dates back to 1771. Locally caught seafood and Southern comfort food are what this restaurant does best, but some people come mainly for the history and potential ghost sighting—visitors claim to see the ghost of James Habersham, Jr. (the original owner of the home), who allegedly hanged himself in the basement. Even if you don’t encounter his spirit, you’re still getting a uniquely Savannah experience, as throughout its history, this building survived the fire of 1796, it was the site of the First Bank of Georgia, and also the headquarters of Union General Zebulon York during the Civil War.

9 p.m. End your day with a nighttime ghost tour of Savannah to learn about the strangest, creepiest, and most gruesome events that have happened in this city. You can book a walking tour, a trolley tour, or even a haunted pub crawl. Ghost City Tours offers a few different types of excursions (some kid-friendly and other adults-only)—we recommend the Grave Tales tour that tells you ghost stories coupled with the context of the city’s history, giving you the full picture of what actually happened at each of the stops. You might recognize some of the sights from the shows “Ghost Hunters” and “Ghost Adventures.”

11 p.m. Turn in for a good night’s sleep after a day adventuring, or if the ghost tales from your tour are keeping you up, stay out for another round of the city’s lively nightlife.