8 Incredible Day Trips from Savannah, GA

Although there is plenty to do in Savannah's Historic District, Savannah is an excellent launching point for day trips and adventures throughout the southeast — from big cities and beautiful beaches to historic sites and small-town gems.

When planning a trip to Savannah, Georgia, don't miss the chance to check out some of these fantastic day trips from Savannah for a unique change in scenery!

1. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

A serene sunset view at the beach, with the sky painted in hues of purple, pink, and blue. Sparse clouds are scattered across the sky. The gentle waves of the ocean meet the sandy shore in the distance, where a couple of people can be seen near the water. Foreground shows grassy sand dunes protected by a wooden fence, suggesting a tranquil and preserved beach environment.

Just short of an hour's drive from Savannah's Historic District, Hilton Head Island is one of the best day trips from Savannah. This barrier island is famous for its long stretches of sandy beaches and world-class golf courses, but those are just a few of the many reasons day-trippers love Hilton Head!

Hilton Head Island offers plenty to do, including Coligny Beach Park, one of the best beaches near Savannah, and Coastal Discovery Museum, where visitors can learn about the island's plants, animals, and environment. As mentioned, golfing is an extremely popular pastime on Hilton Head, but cycling on the bike trails on the island and surrounding area is equally as enjoyable.

After a day of exploring, grab a table at one of the excellent seafood restaurants in the lively and picturesque Harbour Town, the island's most famous marina, before returning to Savannah.

2. Tybee Island, Georgia

The golden hour sunlight bathes a sturdy wooden pier that stretches out into the calm sea. The pier, featuring a large sheltered area with a gabled roof, is supported by numerous solid pylots. Gentle waves lap at the sandy shore in the foreground, and the clear sky above hints at the early evening atmosphere.

Tybee Island is one of the best (and closest) day trips from Savannah. This barrier island is just a 30-minute drive from Downtown Savannah and offers plenty to do, including surfing, sea kayaking, and sunbathing on the beach (there are four — to be exact!), and exploring the shops and restaurants in Downtown Tybee Island near South Beach.

While spending a day on Tybee Island, Georgia, don't miss the chance to enjoy some of the best things to do on Tybee Island, like Tybee Lighthouse and Tybee Island Marine Science Center. History buffs will also enjoy a visit to the nearby Fort Pulaski National Monument on Cockspur Island on the Savannah River. Fort Pulaski National Monument was a notable location during the American Civil War.

3. Charleston, South Carolina

A picturesque evening view of a historic street in Charleston, South Carolina. The street is lined with traditional brick buildings and colorful, classic Southern-style homes with shuttered windows. Tall palm trees add a tropical feel to the urban scene. In the background, the illuminated steeple of a historic church rises into the twilight sky, serving as a focal point amidst the surrounding architecture. Parked cars line the quiet street.

Charleston, South Carolina, is about a two-hour drive from Savannah — and just like Savannah, it oozes southern charm but with its own unique twist.

Charleston is chock-full of historical sites, like Fort Sumter National Monument and the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, and Downtown Charleston offers exceptional dining, shopping, and other notable attractions, like Rainbow Row, Charleston City Market, and the Pineapple Fountain in Joe Riley Waterfront Park.

Charleston is also full of attractions in the outlying areas, like Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens and the Charleston Tea Garden — the only tea plantation in North America — where you can see how tea is grown, harvested, and manufactured.

4. Beaufort, South Carolina

An aerial view of a marina in Beaufort, South Carolina. The marina is bustling with a variety of boats, including sailboats and yachts, neatly docked in rows. Beyond the marina, the waters extend into a wide river, dotted with more boats anchored in the calm water. The surrounding area features green marshland, with a few scattered trees.

Beaufort, South Carolina, is a charming small town in South Carolina known for its well-preserved antebellum architecture, picturesque live oak trees, and historic district filled with shops, restaurants, and art galleries featuring creative work from local artists. It is about an hour's drive from Savannah, making it one of the best day trips from Savannah with minimal driving time!

Some notable things to do in Beaufort include strolling Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, one of the gorgeous parks in Beaufort where you'll find stunning views of the Beaufort River, and Gullah Geechee Visitor Center, where history enthusiasts can learn about the unique culture of the Gullah Geechee people — descendants of Africans who were enslaved in Georgia, South Carolina, and other plantations on the Atlantic Coast. People with multiple interests will have a great time in Beaufort!

If you love Beaufort, consider visiting Bluffton as well. Bluffton is a town in South Carolina you'll pass through during a day trip to Hilton Head Island from Savannah, and it has a similar vibe to Beaufort — you'll find the perfect mix of art, culture, history, and nature in this charming town!

5. Amelia Island, Florida

A sweeping aerial view of Amelia Island in Florida, showcasing the vast expanse of the sandy beach alongside the coast. Gentle waves roll onto the shore, creating white foam that contrasts with the dark blue of the Atlantic Ocean. A line of residences and greenery runs parallel to the beach, with a road separating the homes from the sandy dunes.

Did you know that some cities in Northern Florida are just a stone's throw away from Savannah? In fact, Amelia Island — one of the barrier islands of the Sea Islands — is one of the best day trips from Savannah to the Sunshine State, and it's only a two-hour drive from the Historic District!

Amelia Island oozes southern charm but with a beachy Florida twist. In addition to multiple beaches with gorgeous views for horseback riding, sunbathing, and swimming, this Florida island also offers delicious dining experiences, walking paths for trekking, salt marshes for kayaking, and other fun things to do, like visiting Fort Clinch State Park and marveling at the Amelia Island Lighthouse.

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6. Skidaway Island State Park, Georgia

A peaceful salt marsh scene at Skidaway Island State Park, Georgia. The reflective water surface is interspersed with tall reeds and grasses typical of a salt marsh ecosystem.

Skidaway Island State Park is just a 30-minute drive from Savannah and perfect for those who want to trade the city for an outdoor adventure. This park is filled with salt marshes and salt flats you can explore on various raised trails and platforms built throughout the park.

Skidaway Island State Park is also an excellent location for wildlife spotting. You'll have the chance to see deer, birds, crabs, and other species native to the salt marsh terrain. You can also visit the park's educational center, where you can learn more about the park's flora and fauna, as well as the area's cultural history.

7. Jekyll Island, Georgia

A breathtaking sunset on Jekyll Island with a sky ablaze in shades of orange, pink, and yellow. The sun's glow reflects off the wet sand at the beach, creating a mirror-like effect.

Jekyll Island is the most popular of Georgia's Golden Isles and is one of the perfect day trips from Savannah for a peaceful and relaxing getaway. Jekyll Island is known for its beautiful beaches, like Driftwood Beach, featuring picture-perfect pieces of driftwood and stunning views at sunset.

However, that's not all this island has to offer! The other best things to do on Jekyll Island during a day trip from Savannah include visiting the Georgia Sea Turtle Center to learn about the island's conservation and rehabilitation efforts. You can also consider visiting the Historic District of Jekyll Island, where you can visit the impressive Jekyll Island Club Hotel and stunning vacation homes of notable figures from the Gilded Age, like the Rockefeller family.

8. Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia

A serene path through the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge is enveloped by the majestic beauty of Spanish moss-draped live oaks. The sun filters through the dense canopy, creating a warm, dappled light on the road below.

Are you looking for a quick escape from the city that is only 10–15 minutes away from town? If so, you'll love visiting the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge — an excellent alternative to a longer day trip from Savannah. This is one of the area's hidden gems with incredible biodiversity and plenty to see, including freshwater marshes, wooded forests, and creek and river deltas.

One of the highlights of Savannah National Wildlife Refuge is the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive. During your day trip, you can cruise along this road to enjoy the scenic views in the refuge or consider bringing a bike to cycle along the road. You can also bring your own canoe to paddle through the marshes.

Hit the Road to Enjoy These Best Day Trips from Savannah

Whether you want to explore another southern city, relax on a sandy beach, or explore other unique landscapes, like marshes and forests, you'll find all that (and more!) on this list of the best day trips from Savannah.

If you're still looking for somewhere to stay in Savannah's Historic District to provide the perfect launching point for all these fantastic day trips, find the ideal property from our list of rentals at South Key Management. If you have any questions or need help booking your stay — please get in touch with us!

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