Top Historical Sites in Savannah, GA, Every Tourist Should Visit

Savannah, Georgia, was founded almost 300 years ago in 1733, several decades before the United States of America even was the United States of America and before the most notable events in our country's history, like the American Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and the Civil Rights Movement.

That said, you'll find fascinating stories of Savannah's rich history and the history of our country around every corner during a vacation to the Hostess City. However, if you want to take a deep dive into the city's past, visit the houses, parks, cemeteries, and churches in Historic Downtown Savannah!

The Most Notable Historic Sites in Downtown Savannah

These can't-miss historic landmarks, like Davenport House, and unique attractions, like the Savannah History Museum, are worth a visit for history buffs during a vacation to Savannah, Georgia.

Savannah’s Historic District

A view of charming historic homes in Savannah, Georgia. The image showcases a street lined with elegant white houses, featuring intricate blue and white trim, ornate balconies, and lush greenery. A vibrant American flag hangs from one of the porches, adding a pop of color.

Savannah's Historic District is one of the top historic attractions in Savannah in and of itself!

Though Savannah is known for its southern hospitality, delicious cuisine, cobblestone streets, and beautiful scenery along the Savannah River, it is also the country's largest National Historic Landmark District. It is well-known for its walkable grid pattern and charming squares lined with towering oak trees draped with Spanish moss.

Since 1955, the Historic Savannah Foundation has been a beacon of preservation, tirelessly working to safeguard the buildings, places, and stories that have shaped this historic city. Their efforts are evident in the preserved historic buildings like Davenport House. You can also learn more about Savannah's captivating history and the vital role Savannah played in crucial historical events, like the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement, at the Savannah History Museum.

Forsyth Park

Forsyth Park is the "crown jewel" of Historic Savannah's beautiful parks and squares. Built in 1851, this 30-acre park was inspired by the lush, leisurely parks in Paris, France. It is an excellent spot for strolling, people-watching, or dining at one of the best brunch spots in SavannahCollins Quarter!

While at Forsyth Park, be sure to snap a photo by the Forsyth Park Fountain, built in 1858. This park is also one of the best places to visit during spring in Savannah. In addition to the mossy oaks and lush, grassy patches, you'll be met with beautiful, blooming azaleas and other colorful flowers!

First African Baptist Church

A photograph of the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia, under a clear blue sky. The church, prominently displayed, features a simple yet elegant design with beige walls, a tall steeple with a clock, and bright red doors. Surrounded by lush green trees, the church sits at a street corner, with street signs and a small park visible in the foreground.

The First African Baptist Church was founded in 1777 and is known as the oldest black church in North America. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is an important landmark that houses historic artifacts, such as the oldest pipe organ in Georgia and original benches that are 200+ years old.

First African Baptist Church is more than just one of the most notable historic churches in Savannah — it also played a significant role in the Underground Railroad. Runaway slaves were hidden under the church's floorboards during the Civil War on their journey to freedom.

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Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace

Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, also known as the Andrew Low House, is one of Savannah's most famous historic houses and a National Historic Landmark. It was the childhood home of Juliette Gordon Low, who later became the founder of the Girls Scouts of the USA.

Girl Scouts now owns this building and runs public tours in this historic house museum. During a tour, you can see period furniture and furnishings restored to how the building might have looked in the 1880s.

Bonaventure Cemetery

The image captures a serene and somber scene at Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia. It shows a variety of gravestones and monuments, some aged and weathered, set against a backdrop of vibrant pink azalea bushes in full bloom. Spanish moss drapes from the sprawling oak trees, adding to the atmospheric and historic charm of the cemetery. The overcast sky enhances the tranquil and reflective mood of this historic resting place.

Bonaventure Cemetery is one of Savannah's oldest cemeteries, dating back to the 1700s. This 160-acre cemetery was made famous by Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, a book and movie about a murder in Savannah that occurred at the Mercer-Williams House. Bonaventure Cemetery and other cemeteries like Colonial Park Cemetery are popular on ghost tours in Savannah.

Bonaventure Cemetery is the final resting place of several notable figures in Savannah's history, including American songwriter Johnny Mercer, poet Conrad Aiken, and Little Gracie Watson.

Congregation Mickve Israel

Established in 1733, just months after the city of Savannah was founded, Congregation Mickve Israel is one of the oldest religious sites in Historic Savannah.

This synagogue is home to the third-oldest Jewish congregation in North America. Also, it includes a museum with important artifacts, documents, and other historical items that tell the fascinating story of Congregation Mickve Israel.

Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters

The Owens Thomas House, built in 1819, is a National Historic Landmark and one of the three Telfair Museums. The other buildings, Jepson Center and Telfair Academy are some of the best museums in Savannah and are also worth visiting during a vacation to Savannah.

The Owens-Thomas House Museum depicts what life was like for the families who owned and lived on the property and the enslaved people who lived there. It has been operating as a house museum since 1954 and also gives visitors a glimpse into art and architecture in Savannah in the 1800s with period-accurate furniture, artwork, and decorations.

Wormsloe State Historic Site

The image depicts a picturesque avenue lined with ancient live oak trees draped in Spanish moss at Wormsloe State Historic Site near Savannah, Georgia. The trees form a natural arch over a damp gravel road, reflecting a mirror image in a large puddle from recent rain.

Wormsloe State Historic Site is one of Savannah's most picturesque historic sites.

Formerly an estate belonging to Noble Jones, one of the original settlers of Savannah, Georgia, who arrived with the city's founder, General James Oglethorpe, this property now offers tabby ruins (known to be the oldest standing structure in Savannah) and the original burial site of Noble Jones and his family for visitors to explore.

However, Wormsloe State Historic Site is most well-known for the stunning live oaks draped with moss that line the driveway to this famous historic landmark.

The Olde Pink House

The Olde Pink House, situated just off Reynolds Square and slightly east of Bull Street, is one of Savannah's most iconic historic sites.

With a rich history dating back to the Revolutionary War, The Olde Pink House was formerly a personal residence, the first bank of Georgia, a tea room, and an antique shop before it became the famous fine-dining Southern restaurant that it is today (and one of the most iconic places to eat in Savannah!).

You can read more about the history of The Olde Pink House here, but be sure to make reservations at this famous restaurant during your visit to Savannah.

Stay in the Heart of Savannah's Historic District with South Key Management

Whether you're a dedicated history buff or want a small taste of Savannah's storied past while visiting the city, visiting these different types of historic sites, from house museums to cemeteries, will expose you to several other (and fascinating!) parts of Savannah's history.

Stay within walking distance of these popular historic sites in a comfortable vacation rental from South Key Management. Browse our rentals to find the perfect home for your upcoming stay!

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