9 Top Things to Do for Free in Savannah, GA

Savannah, Georgia, is a fabulous destination in the United States filled with southern charm, fantastic food, and tons of historic landmarks. However, unlike some destinations, you don't have to spend a fortune to have a great time in Savannah!

Savannah's Historic District and the surrounding area are filled with plenty of free things to do, from beautiful parks and nature trails to historic churches and free events. Below, we'll list some of our favorite free things to do in Savannah, GA, to give you some inspiration for things to do in our beautiful city — even if you're traveling on a budget!

Best Free Attractions in Savannah, Georgia

1. Squares & Parks

A sign for Chippewa Square in Savannah, GA with lush greenery and a beautiful fountain in the background.

Savannah, Georgia, is well-known for its squares throughout the Historic District that are filled with beautiful plants, moss-covered trees, and monuments and statues that offer a nod to Savannah's rich history. Some popular squares include Chippewa Square, where a scene was filmed from the Academy Award-winning film Forrest Gump, and Madison Square, home to a statue of Sergeant Jasper, an American soldier in the American Revolutionary War.

Although it's not technically one of Savannah's squares, Forsyth Park is Savannah's largest and most beautiful public park and is definitely worth a visit. Forsyth Park is best known for the picturesque white fountain located at the center of the park.

2. Free Walking Tour in Downtown Savannah

If you want to see several historic sites in Savannah, GA, in just a few hours, walking tours are usually the best choice. While some walking tours cost a lot of money, the walking tour provided by Free Savannah Tours is virtually free and is led by a historian (though we do recommend tipping your guide!).

This 90-minute walking tour can be booked online and meets at Johnson Square. It will take you past notable sites in the Savannah Historic District, named a National Historic Landmark for its distinctive grid pattern and historic homes and architecture.

3. Cemeteries

A serene cemetery with numerous tombstones and trees.

Savannah is home to a few famous cemeteries filled with the historic graves of notable people. At Laurel Grove Cemetery, you can find the grave of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of Girl Scouts, and at Colonial Park Cemetery, you can see the graves of plague victims.

However, if there is one cemetery to visit during your trip to Savannah, Georgia, it has to be Bonaventure Cemetery. Bonaventure Cemetery is a historically significant site and the final resting place of Johnny Mercer, Conrad Aiken, and Little Gracie Watkins. It is a popular stop on most ghost tours in Savannah, Georgia.

4. Historic Churches

Savannah, GA, is filled with several beautiful churches you can tour for free during your visit to the Historic District. Perhaps the most notable is the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, with towering white steeples and beautiful stained-glass windows. You can take a free self-guided tour of this church most days of the week, but the church does accept donations. Call ahead for a schedule of the church's free tours

Other notable churches to visit include the Independent Presbyterian Church, featured in the opening scenes of Forrest Gump, Christ Church on Bull Street, the oldest church in Savannah, and the First African Baptist Church, featuring a subfloor used on the Underground Railroad.

5. Tybee Island

 lighthouse and two houses on Tybee Island, standing side by side.

Tybee Island, home to some of the best beaches in Savannah, is just a short half-hour drive from Downtown Savannah, but you'll feel like you've been whisked away to a whole new "beachy" paradise! The beaches can be accessed for free, but you'll probably want to budget money for shopping and dining at the island’s restaurants and boutiques.

Some notable sites on this barrier island include the Tybee Island Light Station and Museum and the Tybee Beach Pier. Nature lovers can also embark on the McQueen's Island Trail — a six-mile scenic nature trail that begins at Fort Pulaski National Monument. You can also take a short trip to Skidaway Island State Park from Tybee Island for opportunities to go camping, spot wildlife, and more.

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6. Savannah Belles Ferry

Dinner cruises and riverboat tours are some of the best things to do in Savannah, GA, but they can cost a lot of money. However, if you want to take a ride on the Savannah River for free — just ride the Savannah Belles Ferry from River Street to Hutchinson Island!

This ferry connects guests staying at hotels on the island to Historic Savannah, but you don't have to be a hotel guest to ride the ferry, which runs from 7 a.m. to midnight. On the ferry ride, you'll also see the famous "Waving Girl" statue in front of the Savannah Marriott Riverfront.

7. Savannah Botanical Gardens

A scenic pathway in a vibrant botanical garden, adorned with colorful flowers and surrounded by lush greenery.

Savannah Botanical Gardens is one of the best free things to do in Savannah, Georgia. It has been owned and operated by the Savannah Area Council of Garden Clubs since the late 1980s and has stayed completely free for visitors ever since!

You'll find a two-acre pond, nature trails, archeological exhibits, and the historic Reinhard House at the Savannah Botanical Gardens. You'll also see roses, herbs, perennials, seasonal blooms, and other gorgeous flowers and plants.

8. Window Shopping

Even if you are trying to save money, Savannah, GA, is still a fabulous city for window shopping with so many unique shopping districts. You can head down to Savannah's River Street, right along the Savannah River, for souvenir stores, City Market for art galleries, and Broughton Street for a mix of popular retailers and adorable boutiques.

9. Free Events

Depending on the time of year you visit Savannah, Georgia, you might have the chance to attend one of the city's fun (and free!) events.

Savannah is one of the best cities in the United States for celebrating St. Patrick's Day, so be sure to attend the St. Patrick's Day Parade if you'll be in Savannah for this festive holiday. Additionally, the SCAD Sidewalk Arts Festival in Forsyth Park, featuring a vast collection of artwork by up-and-coming artists from the Savannah College of Art and Design, is another popular free event in April.

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As you can see, a trip to Savannah, Georgia, doesn't have to break the bank. There are plenty of free things to do around the city, making it easy to save money while exploring many of the best tourist attractions in Savannah! Follow us on Instagram for more fun ideas! 

If you're planning a trip to Savannah, GA, soon and are looking for somewhere to stay, we'd love to host you in one of our charming vacation rentals in Savannah's Historic District. Browse our rentals to find the right one for your stay, and if you have any questions in the meantime, please get in touch with us!

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