7 Can't-Miss Historic Sites in Savannah
Get lost in the historic beauty of Georgia's oldest city at these iconic destinations.
Deeply rooted in history and beautifully preserved, Savannah is Georgia's oldest city. Established in 1733 by English settlers, Savannah grew into a graceful town known for its architecture and Southern hospitality. Stroll through the historic squares to explore the timeless beauty of the city, and be sure to stop into these seven sites to learn more about the people and events that make Savannah such a unique place.
Wormsloe State Historic Site
The breathtaking sight of the long avenue sheltered by live oaks and Spanish moss is only part of the reason to visit Wormsloe State Historic Site. See the oldest standing structure in Savannah, Wormsloe's tabby ruin, and learn about the first group of settlers from England. View artifacts and a short film about the founding of Georgia, and be sure to visit during special events, including the Colonial Faire and Muster in February, to interact with demonstrators in period dress highlighting aspects of 18th-century life.
Encompassing 30 acres, Forsyth Park was conceived by William B. Hodgson and named for Governor John Forsyth when it was laid out in 1851. The main promenade is highlighted by the beautiful white fountain, which was erected in 1858, and recently restored. At any given time, the park plays host to concerts, recreation sports, reading and relaxing, and on Saturdays, a great farmers market takes place there.
First African Baptist Church in Savannah
Constituted in December 1777 by Rev. George Leile, the First African Baptist Church is believed to be the oldest continually active, autonomously developed African-American congregation in North America. The church building, constructed around 1859, served as the birthplace of the area's civil rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s. During the Civil War, runaway slaves were hidden in a space under the floorboards of the sanctuary as part of the Underground Railroad.
Birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, National Historic Landmark
The Birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low was the first National Historic Landmark in Savannah. Home of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts, this Regency house, constructed 1818-1821, is elegantly restored to 1886 and features original furnishings. Owned by Girl Scouts USA, the historic house museum is open for public tours with reserved programs for Girl Scouts and school classes.
Davenport House Museum
The Davenport House Museum, a stately Federal-style home built by Master Carpenter Isaiah Davenport for his household, provides a glimpse into 1820s domestic life in the port city of Savannah. Fine interior plasterwork, authentically restored period rooms and a spectacular staircase are highlights of a visit to the Davenport House Museum. The saving of the Davenport House from demolition in 1955 was the first effort of Historic Savannah Foundation, ushering in the preservation renaissance of the coastal city. The museum's recent restoration was recognized with a Preserve America Presidential Award.
Azalea Inn & Villas
Guests are invited to rendezvous at the romantic Azalea Inn & Villas, a storied mansion with historic character and turn-of-the-century artisan craftsmanship in Savannah's Historic Landmark District. This Queen Anne Italianate mansion (circa 1885) indulges casual-minded bed and breakfast guests. Highlights include Southern cuisine, heritage gardens, balconies, courtyard pool and rockers on the veranda.
The Inn is a charming spot where "old Savannah prominence meets new Savannah eclecticness" for a leisured vacation or romantic wedding engagement. Near Forsyth Park, the inn assists with Savannah insider tips and travel packages, including off-the-beaten path photography, boutique Design District shopping excursions, romantic "Meet Me in Savannah" wedding proposals and intimate wedding elopements.
Featured in the book and movie "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," Bonaventure Cemetery is a short drive from historic downtown, but worth the trip. Hauntingly beautiful, the Southern Gothic cemetery is the resting place of military generals, poet Conrad Aiken, Academy Award-winning lyricist Johnny Mercer and Georgia’s first governor, Edward Telfair.