Free Things to do in Savannah

November 14, 2016

1) Sprawl out and relax in Forsyth Park- This park has got to be one of the most iconic spots in Savannah. I suggest going there during the day, and of course stopping by the fountain is a must-do. Afterwards, pick a spot in the grass to have a picnic, read, or lay out with some friends.

2) Attend one of the many free festivals- To have some fun that won't cost you a dime, head over to Visit Savannah's site and check the box for free events in the search options. This will help you figure out if anything worthwhile is going on around the time you'll be visiting Savannah. Personally, I had a great time on River Street for the 4th of July and enjoyed the fireworks display. I also had a wonderful day out with my friends Ev and Jared watching the St. Patrick's Day parade and admiring the greening of the fountains all over the city. There are so many other smaller celebrations and events to attend, so you may want to get in on the action.

3) Spend a day at Savannah Botanical Gardens- The gardens are close to Savannah's Historic District, and there's free admission for individuals and small groups of nine people or less. In addition to the gardens, there is a historic home as well as nature trails.

4) Browse the shops on Broughton Street and River Street- I promise this will keep you entertained even if you have no spending money. You can always keep your eyes peeled for something you may want to purchase next time, right? Broughton Street has boutique shopping as well as some well-known chains like Banana Republic and Kate Spade NY. One of my favorite shops to check out is the beautiful Paris Market. They have accessories, bath and body products, a children's section, and the entire downstairs is full of home decor items. You can get candles and furniture, and there's a cafe, too. I know that I stay entertained in there picking out items for my future dream house. Another store on Broughton that you might also get a kick out of is Planet Fun, which is a toy shop. Before you dismiss it for selling toys, know that it is a retro toy store and has tons of favorites from the past like Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Sailor Moon, My Little Ponies, etc. My friends and I had quite a bit of fun in there pointing out toys we used to play with when we were younger. Some of my other personal Broughton St. faves are Civvies, a new and recycled clothing shop, and Savannah Bee Company, which has various kinds of honey and bath and body items made from beeswax.

If you're looking for more touristy items, River Street is where you should go. There are so many gift shops that sell souvenirs such as: Southern cookbooks, post cards, sauces, handmade soaps, t-shirts, and so on. Check out Simply Savannah and True Grits as well as River Street Market Place, an outdoor market full of all sorts of goodies. Also, don't forget to go into some of Savannah's sweet shops like Savannah's Candy Kitchen and sample pralines and glazed pecans.

5) Spend some time visiting Savannah's squares- With twenty-two squares to choose from, you can certainly take your pick. Ellis Square is one of my favorites because there's always a lot of action going on there due in part to the water fountains, which are a source of entertainment for children.  Ellis Square has more seating available than some of the other squares, too. If you want to people-watch, Ellis Square is probably one of your best bets. Chippewa Square is not to be missed for it's beauty, central location, and you may even recognize it from the movie Forrest Gump. If you're looking for something more low-key or want to know more about Savannah's squares, head over to where you can read about each one individually. Be sure to have your camera ready, as these lush squares make for some lovely pictures.

6) Stop by City Market- This is a rather small but happening area of Savannah. There is usually some type of live music going on, and there are various shops and galleries to visit. I suggest going into Byrd's Famous Cookies and sampling some key lime cooler cookies. Stopping in All Things Georgia is also recommended if you have a bit of extra time--I'm still craving their spicy jam which I first tried as a free sample years ago.

7) Have a beach day on Tybee Island- Tybee Island is the closest beach to Savannah, and yes, there are public beaches on the island. I went in the off-season in late December and still had a great time putting my toes in the sand with some friends.

8) Stroll along Jones Street for beautiful architecture- This historic street is home to some gorgeous homes, and in my opinion, this is one of the most picturesque streets in Savannah. I'm not the only one that thinks so, considering this street as been pictured in several films such as Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Something to Talk About, starring Julia Roberts. You'll also find the famous Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room on this street.

9) Walk around in some of Savannah's famous cemeteries- By far, the two most famous are Colonial Park Cemetery, right in the Historic District, as well Bonaventure Cemetery, which is a short drive away. Colonial Park Cemetery started in 1750 and became the final resting place for many, including those who died from Yellow Fever, in addition to those who fought to their deaths in duels, which used to be a customary practice.

Bonaventure Cemetery, a place that has been described by many as "hauntingly beautiful," is worth a visit. You can drive through the cemetery or go on foot, or even take a free tour provided by the Bonaventure Historical Society. Although the well-known Bird Girl statue has been removed to be put on display in the Telfair Museum, the famous Little Gracie statue is still there. Some of the Victorian grave markers and various statues might just mesmerize you.

10) Watch sunset on River Street with the Talmadge Bridge in the background. 

11) Go on a self-guided ghost tour. Savannah has been called one of the most haunted cities in the USA, so why not explore Savannah's darker side by visiting a few spooky places? 432 Abercorn is rather terrifying and is still abandoned! Read over this list for more ideas of other scary spots you could visit.

12) Admire Savannah's collection of historic churches. The impressive Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is a sight to behold. You are also able to tour the inside for free, but donations are appreciated. Personally, I love going around Christmastime because the decorations are exquisite. Another interesting church is the First African Baptist Church--runaway slaves hid there during the Civil War.

Which one looks the most appealing to you? What do you like to do for free in your town?
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