Have you been yearning to head out on a family adventure? There are so many incredible places to take your family, whether you are just taking your kids and spouse or your parents as well. Maybe you even want to get away with your siblings and nieces and nephews! Planning a vacation to Savannah, GA just the ticket. Savannah is one of those stunning destinations that are perfect for family vacations. I know if you took the time to vacation in Savannah, GA, you would be hooked on these family vacations for life. And that is where this travel guide comes in. I wanted you to know a little about what you could expect if you did choose Savannah for your next fun family vacation.
Savannah is a bustling city that is known for its walkability, as well as being dog-friendly. As you walk past the mansions and public squares, you will find yourself engrossed in the history of this destination. At the same time, you will know that Tybee Island and the beach are right down the road for those days when you simply want to relax in the sun and the sand.
Days in Savannah can be spent in so many ways. But you must have a plan if you don’t want to miss everything this city is known for.
Back in 1733, General James Oglethorpe found his ship on the bluffs of the Savannah River. At that time, this area was unnamed, but it quickly became the colony of Georgia and Savannah was the very first city. As the streets in Savannah were created, twenty-four town squares were inserted amongst them. Currently, there are only twenty-two of those public squares left for you to walk through or sit down for a minute to reflect and relax.
As you are in these public squares, you will notice that they are the burial sites for a few people. Or at least that is what you will think. Many of those marked graves may have other people buried in them, while the person named on the marker is buried elsewhere. It is one of Savannah’s mysteries that will pique your interest.
Over the years, Savannah has seen much success. It has also seen the devastation of two fires that destroyed a good portion of the city. Thankfully, Savannah came back stronger each time. The Historic Savannah Foundation even ensured that the Historic District was spared from demolition and designated as a National Historic Landmark instead.
Many other historical events have taken place in Savannah over the years. There were wars, an infestation in the cotton that ruined the crops, and events that are now part of Savannah’s hauntings. One historical event I feel I much touch on is Savannah’s Waving Girl.
Florence Margaret Martus greeted ships by waving either a handkerchief or lantern from the Elba Island Lighthouse. She did this for forty-four years until she retired in 1931. There were many stories as to why the Waving Girl waved to approximately fifty thousand boats during those years. Some people believe she was looking for a long-lost love. While the true story may never be known, she was at least a beacon of hope to those returning home from sea.
During your family vacation in Savannah, GA, you can visit the Waving Girl statue down on River Street.
Since Savannah is down in the southeast, it has a subtropical climate. There are more than two hundred sunny days every year. While it rains, it hardly ever snows. When you add all those things up, you get the perfect vacation destination, no matter when you decide to travel.
The temperatures can reach the 70s and 80s in Savannah during the spring months. There is less humidity during the spring too, which makes it more comfortable to be outside walking around. Despite the warmer temperatures, the water temperature is still quite cold until the end of May.
It is common for temperatures to reach the 90s or higher during the summer months in Savannah. The humidity also climbs, which is why so many people head over the beaches most days. Rain is common during the summer, especially during the month of August. Don’t expect the rain to cool things down though. All it does is make things wet and causes the humidity to rise even more!
The temperatures drop slightly with fall’s arrival in Savannah. Early fall can still see days that reach the mid-80s, while late fall brings temperatures in the 70s.
High temperatures of 60 degrees are what you should expect if you decide to vacation in Savannah during the winter. And since it hardly ever snows, you don’t need to worry about being stuck inside during your visit.
During the warmer months of the year, you can get away with shorts and short-sleeved shirts, as well as sundresses and sandals. However, during the spring and fall, you will want to have warmer clothes available, especially at night.
The air conditioning can make buildings quite cold during the summer months. Therefore, a light jacket can be helpful if you get cold easily. Umbrellas or raincoats are a must during the summer and can even be helpful during the spring.
The winter months are cold to the locals, but you may think it is warm depending on what the weather is like where you live. That means that packing for a winter vacation in Savannah can be a little tricky. I recommend taking mostly pants and long-sleeved shirts and sweaters. You can throw a couple of pairs of shorts and short-sleeved shirts into your suitcase, along with a sundress or two, just in case. However, you may never actually wear them. It does get quite cool at night during the winter, so a jacket is another item you will want to have with you.
Family vacations in Savannah are always filled with fun activities everyone will love. Your days can be spent wandering through museum exhibits and art galleries. Or you can head over to Tybee Island to swim, take a ride in a boat, or simply relax in the sand. If you are ready for even more beach adventures, you can take a quick drive up to Hilton Head Island.
While you are at the beach, you will want to make sure you are signed up for one of the dolphin tours. If that is not enough time on the water for you, everyone can grab a kayak or paddleboard and head out for additional fun. Taking a river cruise on the Savannah River is a thrilling option when it comes to being on the water and seeing panoramic views of Savannah’s attractions. You can even choose to take a sunset cruise with your family to see how the ambiance changes in this city at night.
You cannot spend time in Savannah and not go on one of the many ghost tours. There are almost too many to count! I love finding the perfect ghost tours for families and I guarantee you will only be as spooked as you want to be.
Summer vacations in Savannah are going to be hot. If you plan on staying in the city for the day, you must check out Ellis Square Fountains. You can walk through the streaming water to cool down or at least enjoy the mist from the fountains. At night, the fountain lights up in all colors. It is truly a sight to see.
Other family fun activities during a vacation in Savannah include:
There are so many hot spots to add to your itinerary for a family vacation in Savannah. The good news is that you can take a tour of Savannah to see quite a few of the attractions in a short amount of time. This will give you more time to explore the attractions you want to see more of.
The Mercer Williams House is a must-see for everyone visiting Savannah. You cannot see the entire home, but you can explore the first floor and shop at the gift shop. During your tour, you won’t hear anything about the alleged murder that took place in this home or the book that was based on this house. You will learn about the architecture of the home, as well as the original owner, Johnny Mercer.
Fort Pulaski can be found out on Cockspur Island, which is between the city and Tybee Island. This national monument should not be missed during a vacation in Savannah. You can explore on your own or take one of the guided tours. I always recommend visiting on the weekends, because that is when historic weapons demonstrations are held. After checking out the museum, you can hike on one of the trails. The North Pier trail is only a quarter of a mile long, while the Overlook Trail is three-quarters of a mile. The longest trail is six miles and that is the McQueens Island Rails to Trails.
One of the most historic places to visit in Savannah is The Pirates’ House. This is actually a restaurant that serves family-friendly meals with a side of history. The Pirates’ House was established back in 1753 and was the actual location that inspired events that occurred in Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.
A few more top places to see in Savannah include:
So many festivals and events take place in Savannah throughout the year. I could honestly write pages about them all. I won’t bore you with them all here, but understand I will find the ones your family will be most interested in during your vacation in Savannah.
Here are the amazing festivals you can’t miss in Savannah:
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Savannah is the second largest one in the US. Marching groups and bands come from all over the country to be in this parade every year. While this city has been observing this holiday since 1813, the celebrations have changed immensely over the years. The parade is now between three and four hours long. And if you decide to go, you will be amongst upwards of four hundred thousand people watching along the streets.
When the parade is over, there are many other activities you can participate in for a few days. Over in Forsyth Park, the water in the fountain is turned green. Along River Street, you will have the chance to eat, drink, and listen to live music all day and long into the night. The City Market turns into a party hub too, so make sure that is one of the destinations on your list at this time of the year.
Towards the end of April into the beginning of May, there is a lot of extra color within Forsyth Park. It is at that time of the year when the Savannah College of Art & Design Sidewalk Arts Festival takes place. Students in the area are given chalk to create stunning masterpieces that will then be judged. All the artwork stays in place for a week or so, unless of course, it rains.
This event also hosts “living pictures”, which is when actors and models depict scenes that you would normally see in photographs. Attending this event will definitely spark your creative side and get your entire family talking!
As you walk through the streets of Savannah, you are going to see quite a few gorgeous homes. While you can’t go up and knock on the door to go inside, there are a few homes you can check out if you attend the Savannah Tour of Homes & Gardens. Only ticket holders to this event can go into some of the best homes in the city to see the architecture and even the furnishings. When you are not exploring homes, you will find yourself wandering through lush, colorful gardens.
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