Just up the river from Hilton Head Island, you’ll find Savannah, a beautiful and historic city with lovely tree-lined walkways, majestic architecture, delectable restaurants, and plenty of activities. It’s easily one of the most beloved cities in the South.
If you’re looking for a fun day out during your vacation on Hilton Head Island, then you should definitely consider a day trip to Savannah! There are many things to do in this historical city that the whole family can enjoy.
How to Get from Hilton Head to Savannah
There are two options for planning a day trip to Savannah from Hilton Head. You can take the ferry, a laidback and relaxing cruise that takes about 2 hours each way. If you decide on using the ferry, keep in mind that you’ll have no more than 4 hours to spend in Savannah.
If you decide on driving, Hilton Head Island is about 32 miles from Savannah’s historical downtown. The Old Savannah Trolley Tours offers free parking but limited spaces, so get there early. Driving and parking in the city will undoubtedly allow you much more time to explore!
One Day in Savannah Itinerary
While there is plenty to see and out in Savannah, this itinerary will show you that you can enjoy an entire day in Savannah and get around pretty quickly too.
Sign up for Old Savannah Trolley Tours
Old Savannah Trolley Tours is the oldest operating trolley tour in town. There are specific tours you can purchase tickets for, with the Hop On – Hop Off tour providing 14 stops throughout the city. Trolley tickets for adults are $36. You can enjoy a 90-minute historical tour on the trolley ride if you’d like, or you can hop off at any time. It’s nice to have this option, so you don’t have to worry about parking your vehicle or walking long distances all day long.
Visit the Chippewa Square
Your first stop will be at Chippewa Square. This park was built in 1815 to commemorate American soldiers killed in the battle of Chippewa. This is where the famous Forrest Gump bus stop bench conversation scenes were filmed. The actual bench was removed from the exact location in the park since it was close to the road, but it is still worth the visit. Beautiful place for walks and enjoying a good time to talk and feel the peace of the place. It’s beautiful and relaxing.
Have brunch at The Collins Quarter
After a walk around the first historic square, take a walk a few blocks away to The Collins Quarter. This is a wonderful restaurant that serves brunch. You have to try the Bananas Foster French Toast and Spiced Lavender Mocha!
Visit the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters
After brunch, hop back on the trolley or walk to the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters. The tour guides were extremely knowledgeable about the House and Slave quarters, adding a little other historical information to paint a clear picture of what life was like for the slaves and their owners. The slave quarters were well kept, and you could see what life was like for the slaves there.
Go for a walk in Forsyth Park
One of the best ways to experience that history and see the city’s beautiful architecture is to take a walk in Forsyth Park. The park is large and has plenty of trees and benches, so you can relax and take in the sights and sounds of Savannah.
Eat the best ice cream ever at Leopold’s
Possibly the best ice cream in the South, Leopold’s Ice Cream is a very popular ice cream parlor in Savannah. The flavors are unique, and their lemon custard is a must-try. The ice cream was rich and creamy, with a unique flavor that was hard to find elsewhere. The parlor always has a long line, but the ice cream is worth it.
Stroll down River Street
River Street is a great place to walk around, sightsee, and take pictures. The Waving Girl Statue depicts Florence Martus, who greeted ships entering Savannah by waving a cloth at approaching ships from the lighthouse on Cockspur Island.
Have dinner in the Savannah Historic District
Savannah’s historic district is stunning and home to dozens of spectacular restaurants.
Vic’s On the River
Vic’s On the River is a fine-dining restaurant with a menu featuring exquisite dishes like she-crab soup, oysters Rockefeller, and lamb shank. The great atmosphere and the gentleman playing the piano added to the ambiance.
Treylor Park has vintage decor, seating, and many comfort foods on its menu. They were also featured on the Food Network and Netflix, so you know their food is fantastic! The PB&J wings are a must-try in Savannah! They’re one of the best things you’ll eat in town.mOther memorable dishes on the menu include the Chicken Pot Pie wrap and the Patty Melt…both of which were delicious!
The Olde Pink House
The Olde Pink House serves up inventive Southern cuisine in an elegant Colonial mansion. The flounder was cooked perfectly, with a crispy texture and a delicious apricot shallot sauce. It was simply divine! There is also live music to enjoy while you eat your meal. After dinner, the basement bar is the perfect place to relax with a cocktail and dessert.
Savannah is a city steeped in history and culture, so it’s perfect if you’re looking for something different to do on your vacation. There are also plenty of shops and restaurants to choose from, so you can find whatever you need while you’re there. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on experiencing Savannah – it’s definitely worth a day trip!