Free Things to Do in Savannah |
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We recently took a 3 night trip to Savannah, GA for my daughter’s Winter Break. This was our first visit post-pandemic (we last went in December 2019) and the first trip where we needed activities to also entertain a child.

Savannah is a 3.5 hour drive from Atlanta, making it a super easy place for us to visit. We had so much fun, that we’ve booked another trip for June.

Where we Stayed

We stayed at the relatively new JW Marriott in the Plant Riverside district. We selected this hotel because it allows pets, is in a walkable area, and it was recommended to me several times as a must see for kids. The hotel lobby has dinosaur fossil displays and large rocks that Sienna really enjoyed checking out. There is a self guided scavenger hunt to explore the hotel that Sienna and my Husband did together one morning.

Generator Hall
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Generator Hall Fossil Display
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Sienna posing with some of the rocks in the JW Marriott Lobby
Sienna posing with some of the rocks in the JW Marriott Lobby

The JW is a large property with multiple buildings along the Savannah Riverfront. We were lucky and got upgraded to a River view room on the top floor, right next to the heated pool. Too bad we left our swimsuits at home, but at least we know for next time!

We typically stay in Marriott properties because we have points and a hotel rewards card. We originally booked the Aloft, which is also dog friendly, but switched over to the JW after multiple recommendations. It is definitely a higher price point, but I think it was worth it!

We have visited Savannah around 6 times and stayed somewhere different each visit. There are so many great hotel options to choose from!

Things to do:

Here are some of the fun things we did while in Savannah!

*Walk River Street – River Street is lined with restaurants, candy shops, souvenir shops and more. It is also open container, so you can stop at Wet Willies and get you a walkin’-around drink (something 21 year old me would have loved). We skipped the frozen Wet Willies drink this trip, but definitely made our rounds at some of the candy shops.

*Explore Plant Riverside District – This is the new development where our hotel was located. There are multiple dining options, a gelato shop, to-go margaritas, shopping, 2 roof top bars (1 which allows kids during the day). While there, you should definitely check out the JW Marriott hotel lobby that I talked about above.

Mural in Plant Riverside district, outside of Urban Poppy and Graffito

*Take a Riverboat Cruise – We booked this from 1pm Friday, and the weather was perfect. The cruise is 1.5 hours long. The boat serves food and beverages (alcoholic and non). Remember to bring your sunscreen. Even though we did this cruise in February, Sienna’s cheeks got a little sun.

Sienna on the top deck of the riverboat cruise

*Visit Forsyth Park – Forsyth Park is a 30 acre park in Savannah. On Saturdays they host a farmers market from 9am-1pm. We arrived around 12pm to catch the last hour of the market, where we scored some spices, candied pecans, and a brownie for Sienna. After the farmers market, we strolled the park heading towards the playground. Sienna played on the playground for a bit while i relaxed in the grass with Captain (our 16 year old dog). Past the playground is Savannah’s famous fountain, modeled after the fountains at the Place de la Concorde in Paris. We snapped my pic there (below).

The park also has basketball and tennis courts, if you are into that kind of thing.

Posing with the Fountain at Forsyth Park

Collins Quarter is a yummy brunch spot at Forsyth Park (they have a another location as well). Put your name on the list first thing, then walk around the park. The wait was 1.5-2 hours on a Saturday afternoon, so we opted to skip eating there this trip. Instead, we picked up grab-and-go food from Brighter Day Natural Foods and had a picnic in the park. Brighter Day has tons of vegetarian options (me and Sienna) and options for meat eaters too (my husband). I ate a Buffalo Tofu Wrap and trial mix. My husband had an egg salad sandwich. Sienna had a Tofurky wrap and veggie chips. Brighter Day Natural Foods is right across from the park, on the southern end by the tennis courts.

*Check out local Breweries – I’ll give me ore details on breweries below in the “Where to Drink” section, but Savannah has several great breweries that you can walk or uber to, depending on where you stay. Service Brewing is a 6 minute walk from the Plant Riverside District (JW hotel).

*Other activities that we did not have a chance to do: Savannah Children’s Museum, Georgia State Railroad Museum, Old Fort Jackson, Telfair Museums’ Jepson Center for the Arts, go to the beach (Tybee Island)

Where we ate:

*Plant Riverside District – This new development (where our hotel was located) has a ton of dining options. We we arrived on Thursday we enjoyed Pizza and salads at Grafitto. There is also dining options such as Mexican, BBQ, and seafood.

*Cotton and Rye – This was the only “finer” dining place we visited during our last trip, and it did not disappoint. Sienna had the Mac & Cheese. They even made her a kids version minus the mustard (though I think mustard sounds amazing, Sienna not so much). Sienna said it was the best Mac & Cheese she has ever had, and we should have dinner at Cotton and Rye every night of our trip. Jonathan and I split the Sweet Potato Carpaccio and Panzenella salad. For my main meal I had the Veggie pot pie (which I also shared with Sienna). Jonathan had pork shank and said it was outstanding. For dessert, Sienna chose the Candy Bar. She was kind enough to share a little with Mom and Dad. We all agreed that the meal was delicious!

Posing outside Cotton and Rye

*Starland Yard Food Truck Park – A casual dining options in a really fun development with rotating food trucks, bar, games, and fun murals. I suggest going early. We went at 6pm on Saturday and many of the food trucks were closing up after running out of food. They always have a pizza option available, so we ended up eating pizza and salad (you can never have too much pizza!)

Me looking ridiculous at Starland Yard

*Hop Atomica – Hop Atomica is such a great spot in Savannah’s Baldwin Park neighborhood. We sat outside, and it is dog friendly. It is not only a yummy place to eat, but also a brewery/distillery. I am a big fan of sour beers, and they had so many to choose from. For dinner we enjoyed Tacos and Brussels Sprouts.

Sienna enjoying the patio at Hop Atomica

*Collins Quarter – This is a great brunch spot in Forsyth Park. We tried to dine here during this trip, but the wait was too long. We were lucky enough to snag a table during our last visit in 2019. I would go early and get on the list, it is definitely work waiting for (if you don’t have a hungry 6 year old)

Other Notable Restaurants – The Grey (dined there in 2019), Fox & Fig (vegan, dined there in 2019), Ardsley Station (was recommended to me several times, and plan to visit next trip)

Savannah also has a ton of southern and seafood options….but those just are not my thing. Try some of the options above, but also do your research if you are looking for yummy southern food.

Where we grabbed Drinks:

I will first start with the breweries. These are just the ones we have visited….there are a couple more located around Savannah.

*Two Tides Brewing – This is my favorite brewery in Savannah. We have visited our last 2 trips. They always have a really fun beer selection, and lots of sour options (which is my thing). I got this crazy banana sour called “If It Doesn’t Have Banana, I’m Not Drinking It “. It was a different, but in a good way. Jonathan loves hazy IPAs and they had around 9 different ones to choose from. This brewery is dog and kid friendly.

*Service Brewing – Service Brewing is a 6 minute walk from our hotel, and another brewery we have visited out last 2 trips. They have a great outdoor option, making it perfect for dogs and kids too. My favorite beer was the coconut sour.

*Hop Atomica – I mentioned this above as a great dining option. They had 6 sours available, so I got a sampler so I could try them all. I quickly gave one to Jonathan when I realized it had clam juice in it. The other 5 were really tasty though. I highly recommend checking this place out. Hop Atomica is also kiddo and dog friendly.

*Southbound Brewing – We checked out this brewery in 2019, and is worth the visit also. We did not bring Sienna on that trip, but I am sure you could bring kids here too.

Savannah also has a lot of Rooftop Cocktail bar options. We briefly visit one on our last trip because it has a slide and games for Sienna to play. If you google Savannah rooftop….I am sure you will get a ton more options that I can offer you.

*Electric Moon Skytop Lounge – Electric Moon is located in the Plant Riverside District close to our hotel. They allow kids until 6pm, so we stopped by one afternoon for a quick drink. They have slide and fun outdoor games to keep the kiddos entertained. My cocktail came in a fun light bulb glass.

Sienna playing with one of the outdoor games at Electric Moon Skytop Lounge

*Myrtle Rose Rooftop Garden – I did not go here, but this place looks gorgeous. It is also in the Plant Riverside district. Myrtle Rose does not allow kids. Before I checked that policy, I tried to make a reservation and they were booked up for the weekend…so book early!

*Peregrin Rooftop – We checked this rooftop out in 2019 while waiting for our brunch reservations at Fox & Fig. Also a great spot with amazing views of the city. The pic below is me there in 2019…back in the day. I am pretty sure I am drinking a frose.

Enjoying a cocktail at the Peregrin in 2019

Savannah is open container, so you grab a cocktail and walk around the city. We grabbed to-go margaritas from Savannah Tequila Co, located in Plant Riverside district.

Where to get sweets:

Leopold’s Icecream – We did not go here during this trip, but have definitely been in the past. Everyone is obsessed with this place and always comes highly recommended.

District Gelato – A delicious frozen treat option close to our hotel. I enjoyed the Apple Pie. Sienna got a double scoop of Peanut Butter cup and Cookie dough that she let me try. The peanut butter cup was my favorite of the three.

Byrd’s Cookie Company – There are several locations around Savannah. They have so many yummy, mini cookie options. We took home a bag of the Cupcake Cookies (Sienna’s pick).

There are several candy stores along River Street. A popular option is River street Sweets. Savannah is popular for their pralines.

Alright….that’s all I have for you, at least for now! We are going back in June, so I should have more recommendations then.