Seeing Savannah With Kids
Climb Georgia’s tallest lighthouse, steer a Segway down a shady sidewalk or snack on pecan pralines and ginger ice cream. Savannah is the state’s oldest city, and it’s rich in family-friendly things to see and do.
Start your adventure with a trip to Tybee Island, about a 20-minute drive away. Known as “Savannah’s beach,” it's a great place to take a dolphin tour, swim, kayak, or just play and relax on three miles of public beach. Surfers, look for the best waves past 19th Street.
Back in town, book a Segway tour to see Savannah’s 24 park-like squares and moss-draped trees (not to mention that riding a Segway is just plain fun). Your Girl Scout can look for the home of Juliette Gordon Lowe, founder of the Girl Scouts of America, and fans of Forrest Gump can spot the bench where the movie character shared his famous box of chocolates. Guides will show and tell you more, and the kids will get not-too-scary shivers from the stories they spin about Savannah's haunted places.
Sneak a little learning into the fun. It's easy to get some history under your belt here in Georgia’s first city, established by General James Oglethorpe in 1733. Let your children touch the holes made by cannon balls at Fort Pulaski National Monument, taken by Union forces in 1862. You can join a guided tour, watch a film on the Civil War, see a demonstration of historic weapons or just hike one of several nature trails.
At Old Fort Jackson, built in 1808, kids can step into the past through interactive programs and see daily cannon firings. (Remind them to cover their ears.)
The Moon River District, about 20 minutes from downtown Savannah, is another place to mix education and play. This area consists of seven historic sites, including Skidaway Island State Park, Ossabaw Island State Heritage Preserve and the University of Georgia Aquarium. Explore the salt marshes, nature walks and barrier island habitats, but take note: Ossabaw is accessible only by boat, and you must book in advance.
Don't miss Pinpoint Heritage Museum, also in the Moon River District. Voted one of Georgia’s ten best places to visit by USA Today readers, it's open Thursdays and Saturdays and by appointment for groups. This living heritage museum tells the story of a Gullah-Geechee oystering community. Wormsloe Historic Site is also part of Moon River. Costumed interpreters, a museum and periodic events show visitors how Savannah's early settlers lived.
Save time to snap some pictures at Savannah's beautiful, 30-acre Forsyth Park, complete with a splashing fountain. Then swing by Leopold's for ice cream. The ginger ice cream is studded with bits of locally grown, candied ginger.
Savannah can keep you busy, no matter how long you stay. River Street is a popular place to shop and dine, and tourists often visit the African-American Family Monument, which celebrates black Americans and recalls Savannah's role in slavery.