Sightseeing In Savannah

Posted on August 23, 2011 by

When it comes to sightseeing, Savannah has some of the finest historic homes, museums and historic sites in the Southeast. From Civil War forts to English Regency house museums, Savannah offers a broad range of sightseeing options for visitors and residents alike.

With all of the area’s unique history, arts and architecture, be sure to take the time to enjoy all that Savannah has to offer.

ARTS

Beach Institute African-American Cultural Arts Center. The permanent home of the Ulysses Davis folk art collection, the Beach Institute features changing exhibits of African-American art and cultural artifacts. 502 E. Harris St., (912) 234-8000.

City Market Art Center. The upstairs level of City Market is filled with original paintings, sculpture and photography by area artists. Jefferson at W. St. Julian St., (912) 234-2327.

City of Savannah, Department of Cultural Affairs, S.P.A.C.E. (Savannah’s Place for Art, Culture and Education). Info line: (912) 525-3100 ext. 2863.

Jepson Center for the Arts. Savannah’s newest art museum, featuring a stellar permanent collection as well as outstanding special exhibits throughout the year. Interactive children’s exhibits, cafe, gift shop and more. 207 W. York St., Telfair Square, (912) 790-8800.

Savannah College of Art and Design. The largest art college in the U.S., the Savannah College of Art and Design features a number of exhibits year-round in galleries across Savannah. 342 Bull St., (912) 238-2487.

Telfair Museum of Art. Housed in a historic 19th-century building designed by architect William Jay, the Telfair Museum of Art features an outstanding permanent collection of paintings, sculpture and photography, as well as world-class visiting exhibitions. 121 Barnard St., (912) 790-8800.

HISTORIC HOMES

Andrew Low HouseBuilt in 1848 for cotton merchant Andrew Low, this historic home features beautifully preserved interiors with period antiques. 329 Abercorn St., (912) 233-6854.

Davenport House. This historic Federal-style home, built between 1815 and 1820, was the house that launched Savannah’s historic preservation movement in the 1950’s. 324 E. State St., (912) 236-8097.

Flannery O’Connor House. The childhood home of one of America’s greatest writers, the Flannery O’Connor House features artifacts from O’Connor’s years in Savannah. 207 E. Charlton St., (912) 233-6014.

Green-Meldrim Mansion. General Sherman’s Civil War headquarters, the Green-Meldrim Mansion is a fine example of neo-Gothic architecture and features a magnificent interior. Bull St. at Madison Square, (912) 232-1251.

The Harper Fowlkes House. This elegantly restored 1842 Greek Revival mansion showcases exquisite period antiques throughout and focuses on the Mid-1800’s lifestyle of early preservationist Alida Harper Fowlkes. 230 Barnard St. on Orleans Square, (912) 234-2180.

Juliette Gordon Low House. The birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts, has been restored to its 1800’s appearance and features period antiques and artifacts from Low’s life. 142 Bull St., (912) 233-4501.

King-Tisdell Cottage. Located in the historic Beach Neighborhood, this restored Victorian cottage, built in 1896, serves as an African-American culture museum. 514 E. Huntingdon St., (912) 236-5161.

Mercer-Williams House. One of Savannah’s most historic mansions. The former home of Jim Williams, the antiques dealer immortalized in “Midnight in The Garden of Good and Evil,” is now open for tours. 429 Bull St. (enter through 430 Whitaker St.), (912) 236-6352.

The Rose Hill Plantation House. A significant example of Gothic Revival residential architecture. This 1858, four-story, cruciform Gothic Revival building stands majestic and tall with a steeply pitched copper gable roof along with period furnishings on 12 acres in the South Carolina Lowcountry. 199 Rose Hill Way, Bluffton, S.C. 29910, (843) 757-6046.

Sorrel-Weed HouseOne of the first two houses in Georgia to be designated a historic landmark. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and SCAD Architectural Committee voted it one of the most important houses in Savannah. 6 West Harris St., (912) 236-8888.

Telfair’s Owens-Thomas House. One of the finest examples of Regency architecture in the U.S., the Owens-Thomas House features a formal English garden and a restored carriage house. 124 Abercorn St., (912) 233-9743.

HISTORIC SITES / FORTS

Fort McAllister Historic Site. Located in Richmond Hill, Fort McAllister features Civil War era earthworks. Spur 144 off Hwy. 144, 22 miles south of Savannah, (912) 727-2339.

Fort Pulaski National Monument. This masonry fort fell to Union troops during the Civil War and features a drawbridge, moats and cannons. On U.S. 80, 10 miles east of Savannah, (912) 786-5787.

Fort Screven. Fort Screven on Tybee Island is one of the nation’s last coastal batteries. On Tybee Island, just off U.S. 80, (912) 786-4077.

Georgia Historical Society. Built in 1874-75, Hodgson Hall houses the Georgia Historical Society and serves as a research center and exhibition hall for an extensive collection of artifacts and documents. 501 Whitaker St., (912) 651-2125.

Historic Railroad Shops. An outstanding antebellum railroad repair facility and National Historic Landmark site featuring a collection of steam and diesel locomotives, a blacksmith shop and a massive roundhouse. 601 W. Harris St., (912) 651-6823.

Old Fort Jackson. The oldest standing fort in Georgia, Old Fort Jackson has been in use since 1808 and served as the headquarters for the Confederate river defenses during the Civil War. 1 Old Fort Jackson Rd., Islands Expressway, (912) 232-3945.

Wormsloe Historic Site. A historic plantation dating back to Savannah’s earliest settlers in the 18th century, Wormsloe features tabby plantation ruins and a majestic avenue of live oaks. 7601 Skidaway Rd., (912) 353-3023.

MUSEUMS

Mighty Eighth Air Force MuseumA museum devoted entirely to Air Force history, featuring interactive exhibits, guided tours, special programs throughout the year, library archives, a memorial garden and more. Exit 102 on I-95, Pooler, (912) 748-8888.

Oatland Island Wildlife Center. Operated by the Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools, this coastal nature center features a nature trail that winds through habitats with live animal exhibits such as alligators, wolves and cougars. Self-guided and guided trail walks available as well as a variety of Environmental Education programs for grades Pre K-12. Open 10 a.m.-4 p.m., except holidays. 711 Sandtown Rd., off Islands Expressway, (912) 898-3980.

Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum. Savannah’s struggle for civil rights comes to life in interactive exhibits, artifacts and educational displays. 460 MLK, Jr. Blvd., (912) 231-8900.

Savannah History Museum. In the former Central of Georgia Railway station, the Museum features exhibits which tell the story of Savannah from 1733 to the present. See Forrest Gump’s bench and the “Bird Girl” statue on the cover of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” 303 MLK, Jr. Blvd., (912) 651-6825.

Savannah Ogeechee Trail Canal Museum & Nature Center. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and on the State of Georgia Birding Trail. Finest native trees and plants. 681 Fort Argyle Rd., (912) 748-8068.

Ships of the Sea MuseumThis maritime museum, housed in the restored Scarbrough House, offers exhibits about maritime culture, ships and commerce. 41 MLK, Jr. Blvd., (912) 232-1511.

Tybee Island Lighthouse and MuseumFeaturing Georgia’s oldest and tallest lighthouse and 
a museum devoted to the history of Tybee Island. Tours are self guided. At the Lighthouse and Head Keepers Cottage there are volunteers on hand to answer questions. U.S. 80, Tybee Island, (912) 786-5801.

University of Georgia Marine Science Extension. Featuring an aquarium and ongoing educational programs. Skidaway Island, (912) 598-2496.