Things to Do in Savannah in the Summer
You’ve probably heard about the friendly southern people, lively atmosphere and fantastic food in the South. If you are planning a summer vacation, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of summer things to do in Savannah.
For families with teenagers, there are fun activities like the Ghosts & Gravestones trolley tour and the beaches at Tybee Island. Younger children enjoy a trip to the Oatland Island Wildlife Center, a ride on a Savannah riverboat or a trip to the Georgia State Railroad Museum.
If your summer holiday is a romantic getaway, then exploring the American Prohibition Museum, having dinner at the Olde Pink House and taking a cocktail-making class at the Congress Street Up speakeasy are all great summer activities.
History buffs and art lovers will enjoy exploring the many air-conditioned museums that Savannah has to offer.
Let’s take a look at some of the top things to do in the Savannah summer.
American Prohibition Museum
The only museum of its kind, and only in Savannah! The American Prohibition Museum is the only museum whose guides and historical exhibits are dedicated to telling the story of Prohibition.
Step back in time to the Roaring Twenties and see an era that forever changed America. You’ll see vintage cars and antiques that tell the story of flapper girls, rumrunners and a hatchet-wielding crusader named Carry Nation.
The exhibit on the making of moonshine has an impressive collection of vintage stills and a lesson on alcohol proof levels. Costumed guides tell entertaining stories about the history of Prohibition in America.
After exploring the museum exhibits, you can visit the 20s-era speakeasy for a Prohibition-style cocktail.
Congress Street Up Cocktail Classes
During Prohibition, when liquor was made in secret, the alcohol was really strong. Bartenders began to combine the alcohol with various mixers so it would be easier to drink.
If you are looking for something fun to do at night in Savannah, then take a cocktail class at the Congress Street Up speakeasy. You’ll learn how to make those classic Prohibition-era cocktails and hear stories of the history behind them. Once you’ve made the cocktails, you get to drink your creations!
Classes are taught by professional bartenders every Monday through Saturday evening at 7:00 pm. Class sizes are limited, and registration is required in advance.
Historic House Tours
Touring historic houses is one of the Savannah summer things you can do to get out of the heat. These grand southern homes have been restored with modern conveniences like air conditioning!
The Andrew Low House in Lafayette Square was built in the Italianate style and completed in 1849. Visitors can tour the Green-Meldrim House on Macon Street, a Gothic Revival building, and see General Sherman’s headquarters during the Civil War.
The Harper Fowlkes House on Barnard Street is a lovely example of a stately southern home. The Owens-Thomas House is an elegant English Regency mansion where visitors tour the house and the adjacent historic slave quarters.
The Mercer-Williams House on Bull Street contains the history of a scene from the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
When it’s too hot outside, then it’s time to enjoy Savannah summer activities on the water. Here are three great ways to cool off when you are visiting Savannah in the heat of summer.
Savannah Riverboat Sightseeing
Embark on a replica paddle-wheel steamboat in downtown Savannah. You’ll cruise downriver toward Old Fort Jackson while the captain shares stories and historical facts about Savannah’s modern port. The sightseeing cruise is about 1.5 hours.
Head Out to Little Tybee Island
Just 30 minutes south of Savannah is Tybee Island, a barrier island with miles of sand beaches, restaurants and shops. South of Tybee Island is the uninhabited nature preserve called Little Tybee Island. Only reachable by boat, this secret gem is often overlooked by visitors.
Go Fishing — Inshore, Near Shore or Offshore
Savannah is a water town surrounded by rivers, lakes and the mighty Atlantic Ocean. Anglers hit the water in search of bass, trout, whiting, red drum and others. Or, you can chase trophy-sized fish by booking a deep-sea charter.
Visit the Ellis Square Fountain
If you are visiting Savannah with children in the summer, then head to the Ellis Square fountain. The Ellis fountain is a popular place for kids to run and play while dancing jets shoot water up from the ground at random intervals. Colored lights illuminate the water jets at night, lighting the water with different colors.
Stop by the Savannah Visitor Center on the northwest corner of Ellis Square for information, tour maps and brochures. There is a public restroom next to the visitor center.
A bronze statue of Johnny Mercer, on the west side of Ellis Square, honors this Savannah native who wrote the famous song “Moon River,” along with at least 1,400 others.
When you are looking for things to do in the Savannah summer to escape the heat, spending time in air-conditioned bliss most likely tops the list. Thankfully, Savannah museums fill that requirement. The following museums are each part of the Coastal Heritage Society (CHS). A combination ticket that gives discounted admission to all six members of the CHS is available.
Pin Point Heritage Museum
The small community of Pin Point was isolated on a spot along the Moon River, south of Savannah. This small museum, in a former oyster and crab factory, is dedicated to the Gullah Geechee culture of the area, with exhibits, multimedia presentations and a view of the surrounding marsh.
Savannah History Museum
The Savannah History Museum has exhibits that share the city’s history from 1733 to the modern day. A highlight of the museum is the famous bench Tom Hanks sat on as he waited for a bus during the filming of Forrest Gump.
Georgia State Railroad Museum
Visitors to the Georgia State Railroad Museum can see restored antique locomotives, a vintage handcar and model train exhibits. Check the museum’s website for scheduled rides on a historic steam train or diesel locomotive.
Guided Savannah City Tours
Get the lay of the land with city tours during the Savannah summer.
Old Town Trolley has city tours on a trolley with great big windows to let the breeze in. You’ll see more than 100 of Savannah’s best points of interest with a local guide who is entertaining and knowledgeable about Savannah’s history.
Savannah is considered the most haunted city in America. You can take a ghost tour with a local guide who leads visitors around the city, sharing tales of ghosts, spirit sightings and paranormal shenanigans.
Take a walking food tour of Savannah to try the local food, see the sites, meet new people and have a drink or two.
Visit Oatland Island Wildlife Center
The Oatland Island Wildlife preserve is only 20 minutes from downtown Savannah, with a surprising menagerie of animals. If you are an animal lover, or looking for summer things to do in Savannah for kids, then add this to your itinerary.
The animal reserve is over 100 acres of maritime forest with five main areas of exhibits. There is a two-mile nature trail that meanders through the reserve and leads you through the exhibits.
The Oatland Island Wildlife Center is home to 95 animals from 39 species, including mammals, fish, birds and reptiles. Some of the animals you’ll see there include angora goats, American alligators, bison, bald eagles, barred owls, bobcats, cougars, snakes, turtles, tortoises, hawks, red-tailed deer and many more.
Brewery Tours in Savannah
An ice-cold beer is a perfect companion to a hot day in the South. The only thing better is several cold beers, which makes a Savannah brewery tour one of the top things to do in Savannah for adults.
The brewmasters in Savannah are making some excellent beer, and it would be a shame to visit Savannah in the summer without enjoying a tasting or two.
Brewery tours in Savannah are led by a fun local guide onboard a comfortable air-conditioned tour bus. The tours typically visit between two and four of Savannah’s finest craft breweries. Breweries you might visit include Southbound Brewing Company, Moon River Brewing, Service Brewing Co. and the Coastal Empire Beer Co.
What’s the Savannah summer climate like?
Summers in Savannah are hot and humid. High temperatures will range in the low to mid-90s. Savannah’s climate is considered humid subtropical. While most summer days are clear and sunny, August is the wettest month of the year, with an average of 7.20 inches of rain.
Is Savannah a cool place for a summer vacation?
Savannah, in the summer, is a cool place to go on vacation! You’ll find beautiful scenery, friendly people and historical sites dating back to the American Revolution. There are also unique attractions such as the American Prohibition Museum, the Pirates’ House with its spooky stories and the most haunted cemetery, Colonial Park Cemetery.
What are the best places to visit in Savannah with family?
Fun activities for families in Savannah include taking a Savannah riverboat cruise, running through the Ellis Square fountain and seeing the animals at the Oatland Island Wildlife Center. Teenagers especially enjoy the beaches at Tybee Island, the haunted trolley tours and taking Instagram pictures at the fountain in Forsyth Park. The top activity in Savannah for families of all ages is a trip to Leopold’s Ice Cream shop for a sweet treat!