Things to Do in Savannah in the Winter
Winter in Savannah can be glorious, with mild weather, fewer visitors and off-season discounts on accommodations. However, the weather can change at the drop of a hat, so you’ll need to pack accordingly. With high temperatures in the low 60s, you’ll want a light jacket, sweatshirt or sweater. Some days can even be short-sleeve weather!
Mix up your sightseeing itinerary with indoor and outdoor activities, so you will always have something to do, even when you wake up to a chilly or rainy day.
Must Visit Festivals and Events While Exploring Savannah in the Winter
American Prohibition Museum
Plan a visit to the American Prohibition Museum and Speakeasy for one of the best Savannah, Georgia, things to do on a chilly day. This fantastic museum tells the story of Prohibition with vintage cars, an antique still and 1,000 interesting artifacts in 12 galleries. From the moment you step inside and see the vintage beer truck, you’ll know you are visiting someplace fun.
Tours are self-guided. Near the end of your tour, you’ll reach a secret door that opens up into the authentic 20s-style speakeasy, Congress Street Up. Monday through Saturday, you can purchase a Prohibition Era cocktail for an additional charge.
You can also experience the museum through a guided tour where entertaining guides, dressed in costume from the Roaring Twenties, will lead you through the story of Prohibition. A cocktail or mocktail is included with the guided tour option.
Savannah Old Town Trolley
Hop on the trolley! The Savannah Old Town Trolley is a hop-on-and-off tour with live narration from a knowledgeable local guide. Hop-on-and-off tours are an inexpensive way to get an overall idea of where to go and what to do. Ideally, you should add the trolley tour to your list of Savannah, Georgia, things to do on your first full day.
The trolley makes 15 stops, where passengers are free to stay on board or get off to explore. Trolleys run frequently, and once you are ready to hop back on, there is always another trolley about 20 minutes later.
The entire route takes 90 minutes if you stay onboard the whole time, without getting off at any stops. The friendly guides share fun stories and Savannah trivia along the way.
A great full-color map and a sheet of discount coupons are included with your admission ticket.
American Traditions Vocal Festival
For more than 30 years, the American Traditions Vocal Competition has welcomed talented singers to compete for cash prizes at an event that celebrates classic American music. This is the only professional singing competition that concentrates on all classic styles of American music. Each song the contestants perform must be written by a citizen of the United States.
Throughout the week-long event, the singers perform music from nine different genres. The contestants who make it through each round of the competition advance to the next day. Top performers advance to the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds.
Cash prizes are awarded at the end of the week. Specialty and major awards range from $500 to $12,000.
This popular event is held at the entertainment center in the Plant Riverside District in downtown Savannah.
Savannah Black Heritage Festival
For three weeks in February each year, Savannah State University and the City of Savannah join forces in a festival that celebrates contributions from African Americans in all aspects. This special event is sponsored by the City of Savannah’s Department of Cultural Resources.
The festival includes music, dance, theater, storytelling, art and food presentations. Performances take place at the John F. Kennedy Auditorium at Savannah State University.
The festival also includes financial planning and entrepreneurship presentations, lectures and hands-on crafts.
All events and activities are free and open to the public.
Savannah Book Festival
Over several days in mid-February, approximately 10,000 people will converge for one of the popular things to do in Savannah in the winter, the Savannah Book Festival.
During this fantastic festival, events will be scheduled in several historic buildings in downtown Savannah, including book signings and author meet-and-greets. Authors who will be in attendance include big names as well as noteworthy, up-and-coming newbies.
Saturday festival events are free and open to the public. Tickets to see the headliner presentations and the keynote address are available for a nominal fee.
Mountainfilm is a touring film festival that first began in Telluride, Colorado, in 1979. The Telluride event is held annually over Memorial Day weekend, showcasing nonfiction documentary films on issues that matter, including adventure, environmental, cultural, political and social justice. In 1999, the festival hit the road with the Mountainfilm touring festival.
Every January, Savannah is excited to play host to the touring Mountainfilm festival. Mountainfilm Savannah takes place at the beautiful Trustees Theater in downtown Savannah. Tickets for the two-day event are sold in advance online.
If you are looking for things to do in Savannah in January, the Mountainfilm Festival should be at the top of your list.
Enmarket Savannah Hockey Classic
If you like sports, then you are going to love this exciting event! Add the Enmarket Savannah Hockey Classic to your list of things to do in Savannah in the winter.
It’s a classic competition between rivaling Georgia and Florida. College hockey teams from the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida State and the University of Florida compete.
This exciting two-day event was formerly called the “Rumble in the Rink” or the Memorial Health Hockey Classic. The first tournament was held in January 1999.
The Savannah Hockey Classic is held over the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend every year. Tickets sell for a single day or for the entire two-day series held at the Enmarket Arena in the heart of Savannah.
Activities and Stuff to Do in Savannah, GA
Savannah Christmas Celebration
The lovely city of Savannah brings out all the holiday joy, and visitors will find a host of super fun things to do in Savannah in the winter for the holidays. Here are our top picks for Christmas celebrations in Savannah.
Spend an afternoon eating, listening to live holiday music and supporting local businesses at the Savannah Christmas Market in the Plant Riverside District downtown. You’ll enjoy children’s activities, live street performers, seasonal food specials and photos with Santa. Holiday market vendors at this festive European-style outdoor holiday market will line Savannah’s historic Waterfront.
The annual performance of A Christmas Tradition is where to go in Savannah at night for a great time. The show has been a holiday tradition at the Savannah Theatre for over 20 years. Guests laugh, sing, dance and have a jolly good time.
The holiday parade, Winter Wonderland Festival and the Tree Lighting Ceremony are held at the beginning of December. The parade is followed by holiday festivities in J F Gregory Park, including a snow play area, food trucks, a gingerbread contest and photos with Santa.
December Nights and Holiday Lights
If you are looking for where to go in Savannah at night, then look no further than the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens for their annual December Nights and Holiday Lights. You’ll enjoy five acres of enchanting botanical gardens covered in magical twinkling lights.
Grab your friends and family to walk through the gardens and enjoy the decorations as live music plays. The Merry Market is set up with vendor booths selling holiday gift items, and there are s’mores stations and food trucks to grab a snack or a meal. Rumor has it that this is where Santa Claus hangs out in December too!
Savannah Bridge Run
How about one of the healthier Savannah, Georgia, things to do in December? Every year on the first Saturday of December, 5,000 people, some dressed in costumes, make their way across the Talmadge Memorial Bridge in the Savannah Bridge Run.
There are three race options: 5K, which crosses the bridge once; 10K, which goes over the bridge twice; or the Bridge Run Double Pump, with a grueling third trip over the bridge. Costumed runners participate in a costume contest as individuals or as a group for cash prizes.
Directly following the race is a party with live music, good food and plenty of beer.
Experience House Tours
Savannah is home to an impressive number of stately old mansions that have been converted into museums open to the public. Spend a chilly winter day inside by exploring these lovely historic houses.
Four of Savannah’s finest historic mansions are within a 1-mile walk. Begin with the Davenport House Museum on Columbia Square in the Historic District. The Davenport House is a Federal-style building from 1820. From there, it’s only a couple of blocks to the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters, a Regency-style mansion from 1819.
It’s a 10-minute walk from the Owens-Thomas House to visit the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts organization. A house built in 1820, the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace is primarily a Federal-style home. The last stop on your walking tour would be the Harper Fowlkes House, only five minutes away. The Harper Fowlkes House is an impressive Greek Revival home built in 1842.
What Is There to Do in Savannah for 3 Days
Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum
Here’s something to do in Savannah, Georgia, that’s perfect for maritime history enthusiasts.
Located in the historic William Scarbrough House is an impressive collection of ship models, paintings and nautical antiques from the 18th and 19th centuries. The models are period correct and exceptionally detailed.
Models on display include oceangoing steamers, colonial vessels and modern navy ships. Visitors will see scale models of the Steamship Savannah, the Anne, the Wanderer, the City of Savannah and the RMS Titanic.
First African Baptist Church
Visit America’s oldest African American church, the First African Baptist Church in downtown Savannah. The congregation was founded in 1773, even before the Declaration of Independence, and the church sanctuary was built in 1859.
The church played an integral role in the Underground Railroad during the Civil War, and elements from that history are still there today. When you visit, look for the small holes in the floorboards which provided ventilation for the men and women hidden under the floor.
The stained-glass windows, light fixtures and baptismal pool were all installed in the late 1800s.
Jepson Center for the Arts
The Jepson Center is the third member of the Telfair trinity of museums, along with the Telfair Academy and the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters.
The Jepson Center is Savannah’s popular contemporary art museum housed in an impressive 7,500-square-foot modern building. The museum showcases the artwork of contemporary artists worldwide from both permanent and traveling exhibitions. There is also a special children’s area with 14 hands-on activities.
Purchase the special 3-in-1 ticket to get access to the Jepson, the Telfair Museum and the Owens-Thomas House. All three are within close walking distance.
National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force
The Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force is a great place to spend a day, no matter the weather. This museum is 90,000 square feet of exhibits guaranteed to impress everyone, especially history and aviation enthusiasts.
The museum focuses on the history of the Eighth Air Force during WWII, with original aircraft, scale models, engines, artifacts, an art gallery, and a chapel with beautiful stained-glass windows. Aircraft on display include an F-4C Phantom, a Boeing-Stearman PT Kaydet, the B-17 Flying Fortress, a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17A, a B-47 Stratojet and the nosepiece of the B-24 Liberator, nicknamed the “Fightin’ Sam.”
Also on display are some of the personal items that were carried by members of the Eighth Air Force during WWII.
When hunger calls, the museum also has an English pub serving good food and drinks.
What is there to do in Savannah on a cold day?
The best indoor activities include world-class art museums, impressive mansion tours and museums of Civil War and WWII history. For the most fun indoors on a chilly day, explore the American Prohibition Museum and Speakeasy, take in a toe-tapping show at the historic Savannah Theater and visit the Georgia State Railroad Museum.
Is Savannah good to visit in December?
Savannah can be a secret gem in December! The weather is usually mild, with high temperatures in the mid-60s, allowing you to leave your winter coat at home and pack a light jacket. While December in Savannah is usually mild, the weather can fluctuate so it’s always a good idea to check the weather before your trip. The summer crowds are gone, so you won’t be in competition for space at the popular restaurants, bars, museums and historic homes.
Does it snow in Savannah, Georgia?
Snow in Savannah is an extremely rare occurrence. The last time it snowed in Savannah, GA, was January 2018, a glorious day for kids who never saw snow in real life! Before then, there was snow in Savannah in 2010 and 1996. It’s safe to say you can leave your winter gear at home.
What is the coldest month in Savannah, Georgia?
The coldest month in Savannah is January. Average high temperatures will hover around 61 degrees Fahrenheit, while average low temperatures will dip down to 41 degrees. If cooler temps don’t bother you, then a trip to Savannah in January is a great time to visit popular attractions such as the American Prohibition Museum without the crowds.
What is considered off-season in Savannah, Georgia?
Savannah’s off-season is generally late fall through early spring. Consider what time of year kids, college students and teachers are on break, and those days are high season. The off-season begins around the time students return to school, outside of holidays. The best time to visit Savannah for lower hotel prices is late fall through early spring.
Does Savannah still have paper mills?
The International Paper Company maintains two paper mills in the greater Savannah area with 630 employees. The International Paper Port Wentworth facility is 12 miles north of downtown Savannah. Within 5 miles of downtown is the International Paper mill on Lathrop. International Paper is the largest paper and pulp company in the world.