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Explore Historic Savannah on a Budget

Chereen.Langrill

Savannah, Georgia is known for its beautiful historic downtown and towering oak trees dripping with Spanish moss.

A visit to this breathtaking and historic city doesn’t have to be a budget buster. Here’s how to make the most of a trip to Savannah and stay on budget.

Forsyth Park

This beautiful 30-acre park is located in the city’s historic downtown district. The park features large grassy areas for those wishing to lounge in the sun or play a game of football. A beautiful fountain sits in the middle of the park and has become an iconic symbol of the city. It is the largest park in the city and often hosts outdoor concerts and farmers’ markets. On warm days, bring your kids’ bathing suits so they can play on the spray pad located next to the toddler playground! If you get thirsty or need a snack, there is a café on site that serves Starbucks. Location: The park is bordered by Gaston Street to the North and Park Avenue to the South. Free.

Broughton Street

I consider this the “main drag” downtown. Broughton Street is the ideal spot for window shopping, people watching and wandering, with charming boutiques, restaurants and many community events. Be sure to drop by Leopold’s Ice Cream (212 Broughton St.). It’s an old-fashioned ice cream parlor filled with movie posters and props from Hollywood films produced by the shop’s owner, Stratton Leopold.

Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens

Located at the Historic Bamboo Farm, this 50-acre property is an educational/demonstration center that features a massive collection of plants and is a beautiful place to explore with children. Tours of the grounds are self guided. My kids love taking bread to feed the fish in the pond located at the back of the property. The gardens are at 2 Canebrake Road near I-95. Free.

Historic River Street and Savannah Belles Ferry

Enjoy a walk on River Street, which runs parallel to the Savannah River. River Street is also home to numerous shops, restaurants and pubs. This area is very tourist-friendly (the Convention and Visitors Bureau is located in this district) and even offers a free shuttle service. There are numerous benches along River Street (great for people-watching!) and a small play area for kids. You can also catch the Savannah Belles Ferry (free) and cross the river for more exploring, or just take a round-trip (especially fun for kids!).

Oatland Island Wildlife Center of Savannah

Located just minutes from Historic Downtown Savannah, the Oatland Island Wildlife Center is a fun, inexpensive family outing. Walk the trails around the center and have the chance to see beautiful gray wolves, a bobcat, bald eagle and more. On warm days, we have had snakes cross our path so be sure to wear closed-toe shoes! The center is open daily from 10 a.m. to  5 p.m. (except on Thanksgiving, Dec. 24 and 25 and New Year’s Day). Location: 711 Sandtown Road. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for ages 4 to 17 and free for children 3 and younger.

Old Fort Jackson

Recognized as a national historic landmark, Old Fort Jackson is located along the Savannah River and is recognized as Georgia’s oldest standing brick fort. Visitors can view cannon firings on the weekends, and various interactive programs are offered on most days. Location: 1 Fort Jackson Road. General admission is $6, and children under 6 get in for free.

Tybee Island

If hanging out at the beach is your thing (it is definitely mine), head out to Tybee Island, just 18 miles east of Savannah on Highway 80, and soak up the sun! Parking is $1.50/hr on Tybee. There are also lots of restaurants, fishing piers, and other outdoor activities (kayak rentals, dolphin tours and more) available for those wanting to spend a little more money.

Fort Pulaski National Monument

Get a close look at a significant part of Georgia’s history at Fort Pulaski National Monument. Construction began on this fort in 1829. During the Civil War, it was captured by Union forces and turned into a prison for captured Confederate officers. To learn more about the history (and maybe catch a glimpse of the gator swimming around the moat!), visit Monday through Sunday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (there are extended hours during the summer, and the monument is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day). Location: Hwy 80 East on Tybee Island.

 This has been a guest post by Erika from Charleston, SC
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