If you want to dip your toes into traveling in the American Deep South, you simply must pay a visit to Savannah, Georgia. Even with only one day in Savannah, Georgia, you can get a great taste of what the city has to offer. And I use the word “taste” here literally. Food should definitely be a key component of your day trip to Savannah. Here’s how to spend one day in Savannah, Georgia.
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This itinerary works equally well paired with an overnight stay in the city (maybe as part of a weekend getaway to Savannah) or as a Savannah day trip itinerary.
One day Savannah itinerary
Breakfast at the Collins Quarter Cafe
If you’re going to do Savannah in one day you need to fuel up first. Start your day with a relaxed breakfast at The Collins Quarter on Bull Street. The Collins Quarter is a popular spot, but they do not take breakfast reservations so get there early if you can.
In our experience it starts getting noticeably busy close to 9 a.m. There is also outdoor seating, but I loved the décor and atmosphere inside the café.
The Collins Quarter has a lot of great gluten-free options and a few solid vegetarian options as well. Hubby recommends “Leo’s Big Breakfast,” and I really enjoyed the bananas foster French toast. Portions here are generous.
If you enjoy coffee drinks at all you have to try the spiced lavender mocha. It is without a doubt the best mocha I have ever tasted. Yes, it does have tiny little lavender blossoms sprinkled on the top, and they are just perfection.
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Savannah History Walking Tour
History walking tours are a great way to get an overall picture of your destination. What better way to learn more about your destination than have a local show you around and tell you all the best stories? I know that I can appreciation a city more if a learn a little about its culture and history.
And Savannah drips with history. We highly recommend Genteel & Bard’s Savannah History Tour.
They also offer a ghost tour. (Savannah locals like to talk about how haunted their city is. In fact, our valet at dinner one night told us that Savannah is the most haunted city in the U.S.)
T.C. Michaels is an outstanding and friendly guide. He truly brought the city to life, from its planning and founding up to the present. If you are at all interested in the history of Savannah or even if you just want to hear some good stories from a great storyteller, give this tour a try. It will most definitely make you appreciate Savannah more as well as the people who worked so hard to preserve it for future generations to enjoy.
If a walking tour is not a good fit for you, you might enjoy a trolley tour of historic Savannah.
Or visit your choice of more than 100 Savannah sites at your own pace with the Savannah Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour.
If you’re more of a foodie than an American history buff, or if you’re feeling kind of “been there, done that” with history tours, consider booking the Savannah First Square Food Tour rather than a walking history tour.
Lunch at Fox & Fig
After a walking tour you will no doubt be ready for some lunch. We recommend giving the local plant-based cuisine a try at Fox & Fig Café (321 Habersham Street). The food and service are great. Be advised that the dining room is quite small, but they do offer takeout.
I recommend the Fox Burger and their Gunslinger Pancakes are popular. Some menu items are gluten-free or can be made gluten-free upon request.
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Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist
After your lunch, take a quick walk over to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (222 East Harris Street). Though the church is a functioning parish, they are open for visitors. They suggest a $3 per adult cash donation. Photography of the interior is only allowed for personal use.
As you would when visiting any place of worship, while you’re at St. John the Baptist please be respectful of the space and those who work and worship there.
There are many other great Savannah sites you could see during your afternoon also:
- Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home
- Green-Meldrim House, General William Tecumseh Sherman’s headquarters during the occupation of Savannah
- Forsythe Park
- Mercer-Williams House Museum
- Visit some of Savannah’s 22 squares
After your afternoon of sightseeing, it’s time to head to the Savannah River.
Enjoy a Walk Down River Street
I do have to admit River Street has become a rather touristy area, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a stroll down it once or twice. You might even find a souvenir to take home with you.
If you’re feeling snackish, try River Street Sweets for their famous pralines.
Be advised that Savannah does have an open container law, so you will likely see people walking around (especially at night) with alcoholic beverages.
Cars are permitted to drive on River Street, but there is very limited parking.
Dinner at Vic’s on the River
After a day of walking through Savannah you’ll enjoy a nice, quiet dinner with a view of the river.
We recommend making dinner reservations for Vic’s on the River (26 E Bay St). They do offer valet parking out front on Bay Street, which will help you make your reservation on time without having to scour for a space.
You can also get to the restaurant through Vic’s Coffee Bar on River Street. Just take the elevator up to the fourth floor.
The food and service at Vic’s on the River are outstanding. They have a large number of gluten-free options, but they’re a little light on the vegetarian options. I was able to make a delicious dinner though out of the baby Tuscan kale salad with preserved lemon (resisting the temptation to lick my plate clean) and the fried green tomatoes with grits and goat cheese appetizer. Hubby quite enjoyed their filet with sour cream and chive mashed potatoes.
Dessert at Leopold’s
After dinner, of course you need to try the famous Leopold’s ice cream (212 E. Broughton St.) for dessert. Expect lines out the door if you visit Savannah during high season. In off-season or shoulder season you might only have to wait a few minutes to order.
Leopold’s has been serving ice cream to hungry Savannah residents and tourists for 100 years. They’re probably most famous for their Tutti Frutti ice cream. I love the Savannah Socialite which is chocolate ice cream with Georgia pecans and bourbon caramel. It. Is. Delicious.
The shop is full of all sorts of Hollywood memorabilia, because the son of the founder had a dream to work in Hollywood, so off he went. He has credits as a producer or executive producer on more than 20 films including The Sum of All Fears and Mission Impossible: III.
Savannah, Georgia, Travel Tips
- Wear comfortable shoes. With limited street parking, the best way to see Savannah is to walk around its Historic Center.
- Expect it to be quite warm even well into the fall or early spring, and dress appropriately for the weather.
- Pack a good appetite. Savannah is chock full of great food. You could honestly go to Savannah just for the food and leave happy…except for regretting the food you missed.
- I recommend staying in the historic downtown area. You’ll enjoy being in the heart of the city and it will reduce the need to drive around from site to site. Street parking in Savannah can be hard to come by as well as expensive.
Where to stay in Savannah, Georgia
If your one day in Savannah is more than just a day trip and you’re planning to stay for a night or two, we highly recommend the Marriott Savannah Riverfront (100 General McIntosh Blvd) river view rooms. The hotel is conveniently located at the end of historic River Street, just steps from the famous Waving Girl Statue. The hotel is quite comfortable, and the staff are friendly.
Don’t miss your chance to explore this amazing city. It’s full of some amazing and quirky history. And did I mention the food?