Less than four hours from both Charlotte and Atlanta, Savannah, Georgia, is the perfect weekend getaway. Steeped in history and close to the beach (only half an hour to beautiful Tybee Island), there is something for everyone. We’re sharing our favorite things to do in Savannah with kids that are perfect if you have a couple of days to spend exploring the area.
SAVANNAH HOP ON – HOP OFF TROLLEY TOUR
It should come as no surprise that we LOVE doing tours when we visit a new-to-us city, and the Hop On – Hop Off Trolley Tours from Old Town Trolley are one of our favorites. The open-air trolley tour allows you to get a great overview of the city. The tour is a 90-minute loop with fifteen different hop-on/hop-off stops. You can do the full loop without getting off, which gives you a quick tour of Savannah, hop off at any number of the stops, or do a combination of the two. We only had a few hours to explore, so we picked our top choices and only got off the trolley a few times.
Savannah is a GORGEOUS city, and it is best seen from the street. Tree-lined streets and small parks can be found around every turn, and beautiful Spanish moss hangs from the trees. Interesting fact – did you know that Spanish moss is not actually Spanish or moss but a flowering plant?! So cool!
On our trolley tour, we learned about the various squares within the city of Savannah – there are TWENTY-TWO! One of my favorites was Chippewa Square, where the famous scene with Forest Gump sitting on a bench was filmed.
Did you even visit Savannah if you didn’t stop at Leopold’s Ice Cream for a few scoops of their super-premium ice cream?! With a line stretching down the block (that looked longer than it was due to COVID distancing protocols), Leopold’s has been a Savannah institution for over a century. Stop 8 is the closest on the Old Town Trolley route, and then it’s just a couple of blocks away.
Ellie was excited that I let her order TWO scoops of ice cream! And she promptly devoured it all!
The hop-on/hop-off tour has 15 stops throughout Savannah so that you can explore all this wonderful city has to offer. One-day and two-day ticket options make the Old Town Trolley tour an easy way to immerse yourself in Savannah without dealing with traffic and parking. It’s the perfect choice for exploring Savannah with kids!
AMERICAN PROHIBITION MUSEUM
I’ve always been a history buff, and the kids are as well, so we take any chance we can to check out history museums. The American Prohibition Museum, located right in the heart of Savannah (at Stop 7 on the trolley tour!), was excellent.
Over a century ago, the 18th Amendment was passed in 1919, and the sale, transportation, and consumption of alcohol was immediately prohibited. As you can imagine, that didn’t go over well. From rum runners to moonshine to flappers and gangsters, America has a storied history. We learned things at the American Prohibition Museum that we’ve not learned elsewhere. Did you know that over 10,000 people died from poisoned alcohol during the prohibition era?
The homemade sanitizer throughout the museum was a fun touch!
At the end of the museum, there’s a quick video that we all really enjoyed. I often wonder if the kids like stopping for museum videos and they always do – it really helps to solidify what they learned in the museum. The American Prohibition Museum is open daily from 10am-5pm, and the last entry is at 415pm. We spent about 45-60 minutes in the museum, and that felt like the perfect amount of time to fully explore all of the exhibits.
GHOST TOUR IN SAVANNAH WITH KIDS
The kids have been begging to do a ghost tour in every city that we see them offered, and since we had a free evening in Savannah, I was happy to oblige.
The Ghosts and Gravestones Frightseeing tour is offered by Old Town Trolley – in fact; you can even purchase combo tickets for the daytime trolley tour + a ghost tour. Unlike the daytime tours, this one is PG-13, and no kids under 6 are allowed. For the bulk of the tour, you stay seated on the trolley while the Ghost Host introduces you to the darker side of Savannah. There are two opportunities to get off the trolley, the first at the Andrew Low House and the second at the Perkin’s & Son’s Ship Chandlery.
This is the Andrew Low House and what many consider to be the most “active” house in Savannah. As part of the Ghosts and Gravestones tour, you get to go inside the house – if you’re brave enough! In all seriousness, though, while the stories told about activity in the house may scare small children, none of mine were bothered at all (ages 7-17). As for encountering any spirits, I will say that we didn’t see any, but a couple of us noticed a strong cigar smell in the dining room… in a house where no one was smoking… and no one smelled like cigars…
The Low Bedroom, first occupied by Andrew Low and his second wife, Mary Stiles, and later by their son, William, and his wife, Juliette Gorden Low (the founder of the Girl Scouts), is reported to be haunted. Juliette died in this room, and many have claimed to see her sleeping on this bed.
After our Ghosts and Gravestones tour, we walked along the river for a while. There’s just something about being near the water that makes my heart happy, and it was the perfect way to end a busy trip! Have you visited Savannah before? Where should we make sure to check out next time we’re in town??
OTHER FUN PLACES TO EXPLORE IN GEORGIA
- St Simons Island | Georgia
- Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge | Georgia
- Center for Civil and Human Rights | Atlanta, GA