With its walkable downtown area and beautiful year-round weather, Savannah, Georgia is a great destination for families. Let your little ones run free in the city’s many stunning parks, while older kids will enjoy delving into Savannah’s fascinating history. These exciting attractions provide something for the whole family, and as an added bonus, many are just a short distance from most popular Savannah vacation rentals. Without further ado, here are a few unforgettable family-friendly attractions in Savannah.
1. Ride the Train at the Georgia State Railroad Museum
Take a ride on a historic steam train at the Georgia State Railroad Museum, a must-see for railroad enthusiasts of all ages. Watch engineers load up the engine with coal, and hop on the train as it circulates the park. Kids can also ride a hand-operated cart, climb through historic train cars, and watch as workers use a fully operational turntable to rotate a locomotive. Conveniently located in Tricentennial Park, the museum is an easy walk from your downtown Savannah vacation rental.
2. Check Out the Savannah Children’s Museum
Make the most of Savannah’s spectacular weather with a visit to the Savannah Children’s Museum, which is located entirely outdoors. The exciting onsite maze is fun for both kids and adults, and the sensory garden delights little ones. A two-story playground and a reading nook provide hours of fun, and the museum’s daily program options provide educational activities. If you’re visiting with adults or teenagers, you can still find plenty to do; the museum is built on the ruins of the former Central of Georgia Railway Carpentry Shop, so it provides many opportunities for exploration.
3. Spot Wildlife at the Oatland Island Wildlife Center
Delight your small animal lovers with a trip to the Oatland Island Wildlife Center, which sits just 6 miles from downtown. A well-developed nature trail system winds through the park, bringing you to different habitats. Watch timber wolves and Armadillo flying squirrels, try to spot alligators, and keep your eyes peeled for elusive Panthers. In the Predators of Georgia area, you can spot local cougars, bobcats, and red foxes. If you are vacationing with small children, don’t miss the exciting Toddler Tuesday sessions, which include live animal encounters, crafts, stories, and more.
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4. Touch the Artwork at the ArtZeum
Escape the heat or inclement weather by heading indoors to the ArtZeum at the Jepson Center for the Arts. Here, little ones are encouraged to interact with the different displays. Take your children on a walk through the spectacular Glass House built by Therman Statom, or help them build colorful 3-D structures with the museum’s collection of magnetic tiles. In the Art Garden area, kids use hoses and other garden implements to design a custom exhibit. Some displays relate directly to Savannah’s classic architecture, creating interesting discussion topics for the rest of your vacation.
5. Hit the Beach
Spend a day by the sea on beautiful Tybee Island. Located about 20 miles from downtown, this area is affectionately known as Savannah’s beach. Enjoy a day of sunbathing and swimming, or rent kayaks to explore the shoreline and nearby channels. Work off some energy by climbing to the top of the Tybee Island Light Station lighthouse, which offers a great view of the island. In the summer, pack a blanket and snacks and head to Memorial Park at sunset for the Movies in the Park series.
6. Visit the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace
If you have a Girl Scout in the family, your trip to Savannah isn’t complete without a visit to the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace. This National Historic Landmark preserves the childhood home of the Girl Scouts’ founder and reinforces the organization’s message of female empowerment. Explore the many onsite exhibits to learn about the Girl Scouts, see how girls are changing the world, and purchase souvenirs from women-owned businesses in the gift shop. Explore on your own, or book a guided tour for an entertaining and in-depth look at the facility.
7. Dine With Pirates
Learn about Savannah’s pirate-heavy history at the Pirate’s House. This historic building was once an inn catering to pirates and privateers; now, it’s a one-of-a-kind restaurant. Choose from 15 different dining areas located in the former hotel rooms, and be sure to explore the dungeon after dessert. Adult visitors enjoy the varied menu and intriguing architecture, and little ones can stay on the lookout for the pirates that wander the property.
8. Take a Ghost Tour
Savannah is chock full of legendary hauntings and ghost stories. Companies including Ghost City, Savannah Ghost Walks, and Sixth Sense Savannah offer walking tours that show you the city’s creepiest sites. Alternatively, book a ghost-themed evening ride with Old Town Trolley Tours. Many routes include the Gribble House, the Marshall House, and Factor’s Walk. If you don’t believe in ghosts, the tours are still great fun and offer an introduction to some of Savannah’s most famous historic sites.
9. Explore a Historic Fort
Experience Civil War history at Fort Pulaski National Monument, a well-preserved Confederate stronghold. Cross the moat on a drawbridge, look for shells embedded in the thick walls, and walk along the edge of the masonry walls. Kids can wander through the courtyard and arched walkways to get a feeling for what life was like for soldiers during the war, while adults can marvel at the groundbreaking military architecture. On weekends, watch as staff members fire off the cannon in the central courtyard; the park also offers daily rifle-musket demonstrations.
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