After pick up from our RV in Baltimore MD, we've made some miles on the east coast of USA. We were really looking forward to nicer weather! As a result, we quickly crossed the states of Virginia, North and South Carolina, and then visited the beautiful city of Savannah in the state of Georgia. In this article you can read how we experienced this green, European-feeling city. We also give you tips for things to see and do. For camper travelers and overlanders among us, we have finally shared places where you can spend the night for free at the bottom of the blog. Are you traveling with us?
This article is part of a large one-year tour the United States en Canada, with a Dutch 4×4 camper that we shipped ourselves… It is a bucket list worthy and an once in a lifetime experience that will never be forgotten.
We wrote almost 100 articles about this ultimate tour. Visit our North America page for more information.
Table of contents
About Savannah Georgia
Savannah is the oldest city in the state of Georgia and it's on the Savannah River. The city was founded in 1733 by English settlers and it was the capital of the colony of Georgia at the time. The city is surrounded by swampland. The climate is subtropical and that is immediately apparent from the vegetation.
Savannah is heavily frequented by tourists. More than 2019 million people came in 14! Unfortunately, after some research, I can't find where these tourists come from. We suspect that these mainly come from other states of the US…
Parking in the city is possible in one of the many streets. You pay by means of a parking meter. We have our camper for free opposite side placed from the river, at the Savannah Convention Center† A cute little ferry called Savannah Belles Ferry takes you from make free to the other side.
Tip:: take a good look around you from the ferry. You have a nice view of the city, the Georgia Queen Riverboat (when she's not out there) and with some luck you can see dolphins!
Things to do and see in Savannah
1. Just drive around
If you travel with a camper or car, you can of course also just drive through the city! You immediately get a picture of the city. We drove through the city on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning. You can view the images below.
2. Book a tour of Savannah, Georgia
'Trams' run through the streets of Savannah, acting as a kind of hop-on-hop-off bus. Naturally, these tours will take you to all the sights in Savannah, but there is more…
After all, they are not the standard tours of a Sight-seeing chain that you see in the major cities around the world ... The tours in Savannah are offered by real local companies and retirees who live there. They tell you live about the city and answer all your questions, which gives it that little bit extra.
You can opt for historical tours but also ghost tours that take place in the evening. Savannah, Georgia is known for its spooky buildings and scary trees (more on that in point 5, the Spanish moss). The various tours, whether or not in combination with river boat tours, are here bookable from USD 36 per person.
3. Cycling or just walking around
You will also see many tourists on bicycles. Sometimes they are in a large group and sometimes they are tourists who get a private tour. There are many different providers of bicycle rental, Segways and bicycle tours. You can book a tour yourself here.
Of course you can also choose to just walk around the city. That is also a good thing to do! The town is not that big and when it's hot, plenty of trees provide shade. We do like walking and walked around here for hours without a goal.
4. Visit the many Savannah Squares
In 'Downtown Savannah', including the historic district, you will find no less than twenty-two small parks, so-called Savannah Squares. Each square has its own name. Often named a historical figure to honor or commemorate him/her.
5. Forrest Gump / Chippewa Square
Fan of the movie classic Forrest Gump† For the park Chippewa Square (Location here) includes the scene where Forrest tells his story to strangers at the bus stop, just before catching the bus to visit his beloved Jenny. The bench is no longer there, they have secured it in the Savannah History Museum due to its enormous popularity. One of the scenes at the park can be seen below via YouTube.
6. Forsyth Park
The largest park in the city is Forsyth Park (Location here). There is a beautiful fountain, a playground and you can practice various sports. We were there on a sunny day and the park was very busy!
The 21-hectare park dates back to the 1840s and several benches, fountains and fences were installed in the 1850s. Originally the park was intended as a park for military parades but over the years it became a popular park for the locals.
What is striking about this park, and actually in all of Savannah, is that you see the trees full of moss everywhere. It is a kind of Spanish moss that was brought here hundreds of years ago and has since become an indispensable part of the city. The moss gives a ghostly impression to the trees in Savannah, especially at night.
7. See the colonial houses and buildings
You will find beautiful colonial houses and other buildings around the squares, but also in the streets of Savannah. They make you feel like you've stepped back in time. You just have to wander the streets to see them. In fact, everything here is maintained down to the last detail. The colorful paint on the buildings and the perfectly maintained parks and gardens show that the street scene is very important here.
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8.Independent Presbyterian Church
If you don't pay attention, you can easily pass the building through all the greenery, but this beautiful church rises just above the treetops and is definitely worth a visit. It seems as if the church is brand new, it is that beautiful. Yet the building dates back to the 1800s and what makes this church so unique is that it is stark white from the inside. The large windows and the white walls and ceiling (which has been beautifully decorated) give this church a unique vibe that you are not used to from a church.
Unfortunately the church was closed to visitors when we were there but if you get the chance to go inside I would absolutely do it. on the website from the church you can see what it looks like from the inside.
9. Drink coffee at the best coffee bar
The Gallery Espresso coffee bar (location here), is the best coffee shop in Savannah. I don't just say that, this is the conclusion I draw from the countless reviews that have been written about this case online. Not only can you get well-prepared coffee there, you can also buy countless coffees and teas by the pound to take with you.
Inside you mainly see locals working on their laptops while enjoying a good cup of coffee. Fortunately, the coffee bar has both indoor and outdoor tables and what makes it extra fun is that this bar is located on the corner of the world famous park (Chippewa Square) where scenes from Forrest Gump were recorded, as you could read in point 4. So combine these 2!
10. Cathedral Basilica of St John
From many places in the city, especially from the famous cemetery, you can already see the two towers of the Cathedral Basilica of St. John above the trees. This building also looks like it has just been put down, maintained to perfection. But that hasn't always been the case.
The cathedral was built in 1873 and the two spires were not added until 1896. The building was then badly damaged by a heavy fire in 1898 and was then completely restored in 1899. The stained glass windows date from 1904 and come from Austria. In 1998 the church was completely restored again and in 2022 it still looks like new.
This church is also beautiful inside, but unfortunately we couldn't go inside either. It was Sunday and several closed services were open only to locals.
11. Skidaway Island
South and half an hour's drive from downtown Savannah, is Skidaway Island. It is a state park where you can camp, picnic, hike and bike.
We paid $5 USD for parking and rented two bikes for $20 USD for two hours. It was a lot of fun in the area! There is a bicycle route right through the nature reserve and along the way there are various signs with information about nature and the animals that live there.
After our bike ride and a nap we went for a walk. Camping was a bit too expensive for us (about $50 USD per night), but we still secretly made use of the showers at the campsite.
Where we stayed (wild camping)
Savannah has many beautiful hotels and b & b's in the colorful houses - you can find the range here to look at. However, we have our camper with us and because we travel for so long, a limited budget. We can't stay in hotels and campsites of 50+ dollars per night for a year. Not only is this extremely expensive, it is also just a waste of money.
1. Millstone Landing
That is why we chose a wild camping spot in nature. We found it on the iOverlander App half an hour away from the city center. Mill Stone landing at Hardeeville is where we stayed. You can find the exact location on Google Maps here find. It is a simple but clean parking lot with a boat ramp. When we arrived fishermen were still dragging their boats out of the water. Later in the evening the parking lot was empty and it was dead quiet at night. We stood here beautifully on the water and in the evening, of course, the BBQ was on.
It was wonderful to wake up here in the morning. The fog still hung over the river as the sun slowly came out over the treetops. It was only half past six in the morning but there were already several cars and trailers on which boats were transported. So there were already a number of fanatical fishermen on the road early.
2. Rodney J Hall Boat Disaster
After spending a day in it Skidaway Island State Park, we found a camping spot nearby. This was also a parking lot with a boat ramp. There were also picnic tables, toilets (don't imagine too much!) and a small beach. The Rodney J Hall Boat Disaster (exact location here) we also found iOverlander. In the night it was still a coming and going of cars, not very disturbing but it did wake us up a few times. But here too it was finally wonderful to wake up with the rising sun and the green park with the water around us.
The parking lot is right next to a nature reserve and we saw a small deer very close to the camper, which didn't care much for us. There are also about 10 local cats who are busy hunting in the swamp, which was nice to see. The cats belong (we think) to the only resident of this place, a small house where fishing equipment is also sold.
Seen a mistake? Ask? Remark? Let us know in the comments!
Plan your vacation to America here
- Camper rental You can book this in combination with a tour Travelhome.
- Tours and Fly & drives compare to TUI, Americaplus, sawadee en Djoser.
- Flight tickets for America you book with TUI, KLM en Skyscanner.
- Rental cars : Sunnycars, Alamo en rental cars.
- Tours and Activities in America you book via GetYourGuide.
- Campsites in National Parks you book on RECREATION.gov.
- Travel insurance for America you will find at Allianz.
- Hotels & Resorts in America you can book with a discount Booking.com.
- SIM cards : USAsim en International sim.
- Parking at the airport you can arrange via Parkos, park care of iParking.
- travel items (suitcases, bags, world plugs, etc. can be ordered at Bol.com.