Free Attractions and Events in Savannah: History, Artistry and Greenery

When General James Edward Oglethorpe landed on the bluff of Savannah in 1733, he had plans to create a colony that would welcome the poor with open arms and serve as a haven for imprisoned debtors. Oglethorpe’s plan may not have come to fruition, but his compassion for those operating on a smaller budget lives on in 21st century Savannah. You simply don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a good time in Savannah.

Savannah’s 22 public squares are the city’s ultimate free attraction. Be sure to check out the soaring monument of General Casimir Pulaski in Monterey Square, learn about the fascinating history of Native American Chief Tomochichi at his gravesite in Wright Square, and sit on one of the benches in Chippewa Square where Tom Hanks filmed Forrest Gump. Other great free attractions in Downtown Savannah include Forsyth Park, River Street, City Market and the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

If you have transportation and are willing to travel outside the Historic District, you can enjoy the sun and surf at Tybee Island Beach, explore the flora at the Savannah Botanical Gardens and visit the gravesites of famous Savannahians at Bonaventure Cemetery, the city’s most beautiful final resting place.

Savannah also hosts a number of annual festivals that don’t require admission and that offer free entertainment and other perks. Among the most popular annual events are the St. Patrick’s Day parade in March, the Sidewalk Arts Festival in the spring and the Children’s Book Festival in the fall.

Historic District


During this annual festival, held every November in Forsyth Park, nationally recognized authors and illustrators sign autographs, read from their books and field questions from curious kids. Past guests have included Don't Let the Pigeon Drive...  Read More



Without a doubt one of the most visually stunning pieces of architecture in the city, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist was dedicated in 1876 and today serves as Mother Church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah. Though it was almost...  Read More



If you're looking to pick up some Savannah souvenirs during your visit, River Street is the place to shop. But Savannah T-shirts and magnets aren't the only reason to hit up the historic street that overlooks the Savannah River. There's...  Read More



Each year, thousands of people flock to the city's historic Forsyth Park to view the temporary chalk masterpieces created during the annual Sidewalk Arts Festival. Hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design, the event includes a chalk...  Read More



This 30-acre park at the southern edge of the Historic District has a little bit of something for everyone. The park's magnificent two-tiered, white cast-iron fountain, which was made famous in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, is a...  Read More



Owned and operated by the Savannah Area Council of Garden Clubs, this beautiful botanical garden features an array of diverse plant life, including a rose garden, perennial garden, camellia collection, fern garden, herb parterre, vegetable...  Read More

Tybee Island Beach
Photo courtesy of Don Teuton


Tybee Island, a quirky beach town on the Atlantic Ocean about 20 minutes from Downtown Savannah, is the perfect place for a laid back day at the beach. Those wanting a quieter afternoon at the shore should head to the North Beach, a serene...  Read More

Bonaventure Cemetery
Photo courtesy of Don Teuton


This storied 150-year-old cemetery, perched on the bluff overlooking the Wilmington River, is at once beautiful and haunting. The final resting place for may famous Savannahians, among them lyricist Johnny Mercer and poet Conrad Aiken, the...  Read More

St. Patrick's Day Festivities


Held annually in March, Savannah's St. Patrick's Day celebration is the second largest in the country. The event is open to the public and begins with a St. Patrick's Day parade through Downtown Savannah that features colorful floats, marching...  Read More

Historic District
Savannah's Squares
Photo courtesy of Visit Savannah


When James Edward Oglethorpe founded Savannah in 1733, he planned the city around four open squares. His master plan, based on a series of grids, allowed for the addition of more squares, and today the city's 22 public squares are one of...  Read More


Meet Amy Pine

Amy's thrilled to have the opportunity to share her love of Savannah with the world. A Savannah native, Amy has more than 15 years of experience as a writer and editor, and her work has appeared...  More About Amy