Best Historic Tours in Savannah 2024 1
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Best Historic Tours in Savannah 2024

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Greetings, Internet Stranger! I’m Stella Jane, author of the travel memoir Get Lost, and welcome to the best historic tours in Savannah Georgia. As you probably know, Savannah is one of the most well preserved cities in the entire South. (We’ll learn about why that was later.) It is famous for its beautiful architecture, fascinating history, quirky citizens, and delicious food.

I’ve been to Savannah a few times, and my family is from Georgia, so I’m happy to introduce you to one of my favorite places in the United States. This list of the best historic tours in Savannah will help you find the best way to see the city for your vacation.

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: Best Historic Tours in Savannah

#1 TOP PICK

24 hours in savannah bird girl

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
TROLLEY TOUR
✔️ See the whole city!
✔️ Tons of fun facts

#2 PICK

shrimp and grits

SAVANNAH FOOD TOUR
✔️ Delicious authentic Savannah treats
✔️ Expert local guide!

#3 PICK

Bonaventure Cemetery

ALL OTHER SAVANNAH TOURS
✔️ Find your favorite!
✔️ Get the best deals

Best Historic Tours in Savannah

best historic tours in Savannah

1) Bonaventure Cemetery

You might be wondering why a cemetery would show up on the list of the best historical tours in Savannah. Well, Bonaventure Cemetery tours are one of the most popular activities in the entire city. And when you think about it, where’s a better place to learn about history than a cemetery?

This cemetery is particularly famous because it was featured in the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. This is a fascinating book, and I highly recommend picking it up here before you go to Savannah. However, under no circumstances should you ever watch the movie because it is very bad.

I loved the tour I took of Bonaventure Cemetery because it was full of historical facts, not made up ghost stories, but it was still quite entertaining. That’s what makes it one of the best historic tours in Savannah.

You can book this excellent tour yourself by clicking here.

best historic tours in Savannah

Even if you normally find cemeteries creepy, I think you’ll enjoy Bonaventure because the tombs and graves are so gorgeous. Families who buried their loved ones here really went the extra mile to make sure that they were honored. I of course, will let you know about the most famous graves in the cemetery.

The one grave that isn’t here anymore is the Bird Girl who was featured on the cover of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. They had to move her to a museum because people kept messing with her.

However, you can see the grave of Little Gracie, who was the child of the manager of a luxury hotel in Savannah. She was apparently the favorite of all the guests until she died young of pneumonia. Man, it was not easy being a kid in the days before modern medicine.

Be prepared to give Little Gracie a present, even if it is just a coin. I left her a dime, which would have been a lot of money to a child in Gracie’s day. (If you think I was being cheap, just keep in mind that I need the money a lot more than she does.

best historic tours in Savannah

The biggest celebrity grave in Bonaventure Cemetery is Johnny Mercer’s. He was from a famous Savannah family, and they expected him to become a lawyer. However, he wasn’t down with that and decided to become a songwriter instead.

Ever heard the song “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Well, Johnny Mercer wrote that. He is now buried in the cemetery along with his relatives. I think it’s pretty easy to spot his grave because some of his most well known songs have been inscribed on it. What a lovely tribute!

best historic tours in Savannah

Now, this grave might not be the most famous grave in Savannah, but it’s probably my favorite. This story seems too strange to be true, but I promise it is.

There was a woman named Carrie Theus (not that common a name, in my opinion), who got married and then died rather young. So, as you might have expected, her husband eventually remarried. But what you could not have expected is that he married another woman who WAS ALSO NAMED CARRIE THEUS! And no, she was not related to the first Carrie Theus.

How is this even possible? The world may never know.

Another famous grave here belonged to the writer Conrad Aiken. If you’re a fan of children’s literature, you might know his daughter Joan Aiken, who wrote the Wolves of Willoughby Chase series, which is set in an alternate universe where England is overrun with wolves.

But for Conrad, the wolves were in his own family, as his father woke up one morning and inexplicably murdered Conrad’s mother and then killed himself. Aiken was only eleven at the time. I honestly don’t know how Conrad Aiken survived such a terrible thing, but I guess he had no choice but to become a writer.

If you have read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, this is the grave where the author goes drinking with a local. Stopping here is an important part of one of the best historic tours in Savannah.

best historic tours in Savannah

And here we have the famous statue of Corinne. People are often weirded out by this statue because she has no pupils carved in her eyes. I guess that makes people think she must have a sad backstory.

Some say she died of grief because of a failed romance and a secret love child. Her father was so angry at her that he gave her this creepy tomb. But that’s not true. She just died of pneumonia, like everyone else in the Old Times.

best historic tours in Savannah

For our final tomb, we’re getting into Civil War history. This is the headstone for Dr. Arnold, who was the Mayor of Savannah during the Civil War. You might be wondering why Savannah is so well preserved, even though the Union General Sherman famously burned his way through the state of Georgia, especially Atlanta.

Well, Dr. Arnold quickly realized that Savannah was not capable of putting up much fight against the Union Army. That’s why he surrendered and threw General Sherman a big, fancy Savannah party. Sherman was so charmed that he no longer had the heart to burn the city, which is why he gave it to Abraham Lincoln as a present.

This story illustrates why parties are better than war. Some people called Arnold a traitor at the time, but he is quite popular now, since Savannah wouldn’t be so lovely without him.

24 Hour Tip

Those are just a few of my favorite graves on one of the best historic tours in Savannah, but there are many more ghost stories I didn’t share with you.

You’ll just have to book the tour for yourself by clicking here to find out what they are!

best historic tours in Savannah

2) Ghost Tour

Of course, it’s not possible to see the best historical tours in Savannah without having one of them be a ghost tour. Ghost tours are the engine that makes the economy of Savannah run. There are about a billion ghost tours in Savannah, and I’m sure you could have a great time on just about any of them.

However, I’m going to stick to the Ghost Tour I actually took, which is age appropriate for older kids as well as adults, as long as your kids enjoy a good ghost story!

You can check rates and availability for yourself by clicking here.

best historic tours in Savannah

One of the first stops on the ghost tour was the Olde Pink House, which is one of my favorite restaurants in Savannah. It’s also one of the most haunted restaurants in Savannah, but we mostly stuck to talking about a deceased owner of the building, James Habersham Jr.

No one knows if this story is one hundred percent true, but rumor has it that Habersham learned that his wife was cheating on him with the family architect, and he became so despondent that he offed himself in the building.

best historic tours in Savannah

Of course, some say that this is a made up story and Habersham, while definitely dead at this point in time, did not die by suicide. However, he still could be haunting his old building, drinking pink gin and tickling the customers. That’s what I would do, were I a ghost in Savannah.

best historic tours in Savannah

This photo might seem like it’s literally of nothing, but it’s actually the most haunted CVS in the entire US of A. No day of the best historic tours in Savannah is complete without stopping here. Are there any other haunted CVSs out there? Also, what is the plural of CVS?

Anyway, away from the grammar and back to the ghosts. This CVS is located on top of a former jail and people were hanged in a nearby square. The story our guide told us was a sad tale of Richard and Alice Riley.

The Rileys were poor and desperate, and Alice was being beaten and raped by her employer. They finally had enough and killed him, and the Savannah judicial system wouldn’t take the abuse into consideration, so both were hanged.

However, because Alice was pregnant, they waited until the baby was born to hang her. So the CVS is haunted because Alice hangs around looking for her baby. Maybe if you see her ghost, you could just explain that this happened a long time ago and there’s no way her baby is still alive. That should work.

best historic tours in Savannah

One of my favorite stops on the ghost tour is Colonial Park Cemetery, which is the oldest cemetery in Savannah that is open to visitors. It’s actually quite beautiful if you go when crepe myrtles are in bloom. However, it’s closed at night, so there’s no entry to the cemetery on the tour. However, I think the fact that the tour stops here makes this one of the best historic tours in Savannah.

However, during the day it’s possible to visit any time. Supposedly it got shut down at night because of the voodoo rituals people were doing, and that makes me even more sad you can’t visit in the evening hours.

best historic tours in Savannah

During the Civil War, General Sherman stationed his troops here, where the soldiers lost control and defaced some of the graves. However, they’ve been restored to their former condition.

24 Hour Tip

Of course there’s tons more ghost stories I DIDN’T share with you on one of the best historic tours in Savannah.

So go ahead to the website right over here and check rates and availability

best historic tours in Savannah

3) First Squares Food Tour

What’s better than the historic tours in Savannah? One of the best historic tours in Savannah that also feeds you! That’s why I recommend going on this delicious food tour. You’ll learn tons about the history of the city, especially the various groups of people who have made Savannah what it is today.

The First Squares Food Tour will take you to the most delicious spots in the city and teach you history alone the way! That’s why I say it’s one of the best historic tours in Savannah.

Check rates and availability of this excellent tour for yourself by clicking here.

best historic tours in Savannah

At the first restaurant, we learned about the history of Low Country cuisine. (The Low Country refers to the area along the coast in between South Carolina and Georgia, so you can also get Low Country food in Charleston.)

Shrimp and grits are probably the most famous Low Country dish. Our guide, whom I shall call Forrest, said that American Indians had been using corn for many years, so we can thank them for the deliciousness that is grits. Learning about this dish helps make this one of the best historic tours in Savannah.

As we went along the tour, we learned about the names and origins of all the squares in the city, which is definitely an important part of Savannah history. Each square has a name and a statue, but the statue has nothing to do with the name of the square. Strange!

best historic tours in Savannah

The next historical tidbit is learning about the first Europeans who came to Savannah, who were the British. Now, some people might not think that British food is the most delicious thing on the face of the earth. But everyone loves British baked goods, right?

So what could be more delicious than a piping hot British meat pie, made by a store run by British expats? You’ll feel like you stepped back into Colonial Savannah.

best historic tours in Savannah

And if you’re looking for more British food, sink your spoon into some Shepherd’s Pie. This dish actually came from a Scottish restaurant. Many Scots came to Savannah in the colonial period to get away from poverty and religious bigotry.

That’s why we can enjoy a delicious dish of meat and potatoes in a proper Scottish pub!

best historic tours in Savannah

The next history stop actually taught us about Prohibition. This period, when alcohol was illegal in the United States, was famously unsuccessful in Savannah. In fact, it was so unsuccessful that the Prohibition Museum is located in Savannah, to celebrate all things booze.

Billy Sunday himself, the famous preacher, referred to Savannah as the most wicked city in America because of all the drinking. But the only wicked thing about this restaurant is that the chicken wings and Brussels sprouts are sinfully delicious.

best historic tours in Savannah

Since this restaurant was Prohibition themed, it makes sense to order a cocktail, though it will be an extra charge. I loved the Lindy Hop, which was a little sweet and made with Chattanooga whiskey and strawberry-just perfect for a sweltering day in Savannah!

best historic tours in Savannah

At our next stop, we’ll learn about the funky modern Savannah food scene, as we snack on pork belly sliders and something decadent called a Bananas Foster French Toast finger. (These dishes would fit right in New Orleans, a city that Savannah reminds me of a little.)

And PS. the pork slider is extra special because it comes on a donut bun!

best historic tours in Savannah

At our last stop, we learned about a unique industry that has become popular in Savannah: beekeeping! Bees do great in Savannah because of the weather and climate. There are even beekeepers in colder states who send their bees down to Savannah for the winter.

Here we got to snack on a delicious cheese and honey pairing, two great tastes that go great together.

best historic tours in Savannah

And we topped it all off with a Savannah baklava, which is made with pecans, not walnuts. How Southern! And that’s it for one of the best historic tours in Savannah.

Just go right here to check rates and availability

best historic tours in Savannah

4) Prohibition Museum

This last entry on our list of the best historical tours in Savannah is a bit unusual. That’s because this tour will be indoors, which makes it perfect for a day when the weather in Savannah is not so fantastic. (Hey, the city is on the water. It happens.

That’s why I’m taking you on a tour of the Prohibition Museum, which is one of the coolest museums I have ever been to. (How many museums offer cocktail making classes? Aside from this one, not many.)

This museum is popular, so I recommend getting tickets in advance right here.

If you love history, you’ll love this museum, and you’ll enjoy learning why Prohibition was so unsuccessful in Savannah. (Hint! It’s because people here LOVE to party.) And I say that a tour of this museum is one of the best historic tours in Savannah.

best historic tours in Savannah

Don’t worry about this woman, Internet Stranger! I’m pretty sure she’s just a dummy. But she’s modeled after Carry Nation, who was a famous advocate for Prohibition. For some reason, she changed the legal spelling of her name from Carrie to Carry. I suppose it’s because she wanted to Carry the Nation away from the demon rum.

best historic tours in Savannah

Carry Nation was particularly angry at liquor because her husband died from an alcohol related illness. That’s why she went all around the United States using a hatchet to bust up all the bars.

I don’t know who smashed up this particular saloon in my photo though. Maybe it was the Wax Carry Nation.

best historic tours in Savannah

Of course, not everyone was happy with this turn of events, especially the beer companies. (Yes, beer was illegal too during Prohibition, not just whiskey and gin.) The companies tried making non alcoholic beer and other beverages, but of course they weren’t as popular.

In fact, the loss of revenue from the alcohol companies cost the United States over 11 billion smackereenos. It’s no wonder this policy was popular with almost no one except for Carry Nation.

best historic tours in Savannah

You might be wondering if it was actually hard to get a drink in Savannah during Prohibition, and the answer is no, not particularly. They had illegal bars called speakeasies, like there were all around in the country.

And of course, they were in the South, so they had plenty of moonshine. One thing I learned on the museum tour is that Mountain Dew was made for pairing with moonshine. That explains a lot.

On the museum tour, which is one of the best historic tours in Savannah, you’ll also learn how people hid their alcohol in places like baby carriages.

best historic tours in Savannah

In fact, NASCAR evolved out of local moonshine distributers driving as fast as they could to avoid the booze police. (That sounds like a joke, but I promise it is Very Real.)

When the museum tour is over, don’t forget to pick up a cocktail at the museum bar! That’s what definitely makes this museum tour one of the best historical tours in Savannah.

Just don’t forget to get your ticket in advance right here!

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: Best Historic Tours in Savannah

#1 TOP PICK

24 hours in savannah bird girl

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
TROLLEY TOUR
✔️ See the whole city!
✔️ Tons of fun facts

#2 PICK

shrimp and grits

SAVANNAH FOOD TOUR
✔️ Delicious authentic Savannah treats
✔️ Expert local guide!

#3 PICK

Bonaventure Cemetery

ALL OTHER SAVANNAH TOURS
✔️ Find your favorite!
✔️ Get the best deals

best historic tours in Savannah

Best historic tours in Savannah

Where to Stay?

Now we are talking! Savannah, Georgia is home to some of the finest hotels and bed and breakfasts in the country. I recommend the Justine Inn for some serious Southern charm while you enjoy your day of the best historic tours in Savannah.

There’s a full breakfast every morning, a huge wine and cheese spread each evening, and a delicious baked treat with your turndown service at night. (And I guess there’s nice fluffy beds or something. I just care about the food!) That’s what makes it the perfect place for your day of the best historic tours in Savannah.

best historic tours in Savannah

The location is in a beautiful, safe neighborhood which is just a short drive from everything you’d want to see during your 24 hours in Savannah. And if you don’t drive, like me, Uber is everywhere in Savannah. You see! Now you have no excuse not to stay here

If you’re looking for a great deal on this hotel, click here.

And if you’d rather explore great deals on many other hotels in Savannah, click here.

This search engine will help you find the most affordable and convenient hotel during your day of the best historic tours in Savannah. With hundreds of options to choose from, I’m sure you’ll find something for your schedule and budget.

best historic tours in Savannah

That’s the Best historic tours in Savannah

What do you think are the Best historic tours in Savannah? Please email me at stellajane@aroundtheworldin24hours.com and let me know!

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY spend 24 hours in Savannah with the Best historic tours in Savannah

You can add a day with the best Bonaventure Cemetery tour Savannah. You can add 24 hours in Savannah. Find all the best attractions of Savannah GA.

Best Historic Tours in Savannah 2024 2

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