Centuries’ old statues, maritime forests brimming with wildlife, giant oak trees to shade the hot sun, Savannah’s city parks are for both quiet moments and the loud adventurous kind. Whether you crave history, outdoor recreation or simply some beautiful vistas, you’ll find them at these parks.
Best park for people watching
Forsyth Park covers 30 acres in the heart of the city and is one of Savannah’s largest inner-city parks – think of it as the city's answer to NYC's Central Park. Locals and visitors love Forsyth's relaxed atmosphere. On the north end of the park, you can pose for a picture at the 150-year old Forsyth statue.
This is the perfect spot for a picnic under the trees. The southern end is designed for active types with basketball and tennis courts. Here you can also pay a visit to the Farmers' Markets on Sundays, attend a concert, soak up the sun or play a game of soccer.
Savannah has an open-cup policy, so if you're planning a get-together with friends, grab a bottle of wine. There are also excellent restaurants and bed and breakfasts just steps away from the park, such as The Collins Quarter, Kitchen 320, a.Lure, B. Matthews, and The Mansion on Forsyth.
Skidaway Island State park
Best park to get away from it all
Explore Georgia's maritime forests, salt marshlands and intracoastal waterways at the 588-acre Skidaway Island State Park located about 15 miles south of Savannah on Georgia’s Intracoastal Waterway. The Skidaway Wildlife Management Area, has pristine views, trails and camping in an unspoiled habitat. The wildlife here includes deer, fiddler crabs, reptiles, egrets and migrating birds. A view of the entire island can be seen from an observation tower and interpretive center.
Best park for animal lovers
The Oatland Island Wildlife Center is an educational facility, park, and nature trail all in one. Located about 10 minutes from Savannah, the park offers an unforgettable outdoor adventure for all ages, combining the intimacy of a zoo with the untamed beauty of nature.
See bald eagles, cougars, falcons, bobcats, red foxes, bison and toothy gators along the two-mile hike through marshes and maritime forests. It’s especially popular with little adventurers, who can walk through the farm area and view wolves up close at the Wolf Wilderness exhibit. There’s also a 185,000-sq-ft educational building on Oatland Island kids will love with over 150 animals on site such as pigs, ducks, sheep and cows.
Best park for history buffs
Tricentennial Park, located in downtown Savannah and in close proximity to hotels like the Alida and the Tryp, is a must for history buffs. As its name suggests, the 25-acre park encompasses three centuries of history. History enthusiasts will enjoy exploring Battlefield Memorial Park, a memorial that pays tribute to the soldiers who fought in the third bloodiest battle of the American Revolution – the Battle for Savannah.
You can also find three museums here – Savannah History Museum, Georgia State Railroad Museum and Savannah Children's Museum. The first is housed in a historic train shed, while the railroad museum and children’s museum are outdoors.
Children can expend their energy exploring the outdoor park and later the whole family can catch a ride on the antique train. If you love learning about history and have little ones who want to play outside, plan to spend an afternoon here.
Best park for architecture enthusiasts
John Nolen designed Daffin Park in 1907, an 80-acre recreational park on Savannah's east side off Victory Drive. With two circular nodes and diagonal streets lined with tree trunks, Nolen designed this park in a formal Beaux-Arts style.
Daffin Park boasts a lake, two miles of paved eight-foot-wide sidewalks that are also handicap-accessible. There’s a shorter (1/3 mile) walkway that circles the lake. The park also features athletic fields, tennis courts, a volleyball court, a swimming pool, picnic areas, a pavilion and playground. Daffin is the city's largest recreational park and is dog-friendly too.
Lake Mayer Park
Best park for fitness fans
Located on 75 acres and about 15 minutes from Savannah, Lake Mayer Park contains a freshwater lake, a jogging and cycling track, along with 18 fitness stations and a 1.7-mile trail loop.
The complex also features a baseball and softball field, tennis courts, basketball courts, volleyball courts, handball courts and a dog exercise area. Two pavilions are available for rent, along with plenty of parking and restrooms. A fishing pier and a boat ramp leads to the well-stocked lake where you can catch bass, catfish and perch.
Best park for art lovers
Chippewa Square, one of Savannah’s 22 squares located in the historic district, is a great place to sit under shady live oaks right in the center of the city. Savannah’s squares are rather small, with most measuring 200 x 200 ft.
Part of the 1994 movie, Forrest Gump, was filmed in this famous square. You’ll immediately recognize the scene where Tom Hanks sat at the bus stop (if you can’t, don’t worry there’s a sign).
Art fans should check out the Gallery Espresso and Roots Up Gallery to support the local art scene. The Savannah Art Association Gallery also represents many local artists showcasing mediums such as pottery and folk art.
Architecture buffs should head to the Philbrick-Eastman House. The grand Greek revival style home which dates back to 1847, features beautiful columns and a fence surrounding it with medallions of prominent Savannah historical figures.
Wormsloe Historic Site
Best place for photographers
Wormsloe, located 15 minutes from Savannah’s historic district, is one of the city’s oldest estates. Dating back to the 1700s, the site is situated among giant oaks and Spanish moss. View the oldest standing structure in Savannah – Wormsloe Village – as you stroll through this timeless environment.
From the 1500s to the 1800s, Tabby (a substance made from shells, sand and lime) was used in the southeast to build houses, which you will see here. A museum dedicated to Wormsloe's history can be toured by visitors. Wormsloe's beautiful scenery and rich history are a delight for all ages.