I love to walk. If you have ever traveled with me or expect to travel with me, know that I enjoy walking. If I am not exhausted, dehydrated or very hungry expect that I will enjoy a stroll for miles while on holiday. If not in vacation mode, I do drive.
The city of Savannah is made for walking. Let me rephrase that, Savannah is made for walking with comfortable flat shoes. I made it through many days in this historic city without driving a car. I had flown into Savannah and took an Uber to my flat on Broughton Street. From there I walked everywhere with the exception of a couple of Uber trips.
Exploring the streets of Savannah by foot is very doable and recommended. Although there were trolley tours and carriages drawn by horses, I personally found by walking I could enjoy each street, square and little shop at my own pace. I could stand under giant oak trees with hanging Spanish Moss and feel the old pavement beneath my feet. Nothing beats walking when traveling and Savannah is one of the best cities for it.
TIP: Wear comfortable, flat walking shoes because a lot of the pavement is uneven, cobblestone, concrete blocks or even sea shelled.
If you are capable and plan on walking your way around Savannah, that is wonderful and I hope you enjoy it! I have listed a variety of beautiful streets and areas to walk through that I found enjoyable. Starting from the heart and soul of the Savannah River, down to Forsyth Park and many places in between.
🌞 Wake up, eat a hearty Southern breakfast, put on comfortable walking shoes and hit that uneven Savannah pavement!
As the name implies, River Street is along the river. To be exact, the Savannah River. This lively thoroughfare is where everyone comes to check out the action. On certain days of the week, the cobblestone streets were overflowing with pedestrians, trolley tours and cars trying to find parking. Then there were days where I was able to walk down the sidewalk without feeling that I was being pushed into the street. Either way, River Street is a very popular tourist destination.
The waterfront has always been important to Savannah’s economy. Before it was lined with posh hotels, sweet candy stores and delicious restaurants this area was the original Port of Savannah. Being on the river and understanding that most major cities were founded upon a waterway, this is where the colony of Georgia was founded in 1733. In the 18th Century during Georgia’s developing years, River Street in Savannah was the main site for goods being brought into the city. At one point in the Mid-1800s, Savannah lead the trade of cotton export world wide.
The tall weathered buildings of River Street were once the four and five story cotton warehouses that were a vital part of Savannah’s economy. Additionally, along the backside of the buildings is Bay Street which is on a higher bluff.
Historic River Street along the Savannah River
Bay Street is the first main road that sits on the bluff above River Street. There are several historic buildings, artifacts and landmarks along this street. Here you will find several hotels, restaurants, parking lots and souvenir shops on Bay Street. It is the route to River Street, since it runs parallel with the popular thoroughfare.
A walk along Bay Street
The Customs House with the matching lion fountain in front was my favorite building on Bay Street. This handsome historic structure was Savannah’s first U.S. Custom House and was opened in 1789.
Bay Street could be considered at least three levels up above River Street. There are pedestrian bridges called Factor Walks that cross over the lower driveways and connect the old buildings to the bluff. The area got its name from the people who once set the prices for cotton and exported goods, they were called “Factors”.
In order to get to the lower levels and on to River Street, you have several options. The quickest is to find a series of historic steps as they can be found everywhere. There are also a couple of driveways that you can walk down but be careful as you will be sharing it with cars. Then there is the option of taking the outdoor elevator next to the Hyatt. That was my favorite option.
Remember to use caution going up and down the historical steps. Many are uneven or have a very high step to them. For myself, I had a more difficult time going down the steps than going up them. I went down a flight once and only once.
Broughton Street Area
Broughton Street and it’s surrounding neighbors, like Congress Street and on to Bay Street are full of delicious restaurants and fun shopping. My flat was located on Broughton which I felt was the perfect location for me. I like to walk, shop and eat so I found it be quite centralized.
A couple of delicious places to eat on Broughton Street is ‘Rise’, serving delicious biscuit sandwiches and donuts. If you are looking for a good Low Country Boil, ‘Savannah Seafood Shack’ offers mouthwatering seafood at a good price. There are many other eateries in the area, everything from coffee shops, to Asian food, to oysters and to good ‘ol American burgers.
My favorite walk during my visit to Savannah was strolling down Bull Street. I had found my way to Forsyth Park one afternoon and decided to walk back to my flat, which was on Broughton Street. I enjoyed this street so much, that I walked a few blocks past Broughton and on to Bay Street.
Brick paved sidewalks, chipped plaster and wrought iron balconies.
Bull Street was filled with old Southern charm. I walked through several lush squares with people relaxing and enjoying the shade. There were pristine old mansions with manicured front yards, small cafes and popular restaurants that stretched across brick paved sidewalks. I even saw a few horse and carriages making their rounds.
I have walked through my share of neighborhoods throughout the United States and in over forty countries. I have yet to find another neighborhood that compares to the gracefulness of Savannah’s Historic District. Pictures and videos cannot capture the energy of strolling through these historical streets of pure Southern charm.
Rows of colorful homes and brick paved sidewalks.
Spanish Moss lined streets
One of the benefits of walking through Savannah’s Historic neighborhoods is that you go at your own pace. Each street seemed to have gotten better and better because all the homes were different. There were pastel colored row homes, elevated houses with stairs to the front door and magnificent mansions with lush landscapes. It was all so beautiful and ever so charming.
Sea Shell Sidewalks
Located in various neighborhoods around Savannah, you will find concrete sidewalks mixed in with Oyster Shells. I came across them along River Street and some of the historical neighborhoods around Forsyth Park.
Be sure to look down every now and then or you might miss a treasure of oyster shells at your feet.
If Savannah has a plethora of anything, it is a plethora of inviting and lush squares. The Historical District was originally laid out as eight blocks around four squares, which are called wards. The city grids grew to about twenty-four squares all named after historical people, events or politicians.
Each Square in Savannah has their own personality and charm. They are delightful little parks lined with beautiful foliage, big trees with hanging Spanish Moss, brick walkways and possibly a monument.
Walking through the Squares of Savannah can bring a sense of peace and nostalgia. The squares are surrounded by historical mansions and streets lined with charming homes. It makes you think of the families who lived here, centuries back to the 1700s and their moments of strolling through these squares.
Forsyth Park is located in the beautiful historic district of Savannah. While visiting the park, take a look around the parameter at the old mansions that surround this significant park. There are also lovely walks to and from the park, my favorite was strolling down Bull Street which is adjacent to the park.
Although this park was small, it was very picturesque. The fountain in the middle dates back to the mid 1800s and is one of Savannah’s famous photographic sites. One of my favorite things about Forsyth and Savannah were the huge oak trees with the hanging Spanish Moss- so beautiful!
While strolling through Forsyth Park, I came across an inviting restaurant, Collins Quarter, with bright turquoise umbrellas and a sunny patio. I could not help myself but to sit down and have a cocktail with an acai bowl! It was a wonderful place to have a meal while visiting Forsyth Park.
A Cullinary Walk of Savannah
I know that I did a lot of walking through Savannah and that meant that I had a great appetite too. If you follow my blog, then you know that food and exploration go hand in hand with me. If you are looking for recommendations on what to eat while in Savannah, please visit both of my posts:
I polished off many glorious meals in Savannah, from casual bites to a luxurious fine dining experience. Check out my other blogs and reviews, for my recommendations on dining in Savannah.
I hope your walk through Savannah will be as memorable as mine!
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📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre