7 Great Things to Do While in Savannah

Coming to Savannah all by myself to spend the summer for my internship was definitely a leap of faith for me. I worked hard to not only learn a lot during my internship but also explore Savannah and the nearby areas while I was here. I want to be able to leave behind something for those who visit the city in the future, it’s gorgeous. So, here are my top 10 things to do while you’re in Savannah!

1. Oatland Island Wildlife Center

This is one of the alligators at the preserve. The viewing area is above their swamp area, so you get to be really close. It's cool.
This is one of the alligators at the preserve. The viewing area is above their swamp area, so you get to be really close. It’s cool.

I am a 20-year-old who is obsessed with and loves the zoo. While There isn’t a zoo in Savannah, this is a great alternative. I went in late May, so imagine the heat and humidity that you’re supposed to experience in May. The trail to see all of the animals is through the woods though, so it’s shady, not as hotΒ and there’s a nice breeze. The animals (with the exception of the wolves) are animals that naturally live in the area, so they’re used to the climate and are actually active, instead of at the zoo when I all too often get more of a glimpse of the enclosure because the animal is hiding someone out of sight to stay cool. For only $5 for adults (I don’t know how much kids are. I know it’s less) this is DEFINITELY something I would suggest doing while you’re there. It’s inexpensive, the staff is friendly and informative and it’s a great opportunity to get a zoo-like experience while also learning a little bit about Savannah’s wilder side.

2. Captain Derek’s Dolphin Adventure

No, I know. You're jealous. The dolphins were REALLY close and jumped along behind the boat for about five minutes. That's in addition to the dolphins we just saw on the side of the boat.
No, I know. You’re jealous. The dolphins were REALLY close and jumped along behind the boat for about five minutes. That’s in addition to the dolphins we just saw on the side of the boat.

Now, there are quite a few dolphin tours in Savannah. It think it’s easy to be willing to pay the money for a tour that seems more commercial or ritzy because you think that’s where you’re going to see the most dolphins and have the most fun. Captain Derek’s is a couple of people who take visitors out to see dolphins. It’s not a huge operation and the boats aren’t named Dolphin 1 and Dolphin 2 but I would definitely recommend coming here instead of anywhere else. The captains really have fun and the first mates are great and there were A BUNCH of dolphins. They also jumped in the wave, and that was pretty cool. Check it out.

3. Foster an animal

This is my friend Eddie. He's just a little sweetie.
This is my friend Eddie. He’s just a little sweetie.

This one you might not be able to do if you’re staying in a hotel but if you have a vacation rental I would definitely recommend doing this. In Lubbock I like to volunteer with this dog rescue, so it wasn’t long before I was missing a furry friend in Savannah. The humane society has a bunch of short-term fosters that you only have to have the animal for about a week or two. It makes you feel good because you have a friend, you’re helping out an animal and it’s honestly really fun.

4. Jepson Center

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Who would have thought a spinning chair could bring out such feelings in me? This was one of my favorite pieces at the Jepson Center.

The Jepson Center is part of a larger group of museums called the Telfair Museums. While the Jepson Center was my favorite of the three, I would recommend going to all three. The Jepson Center houses more modern art, while the Telfair Academy features some older, more traditional pieces. While Savannah is home to the Savannah College of Art and Design, being from Houston, I didn’t really think about Savannah as a place for more traditional art that would be featured in a museum. All that meant for me, is more time to explore and find great new pieces I actually really enjoy. So, I would definitely recommend going to check them out.

5. Pin Point Heritage Museum

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One of the views from the Pin Point Museum. Learning about how the marsh impacted these communities is cooler than I could have ever thought.

This was easily one of my favorite things I did while in Savannah this past summer. The Gullah/Geechee community was first “built” by freed slaves. The part of land this community is built on – Pin Point Island – is the last piece of land owned by African Americans on the coast. It is a community reserved from the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day life I am used to. Here you get to learn about the past of the community, as well as how it is run today and what the future might hold. This is also the past home of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, which is pretty cool. When you go make sure to say yes to watching the video. It doesn’t cost any extra and it gives you more insight into the culture.

6. Take a bus tour of Savannah

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My parents and I getting ready for our bus tour!

There are SO many in Savannah and I can’t even remember which one I went on, but I strongly recommend taking one while you’re there. Obviously you can go to specific places like the ones written above and curtail those to your specific interests, but the bus tour will give you an overview of the history of Savannah, as well as some fun facts that have come about since its founding about topics such as movies filmed there or books set there. It’s definitely worth the money.

7. Eat Low Country Boil somewhere, anywhere

One of my biggest regrets when I came home (it’s silly, I know) was not ever having a low country boil anywhere. You can find it at most restaurants – its a southern speciality – so I don’t care where you eat it. Just make sure you do.

Have you ever been to Savannah? What would you recommend doing while in town?

 

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