Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links at no cost to you. Read my disclaimer for more information.
Headed to Savannah, but want to get out of the city for the day? Check out Savannah with Road Trip Options and find activities for both in the city and a bit further away.
If you find yourself in Savannah, there is plenty to see, but if you want to expand your visit, check out some of these road trip options!
If you haven't been to Savannah, it is highly recommended. There is a unique architecture, city squares, fantastic ice cream and food, and some great shopping districts.
Forsyth Park Area in the Dark
If arriving in the evening and looking for some food, check out Betty Bombers!
Betty Bombers is located inside the American Legion Post 135, located near the north end of Forsyth Park (free parking is available in the area). The diner has a neat retro feel.
Once you enter, you place your order at the counter, and then they give you a number to place on your table. Staff will deliver the food to your table. Betty Bombers is mostly known for its milkshakes and hamburgers. The portions are large.
After eating, be sure to check out Forsyth Park in the dark! The fountain looks impressive when it is all lit up! The park does “close,” so plan your timing accordingly.
Accommodations: We opted to stay a little outside the downtown area at the Best Western Central Inn for the entire trip. The hotel was good – nice rooms good breakfast options. The price was reasonable also – about $150/night on the weekend, and weekdays were a bit cheaper.
Road Trip Option: St. Mary's, GA – Cumberland Island National Seashore
After breakfast at the hotel, we drove south for about 2 hours to St. Mary's. Our activity for the day was to visit Cumberland Island National Seashore. Advanced reservations are encouraged and can be booked here.
There is no food or stores on the island, so you will want to bring whatever you will need with you. We stopped at Walmart and bought some stuff for lunch before checking in for the boat ride.
Tickets are required to take the boat to the island – they do sell out, so book in advance! A round trip will cost just over $30/person, and there is a parking fee if you don't have the annual park pass.
There are two boat times per day. We took the late morning one and had plenty of time to explore the island.
The boat ride is about 45 minutes each way. On the return trip, we spotted some dolphins in the water!
There are two boat stops available on the island. At the first stop, there are bathrooms, a little museum, a picnic area, and many wild horses! There was also a ranger-guided walk starting at this location. The hike starts soon after the late morning boat arrives – but there should be time to eat and hit the restroom.
The second stop isn't much further than the first stop and offers basically the same features (except the ranger-guided walk).
The guided walk is amazing – it is super informative and interesting (not boring in the least). The guide shares so much history of the island! The island was once 90% owned by the Rockefellers!
Food: After returning to the mainland, we headed to McGarvey's Wee Pub to grab a bit to eat. The food was good, but the service was a little slow.
A Day in Savannah, GA
After breakfast, head out early to explore Savannah! Forsyth Park has free parking on the weekends and is a great place to park for the day! Trek down to the river, stopping by some of the many squares along the way.
Initially, we attempted to find the Forrest Gump bench at one square but Googled it and learned that it is now in a museum.
Check out the Historical Colonial Park Cemetery, it's pretty cool. There are lots of old stones in there. Fun fact – during the war, soldiers had fun changing the dates on some of the markers – in some cases, you can find stones that say the person was born after they died!
River Street Market has some fun shops (check out the cookies at Byrd's Famous Cookies – they have free samples – try the peach one).
Ice cream – you cannot visit Savanah without a stop at the famous Leopold's Ice Cream! Bonus: They also have a booth at the airport – which is excellent since the line is much shorter than if you visit the Ice Cream Shoppe.
We grabbed lunch at Clary's Café. The café has been around since 1903! The food was good, and the service was good as well.
Road Trip Option: Hilton Head, SC
Consider spending an afternoon visiting Hilton Head. Our goal was to see the lighthouse. Come to find out; you have to pay a fee to get into the “Sea Pines” and an additional fee if you want to climb the lighthouse.
The lighthouse did have excellent displays, but we found out later that it was never an actual lighthouse, meaning it was never used to guide ships. Sea Pines has beaches, golf, tennis, shopping, bike rails, and the like, but it's a resort, and we felt very out of place.
If you have time, I recommend that you check out the Old Town Trolley Tour. Free parking is provided, which in my book is a bonus. The trolley tour had 15 stops around town, with the driver pointing stuff out all along the way.
You can hop on and off the trolley all day long. This would be a great activity early on in a trip so you can get some ideas of where you would like to visit during your stay.
Final Thoughts: Savannah with Road Trip Options
While Savannah has plenty of tours, parks, and shopping to check out, tossing in a day trip is a great idea to get out of the city. There are so many other great road trip options within two hours of Savannah that I didn't cover, but this article will get you started!