Founded in 1733, Savannah is not only the oldest city in Georgia, but it is also home to one of the biggest National Historic Landmark districts in America. Savannah has watched many important episodes of American history pass through its borders including the American Revolution, American Civil War, and the Civil Rights Movement – all leaving behind historical breadcrumbs that we can still follow today. Immerse yourself in the charm of this Southern city, and enjoy these fantastic historical sites that tell the story of the American South.
Sleeping under the shade of moss covered oak trees, the graves of Bonaventure Cemetery are among the most famous in America. Made popular by the novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, this hauntingly beautiful resting place is home to everyone from military generals to the first governor of Georgia. Visitors can pick up a pamphlet at the Visitor’s Center or join a group tour to delve deeper into the history.
Where to find it: 330 Bonaventure Rd., Thunderbolt, GA 31404
The Mercer Williams House
Constructed in 1868, The Mercer Williams House is the former home of General Hugh Mercer that was lovingly restored by Jim Williams in 1969. The house is filled with furniture and art from the Mercer family’s private collection, giving visitors the rare opportunity to see 18th- and 19th-century interior design. The surrounding neighborhood is home to many historical hotels in Savannah, a good choice for visitors looking for a property with Southern charm.
Where to find it: 430 Whitaker St., Savannah, GA 31401
First African Baptist Church
Founded in 1773, Savannah’s First African Baptist Church is often recognized as the first black congregation in America. The first pastor, George Leile, was the first African-American in Georgia to become a licensed preacher, which he used to preach to the slaves living on Savannah’s plantations. Today, you can attend a service, sitting in the original pews. Watch out for the holes in the floorboard that were originally meant as breathing holes for escaped slaves on the Underground Railroad.
Where to find it: 402 Treat Ave., Savannah, GA 31404
Due to Savannah’s coastal location, it was an important city in wars throughout history. It was during the American Revolutionary War on September 16, 1779, that the Siege of Savannah brought American, Haitian, and French forces up against British troops hoping to secure the port. The British won the battle and more than 250 men were killed by the end of the siege. Battlefield Park now stands as a memorial to those who died.
Where to find it: W. Harris St., Savannah, GA 31401
Old Fort Jackson
Built to protect Savannah from foreign invaders, Old Fort Jackson has been around since 1808. The fort saw action in both the War of 1812 and the American Civil War, but still stands today as a National Historic Landmark on the banks of the Savannah River. Visitors can enjoy interactive exhibits, as well as scenic views of Savannah’s skyline.
Where to find it: 1 Fort Jackson Rd., Savannah, GA 31404
Cover Image by Tabitha Kaylee Hawk, Flickr under Creative Commons License.
Disclosure: I write for the Hipmunk City Love campaign as a paid contributor.