Written by Abstract Samm
Welcome to The Savannah Insider, your personal helper when considering all that Savannah has to offer. Have you decided to come down for a visit during this year’s cold season? We may not get snow very often, but the riverside city of Savannah can get pretty chilly around January and early February. When you are not in so much of a “bundle up” mood but would like to get some Savannah experience in, there is no shortage of indoor activities to engage in. Today, we are ready to tell you all about the museums we have dotted around the city. Did you know that Savannah was actually the state’s first settlement? Being so steeped in our own history around here, there are niche displays set up all throughout the historic district. Keep reading to find out how many different ways Savannah has found to show off, there’s definitely more than a days worth of exploring to be done.
For over 100 years, girl scouts far and wide have traveled right here to Savannah with wants to feel a little closer to the program’s founder. Whether it was the historic meetings of yesterday, or with a modern visit to the museum, the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace is an antique right out of a storybook. Find this historic house on E Oglethorpe Ave and walk among the belongings of an absolute legacy. From sketches drawn up by Juliette Gordon Low’s mother, to the stories told by your knowledgeable tour guide, there’s a great deal of nostalgia waiting for Girl Scouts of all ages, active and retired. Also, they sell Girl Scout cookies all year long at the gift shop. If that does not have you rushing out of your seat for a pack of Thin Mints, we have no arguments left to get you there.
Around the Historic District of Savannah, we are so used to being able to walk around with drinks in our hands that most of us don’t even think about how far the country had to come for us to enjoy that privilege here in the city. Back in the 20s, even consuming alcohol would be an offense punishable by law. Take a walk back through an era where speakeasys weren’t just a trendy, upscale way to spend the evening with a visit to the American Prohibition Museum in City Market. Showcasing an incredible selection of artifacts spotlighting the ban on alcohol from 1920-1933 the American Prohibition Museum on Julian St is a real treat for anyone who wants a bit of history served up with authentic era style drinks. Right in the same building, find a retro speakeasy offering Prohibition recipe drinks, even classes on how to make them yourself.
What better place for a Savannah-based history museum is there than a 19th century railway shed? Considering the rich history surrounding Savannah as the state’s first settlement, we think that a preserved railway shed makes for a great display case. Featuring articles dating back to 1733, the Savannah History Museum takes you on a walk through the Civil War but that’s not even the best part. Housing the iconic bench from Forrest Gump, this museum also holds memorabilia from various popular culture references. Find this cultural gem on Martin Luther King Jr Blvd in downtown Savannah and visit from 9 am – 4 pm every day. Bonus points if you add the Forrest Gump bench to your social media stories with an epic quote, we know you want to do it.
Contemporary art from all over the world with exhibits constantly changing, the SCAD Museum of Art on Turner Blvd always has a new display up. Since late in 2011, the SCAD Museum of art has hosted school alumni, international artists and many others. Closed on Tuesdays, this building is usually open from 10 am – 5 pm every other day. Plan to visit any of the galleries or see a show in the 250 seat theater. Modern, current and ever changing, the SCAD Museum of Art encompasses what makes a degree with this particular school so sought after. Everyone in Savannah knows that SCAD produces some of the world’s most noteworthy talent and taking a trip to this reputable exhibition is worth any art lovers time. Affordable, ever changing and growing regularly, the SCAD Museum of Art can be one that you visit over and over again and never have the same experience twice.
Being located right along the Savannah River, the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum is virtually overflowing with historically significant artifacts, not to mention the building itself. House inside of the historic home of William Scarbrough, this preserved building takes you on a journey through 18th and 19th century by way of model ships, antiques, paintings and many other relics from the time. Regularly used as an event venue as well, this classic location is beautiful inside and out. You might not be shocked to find that a series of concerts or maybe a vampire ball is finding a space inside of the museum or when the weather is warmer, outside in those expansive gardens. Also located on Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, the museum is only closed on Mondays but open from 10 am – 5 pm every other day of the week. Once the weather warms up, make a point to come back and explore their gardens.
Nestled away down Pin Point Ave here in Savannah is the Pin Point Heritage Museum, housed in what was once widely known as the A.S. Varn & Son Oyster and Crab Factory. This Gullah/Geechee culture focused museum covers the vibrant history dating back before the 1900s. Located in what is understood to be the “largest African-American owned waterfront property on the East Coast” the Pin Point Heritage Museum is surrounded by the cultural influence of the residents. Take a trip out that way sometime and learn something new about the Gullah/Geechee community on Thursday or Friday from 9 am – 4 pm. One thing about Pin Point Heritage Museum is this, you will always leave feeling enriched and having learned something you might not have considered before.
Presented by Georgia Southern and located on Plant Riverside, That Great Gretsch is for musicians and those who can appreciate the rich history of a good instrument. Highlighting just under 150 years worth of Gretsch instruments and various memorabilia, That Great Gretsch is more than another excuse to visit the west end of River Street. Make your way to the JW Marriott in the Plant Riverside District and take all of the guitar players in your life. Musicians can’t seem to help wanting to stand around an analyze any musical instrument who comes their way so make their day with plans to visit That Great Gretsch.
Referencing the Graveface Museum has to be one of our favorite activities here at The Savannah Insider and if you know, you know. If the name is new to you, get ready for the treat of a lifetime when you spend an afternoon wandering around this extravagant collection. All things odd, from taxidermy displays to the owner’s grandfather awaits your gasps at this museum found on Factors Walk. Only two minutes from River Street, Graveface is right in the thick of it all, housing a history of darkness that can’t be accurately described in one small paragraph. For something exciting, with a collection full of items that you’re bound to have never experienced, visit Graveface Museum. Not for the faint of heart, we suggest you take a look at their social media feeds to get a taste before coming in from 12 – 7 pm Thursday through Sunday.
Known for being one of the highest regardes examples of Gothic Revival Architecture here in the south, the Green Meldrim House is more like a life sized diorama showing off what high class Savannah looked like way back in the day. Open on most Tuesdays and Fridays for tours, the Green Meldrim House on Macon Street was first constructed in the 1850s. Charles Green was a high class, very rich man after years of hard work and building. Preserved in the way that shows you what an average day in high society looked like those many years ago. the Green Meldrim House arguably has just as much, if not more history displayed within its walls than most museums. Along with St. John’s Church across the street, the Green Meldrim House pairs up nicely to show off what kind of drama Savannah’s architecture is known for.
Yes you read that right, the Tennessee River Museum is right here in Savannah. From 9 am – 5 pm every day that isn’t Sunday, take some time to learn about the Tennessee River Valley with a ton of educational exhibits. Paleontology, archeology and steamboats are only three of the topics covered throughout this packed museum. Take in some discoveries about the Trail of Tears or Tennessee River’s role in the Civil War. Here in Savannah, we can’t get enough stories about historic events even if they aren’t directly related to the city itself. Not far down Main St, history buffs won’t want to miss out on this particular collection.
Not a museum, The Sentient Bean right beside Forsyth Park is one of Savannah’s best coffee shops. Locally sourced, organic and vegetarian/vegan friendly, this restaurant and coffee shop always has art displays up on their walls from Savannah based artists. Photography, paintings, anything that the city can come up with has managed to find a home on The Bean’s walls. When you need to recharge and refuel, stop by from 7 am – 5 pm every day. Make sure to take a bathroom visit so you can peruse the stack of flyers showcasing local events you might not find online.
Now that you know how to warm up, whether it be inside of a fantastic museum or with a cup of coffee from The Bean, we know you are ready to endure the mild winters here in Savannah. There’s so much to be learned with a visit to the Hostess City and we know you all will be ready for something to do during January once the holidays have calmed down a bit. Savannah is a beautiful city that is always picturesque, no matter what the weather conditions. Even taking a ride with us on the #PartyBike is surprisingly warm once you get to pedaling.
Whatever your niche interests might entail, Savannah may have a museum full to bursting with artifacts from yesterday that will have you wanting to ingest any information available. From brand new exhibits that showcase the artists of now to the hundreds of years worth of what has made this southeast town as iconic as it is, Savannah’s museums will keep your family more than busy any time of year.
Before you take off to go book your tickets early, don’t forget to take some time clicking around cyclesavannah.com. From bicycle tours to a group ride on the #PartyBike Savannah Sip & Cycle is going to be your new favorite way to get around Savannah. Affordable, fun and Eco-Friendly, our tours are one of the most popular ways to see what that Savannah has to offer, while being guided by a knowledgeable local Savannah resident. Just take a look at the FAQ tab to answer any questions you might have.