One of the biggest perks of living in a city with such a rich history is that we have more than our fair share of incredible museums! To help you decide which museums in Savannah are “must visits,” I’ve divvied them up by type below and have listed my top choices in each category.

Pinnable graphic with a photo of the historic marker for the Telfair Family Mansion and a photo of a bright green railcar in the Georgia State RR Museum. Text overlay reads "Best Museums in Savannah Georgia" and shows the Savannah First-Timer's Guide logo in white on a bright-green background

Note: This guide contains affiliate links to my trusted travel partners.

If you’re new around here, first of all … allow me to extend a warm welcome!

My name is Erin, and I authored the Savannah First-Timer’s Guide. It combines my top Savannah travel tips from this website into one handy downloadable ebook.

You might also be interested in…
➡️ 25 Epic Things To Do in Savannah (Tips From a Local!)

To make the most of your trip, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. From May through September, Savannah is extremely hot and humid (here is the average weather in Savannah by month). For that reason, I suggest doing your outdoor exploration during the morning hours and scheduling indoor museum visits during the hottest part of the day. That way you can take advantage of the air conditioning.
  2. Museums make the ideal rainy day activity in Savannah. I’ve noted whether each location is indoor or outdoor so you can factor that into your plans.
  3. If you purchase a ticket to any of the Telfair museums (Owens Thomas House and Slave Quarters, Telfair Academy, or Jepson Center), that ticket grants entry into all three museums. They allow a few days to use it, so you don’t have to visit them all in one day.

Ok … ready to learn about the different Savannah museum options? Let’s get to it!

Black History Museums in Savannah

I always recommend stopping in at least one museum that focuses on Black history, and there are plenty of incredible options in Savannah!

Here are a few favorites…

Pin Point Heritage Museum

Location: Outskirts of Savannah
Address: 9924 Pin Point Avenue, Savannah, GA 31406
Admission Fee: Approximately $10 | Discounts for Children
Hours: Thursday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Indoor or Outdoor: 75% indoor | 25% outdoor
Parking: Free parking available on site
Purchase Tickets: Coastal Heritage Society (select “shop” in the top menu)

Since it’s located on the outskirts of the city, visitors sometimes refer to Pin Point as a bit of a hidden gem. However, I consider it one of Savannah’s top must-visit landmarks, and that’s why I’m including it first!

In fact, it’s one of the top 10 places I recommend in my Savannah First-Timer’s Guide and one of my all-time favorite museums in Savannah.

Pin Point was established in 1896 by the descendants of enslaved men and women. Those landowners made their living shucking oysters and canning crabs at the A.S. Varn and Son Oyster Factory.

The business closed down in the 1980s, and a few decades later the building was converted into a museum to share “de story of de peepul.”

You’ll be shown around the property by actual descendants of the original landowners, and they’ll discuss the history and philosophies of the Gullah Geechee people.

Why It’s Worth Visiting…

While it’s interesting to learn about the oyster factory and what life was like for its employees, my favorite part of the tour is learning about the spirit and resilience of the Pin Point community.

It’s a tour that always leaves me feeling uplifted, so hopefully it will do the same for you.

I often think the world would be a better place if more of us would live by the principles taught within the Pin Point community… respect the wisdom of our elders, have a spiritual connection to the land, look out for one another, develop a strong work ethic, etc.

The former A.S. Varn Oyster Factory at Pin Point Heritage Site is a simple single-story white building with a red metal roof that extends out over the bright green marsh
The old A.S. Varn Oyster Factory overlooks Shipyard Creek and has beautiful views. | ©Erin Clarkson
A room with concrete walls and floors and numerous oyster-shelling stations at Pin Point Heritage Site. Historic B&W photos of former employees line the walls
Guests can explore the entire interior of the factory and learn how each room functioned. | ©Erin Clarkson
A rusted old ice chipper on display at Pin Point Heritage Site along with B&W photo displays on the wall of people who form the Pin Point community
There are stories posted throughout the museum, but the guided tours are the way to go! | ©Erin Clarkson
An old wooden crabbing rowboat painted in a pale shade of blue is on display beneath B&W photos of members of the Pin Point community at Pin Point Heritage Museum in Savannah
Each room served a different purpose and tells a unique story. | ©Erin Clarkson

Insider Tip: Once you’re back in Savannah, head over to 2 Chefs Gullah Geechee Restaurant for a bite of their smothered shrimp and grits. The chef’s grandmother worked at the A.S. Varn Oyster Factory!

Owens Thomas House and Slave Quarters

Location: Landmark Historic District
Address: 124 Abercorn Street, Savannah, GA 31401
Admission Fee: Adults $25 | Discounts for Children, Seniors, Active Military, and Students
Hours: Monday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Indoor or Outdoor: Primarily indoor
Parking: Metered street parking
Purchase Tickets: Purchase at the door
NOTE: Ticket fee also includes entrance into Jepson Center and Telfair Academy

The Owens Thomas House and Slave Quarters was built in the early 1800s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was home to some of Savannah’s wealthiest families and even served as temporary quarters for the Marquis de Lafayette when he visited the city in 1825.

The home featured indoor plumbing during a time period when most U.S. homes didn’t even have hot water or flushable toilets, and there’s a unique indoor bridge on the uppermost level.

Parts of the home have been restored, but in many areas the details have simply been preserved to allow a true glimpse into the past.

For example, in the quarters where enslaved families resided, you can see remnants of the original haint-blue ceilings that were created from a mixture of indigo, buttermilk, and lime.

Why It’s Worth Visiting…

This is one of the most in-depth home tours you can take to view the stark contrast in living conditions between Savannah’s elite and the enslaved laborers who tended to their daily needs.

The most moving part of the tour takes place when you stand before a wall of hundreds of wooden boards — each one representing a human being who was shipped to Savannah as ‘goods and chattel’.

Many boards have simple names like “Darkey” and “Chance” burned into the surface, but there are also blank boards representing the individuals whose names were never recovered from slave ship manifests.

Front façade of the Owens Thomas House, with orange toned walls and green shutters surrounding the windows. The foreground is filled with pink and white azalea bushes and a park bench
The Owens Thomas House looks prettiest when the azaleas are blooming. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
Front facade of the Owens-Thomas House with pale orange stucco walls and bright green shutters surrounding the windows
The exterior has been restored to match the original colors and style as much as possible. | ©Erin Clarkson
Historic marker for the Owens-Thomas House shows gold text on a green background and tells the story of the Marquis de Lafayette visiting the home
This historic marker references a visit from the Marquis de Lafayette in 1825. | ©Erin Clarkson
An elegant room at the Owens-Thomas House with decorative tile floors, a bright green wall, and lighting with an etched glass cover
Those baseboards are painted with a faux technique to resemble marble. | ©Erin Clarkson
An elaborate tile floor inside the Owens-Thomas House leads to a beautiful wooden staircase with gold accents on each post
The details inside the interior of the main home are stunning throughout the house. | ©Erin Clarkson
The quarters for enslaved families at the Owens-Thomas House shows simple wooden floors, exposed brick walls, and sparse furnishings
The quarters where enslaved families slept are sparse compared to the lavish finishes in the main home. | ©Erin Clarkson

Related Reading: Black History Tours in Savannah: Which Ones are Best?

Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum

Location: Landmark Historic District
Address: 460 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Savannah, GA 31401
Admission Fee: Adults $10 | Discounts for Seniors and Students
Hours: Thursday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor
Parking: There are a few marked spaces in the dirt lot to the left of the entrance, as well as metered street parking.
Purchase Tickets: Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum

The Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum houses three stories of exhibits dedicated to educating the public about discrimination as it pertained specifically to the city of Savannah.

It also highlights those who fought for equity in the city, including the museum’s namesake, Dr. Ralph Mark Gilbert, as well as local Civil Rights icon, Westley Wallace Law.

Even though slavery was abolished in the United States in 1865, cities and states throughout the South passed measures to ensure Black citizens remained suppressed for at least another 100 years.

Those measures included discriminatory practices such as:

  • Redlining predominantly Black neighborhoods to restrict property ownership
  • Suppressing and restricting voter rights
  • Segregating public schools, restaurants, hospitals, and transportation
  • Prohibiting interracial relationships

This period of time in US history is commonly referred to as the Jim Crow era. It’s when organizations like the KKK were formed and when sundown towns dotted many parts of the nation.

Upon entering the museum, you’ll watch an approximate 15-minute video that provides an overview of the people and incidents that shaped Savannah’s desegregation movement and helped to dismantle Jim Crow laws.

For example, one exhibit brings life to the famous sit-in at Levy’s department store, while another explains how a highly effective 18-month-long boycott of Broughton Street businesses was carried out.

Why It’s Worth Visiting

Savannah is part of the Deep South and has seen significant racial divide through the years, yet the city’s desegregation movement was one of the most peaceful in the nation!

In a 1964 speech, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. even described Savannah as “the most desegregated city south of the Mason-Dixon line.”

The museum’s exhibits showcase many of the hurdles local citizens faced, as well as the peaceful methods Savannah’s Civil Rights leaders used to overcome those obstacles.

As the current political climate regresses further into ideologies reminiscent of the Jim Crow era, the Civil Rights Museum might be one of the most important museums you can visit in Savannah.

Speak up, speak out, get in the way. Get in good trouble, necessary trouble, and help redeem the soul of America.

John Lewis, Civil Rights legend whose Time Magazine cover photo hangs in the entrance to the museum
Entrance to the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum in Savannah with artwork of a group of Black males kneeling covering the exterior windows
There is a small parking lot located to the left of this entrance. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson

Insider Tip: Don’t miss the interactive lunch counter exhibit on the second floor of the building! Press the black button (located on the countertop) to hear how Black visitors were treated at lunch counters throughout the South, and then press the white button to hear how white visitors were treated.


Unique Museums

Savannah is a quirky city, and some of our museums reflect that quirkiness. Here are a few favorites…

Prohibition Museum Savannah

Location: Landmark Historic District | City Market
Address: 209 W Saint Julian Street, Savannah, GA 31401
Admission Fee: From $15 – $35
Hours: Monday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor
Parking: Metered street parking
Purchase Tickets: Prohibition Tickets

Want to pose with Al Capone and his gangster buddies, see how moonshine was made, have drinks in a speakeasy, or learn to dance The Charleston?

You can do all of the above, and more, at American Prohibition Museum!

You’ll find Prohibition-era information scattered amongst unique displays throughout the space, making it easy to get an education while also being entertained.

For example, did you know NASCAR got its start from bootleggers who were trying to escape the police? Or that the KKK had its “second rising” during Prohibition? Were you aware that organized crime flourished and homicide rates more than doubled in many major cities during the ban on alcohol?

Why It’s Worth Visiting

The museum does a good job showing what life was like in the United States during the “dry” years, and the exhibits are very well designed.

The wax figures are some of the more lifelike characters I’ve seen, and — since you’re able to pose right next to them — they make for some very memorable photos!

If you stick around to have a drink in the speakeasy towards the end, you’ll discover a fun little twist. (I won’t spoil it for you!)

A plaque on the exterior brick wall of one of the museums in Savannah GA shows a declaration stating, "The First Act of Alcohol Prohibition In America was decreed in Savannah in 1735" and is signed by "His Royal Majesty King George II"
The first act of Alcohol prohibition in the United States took place in Savannah in the early 1700s. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
Scene inside American Prohibition Museum showing an old-timey Ford and the wax figure of a man in a suit standing in front of a sign for McCurdy's Saloon
This shows a typical street scene during the Prohibition era. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
A scene inside American Prohibition Museum shows the wax figures of a woman and her young daughter peering into the window of a saloon with a sign indicating that the establishment has beer on tap
Here’s another typical street scene during the Prohibition era. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
A criminal lineup against a brick wall inside American Prohibition Museum shows wax figures for Bugs Moran, Al Capone, and Machine Gun Jack McGurn. All three are dressed in dapper gray suits
You can pose in a lineup with Bugs Moran, Al Capone, and Machine Gun Jack! | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
Fake crime scene tape blocks off an exhibit inside the American Prohibition Museum of a car with a male and female passenger, as well as a driver, who have all been shot and killed by gangsters
This Bonny and Clyde-style scene is one of many unique displays you’ll find in the museum. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
Wax figure of a drunkard inside American Prohibition Museum. His clothing is disheveled and torn, cap askew, and mouth hanging open in stupor
I just love how realistic the wax figures look! You can stand right next to them for photo ops. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson

Savannah is the wickedest city in the world!

~ Evangelist Billy Sunday, speaking on liquor consumption in the city of Savannah

🌟 I have to give a quick shoutout to the museum for its accessibility factor. You’ll find plenty of room to maneuver around the exhibits, they have an elevator available to access the different levels of the building, and they even offer cleverly designed educational cards that translate the exhibits into multiple languages.

Wooden box mounted on the wall with the American Prohibition Museum logo etched into the front cover. Pullout tabs represent Chinese, French, German, and Mexican flags
These language cards are available in each of the rooms to translate the exhibits. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson

Insider Tip: If you’re interested, you can also sign up for a class where you’ll learn how to make cocktails from the expert bartenders in the museum’s speakeasy, Congress Street Up. Purchase cocktail class tickets here. **NOTE: Alcohol is not served in the speakeasy on Sundays.

Graveface Museum

Location: Landmark Historic District | Factors Walk
Address: 410 E Lower Factors Walk, Savannah, GA 31401
Admission Fee: Approximately $20
Hours: Thursday – Sunday 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor
Parking: Metered street parking
Purchase Tickets: Graveface Tickets

What started as a passion project by Ryan Graveface and Chloe Manon is now a one-of-a-kind museum in Savannah! This unique Savannah “murder museum” has one of the best collections of true crime memorabilia in the country.

Ryan has been collecting serial killer memorabilia for decades and has even interviewed death row inmates to gather their stories. He has an extensive collection of John Wayne Gacy art and letters, and many are on display throughout the museum.

Each room in the museum has a different theme — including exhibits on cults, sideshows, secret societies, and witchcraft. One room even features a vintage pinball arcade! (Trust me, that comes in handy when you’re trying to escape a downpour in Savannah or have older teens who are in need of some entertainment.)

Why It’s Worth Visiting

Savannah is filled with unique, independent businesses you won’t find anywhere else, and Graveface Museum is a prime example of that.

Ryan and Chloe’s deep love for oddities shows in everything they create! If they happen to be in the museum when you’re there (and they often are), don’t be surprised to have them chat enthusiastically with you about all sorts of offbeat topics.

Make sure you check out the hoodoo exhibit, which is located inside a wall on the first floor of the museum. It’s easy to miss but is unique and worth seeing.

Black sign with white text that reads "Graveface Museum Oddities & Records" and has a skeletal hand pointing towards the right
A collection of witchcraft items found in homes and businesses throughout Savannah is displayed inside glass cases at Graveface Museum
Oversized paper mache devil face with an open mouth that patrons can walk through at Graveface Museum in Savannah
B&W drawing of Freddy Krueger with one skeletal finger resting against his cheek and an evil look in his eyes
The mirrored UFO room at Graveface Museum in Savannah with UFO drawings, newspaper clippings, alien masks, and a paper mache UFO
The Manson display at Graveface Museum includes a wall full of Manson photos, drawings, memorabilia, and even clothing items that Manson wore at Spahn Ranch. The Spahn Ranch wooden sign is displayed, as well

Make Note: In case it’s not obvious when you walk through the gaping mouth of Satan to enter the museum, Graveface isn’t suitable for all ages. Many of the topics are disturbing, so keep that in mind when planning your visit. Their newest exhibit focuses on Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan.

SCAD Story

Location: Landmark Historic District
Address: 342 Bull Street, Savannah, GA 31401
Admission Fee: Suggested $5 donation
Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor
Parking: Metered street parking
Purchase Tickets: SCADstory Tickets

SCADstory is an immersive 4D experience that takes you through the history of the city’s local art school, the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

Like most everything the school touches, it’s quite an elaborate production!

The experience is short, clocking in at less than 30 minutes, but it’s a fun little diversion. You can always count on an art school to have really cool visual displays.

Why It’s Worth Visiting…

If you have kids who are planning to attend SCAD — or if you’re trying to convince your kids to attend SCAD so you’ll have an excuse to move to Savannah — SCADstory is worth a visit.

I suggest stopping in if you need a break from the heat or if you’re looking for something to do in Savannah on a rainy day.

The SCADstory logo on the glass door entrance to the museum, with a colorful plaid wall covered in art visible in the background
Unfortunately, I can’t give you a peek into the experience since photos aren’t allowed at SCADstory. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson

Art Museums in Savannah

From Laney Contemporary to Sulfur Studios to the Savannah Gallery of Art, you’ll find incredible art galleries throughout Savannah.

Here are three of the most popular options in the Historic District…

Jepson Center

Location: Landmark Historic District
Address: 207 W York Street, Savannah, GA 31401
Admission Fee: Adults $25 | Discounts for Children, Seniors, Active Military, and Students
Hours: Monday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor
Parking: Metered street parking
Purchase Tickets: Purchase at the door
NOTE: Ticket fee includes entrance into all three Telfair Museums

The Jepson Center includes 64,000 sq. ft. of space dedicated to showcasing a variety of art styles. You’ll find exhibits displaying everything from modern art to the classics to emerging local artists from Savannah and the surrounding South Carolina Lowcountry.

The exhibits are thought provoking, and the building itself is also quite beautiful. I rather enjoy watching the sunlight create unique shadow patterns across various surfaces throughout the day.

Why It’s Worth Visiting…

The Jepson Center is a well-curated museum, and the exhibits rotate on a regular basis.

I’m a photographer, so I was happy to see Photography’s Last Century: The Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee collection during my most recent visit.

There is also a stunning piece from renowned Civil Rights sculptor Curtis Patterson currently on display in one of the museum’s upstairs rooms.

Jepson Center logo in white on a black background and the words "see" "dine" "explore" "learn" "play" and "shop" written in colorful text on a backdrop of colorful squares
The 3-for-1 ticket grants entrance to Jepson Center, Telfair Academy, and the Owens Thomas House and Slave Quarters, so it’s a good deal. Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
Beams of light shining through the 3-story windows of Jepson Center creating a unique pattern of lines against the curved walls
The building was designed by Moshe Safdie and is quite beautiful!Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
Rows of pottery and sculptures framed in glass boxes against a wall inside the Jepson Center. The sun's rays are reflecting light on the ground in unique striped patterns
The lighting is a work of art unto itself! | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
Carved bronze bust of a female with elegant high cheekbones and hair pulled back into a bun
A bust of American artist, Gwendolyn Knight, as portrayed in bronze by sculptor Augusta Savage. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
Artwork created from colorful ephemera with the words "guilty of being indians" stamped across the top in bright red letters
100 Years of Ghost Dancing II by David P. Bradley protests the exploitation of Indigenous tribes. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
Photography on display inside the Jepson Center on walls painted in different colors to make each piece stand out. One wall is a deep red, one is mint green, and another is pure white
This is a small section of the Photography’s Last Century exhibit. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson

Insider Tip: If you’re looking for Joe’s at the Jepson, the award-winning restaurant once housed inside the museum, it closed in the fall of 2022 and Wildflower Cafe took its place. It’s from the same team that conceptualized FARM in Bluffton and local hotspot, Common Thread — which is easily one of the best restaurants in Savannah!

Telfair Academy

Location: Landmark Historic District
Address: 121 Barnard Street, Savannah, GA 31401
Admission Fee: $25 | Discounts for Children, Seniors, Active Military, and Students
Hours: Monday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor
Parking: Metered street parking
Purchase Tickets: Purchase at the door
NOTE: Ticket fee includes entrance into all three Telfair Museums

The Telfair Mansion was built in 1819 for Alexander Telfair, the son of Georgia Governor Edward Telfair. It’s a beautiful home that currently operates as a museum.

Experiencing the architecture of the home is worth the admission price alone, but you’ll also enjoy spending time with classical artwork from the early 1700s through to the 1900s.

The famous “bird girl statue” from the cover of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is located inside the museum. She was moved from Bonaventure Cemetery after the book was published to prevent vandalism, which is an all-too-common fate for statuary in many of the cemeteries in Savannah.

Georgia Historic Marker for the Telfair Family Mansion (1818 - William Jay Architect) stands in front of the yellow-painted stucco façade of Telfair Academy. Large oaks and a few statues are visible in the courtyard in front of the building
You can’t miss the museum. Just look for the mustard-yellow building facing Telfair Square. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
Marble statue framed against a deep-red painted wall in Telfair Academy with elegant gold columns and gold-framed art on each side
Telfair’s sculpture gallery features plastic casts of well-known Greco-Roman sculptures. | ©Erin Clarkson
Interior of the Telfair Academy showing oversized art in gold frames against a greyish-blue wall with elegant wooden trim. A piano sits in the foreground
The Rotunda Gallery is one of the museum’s most spectacular rooms. Don’t miss La Parabola, c1875, by Italian artist Cesare Laurenti, which brilliantly depicts the stages of a woman’s life from young to old. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
The famous bronze Bird Girl statue in front of a B&W background photo of Bonaventure Cemetery
The museum includes a small room dedicated to the famous Bird Girl statue, made famous when Jack Leigh photographed it for the cover of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson

SCAD Museum

Location: Historic District
Address: 601 Turner Blvd., Savannah, GA 31401
Admission Fee: Adults $10 | Discounts for Children, Seniors, Military, and Students
Hours: Mon 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Wed – Sat 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Sun 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor
Parking: Metered street parking
Purchase Tickets: SCAD MOA Tickets

The SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah is a contemporary art museum featuring emerging and established artists. While it’s not a huge space, they do keep the exhibits fresh and add new pieces on a regular basis.

Why It’s Worth Visiting

The docents are all SCAD students, so the museum gives them an opportunity to discuss the exhibits with fellow art aficionados.


History Museums in Savannah

Massie Heritage Center

Location: Landmark Historic District
Address: 207 E Gordon Street, Savannah, GA 31401
Admission Fee: Adults $9 | Discounts for Children, Seniors, and Military
Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Sunday 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor
Parking: Metered street parking
Purchase Tickets: Purchase at the museum

Housed inside one of Savannah’s first public schools, Massie Heritage Center is a great place to get an overall picture of Savannah’s history.

One of my favorite exhibits is the 3D miniature replica of downtown Savannah, but I also love exploring the classroom and checking out the beautiful view of the adjacent square from the window in the principal’s office.

Why It’s Worth Visiting

Massie Center is one of the few places in the city where you can learn about indigenous tribes that inhabited Yamacraw Bluff long before this area became known as modern-day Savannah.

The American Indians of Coastal Georgia exhibit reflects on various stages in time ranging from 12,000 years ago to 1733 — the year Chief Tomochichi helped General Oglethorpe establish his concept for Savannah.

It’s nice to see such an important slice of history referenced in more than just a passing glance!

Old school book and a display case with items from Massie School, one of the best history museums in Savannah
These are a few of the old books on display in the space that once operated as the principal’s office. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
Scale model of Savannah's Historic District inside Massie Heritage Center
It may appear tiny in the photo, but this replica of the city, which was designed by James Morton, takes up most of the room! | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
Display of a map of Savannah (circa 1800s) inside Massie Heritage Center showing independent and Freedman's schools, as well as the locations of clandestine schools for Black children in the city before, during, and after the Emancipation era
This map of clandestine and freedman’s schools in Savannah can be found in the Enslavement to Emancipation exhibit. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
A beautiful wooden display case with 6 intricate ship reproductions on display at Massie Heritage Center
The Morrison Maritime Gallery features a beautiful collection of model ships. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson

Savannah History Museum

Location: Historic District
Address: 303 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Savannah, GA 31401
Admission Fee: Adults $10 | Discounts for Children
Hours: Monday – Sunday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor
Parking: Metered street parking
Purchase Tickets: Coastal Heritage Society (select “shop” in the top menu)

When you visit the Savannah History Museum, you’ll be able to walk through exhibits of the city’s history from its origins in 1733 to modern times.

Many of the exhibits are presented bulletin-board style and look like something you’d find in a high school science fair, so don’t expect anything too fancy.

While I don’t consider the museum an absolute must-visit, many people insist on going for one reason specific reason….

the Savannah History Museums is where you’ll find a replica of the bench Tom Hanks sat on when filming Forrest Gump!!

I had to include it on this list for that reason alone. (You’d be surprised how many people visit Chippewa Square in search of Forrest’s bench.)

The museum also has a section featuring notable Savannah women, such as Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low.

The newest exhibit includes jazz memorabilia highlighting members of Savannah’s Jazz Hall of Fame. That section is my favorite part, since I love seeing historic photos showing what the buildings along Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. (formerly West Broad) looked like back in the day.

Why It’s Worth Visiting…

It’s conveniently located inside the Savannah Visitor Center and is an inexpensive museum. Again, it’s not my favorite, but I had to include it because so many first-time visitors want to see the Forrest Gump bench.

Interior of the Savannah History Museum from a high level looking down at an expanse of displays, including a large painting of of the Savannah Harbor from the year 1900
The museum’s interior is U-shaped. It begins with an exhibit referencing Indigenous tribes and covers major local and national events as it winds around to the last display. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
Train engine the number 403 stamped in gold inside a red circle on the front of the train
Engine #403 is located inside the museum. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
Oversized wall display showing a female jazz singer in a sparkly red dress with a microphone in her hand. The words "Savannah Jazz Hall of Fame" are layered atop the image
The Jazz Hall of Fame exhibit highlights the many talented musicians that have contributed to Savannah’s jazz scene. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
B&W illustration of historic Yamacraw in Savannah with three jazz players playing instrument in color in the foreground
Julius Woodard reimagines a West Broad Street jazz scene in early 1900s Savannah. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
B&W illustration of historic Frogtown in Savannah with a woman in the foreground dancing in front of King Olivers while wearing a red dress
Here’s another peek at his work. West Broad was nicknamed the “Harlem of the South.” | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
A photo of Forrest Gump sitting on a bench in Chippewa Square is leaning against the brown wooden slats of the actual bench where he sat. His suitcase is located next to the photo
There is it… the replica of the Forrest Gump bench! Make note that it’s behind ropes, so you can’t sit on it to take photos. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson

Insider Tip: While you’re in the area, be sure to cross the street to visit Battlefield Memorial Park. It honors the 800 troops that were wounded or died in the bloodiest battle of the American Revolution. The museum hosts a live reenactment once per day that includes a Revolutionary soldier firing a musket.


Museums for Kids

Savannah isn’t a great city for keeping kids entertained (in my personal opinion), but there are a handful of options available when you need to keep the youngsters busy.

Here are a couple favorites…

Savannah Railroad Museum

Location: Historic District
Address: 655 Louisville Road, Savannah, GA 31401
Admission Fee: Adults $15 | Discounts for Children
Hours: Monday – Sunday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Indoor or Outdoor: A mix of both
Parking: Free parking on site
Purchase Tickets: Coastal Heritage Society (select “shop” in the top menu)

I don’t know of any other museum in Savannah where you can hop in an old railroad car and make your way down a short line of track, but you can do just that at the Georgia State Railroad Museum!

The museum is great for kids and train enthusiasts, and it also provides plenty of incredible photo opportunities for amateur photographers.

While you can wander around the museum on your own, the space is large and there’s a lot of area to cover. For that reason, I highly recommend taking the guided tour, which is included in your ticket price.

The tour takes about an hour to complete and provides access to additional passenger cars, an opportunity to sit in an engineer’s seat, and the option to operate a pushcart along the tracks.

Why It’s Worth Visiting

The former Central of Georgia Railway: Savannah Shops and Facilities (that’s the official name) is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its partial roundhouse area is thought to be one of the oldest intact pre-Civil War railroad repair stations in the US!

Faded red railcar with a the Georgia State Railroad Museum logo printed in white on a red background
People also call it the Savannah Railroad Museum or the Savannah Train Museum. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
Front-facing shot of Engine #223 with its headlight glowing and the numbers 223 in white text against a red backdrop surrounded by a gold circle
Engine #223 is just one of many you’ll find in the Roundhouse section of the museum. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
A scuffed dark red floor leads visitors down the interior of a railcar, past passenger seating and towards a teal green colored wall with a small metal door
Guests are allowed to walk inside a few of the old passenger cars. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
Rusted steel beams along the ceiling of the Roundhouse at the Georgia State Railroad Museum contrast sharply against a bright green railcar with the word "SOUTHERN" imprinted across the side in yellow text
The lighting inside the Roundhouse is great for photography! | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
Close up shot of rusted gears against a crumbling old brick wall at the Georgia State Railroad Museum in Savannah
There are plenty of cool old engines on display throughout the museum. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson

Savannah Children’s Museum

Location: Historic District
Address: 655 Louisville Road, Savannah, GA 31401
Admission Fee: $10
Hours: Monday – Sunday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Indoor or Outdoor: Outdoor
Parking: Free parking on site
Purchase Tickets: Coastal Heritage Society (select “shop” in the top menu)

The Savannah Children’s Museum is adjacent to the Railroad Museum. Since nearly everything is outdoors, you’ll want to visit this spot during good weather.

I would describe the museum as an imagination station and play area geared towards younger children. It includes a maze and sensory garden, and they often host fun events like their recent Dr. Seuss Day.

There’s plenty of space for kids to run around inside the sunken play area, while the planting station offers opportunities to learn about nature and that bees are our friends!

Why It’s Worth Visiting…

If you need to entertain children, this is a great place for them to interact with others, learn in a group environment, and to run around and burn off extra energy.

“Tippy the Tortoise” is the museum’s resident tortoise, and his enclosure is popular. Kids can watch him chomp on lettuce and bask in the sunlight, or even draw pictures while he poses.

Faded black railcar with the words" Georgia" and "Savannah Children's Museum" in white text and a white tree frog on a pale blue circular background
The Children’s Museum is located on the same grounds as the RR Museum. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
Sunken playground inside the Savannah Children's Museum filled with wooden mazes, toys, and play stations
This sunken area is a safe place for children to play and explore. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
Four level wooden planter filled with plants and colorful markers. An old brick wall is visible in the background
The sensory garden teaches kids about the life cycle of plants and how they help bees and butterflies survive. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
Multi-level wooden planter box filled with various types of plants marked with colorful markers
Kids can learn about tomatoes, sage, mint, radishes, carrots, cucumber, and more in the Frogtown Sensory Garden. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson

Insider Tip: During the summertime, it’s best to go in the morning before Savannah’s heat and humidity fully kick in for the day. The museum has misters, but very little shade.


Military Museums

Savannah has plenty of fantastic military museums. Here are two options to start you off, but I also suggest considering the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force in Pooler and Old Fort Jackson in Savannah (I may add them to this post at some point)…

Webb Military Museum

Location: Landmark Historic District
Address: 411 E York Street, Savannah, GA 31401
Admission Fee: Approx. $10 | Discounts for Children, Seniors, and all Military
Hours: Monday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Sunday 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor
Parking: Metered street parking
Purchase Tickets: Webb Military Museum Tickets

Gary Webb is the proprietor of this tiny — but mighty! — museum, which is clearly his passion project.

It’s filled with military items Mr. Webb has personally collected through the years, and he can tell you the story behind each and every piece. There’s actually a good chance he’ll do just that, since he works in the museum nearly every day of the week!

For example, you’ll find the gas mask his mother wore when she was attending school as a young child in London during WWII, as well as a bullet-struck bible that allowed its owner, a Civil War soldier, to live an additional 40-something years after his close brush with death.

Why It’s Worth Visiting

Mr. Webb’s collection is quite extensive — covering the gamut from the Civil War to Desert Storm — but the stories behind the collection are what make his museum so unique.

The museum does an excellent job of honoring the men and women behind the uniform and bringing their stories to light.

This is a small, independently owned businesses in Savannah, and — if it isn’t obvious by now — that’s my favorite type of local business to support! I think it’s great that Mr. Webb keeps the admission price so reasonable and that he is so hands-on with many of the exhibits.

Collection of military medals on display inside Webb Military Museum for Captain Herbert J. Floyd. The display includes a Purple Heart and approximately 15 additional types of medals
One of the coolest things about the museum is that the owner often pulls items out of the glass cases to allow guests a better look. Sometimes he’ll even let you handle an item! | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
The front portion of a military plane is on display in the foreground of Webb Military Museum while a glass case full of uniforms and posters is visible in the background
Why yes, that is a section of a downed plane located right in the center of the museum! | ©Erin Clarkson
Glass case with intricate helmets on display inside Webb Military Museum
Just look at the details on these old helmets, which were worn by German officers during WWII. | ©Erin Clarkson
Display case filled with WWII uniforms and propaganda inside Webb Military Museum in Savannah
The collections are displayed in glass cases and sorted by event (Civil War, WWI, WWII, Desert Storm, etc.) | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson
Wooden display case inside Webb Military Museum in Savannah with red velvet felt, a small Confederate flag, and a bible with a bullet lodged in its pages
This display tells how a bible stopped a bullet and saved the life of its owner, Pvt. Joel W. Taylor. | Canon EOS R and Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 ©Erin Clarkson

Fort Pulaski

Location: Outskirts of Savannah
Address: 101 Fort Pulaski Road, Savannah, GA 31410
Admission Fee: Approx $10 | Discounts for Children
NOTE: Admission is good for 7 consecutive days
Hours: Sunday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Indoor or Outdoor: A mix of both
Parking: Metered lot parking
Purchase Tickets: Fort Pulaski National Monument

Fort Pulaski National Monument is a stunning place to visit! This is another museum in Savannah that has plenty of opportunities for photography fanatics.

It’s bigger than you might think, so plan to spend a few hours to half a day exploring the grounds. In addition to the fort, you’ll find hiking and biking trails, views of the Cockspur lighthouse, historic dike systems, and picnic areas.

The Visitor Center has several exhibits, including a 20-minute film highlighting the history of Fort Pulaski.

The fort itself takes time to wander through and experience. Don’t forget to walk around the exterior, where you can check out craters in the bricks where the structure took on Union cannon fire.

Why It’s Worth Visiting

This is one of the top places to visit in Savannah to immerse yourself in the history of the Civil War. The Rangers are very knowledgeable and are happy to answer questions from guests.

A pale peach and blue sunset can be seen behind the white-painted brick Cockspur Lighthouse near Tybee Island
Rows of arched brick doorways covered with fading white paint at Fort Pulaski
Interior of Fort Pulaski showing arched brick walls and canon-firing mechanisms pointed at small windows

Insider Tip: Fort Pulaski is a National Park, which means you can enter for free if you hold an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass!


Nature Centers

Prefer learning in the wild? You can do just that at these locations…

Savannah Ogeechee Canal Museum and Nature Center

Location: Outskirts of Savannah
Address: 681 Fort Argyle Road, Savannah, GA 31419
Admission Fee: Approx $5 | Discounts for Children, Seniors, and Military
Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Closed Monday and Tuesday
Indoor or Outdoor: A mix of both, but primarily outdoor
Parking: Metered street parking
Purchase Tickets: Purchase at the museum

The Savannah-Ogeechee Canal was built between 1826 and 1830 and was used to transport local crops and goods from inland plantations to the port of Savannah. It was eventually replaced by the railroad system.

These days, the Ogeechee Canal is an area for hiking and camping, and the center includes a small museum where you can view what remains of the canal, which closed in 1915.

Feel free to ask the friendly staff all of your burning questions about tidal locks, birding, wetlands, or the beautiful old Savannah gray bricks that were transported up the canals from plantations located on the outskirts of the city.

Why It’s Worth Visiting

This is one of the closer areas to the west side of downtown Savannah where you can get outside to enjoy nature and really feel like you’ve escaped the city. (Laurel Grove Cemetery is another.)

If you’re lucky, you might even spot an alligator! They hang out around the canals, but it’s pretty rare to actually spot one.

Insider Tip: If you plan to go for a hike, pack water to stay hydrated, bring a bottle of “No Natz” bug repellant, and watch out for snakes — as well as the aforementioned gators.

Wormsloe Historic Site

Location: Outskirts of Savannah
Address: 7601 Skidaway Road, Savannah, GA 31406
Admission Fee: Approx $10 | Discounts for Children and Seniors
Hours: Monday – Sunday 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Indoor or Outdoor: A mix of both, but primarily outdoor
Parking: Large parking lot
Purchase Tickets: Purchase at the museum

If you think Wormsloe is just another museum in Savannah that you can visit for an hour and then get on with your day, think again! There’s more to see than meets the eye.

The site includes a visitor center where you can watch a short introductory film about the founding of Savannah, 7+ miles of hiking trails through maritime forest and along the marsh, the tabby ruins of the old Oglethorpe homestead, and a Colonial life replication area.

Why It’s Worth Visiting…

You’ll probably recognize Savannah’s famous “avenue of oaks” the minute you lay eyes on it. After all, it’s one of the most-photographed areas in the entire city!

The famous mile-long, tree-lined drive forms the entrance to Wormsloe Historic Site, and it’s just as stunning as it looks in photos.

NOTE: Wormsloe served as a plantation at one point in time, and enslaved individuals lived and worked there, so please keep that in mind when visiting.

The entrance to Wormsloe Historic Site in Savannah framed by beautiful old Southern live oaks and sunlight streaming through the Spanish moss
The entrance gate to Wormsloe looks pretty majestic when the sunlight hits the Spanish Moss just right. | ©Nigel Hardy
Quiet southern dirt road at Wormsloe Historic Site lined by oak trees with moss-covered branches overhanging the road
There’s that famous tree-lined drive you’ve probably seen gracing the cover of many, many magazines. | ©Nigel Hardy
A scenic trail through the maritime forest at Wormsloe Historic Site lined with pine trees and saw palms
The trails wind through miles of maritime forest and along the edge of the marsh. | Canon Rebel T6i ©Erin Clarkson
A small cabin in the woods at Wormsloe Historic Site with sunlight streaming through the trees in the background
Every now and then they’ll feature live re-enactments in the Colonial life reproduction area of Wormsloe. | Canon Rebel T6i ©Erin Clarkson

Insider Tip: If you plan to go for a hike, I suggest buying a bottle of “No Natz” bug repellant to defend yourself from the pesky no-see-ums that love to bite unsuspecting visitors to the Georgia Coast.


Summary: Best Museums in Savannah GA

As you can see, there are several types of museums in Savannah for every age and interest.

While you can’t visit them all in one trip, I suggest picking a few so you can enjoy learning more about the city and its past.


Savannah Travel Guide

If you’re planning to a trip to Savannah, here are a few additional resources I’ve created to help you out.

  • Free Resources Library – When you sign up for my email list, you’ll get a checklist of “50 Things To Do On Foot in the Historic District (No Car Necessary)” and other helpful printables.
  • Savannah First-Timer’s Guide – My ebook combines my most helpful Savannah travel tips from this website in one handy downloadable guide.

When you purchase my ebook, you’ll also gain access to a private Facebook group where you can ask questions about your trip and get advice from others who have recently visited.