If you are visiting Savannah but are interested in historic and outdoor activities then you are in luck! Savannah has no shortage of fun activities and sites to enjoy with your family and friends. Here are just a few of our favorite historic sites and parks in the Savannah area.
Fort McAllister State Park
Found on the banks of the Ogeechee River south of Savannah, this beautiful park shows the best-well-looked-after earthwork reinforcement of the Confederacy. This fort was attacked seven times by Union Ironclads but was not damaged until 1864. As the fort fell so did it end Gen. William T. Sherman’s “March to the Sea“.
Fort McAllister was a Confederate fortification located near the mouth of the Ogeechee River found in Bryan County. It had played an essential part in defending Savannah during the Union Navy blockade on the Georgian coast. The grounds feature cannons, barracks, a furnace, palisades, and much more. While its Civil War museum features historic artifacts, a gift shop, and a video shop. This fort is now sustained by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources as a state historic park, alongside guided tours, interpretive programming, and a museum.
Surrounded by enormous live oaks, salt marsh, and Spanish moss, this fort is perfect for picnicking, camping, boating, and fishing. There are seven cottages on stilts beside the marsh that are enclosed by palmettos and palm trees. This campground is bounded by the Redbird Creek, a nature trail, a boat ramp, and a fishing dock. The picnic area provides scenic river views and playgrounds, and the boat ramp gives contact to the Ogeechee River.
Coastal Bryan Heritage Trail
The Coastal Bryan Heritage Trail is a place to learn about the interesting stories and people that south Bryan County consists of. You can visit the site of the defenses built by the Georgia colony founder to protect his land from a plausible Spanish attach, imagine the life of a person from a Guale Indian Village, picture yourself on a historical rice plantation, and learn about the invasion of General William T. Sherman and the Union Army during their March to the Sea.
See how the settlement of Ways Station was altered after it some new arrivals such as automobile tycoon Henry Ford and Clara Ford. Also, the change from Ways Station to Richmond Hill. These events on a beautiful area by the great Ogeechee River which is known to planters and their descendants as Bryan Neck. The road trip of the Coastal Bryan Heritage Trail features public roads, secluded homes, and active churches and cemeteries.
Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens and Bamboo Farm
Formerly a USDA plant production station, the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens is 51 acres in size filled with lakes, historic plants, pick-your berry fields, ornamental gardens, and early 20th century buildings. The oldest plants are the bamboo groves that were planted before 1945. Hardwood trees from the 1920s still exist and are rare species of present-day horticultural standards.
Other plant collections are palms, which is the largest outdoor collection north of Florida and are cold to at least 15°F. There are over 900 camellia plants in the Judge Arthur Solomon Camellia Trail, and there are species that are native to China present. Daylilies, bearded rises, landscape or shrub roses, and aquatic ornamentals are found in garden beds. Different tropical plants are grown as well. Sections to visit include the Organic Vegetable Garden, the Cottage Garden. Shade Garden, Bamboo Maze with a three-story lookout tower, Xeriscape Garden, and Water Garden. There is a Garden for All Abilities that caters to those with physical disabilities.
JF Gregory Park
This is perfect for an outdoor adventurer. Set in the heart of Richmond Hill, JF Gregory Park is a 335-acre community park has over three miles of biking and walking trails, large picnic areas, a modern-day children’s playgrounds, and a 25,000-square-foot pavilion. This park houses the Veteran’s Monument erected in honor of all Americans who served their country. Each granite slab signifies a war fought in the last century by the United States.
The park features the Wetland Education Center, Henry Ford’s restored home, fishing, picnicking, canoeing and sporting activities, a birding trail with watchtowers, fitness stations on the trail, a covered pavilion, and a 10-acre lake. The Savannah and Richmond Hill communities are proud of this incredible park as diverse groups contributed to its creation and sustenance. City planners, local garden clubs, private donors, and the historical society saw to its historic landscaping, restoration of Ford’s house and trail, pavilion, wetlands center, and birdwatching tower construction. There is a bridge and a Veteran’s monument that have been constructed.