Sweet Savannah: City of parks and squares

Savannah, GA - Fountain in Forsyth Park

Parks and playgrounds are the soul of a city.

Marty Rubin

One of the most lasting impressions you’ll have of Savannah, Georgia, is that of the parks and squares throughout this lovely Southern city. Thanks to James Oglethorpe who laid out Savannah in 1733, residents and visitors can enjoy the peacefulness that comes with strolling the squares and walking underneath live oak trees laden with Spanish moss.

Savannah square with park benches
What could be lovelier than sitting on a bench underneath giant live oaks in Savannah, Georgia?

The best source of information on Savannah’s squares comes from Jason Barnette, author of Road Trips and Coffee, a travel blog focused mainly on Southern places to see. Filled with locations and main attractions of each square, “Visiting the 22 Historic Squares of Savannah – Tips, History, and Beautiful Photos,” will make you want to book a trip just for the peaceful parks alone.

Savannah GA:  Wormsloe Fountain in Columbia Square
Wormsloe Fountain in Johnson Square was moved from Wormsloe Plantation, home of Noble Jones, one of Savannah’s first settlers.

According to Barnette, James Oglethorpe originally laid out six squares in 1733, then added nine more in 1796. By 1985, a total of 22 squares — some with fountains, others with statuary and still others with gardens only — invited residents and visitors alike to delight in these unique respites in the heart of a vibrant city.

Savannah GA: view of City Hall from Johnson Square
View of City Hall’s gilded dome from Johnson Square

And now, at a time that we hope is the end to a pandemic, people have returned to the parks — doing what they love — from watching artists at work . . .

Plein air painting in Savannah, GA
Plein air painting in one of Savannah’s 22 squares.

to walking with friends . . .

Savannah GA - people in park
Walking the dog and resting on a park bench — it’s all good in Savannah’s parks.

to sitting and enjoying the beauty of fountains like this one in Forsyth Park.

Savannah GA, Enjoying the park
Sharing pictures of the fountain in Forsyth Park, Savannah, Georgia

You should first take a trolley tour to get a sense of how Savannah unfolds, one square after another. The hop-on, hop-off trolley tours with Old Town Trolley allow you to take a break when you want to — to tour historic homes, get a bite to eat in a Southern restaurant, or admire art by students of The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Book a trip online or in City Market.

Savannah GA - Old Town Trolley
A hop-on, hop-off bus: good information and a chance to spend more time where you want to.

No matter how you choose to see Savannah’s parks, you can’t go wrong. After all, you’re bound to wind up under a live oak wishing you could spend a month or two in this exciting, yet quiet, Southern town.

Carriage ride, Savannah GA
Carriage tours offer good information at a leisurely pace — just what you need to tour the beautiful squares of Savannah.

If you have found a quiet bench in a quiet park and sat down, be sure you had a very profitable day.

Mehmet Murat ildan
Fountain in Forsyth Park, Savannah GA
The fountain at Forsyth Park

Travel leisurely,

Rusha & Bert

To see all our posts on the beautiful places we love in Georgia, click here.

16 thoughts on “Sweet Savannah: City of parks and squares

  1. P Squared

    I have two designers in the family who have been eyeing SCAD with longing. Now I see that SCAD is only one attraction there – the parks look gorgeous! The last fountain you have given here looks similar to a fountain I saw in St. Louis.

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      There are many buildings labeled SCAD, so that art and design college has truly expanded. Savannah is the beneficiary. With the infusion of art and design student ideas, the city just keeps moving forward with an eye to the past. It’s a lovely place.

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      You’re so right. The people visiting and living there seem to love the squares, fountains, trees — well, everything about these parks. It’s nice just to have park benches and great scenery!

  2. kzmcb

    With that many parks, there would be something for everyone. I don’t think we can underestimate the value of places designed for a bit of quiet and nature, especially in the middle of a large town.

  3. Curt Mekemson

    It’s interesting to think about the vision that Oglethorpe had in planning so many city parks. It is hard to imagine a more enduring and appreciated legacy, Rusha. –Curt

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