Savannah, Georgia has a rich history and culture, and there are many museums in the city that reflect this. So get your hop-on-hop off trolley tour tickets and get ready to visit the best museums to visit in Savannah:
The Savannah History Museum is a museum that tells the story of the city's rich history and cultural heritage. The museum is housed in a historic building that was originally built as a train station in the 1860s, and it features a variety of exhibits and displays that cover more than 10,000 years of Savannah's history.
The museum's exhibits cover a wide range of topics, from the city's Native American inhabitants to its role in the Civil War and the contributions of African Americans to its development. Visitors can view artifacts and displays that highlight the unique architecture and urban design of the city, as well as the diverse communities that have made Savannah their home over the centuries.
One of the highlights of the museum is its collection of 18th and 19th-century carriages, which were an important mode of transportation in Savannah during the city's early years. The museum also offers a variety of special events and educational programs, such as guided tours, lectures, and workshops, that help visitors learn more about the city's history and culture.
The Telfair Museums is made up of three historic buildings - the Telfair Academy, the Owens-Thomas House, and the Jepson Center - each of which has its own unique history and architectural style. The Telfair Academy, for example, is a neoclassical building that dates back to the early 19th century, while the Owens-Thomas House is an impressive example of Regency-style architecture.
The museums feature a diverse collection of art and interactive exhibits, including works by local and regional artists, as well as visiting exhibits. The museum's permanent collection includes American and European art from the 18th to the 21st century, with a particular focus on works by artists from the southeastern United States.
This contemporary art museum is part of the Savannah College of Art and Design. The museum's collection features a diverse range of contemporary art and design, including painting, sculpture, photography, installation art, and new media.
The museum is housed in a renovated 19th-century railway depot, which has been reimagined by award-winning architects and designers to provide a unique space for showcasing cutting-edge art and design. The museum's galleries are spread over several floors, and each exhibition is carefully curated to provide a thought-provoking and immersive experience for visitors.
In addition to its permanent collection, the SCAD Museum of Art also hosts a rotating series of temporary exhibitions, featuring work by established and emerging artists from around the world. The museum's events program includes lectures, artist talks, film screenings, and other special events, providing opportunities for visitors to engage with the art and the artists themselves.
The SCAD Museum of Art is considered one of the leading contemporary art museums in the southeastern United States and is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in modern and contemporary art and design.
The Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum is dedicated to the history and culture of maritime exploration and trade. The museum is housed in a former 19th-century cotton warehouse, which has been restored and adapted to showcase a collection of ship models, maritime paintings, and other nautical artifacts.
The museum's exhibits cover a range of topics related to maritime history, including the role of ships in commerce, exploration, and war, the technology and engineering of shipbuilding, and the art and culture of seafaring communities. Visitors can explore a wide range of artifacts, including ship models, navigational instruments, antique maps, and paintings and sculptures depicting scenes of life at sea.
One of the highlights of the museum is its extensive collection of ship models, which includes examples from various historical periods and geographic regions. The models are displayed in a way that highlights their craftsmanship and attention to detail, and many of them are accompanied by information about the history and significance of the ship they represent.
The museum also has an outdoor garden area that features a collection of sculptures and other nautical artifacts, as well as a beautiful fountain that provides a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city.
The Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum chronicles the struggle for civil rights in the city and throughout the United States. The museum is named after Ralph Mark Gilbert, a prominent civil rights leader in Savannah who played a key role in organizing the local chapter of the NAACP.
The museum is housed in the former office of the Savannah chapter of the NAACP, which was led by Gilbert for many years. The building itself is a historic landmark, and the exhibits inside tell the story of the civil rights movement in Savannah, focusing on the 1950s and 1960s.
Visitors to the museum can learn about the local leaders who fought for civil rights in Savannah, including Gilbert and W.W. Law, as well as national figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. The exhibits feature photographs, artifacts, and interactive displays that help visitors understand the challenges faced by civil rights activists and the progress they were able to make.
One of the highlights of the museum is a replica of a jail cell, which gives visitors a sense of what it was like to be arrested for participating in protests or other civil rights activities. The museum also includes a section on the contributions of African Americans to the military, as well as a display on the struggle for voting rights.
The American Prohibition Museum shares the history of prohibition in the United States. The museum is dedicated to telling the story of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which banned the production, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages in the country from 1920 to 1933.
The museum features a variety of exhibits, including a replica of a speakeasy where visitors can enjoy a drink (alcohol is legal in the museum), a recreation of a moonshine still, and displays on the rise of organized crime during prohibition. The exhibits use interactive displays, historical artifacts, and multimedia presentations to bring the era to life and engage visitors with the history of prohibition.
One of the highlights of the museum is a mock trial where visitors can act as jurors and decide the fate of a defendant charged with violating prohibition laws. The trial is based on a real case from the period, and visitors can learn about the legal and social issues surrounding prohibition as they make their decision.
The museum also features a gift shop with a variety of prohibition-era memorabilia and souvenirs, as well as a bar where visitors can purchase alcoholic beverages and learn about the cocktails and drinks that were popular during the period.
The Massie Heritage Center is dedicated to promoting awareness and understanding of the city's rich history and cultural heritage. The center is housed in a historic building that was constructed in 1856 as a public school, and it offers a variety of exhibits and programs for visitors of all ages.
The exhibits at the Massie Heritage Center cover a range of topics related to Savannah's history and culture, including its architectural heritage, the city's role in the Civil War, and the contributions of African Americans to the city's development. Visitors can also learn about the city's unique urban planning and design, as well as the diverse communities that have made Savannah their home over the centuries.
The Davenport House Museum is a historic house museum that showcases the city's architectural heritage and tells the story of its early residents. The museum is housed in a restored Federal-style home that was built in 1820 by master builder Isaiah Davenport.
The house is a beautiful example of early 19th-century Savannah architecture, and it is furnished with period pieces that reflect the lifestyle and tastes of its original occupants. Visitors to the museum can take guided tours of the house, which include a detailed history of the Davenport family and the house itself, as well as information about the social and cultural context of the period.
The museum also offers a variety of special events and programs throughout the year, including lectures, workshops, and living history demonstrations. One of the highlights of the museum's calendar is its annual "Holiday Evening Tours," during which the house is decorated for the holiday season and visitors can experience the charm of a Savannah Christmas in the early 19th century.
The Savannah African Art Museum is dedicated to promoting understanding and appreciation of African art and culture. The museum is housed in a restored 1920s railway building and features a collection of more than 1,000 pieces of African art from throughout the continent.
The museum's collection includes a wide variety of art forms, such as masks, textiles, sculptures, and pottery. Many of the pieces in the collection are traditional and date back centuries, while others are more contemporary and reflect the changing cultural landscape of Africa.
Visitors to the museum can take guided tours of the exhibits, which are designed to help visitors better understand the cultural significance of the art and the role it plays in African society. The museum also offers a variety of educational programs and special events, such as lectures, workshops, and cultural festivals, that help visitors learn more about African art and culture.
The Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum is a museum located in Pooler, Georgia, dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of the Eighth Air Force, a unit of the United States Army Air Forces that served during World War II. The museum is housed in a state-of-the-art facility that features a variety of exhibits and displays that showcase the history of the Eighth Air Force and its role in the war.
The museum's collection includes a wide range of artifacts, including aircraft, vehicles, weapons, uniforms, and personal items that belonged to members of the Eighth Air Force. Visitors can also view a variety of multimedia presentations and interactive exhibits that help bring the history of the war to life.
One of the highlights of the museum is its extensive collection of aircraft, which includes a B-17 Flying Fortress, a P-51 Mustang, and other planes that were used by the Eighth Air Force during the war. Visitors can take guided tours of the aircraft and learn about the technology and mechanics that made them work.
The museum also offers a variety of educational programs and special events throughout the year, including lectures, workshops, and living history demonstrations. It is an ideal destination for anyone interested in the history of the United States military, aviation, or World War II.
Overall, there are many great museums to visit in Savannah, and these are just a few examples. It's best to research and book in advance to ensure availability and to get the most out of your Savannah experience.