Here are our favorite picks for nearby spots outside of Savannah that are well worth the trip. See even more spots on our Best Daytrips from Savannah Pinterest board here.
PLEASE CALL AHEAD BEFORE MAKING THE TREK TO CONFIRM PLACES ARE OPEN
(To find out Savannah kid-friendly activities, visit our Events Calendar here)
1. Ride the St. Mary’s Express train in St. Mary’s, Ga. Immerse yourself in history, fun and adventure as you travel the rails from Historic St. Marys, Georgia, through scenic woodlands and marshlands. Your 1 hour and 15 minute excursion brings you face to face with yesteryear, nature and some great entertainment. Whether you’re riding on the open-air rail cars or experiencing an authentic locomotive or caboose ride, you never know what you’ll encounter along the way. Details here.
2. Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Jekyll Is., Ga (closed Mondays ). Hours, admission rates, directions and more details here. BE SURE TO VISIT DRIFTWOOD BEACH on Jekyll, Is. while there.
3. South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston Harbor , S.C. . Hours, daily events, admission rates & specials here. .
4. Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, Charleston, S.C. Hours, exhibits, admission rates & more details here.
5. Fort Sumter & Fort Moultrie national monuments, Charleston, S.C. Info on these forts Junior Ranger program here.
6. Museum of Science & History (MOSH) & The Bryan-Gooding Planetarium, Jacksonville, Fla.. Hours, daily Planetarium shows, upcoming special events, admission specials & more details here.
7. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Jacksonville, Fla.. Hours, January discounts, admission rates & more details here.
8. Lawton Stables, Sea Pines Resort, Hilton Head. Is. S.C. (open everyday except Christmas) Lawton’s free animal farm includes goats, sheep, pot-bellied pigs, ponies, cows, a deer named Callie and a Clydesdale named Harley (who loves visitors bearing carrots and apples). Pony rides and horseback riding available for a fee. Details here. Pair your visit to Lawton with a visit to The Sandbox Interactive Children’s Museum or Harbour Town.
9. The Sandbox Interactive Children’s Museum, Hilton Head Is., S.C.. Details here.
10. Gregg Russell Playground in Harbour Town, Hilton Head Is.
The Gregg Russell Playground at Harbour Town is one of the top playgrounds in our area. Fenced, somewhat shaded playground that includes a treehouse; swings; numerous slides; lots of climbing bars, jungle gym bars, monkey bars. Just outside the fenced-playground is a water fountain; picnic tables; bathrooms; and plenty of spots for lunch, drinks or coffee and of course, the famous Harbour Town lighthouse which is open to climb for a fee plus $5 Sea Pines gate fee. Harbour Town, Hilton Head, SC 29928
11. Riverbanks Zoo & Garden, Columbia, S.C. Hours & admission rates here. .
12. EdVenture Children’s Museum, Columbia, S.C. Hours & admission rates here.
13. Bike the Spanish Moss Trail in Beaufort, S.C., a 3.3 mile, 12-foot wide, paved, pedestrian trail open for the enjoyment of bikers, runners, walkers, fishers, and nature enthusiasts of all stages of life. When completed, the 13.6 mile Trail will connect neighborhoods, parks, water and marsh views, nature preserves, cultural features, historic sites and businesses for recreation, transportation and conservation purposes. More info here. Pair you visit with another one of our Beaufort spots below.
14. Take the kids to an old-fashioned drive-in: Hwy. 21 Drive In in Beaufort, S.C. For directions or to see what’s playing, click here or follow the Drive In on Facebook here. Hwy 21 Drive In, 55 Parker Dr, Beaufort, 29906, tel (843) 846-4500, Email firstname.lastname@example.org
15. The Kazoo Factory museum tours, Beaufort, S.C. Hours & admission rates here. Pair your visit with a trip to the lighthouse at Hunting Island State Park. Details here.
16. BEAUFORT PLAYGROUNDS. While in Beaufort, S.C. check out these two fun playgrounds:
*Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park Playground, Playground with hardwood mulch, restrooms a stage for performances, a pavilion for displays and a grassed amphitheater for picnicking, frisbee or simple relaxing. Kids can watch fishermen showing their skills on the dock in front of the playground 1010 Bay Street, Beaufort, S.C. 29902
*Pigeon Point Park playground Age appropriate playground equipment that includes merry-go-around, restrooms, picnic tables, water fountains, large oak trees that provide shade. Pigeon Point Road Beaufort, SC 29902
17. Hunting Island State Park, S.C. The historic lighthouse at Hunting Island State Park is the only publicly accessible lighthouse in South Carolina. For an admission of $2, visitors can climb the 167 steps & walk around the observation deck for a lofty view of the barrier island and surrounding seascape. CHILDREN MUST BE AT LEAST 44″ TALL TO CLIMB THE LIGHTHOUSE. Details here.
18. FREE! The Parris Island Museum - located on Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina – features thousands of artifacts, images, and other materials that illustrate the history of Port Royal and Parris Island, from early Native American inhabitants of Port Royal to the modern Marines. On display are artifacts depicting Port Royal’s important military role from the American Revolution to the Civil War, along with development of the island into a Marine Corps installation after the Spanish-American War through the present. Alongside Marine Corps history, there are exhibits devoted to the Charlesfort-Santa Elena National Historic Landmark, site of French and Spanish colonies on Parris Island between 1562 and 1587.
Open daily to the public from 10am-4:30pm, and 8am – 4:30pm on Family and Graduation Days. Holiday closures include New Years, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Admission is free. For more information, click here or call 843.228.2951.
19. Cumberland Island National Seashore, Ga. More info here.
20. Sapelo Island, Ga. & Reynolds Mansion. More info here.
21. Lighthouse on St. Simons, Is. Ga. More info here.
22. Wildlife Programs @ The Center for Wildlife Education & the Lamar Q. Ball Raptor Center at Georgia Southern University Campus, Statesboro. Details here.
23. Planetarium | Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Ga.
Monthly public events on exciting astronomy topics and full-dome presentations scheduled each year with telescopic observing outdoors, weather permitting. Details here.
24. Georgia Southern Museum, Statesboro, Ga.
Permanent exhibits include a 78-million year old, 26-foot long, fossil skeleton of the eel-like predator called the mosasaur. Admission to The Georgia Southern Museum is $2 per person. There is no charge for children ages three and under. The Museum is free to all students and members. Everyone is welcome to visit on Free Museum Saturdays, hosted on the last Saturday of each month.
25. Billy’s Island & Okefenokee Swamp Tour, Fargo, Ga.
Saturdays 10 AM – 12 PM May 3, 2014 until May 31, 2014
Stephen C. Foster State Park, Fargo, GA
Tour of historic Billy’s Island. This island was home to Native Americans, pioneers, and lumbermen for thousands of years. We will take a boat out to the island and hike the short trail, about 3/4 of a mile, and view some of the relics left from times past. $15-$20 $5 parking. 912-637-5274.