Savannah, Georgia, is on the border of Georgia and South Carolina, and the city has a well-preserved historic district, beautiful architecture, and plenty of attractions. But, did you know that a public cemetery is among the city’s most popular spots for tourists? Bonaventure Cemetery attracts visitors for over 150 years because of the incredible architecture, old oak trees covered in Spanish moss, and famous residents and their stories.
Foreign visitors who decide to explore the Deep South and former capital of Georgia will need travel authorization to get into the US. The application process is straightforward. You’ll need to answer esta questions online, and the American administration usually needs around three days to process the application. Once you get travel authorization, you can visit the US for up to 90 days.
Bonaventure cemetery self-guided walking tour
The cemetery is among the larger in the city. Bonaventure Cemetery is located on the historical plantation of the same name. The history of the cemetery began in 1846m when it was established on a private plantation. In 1868 when William H. Wiltberger formed the Evergreen Cemetery Company on the inherited private cemetery. The cemetery is located east of the town on a scenic bluff of the Wilmington River. The City of Savannah bought the cemetery in 1907 and made it public.
The cemetery is a significant tourist attraction in Savannah, and there are many guided tours, but you can also explore the 100-acre public area yourself. There is a Bonaventure Cemetery Tour App available for iOS and Android, and all revenue goes to Bonaventura Historical Society.
Can you drive through Bonaventure cemetery?
Summers in Savannah are sweltering. High temperatures and humidity can be unpleasant, so if you’re planning on a walking tour in July and August, aim for the early morning. You can ride a bike or drive through the vast cemetery.
Check the locations of the best statues and monuments and walk around those attractions. Find out the best picture locations before coming to the cemetery.
Most famous tombs and statues
Little Gracie is among the most visited burial tombs in Bonaventura Cemetery. Gracie Watson was a six-year-old girl who came with her parents from Boston in 1889 and was bellowed cute and playful in the luxurious Pulaski Hotel. She fell ill with pneumonia and passed away. The parents were devastated by the loss, and the father ordered a stone statue from famous sculptor John Waltz. The sculptures were so authentic that the family decided it was unbearable to stay in Savannah and move back to Boston.
Visitors often leave toys at her tomb, helping Little Gracie to have peace in the afterlife.
Famous American poet and writer Conrad Aiken found his resting place in Bonaventure cemetery. He was the first Georgian native to receive the Pulitzers Prize, and he became Poet Laureate Consultant of the Library of Congress. Before he died, he installed a marble bench next to his parent’s tombstones.
American renowned songwriter and founder of Capitol records Johnny Mercer is another famous resident of the cemetery. In his tremulous life, Mercer had 19 Academy Award Nominations and won four Oscars. His life work includes over 1,500 songs.
The cemetery has many other famous Savannah residents, like Georgia’s first governor Edward Telfair or Edythe Chapman, a famous silent film actress.
Bonaventure cemetery parking
The cemetery is situated some five miles from the historic downtown. You can reach it with guided tours, or with a car. Bonaventure Cemetery offers limited parking space at the entrance, but you could also park along the roads inside of the cemetery. You will have to make sure not to block the traffic or damage the gravesites around the graveyard.
Savannah is a gorgeous city with many tourist attractions ranging from historic downtown, nearby beach towns, and great museums. Make your esta status check first and booking and reservation second when planning the visit to the US. Some of the ESTA applications are unsuccessful, so it is advised to wait for approval before packing your stuff.
Bonaventure cemetery became even more popular with the 1994 novel by John Berendt Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. A film directed by Clint Eastwood followed the book and added to the cemetery’s popularity.
Whether you go on a cruise on the Georgia Queen Riverboat or hop to the Tybee Island for a swim in the ocean, Savannah is a great place to start your southern adventure. The historic downtown has incredibly well-preserved antebellum architecture, giant oak trees with Spanish moss in picturesque public parks, and the stunning Cathedral of St. John the Baptists. You can also visit The Ovens- Thomas House & Slave Quarters Museum, The Jepson Center for the Arts, or Telfair Academy. You should also make room for Bonaventure cemetery and its authentic beauty.