15 Best Things to Do in Pooler (GA)

Written by Ian Packham
Updated on
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Pooler, Georgia is a city of around 25,000 people in Chatham County in the south of the state. It sits within the bounds of Savannah metropolitan area, just 10 miles northeast of Savannah’s gridiron of historic central streets.

Also only a short distance from Georgia’s Atlantic Ocean resort towns, Pooler has grown rapidly in recent years as a result of its small-town charm and low crime rate.

So without further ado, let’s check out the 15 best things to do in Pooler, Georgia.

1. National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force

National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air ForceSource: Bubba73 (Jud McCranie) / Wikimedia | CC BY-SA 4.0
National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force

Mighty in name and mighty in nature, this museum has an exhibition space some 8,300 square metres in area.

It exists to tell the story of the Eighth Air Force, a unit that was formed in 1942 with the US entry into the Second World War, and was instrumental in the success of the Allies in Europe.

Its displays tell the many stories of brave individuals who fought as part of the force, from World War Two when its men were based in the UK, right through to more recent times including operations in Iraq.

The museum’s combat gallery allows visitors to see the restoration of a Second World War B-17 bomber up close, before they enjoy a drink in the British-style pub.

2. Oglethorpe Speedway Park

Oglethorpe Speedway ParkSource: Kevin Dobbins / Facebook
Oglethorpe Speedway Park

Roaring engines don’t just come from aircraft, but also from the vehicles that regularly race the half-mile (800 metre) oval clay track of one of the most popular sports in the southern United States – speedway.

Hosting races since 1951, Oglethorpe Park sits at the heart of the Pooler community, and attracts fans from right across the region.

And while the races themselves are always exciting affairs with the risk of crashes adding to the adrenaline of the competition, there’s also the tailgating tradition to look forward to. This sees fans pitch up early and host barbeques from the backs of their vehicles.

3. Savannah Historic District

Savannah Historic DistrictSource: Northern Way of Life / shutterstock
Savannah Historic District

Savannah was one of the most important cities in British North America (before the 1776 Declaration of Independence). It was founded in 1733 as an inland port on the river of the same name.

Its historic district has changed little in the following 200 years, and largely follows the city’s original layout of square city blocks.

In fact, the district roughly represents the city limits before the American Civil War in the 1860s, and is recorded as a National Historic Landmark District because of its wealth of historic structures.

Awash with eighteenth and nineteenth century architecture, the cobbled streets of this area are a delight to explore, where you’ll stumble upon magical landmarks from the city’s long history.

4. Children’s Museum of Pooler

Children’s Museum of PoolerSource: Children’s Museum of Pooler / Facebook
Children’s Museum of Pooler

This attraction is a museum for children, rather than a museum of childhood. Located among the stores of Tanger Outlets, it is a combination of activity center and museum for those ten and under.

The idea behind the Children’s Museum of Pooler is that its half-sized visitors learn without realizing it. So at the Gone Fishing exhibition they’ll learn about the sorts of fish that can be found in and around Pooler.

The Flight Lab allows children to explore some of Earth’s most basic forces, while wannabe builders and artists also have spaces dedicated to them.

5. Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

Savannah National Wildlife RefugeSource: Denton Rumsey / shutterstock
Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

With an annual budget topping more than $3 million, the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge is a major protected space for the region’s plants and animals.

Spilling over into Jasper County in South Carolina, it covers an area of over 30 acres. It provides a home for a whole host of waterbirds, and is a prime location for anyone seeking the opportunity to explore the region’s wilder attractions.

In total, more than 24 miles of rivers and other waterways form a series of wetlands dotted with hardwood forest.

More information about its natural history and inhabitants can be discovered at the visitor center which lies roughly 10 miles from Pooler.

6. SCAD Museum of Art

SCAD Museum of ArtSource: darcyadelaide / Flickr | CC BY
SCAD Museum of Art

Located in downtown Savannah, the SCAD Museum of Art is part of the Savannah College of Art and Design while being open to the public.

It has a permanent collection of more than 4,500 objects, which range from paintings and sculpture to photography and costume.

They sit within an elegant Greek Revival Neoclassical structure built in 1856 as the headquarters of the Central Georgia Railway Company. As such, it is the only surviving railway complex in the country that dates to before the civil war.

In addition to one of the largest collections of African American art anywhere in the country, this museum also lists Salvador Dali, Anthony van Dyke, and Annie Leibovitz among its artistic talent.

7. Tybee Island

Tybee Island LighthouseSource: Sean Pavone / shutterstock
Tybee Island Lighthouse

Tybee Island is the easternmost point in Georgia, and lies on the opposite bank of the Savannah River to South Carolina.

One of 15 barrier islands stretching along 180 km of Atlantic coastline, Tybee is an upmarket beach destination just 45 minutes or so from Pooler.

In addition to fine soft sand equal to those just a little further south in Florida, there are a variety of historic attractions to get your teeth into.

The black and white striped lighthouse dates to the colonization of this part of the US by the British in the 1730s, while Fort Screven is a complex of some 70 structures dating back at least a century.

8. Old Colonial Cemetery

Old Colonial CemeterySource: William Silver / shutterstock
Old Colonial Cemetery

Also known as the Colonial Park Cemetery, this site back in Savannah is another link with the region’s past.

It was established in 1750, and contains around 9,000 burials from its first 100 years before interments stopped and it was converted into a park.

Occupying a fine location in downtown Savannah, the park is not at all morbid. Instead, it is an intriguing place to stroll along these aging graves.

Many are decorated with elaborate statues, while others are said to have had their dates altered by Union Forces that used the site as a camp during the civil war.

9. Fort Pulaski National Monument

Fort Pulaski National MonumentSource: lphoto / shutterstock
Fort Pulaski National Monument

Fort Pulaski is located on another island getaway less than an hour’s drive from Pooler – Cockspur Island. It’s status as a national monument is a result of the fact it was an important location during the civil war.

After it was captured, not only was the site used as a testing range for a new more powerful type of cannon, which swung the war in the favor of the Union, but it was also used as a prisoner of war camp.

However, the fort’s red brick courtyards were first constructed as part of the new nation’s coastal defenses after the War of 1812 against Great Britain.

10. Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum

Ships of the Sea Maritime MuseumSource: RCraig09 / Wikimedia | CC BY-SA 4.0
Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum

The Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum is another fine museum located in downtown Savannah. It was opened in 1966 and hosts a diverse selection of items relating to the sailings and trade that took place between Great Britain and the United States in the 1700s and 1800s.

Long before aircraft were even thought of as a means to get from place to place, it was a huge fleet of sailing vessels that connected the two nations, as well as the west coast of Africa from whose tribes many of Georgia’s African-Americans descend.

Surrounded by attractive gardens, artifacts include paintings, models of ships, and marine objects which bring home just how dangerous such voyages continued to be.

11. Wormsloe Historic Site

Wormsloe Historic SiteSource: Xuanren Wang / shutterstock
Wormsloe Historic Site

Known locally as Wormsloe Plantation, this attraction lies roughly 30 minutes south of Pooler. It consists of a small area of what was once the plantation of a man by the name of Noble Jones, one of the founders of Georgia in the early eighteenth century.

A beautiful 2.5 km avenue lined with oaks leads towards the ruins of Jones’ fortified house, constructed out of tabby, a form of early concrete made from oyster shells.

A museum helps to uncover the history of the site. A separate demonstration area contains a replica wattle and daub hut to show the harsh lives that the early European settlers were forced to endure.

12. Telfair Museums

Telfair MuseumsSource: Fotoluminate LLC / shutterstock
Telfair Museums

This museum complex in Savannah is formed out of three individual buildings. The Telfair Academy building was the first public art museum opened in the southern United States. Its collection is on display in two nineteenth century rooms, and includes paintings and decorative arts.

The Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters contains family furnishings from the period in addition to an intact slave quarters. Finally, the Jepson Center is a contemporary structure hosting modern artworks.

These include an excellent collection of southern American works, African-American art, and two galleries reserved for temporary exhibitions.

13. Forsyth Park

Forsyth ParkSource: Sean Pavone / shutterstock
Forsyth Park

Forsyth Park was created in the 1840s and remains an important open urban space in Savannah. Rectangular in form like New York’s Central Park, it cannot match the size of the latter but is nonetheless filled with shady spots and interesting monuments within its 12 hectares.

Mature trees mean many of these monuments seem to appear out of nowhere, such as the fountain in the park’s northern half that acts as a centerpiece for the entire space. Its dyed green each March 17th to celebrate St Patrick’s Day and the Irish heritage of Savannah.

Elsewhere in the park there is a large confederate monument raised in 1874, and another marking the Spanish-American War which was fought in the last years of the 1800s.

14. Richmond Hill History Museum

Richmond Hill History MuseumSource: Richmond Hill, Georgia, Historical Society & Museum / Facebook
Richmond Hill History Museum

Around 20 minutes south of Pooler, Richmond Hill was the home of the industrialist Henry Ford. In fact, his surprisingly-small 1940s wooden home survives as the town’s history museum.

It covers the entire past of the town, also known as Ways Station. Stretching back to the period before the arrival of the British, it describes how the Gualie native Americans formed small villages along the coast.

The arrival of the British meant further construction, including that of Fort McAllister, that acted as a vital piece of coastal defense during the civil war. The role of slavery in the region is also covered.

15. Mars Theater

Movie TheaterSource: photastic / shutterstock
Movie Theater

First opened in 1948 before closing again in 1957, the Mars Theater has managed to not only survive but also to thrive since a renovation around a decade ago.

Thankfully its vintage form has been preserved intact, making it a fine place to enjoy movie night. In addition to the latest Hollywood releases, Mars screens smaller independent movies, while its stage also welcomes comedians and other performers.

The Mars Theater can be found in Springfield, Georgia, around 30 minutes north of Pooler.


15 Best Things to Do in Pooler (GA):

  • National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force
  • Oglethorpe Speedway Park
  • Savannah Historic District
  • Children’s Museum of Pooler
  • Savannah National Wildlife Refuge
  • SCAD Museum of Art
  • Tybee Island
  • Old Colonial Cemetery
  • Fort Pulaski National Monument
  • Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum
  • Wormsloe Historic Site
  • Telfair Museums
  • Forsyth Park
  • Richmond Hill History Museum
  • Mars Theater