Located about 3.5 miles from the historical downtown, Bonaventure Cemetery is built on the site of an old plantation and is one of the most beautiful burial grounds in the country. The trees are dripping with Spanish moss and lizards dart in between weathered headstones, making the grounds feel both peaceful and sinister at the same time. Don’t miss little Gracie Watson, who died of pneumonia in 1889—her grave marker features a hauntingly-realistic white marble statue (carved from a photograph) of the six-year-old girl set behind a locked gate on a well-manicured plot of land.
“An iconic and gorgeous cemetery”
Bonaventure Cemetery was developed on the historically-significant site of Bonaventure Plantation. The peaceful setting rests on a scenic bluff of the Wilmington River, east of Savannah. The site was purchased for a private cemetery in 1846 and became a public cemetery in 1907. Citizens and others can still purchase interment rights in Bonaventure. This charming site has been a world-famous tourist destination for more than 150 years due to the old tree-lined roadways, the many notable persons interred, the unique cemetery sculpture and architecture, and the folklore associated with the site and the people. At a whopping 100 acres, Bonaventure Cemetery is one of the biggest in the state, if not the country. If walking sounds too daunting, don’t worry: you can drive around the winding pathways and lanes. According to pretty much everyone who visits, it’s eerily quiet and still, but breathtakingly beautiful. It's also Savannah's most haunted cemetery. The most common haunting associated with Bonaventure centers around the grave of Gracie Watson, a child whose ghost is often heard crying in the middle of the night. Even spookier? Her monument is said to cry tears of blood. As if creepy, crying statues weren't enough, the cemetery is allegedly haunted by a pack of ghostly dogs as well. Paranormal investigators have reported actually being chased from the cemetery by the spectral canines! Better wear your running shoes, just in case.
There are a few famous people buried here, but the real appeal is the beauty of the cemetery itself. Full of graceful old trees covered in Spanish moss, and many of the gravestones are works of art themselves. Just remember this is still a functioning cemetery and some of the visitors are there to grieve, so keep it respectful.
The cemetery is free and you can drive thru. We drove thru and occasionally pulled off to the side to take pictures. They do have very simple restrooms near the office at the entrance. The grounds close at 5pm. Very beautiful cemetery. I was able to take a picture of the Gracie statue.
This is considered one of the ten most beautiful cemeteries in the world and it most certainly is. Taphophiles should allow at least an entire day to visit the cemetery. Maps are available at the office which will guide you to the famous graves.
If you ever have a chance to go to this cemetery on a foggy morning you will be overwhelmed by its eerie beauty. You can also get some of the most amazing photos...
This place is absolutely breathtaking. My only regret is that I didn’t take a tour so
I’m sure I missed a ton.
To be honest, I wasn't sure what the appeal of visiting would be since the most famous sculpture, the Bird Girl, is no longer housed there. But I wanted to see what the fuss was about, and i was not disappointed. The entire grounds are incredible. The spanish oaks drape moss over both decaying tombstones and exquisite sculptures. There are giant mausoleums and barely-there markers. One grave was labeled 1773, and many families have several generations buried together. There are sections dedicated to different wars and markers point you to the most "famous" gravesites. I was struck by how very quiet it was, considering it isn't far from a main road and several tour groups and visitors were passing through. The beauty of the art and nature together frame 100 acres of history in a quintessentially Savannah way, and I'm so grateful I took the time to experience it. Before I sign off, I should also note that this is still an active cemetery, so it's important to be respectful and to obey the posted rules.
Prettiest cemetery I've ever been in! It felt more like an outdoor sculpture/art park then it did a cemetery. There were two tour groups there the day we went. We went on a self guided tour. There's lots of angels, flowering trees/bushes, Spanish Moss, crosses, and much more. There was a lake/pond there, and benches beside it to sit.
Such a beautiful cemetery. I was on a road trip on a tight schedule so I didn't have much time to spend here, and cemetery photography is one of my hobbies, so if you love cemeteries like me, you could easily spend a half a day or more in this cemetery.
Serene and somber beauty. Worth the trip off the highway.
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