Savannah is a charming coastal city in Georgia. It is separated from South Carolina by the Savannah River and is known for manicured parks, horse-drawn carriages, period architecture, trendy boutiques, and charming hotels.
Savannah’s historic district is filled with cobblestoned squares and parks lined with Spanish moss and towering oak trees. Savannah offers a whimsical southern escape for travelers yearning to feel like they’ve stepped back in time.
This Georgia gem is also a great girls’ getaway destination and the perfect city to visit if you’re looking to relax, unwind and spend hours wandering your cares away.
To help you make the most of your visit to this magical destination, here’s my ultimate guide to Savannah!
Top 10 Things To Do In Savannah
Established in 1733, Savannah is the oldest state in Georgia and as of 2019, it had a population of 144,464. Savannah used to be the capital of Georgia, until 1868, when following a vote, Atlanta became the new capital.
Savannah is steeped in history and there is also a lot to do and see in this picturesque town.
Here are my suggestions for the top 10 things to do in Savannah.
1) Explore The Historic Landmark District
Take a walking tour of the Historic Landmark District which boasts 300 years of history.
You’ll get a great overview of the city, hear wonderful stories about the history of Savannah, plus you’ll also discover places worthy of a longer visit.
Nestled on the banks of the Wilmington River, the Bonaventure Cemetery is the final resting place of many notable Savannahians. American lyricist, songwriter, and singer Johnny Mercer lays beneath oak trees and Spanish moss here, as does poet Conrad Aiken.
You can wander this peaceful cemetery for hours, discovering many more notable Savannahians who have been laid to rest here.
3) See Flannery O’Connor’s Childhood Home
Visit the birthplace of the queen of Southern gothic literature – Mary Flannery O’Connor. This narrow townhome on Lafayette Square, where Mary Flannery O’Connor lived until the age of 11.
The home celebrates O’Connor’s quirky legacy with informative tours, lectures by visiting authors, and a series of Little Free Public Libraries.
4) Front Porch Improv
Front Porch Improv is a weekly comedy show that is not to be missed. Run by Brianne Halverson and John Brennan, both veterans of big city sketch and improv comedy troupes, the audience gets in on the action, contributing stories and cues that performers riff on in the moment.
5) Have Drinks At The Original Pinky Masters
A trip to Savannah is not complete without a visit to the original Pinky Masters, a local legendary dive bar. It was here that President Jimmy Carter and other politicians shook hands and secured votes.
Master mixologist Matt Garappolo recently saved the historic venue from being closed down and infused it with a more festive vibe.
6) Savannah Songwriters Series
The Savannah Songwriter Series is a monthly showcase at the Sentient Bean, a popular hangout for artists and writers.
It is held the first Sunday of every month, so if you are visiting during that time you can stop by the Sentient Bean (a vegetarian-free trade coffeehouse at the southern end of Forsyth Park), to listen to local and passing songwriters take turns performing short acoustic sets.
7) Roots Up Gallery
At the Roots Up Gallery, you’ll find affordably priced art from regional jewelers, painters, potters, and collage folk artists.
The late Francis Allen and his wife, Leslie Lovell, shared their love of art by opening the Roots Up Gallery, now located in the Downtown Design District on Whitaker Street. The Location Gallery is also just across the street, featuring themed pieces by even more local artists.
8) Underground Savannah
Underground Savannah is a cultural heritage destination tour that showcases the African American journey, history, and contributions to coastal Georgia through walking tours and reenactments.
A visit to the First African Baptist Church is a must when visiting Savannah – it illuminates the role parishioners played in the Underground Railroad and Civil Rights Movement.
9) Telfair Museums
The Telfair Academy is a historic mansion at 121 Barnard Street. If you’re an art lover this Savannah attraction is for you.
The Telfair Academy contains three nineteenth-century period rooms and houses nineteenth- and twentieth-century American and European art from the museum’s permanent collection including paintings works on paper, sculpture, and decorative arts.
10) Savannah Riverboat Cruise, Sailing Tour, Or Ferry Ride
Savannah sits on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and has a multitude of rivers and streams including the Savannah River, so the city not only offers delicious seafood, but it’s also perfect for exploring by boat.
Take a riverboat cruise, a ferry ride or go sailing, for unparalleled views of this beautiful coastal city.
How To Get Around Savannah
Savannah is an extremely walkable city that is perfect for strolling. But if you want to give your feet a rest you can take the DOT express shuttle, use the award-winning bike system, take the Savannah Bells Ferry, or utilize CAT which offers 15 fixed bus routes.
With so many fare-free options, you’ll have no problem easily and affordably getting around Savannah! And if you don’t want to be bothered with public transport schedules Savannah also has Uber and Lyft.
Neighborhoods and Where To Stay In Savannah
Savannah is a city of many diverse neighborhoods. More than 100 distinct neighborhoods can be identified in six principal areas of the city: Downtown (Landmark Historic District and Victorian District), Midtown, Southside, Eastside, Westside, and Southwest/West Chatham.
The Historic District is the best place to stay if you want walkability to everything downtown Savannah has to offer, but if you’re yearning for a seaside escape, Tybee Island (Savannah’s beach town) is a great choice.
Here are some of the best hotels in both areas.
Downtown Historic District
Holiday Inn Express Savannah – In the heart of Savannah, overlooking the Savannah River, this hotel is near popular attractions and features a free daily breakfast buffet and a rooftop swimming pool with sweeping city views.
River Street Inn – Overlooking the Savannah River and located in the city’s famous Historic District, this hotel offers comfortable guestrooms, first-rate services and on-site dining options.
Hilton Garden Inn – Within walking distance of the famous River Street and surrounded by nightlife, restaurants and shopping, this Savannah hotel offers a variety of amenities, including on-site dining options.
Hampton Inn – 656 feet from Reynolds Square, in the Historic District, this hotel provides free WiFi, concierge services and a ticket service.
Homewood Suites – Located on River Street, this hotel features a rooftop area with a heated pool, fit pit, and a full-service bar.
DoubleTree by Hilton – Just steps from the vibrant City Market and the shops and restaurants of River Street, this Savannah hotel offers contemporary amenities with elegant, European-influenced decor.
Perry Lane Hotel – A Luxury Collection 5-star Hotel, it features a restaurant, room service, an ATM, free bikes, a bar and shared lounge in downtown Savannah.
If you want to enjoy a beach getaway while visiting Savannah head to Savannah’s beach town – Tybee Island. Tybee Island is a barrier island and small beach town just 20 minutes outside of Savannah, known for its wide, sandy beaches, pier, and lighthouse.
Tybee Island is a great family getaway destination. Here you can frolic in the ocean, kayak, shop, sunbathe, and soak up the coastal Georgia sunshine.
DeSoto Beach Bed & Breakfast – Located in Tybee Island, Georgia, this bed and breakfast features free WiFi and daily hot breakfast.
Tybee Island Inn Bed & Breakfast – This homey seaside bed and breakfast is a 5 minutes’ walk from Tybee Island Beach and 0.5 miles from the Tybee Lighthouse. It offers landscaped gardens and private balconies.
Tybee Wishes – Tybee Wishes offers accommodations in Tybee Island. Savannah is 15 miles from the property. There is also a kitchen, equipped with a dishwasher, oven and microwave.
Admiral’s Inn on Tybee Island – Featuring free WiFi and a year-round outdoor pool, Admiral’s Inn on Tybee Island offers seaside accommodations just 16 mi from Savannah.
Beachview Bed and Breakfast & Inn – Beautiful, historic property with great breakfast, free bikes, a bar, a shared lounge, a garden and a terrace.
Where To Eat In Savannah
Savannah has an array of excellent dining options and has eagerly embraced fresh takes on local comfort foods. Here is your guide to some of the best restaurants in Savannah.
a.Lure Savannah – Located in the heart of the historic downtown City Market area, a.lure is an exciting new addition to the Savannah restaurant scene with contemporary American Cuisine and rustic modern ambiance.
Husk Savannah – This is a burned-out, haunted mansion that Sean Brock turned into an amazing seasonal restaurant with menus that change each brunch, lunch and dinner, from day to day.
Rhett – Located on the historic River Street in downtown Savannah, Rhett serves inspiring American cuisine.
Wiley’s Championship BBQ – Local BBQ joint serving slow-smoked meats. Try their redneck nachos slathered in “Better Than Sex” sauce and their to die for smoked meatloaf.
The Wyld Dock Bar – A fish shack with excellent cocktails. Families can play cornhole as they await scallop corn fritters with habanero butter, salted watermelon and huge, mouth watering steamed prawns.
Tybee Social Club – This is a chic, beachy bungalow on Tybee Island with Boho decor and a bluegrass brunch menu.
Pearl’s Saltwater Grill – Nestled in the heart of Sandfly lies Pearl’s Saltwater Grille has been a local favorite for more than twenty years. The menu is a Seafood Lover’s Paradise.
Cohen’s Retreat – Located in the famed Moon River District, Cohen’s Retreat captures the spirit of the South as an eclectic destination for fabulous food, unique shopping and charming rental cottages.
Elizabeth on 37th – Southern hospitality, fine coastal cuisine, and well-chosen wines in a comfortable, elegant 1900 mansion have made Elizabeth on 37th a favorite destination in Savannah since 1981.
River House Seafood – Sit riverside and enjoy fresh, local seafood while watching ships sail by.
The Best Bars In Savannah
These are some of the best bars in Savannah, which has excellent nightlife. Be sure to call to see if these bars are open before you visit.
Pinky Masters – A local legendary dive bar.
Service Brewing Co – A veteran-owned craft brewery that donates a portion of its proceeds to veterans assistance programs.
Rocks On The Roof – Swanky drinks, small plates & a fire pit star at this chic top-floor hot spot in the Bohemian Hotel.
Bar Bar – Unassuming underground watering hole featuring a variety of free games, plus a long list of liquors.
Alley Cat Lounge – Hip basement bar serving a wide array of cocktails in a brick-walled space with booth seating.
Artillery Bar – Sophisticated speakeasy in a restored armory with imaginative cocktails & an extensive bourbon list.
Top Deck Bar – Hip rooftop bar offering specialty cocktails & New American bites in modern digs with river views.
The Sands Bar – Burgers, dogs & bar bites are served at this festive watering hole with a pool table & ping pong on Tybee Iland.
Tybee Time – Laid-back bar on the beachfront known for televised sports & many flavors of frozen daiquiris.
Doc’s Bar – A local’s favorite and one of the oldest bars in Tybee Island.
When Should I Visit Savannah?
The ideal time to visit Savannah is from March to July when flowers, foliage, and festivals are in bloom thanks to warm temperatures. But while this high season brings ideal weather is also brings pricier hotel rates.
Late winter – January and February – is low season, and the drop in temperatures comes with a drop in hotel rates.
Shoulder season (mid-September to mid-November) is an ideal time to visit Savannah because the summer crowds thin out, the temperature is milder, and hotel prices take a dip before the busy holiday season hits.
Savannah Guide Wrap Up
I hope you have found this Savannah Guide helpful! If you have questions when you’re planning your trip to Georgia please leave these in the comments below!
We hope that this article has helped inspire you to visit Savannah. If you have any questions about this destination or have your own travel tips to share please leave these in the comments below.
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