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USA Travel: Savannah, Georgia – Activity Recommendations

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This post covers our recommendations for Savannah, Georgia USA.


What Savannah offers

  • Elegant, Antebellum architecture
  • Ornate ironwork
  • Wide open streets intertwined with shady public squares and parks
  • Grand Live Oaks festooned with Spanish moss
  • Genteel citizenry
  • Pedestrian-friendly
  • 50,000 trees in the historic district
  • Excellent Southern dining
  • Open-container laws

Logistics

Map of Savannah, Georgia

Map from Savannah Airport to downtown

Connect this itinerary

History of Savannah

  • In 1773 General James Oglethorpe landed along the Savannah River and named this area “Georgia” after England’s King George II, marking the 13th, final colony. Savannah became the colony’s first city.
  • Savannah is known as America’s first planned city due to its grid layout and wide streets intertwined with shady public squares and parks.
  • Savannah had 24 original squares of which 22 are still in existence today.
  • Connections to slavery: The “Lowcountry” of nearby South Carolina offered rich soil and a suitable climate to cultivate cotton and rice. Slaves were brought to these plantations through the port of Savannah. Today many who remained formed the Gullah culture of the coastal communities in Georgia and South Carolina.
  • With the introduction of the cotton gin, Savannah transitioned into a commercial port and cotton prices were set at the Savannah Cotton Exchange.
  • During the Civil War, General Sherman and the Union soldiers marched into the city but didn’t want to destroy it due to its beauty. He offered the city to President Lincoln as a Christmas present.
  • During the Reconstruction period, the freed slaves who remained in Savannah built community and Savannah became one of the most historically significant African-American cities in the nation.

Savannah Neighborhoods

Historic Landmark District

  • Bay to Gwinnett Streets
  • 22 park squares
  • Spanish moss live oaks
  • Historical homes
  • Historical monuments and markers
  • Museums
  • 100+ restaurants

Victorian District

  • Gwinnett to 37th Streets
  • Victorian-era homes, galleries and shops

Starland District

  • 37th Street to Victory Drive
  • Artsy neighborhood with galleries, boutiques, entertainment venues and restaurants

Midtown

  • Victory Drive to Montgomery Cross Road and Chatham Parkway
  • Hotels and baseball stadium

Savannah Favorites

Stay

  • Perry Lane Hotel
  • Thompson Savannah
  • Andaz Savannah
  • Hyatt Regency

Coffee

  • The Paris Market & Brocante: modeled after a Parisian sixth arrondissement and named “the most beautiful coffee shop in Georgia” by Architectural Digest
  • The Coffee Fox: Boughton Street retro-chic cafe
  • Mirabelle: vintage 1800’s era building set across from St. Johns Cathedral, gourmet chocolate shop
  • Collins Quarter (Forsyth Park): styled after Melbourne’s historic Collins Street, spiced lavender mocha is a special
  • Fox & Fig: premier plant-based cafe & coffee shop with extensive bakery

Lunch

  • The Collins Quarter: styled after Melbourne’s historic Collins Street, café experience that pairs specialty coffee with innovative cuisine
  • The Grey Market: New York City bodega meets the convenience of the Southern lunch counter

Dinner

  • The Olde Pink House: iconic restaurant set in a 1777 mansion serving classic Southern cuisine
  • Vic’s on the River: old cotton warehouse overlooking the Savannah River and Historic River Street, sophisticated take on traditional Southern cuisine and our fresh; local seafood selections
  • Garibaldi Cafe: romantic eatery offering upscale Italian cuisine & seafood

Drinks

  • Peregrin: rooftop bar at the Perry Lane Hotel
  • Good Time Jazz Bar: Southern mains, Sunday brunch & live jazz performances

Sweet Treats

  • Leopold’s Ice Cream: “Top 10 Ice Cream Parlors in the World”
  • Joe’s at the Jepsen (Jepson Center for the Arts): German chocolate brownie torte

Shop

  • ShopSCAD: retail gallery for artwork created by Savannah College of Art & Design students, alumni and faculty
  • Savannah Bee Company: speciality honey; mead and honey tastings daily
  • The Paris Market and Brocante: design concept filled with antiques, housewares, gifts & jewelry.
  • Pelindaba Savannah: premier grower of organic lavendar products
  • The Salt Table: Unforgettable 2020 Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice Award, hundreds of salts, seasonings, dips, sugars, vinegars & Georgia-grown specialty goods

See

  • Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist: popular wedding location,  one of the largest Roman Catholic churches in the South
  • Sorrel-Weed House: Antebellum-period architecture, thought to be haunted
  • Savannah Theater: 1818 theater is the oldest in the USA
  • Mercer House: 1868 Italianate Villa-style mansion
  • Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters: 1819 mansion and adjoining slave quarters
  • Lucas Theater: 1921 theater with Greek revival, Adams-inspired, Art Deco and Neoclassical periods, favorite for vaudeville acts
  • The Pirates’ House: an inn for pirates converted for use as a restaurant today, mentioned in Robert Louis Stevenson’s book “Treasure Island,” and the oldest structure in Georgia

Do

  • Old Trolley Tour: 16 stops through historic Savannah for a delightful orientation to the city
  • Telfair Museums: art, history and architecture at Jepson Center, Telfair Academy and Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters

Walks

  • Broughton street: main shopping street in historic district
  • West River Street: beautiful views of the Savannah River, shops & restaurants
  • Squares: 22 of 24 park squares throughout the city
  • Forsyth Park: Spanish-moss live oak large park
  • Jones Street: beautiful homes
  • Meander City Market: four block pedestrian-only shops, restaurants and museums

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