It seems to me that people who live in the Southeastern United States are used to a certain feel of life and characteristic look to their surroundings unique to the region of the country. The areas I’ve visited in the south seem to move at a slower pace than some other spots in the U.S. and often have a recognizable appearance that sets them apart. And, although plenty of other locations around the United States are steeped in American history, there are places in the south that can almost seem like walking into a historic, picturesque photo album. Savannah, Georgia, is one of those places.
I didn’t know exactly what to expect from Savannah, but… as is often the case with me… I tagged along with family and friends who chose our vacation location. And… as is also often the case with me… I thoroughly enjoyed the destination. I loved my visit to Savannah and would return in a heartbeat.
What did I love about Savannah? Well… it’s beautiful, there’s a lot to do and see, the food is great, the drinks are tasty, the people are friendly, the city is clean, the weather is good, and the time seemed to fly right by while I was there. What more can you ask from a vacation setting? There are even beaches nearby if you enjoy some sand and surf.
Savannah has loads of scenic and historic charm. The city has done a superb job of preserving its historic architecture and mixing it into a modern environment. Savannah is not a city of high-rise buildings. Nothing seems to stand above a few floors. There are lovely streets lined with beautiful old homes centered around lush green public squares or parks dotted with trees draped in Spanish moss, fountains, and interesting monuments. There are cobblestone streets where horse-drawn carriages are plentiful. There also are trendy areas filled with unique restaurants, bars, and shops galore.
One of the best things about Savannah is that it is walkable for many folks, but there are also convenient transportation options. If you visit the city, I recommend taking one of the many trolley tours of the city. That way, you’ll see the sights and get a good perspective of what is available to see and do. Then you can go back to the places that catch your interest to spend more time seeing and experiencing those spots. Many of Savannah’s historic homes and buildings offer tours for the public. Some have been converted into museums, restaurants, or inns.
There are a few areas of Savannah you should not miss. One is River Street. It’s a cobblestone street along the Savannah River that’s lined with shops, galleries, restaurants, bars, candy stores, ice cream parlors, bakeries, and “you name it.” You’ll see huge cargo ships traveling up and down the river as well as working tugboats. Another spot is an area called City Market. It offers an open air environment with a variety of gift shops, galleries, antique stores, restaurants, bars and so on. Its lots of fun to find a place to dine or sip your favorite beverage up on a roof top in either the River Street or City Market sections of Savannah.
When it comes to checking out local folklore and tales, don’t miss taking one of the city’s popular ghost tours. Savannah has earned the reputation as the most haunted city in America and there are buildings with some rather spooky stories behind them. If there really is such a thing as a haunted house, Savannah is a place you’ll find one.
Savannah is quiet for the most part. However, there can be a bit of a celebratory atmosphere in the air, especially at certain times of the year. The city has an open container law, which means people can walk along the streets in the downtown area with cocktails and beers in hand… as long as their beverages are in plastic “to go” cups. I was surprised to find out Savannah hosts one of the most popular St. Patrick’s Day celebrations around, complete with one of the largest St. Patrick's Day parades in the world. To mark the occasion, the city’s fountains spout green water.
If you enjoy a laid-back beach experience, you may want to leave Savannah to visit Tybee Island. It’s a little under 20 miles from the city and a fun day trip. Tybee offers three miles of public beach and some of the best sunsets you’ll see anywhere. The atmosphere is easygoing and casual and offers a slew of quirky shops, restaurants, and drinking establishments. While there, you might want to visit the historic Tybee Lighthouse, which was built in the 1700s.
When it comes to accommodations, Savannah has it all. There are some incredible hotels, motels, inns, B&B’s, and vacation rentals. We stayed in a downtown condo conveniently located to just about everything we wanted to do or see. You can easily find whatever type of lodging fits into your lifestyle and budget. So, if you’re wondering about visiting Savannah… don’t hesitate. Make your reservations. Book your flight. And have a great time!
* Just one "seasoned" (older) traveler's observations. Not to be considered a review or endorsement by Seasoned Times.