Laid-back Southern charm is just the surface of Savannah. Underneath lays a vibrant art community and roiling bar scene. The beaches are picturesque and the historic homes are fascinating; the wine is good and the fried pickles are better.
When to Go
Though the weather is generally warm and humid year-round in Savannah, spring brings a freshness missing in both the winter and summer months. The city blocks and famous park squares shine in March, April, and early May. However, tourism dies down in the winter, making it economically advantageous. Summer brings in the best beach season, along with exceptionally high heat and high humidity at all times.
Savannah hosts one of the top St. Patrick's Day celebrations in the U.S., complete with a green fountain and masses of revelers. Towards the end of April, however, the Savannah College of Art and Design hosts the Sidewalk Arts Festival. Students, alumni, and local high school students bring their chalk to Forsythe Park, creating a multicolored gallery of classic and pop art along the pavement.
What to Eat
Come for the fried oysters, stay for the fresh seafood in all variations. Though there are famous restaurants scattered throughout the downtown area, and out on the nearby islands, the best way to explore the locale is to seek out a restaurant with a view over the marsh, and order a low-country boil, complete with hush puppies.
Souvenir to Take Home
Along the famed River Street lies a multitude of art galleries and shops, where photographs and paintings of breathtaking Savannah landscapes are available alongside locally handmade jewelry, pottery, and carved wooden ornaments.
Sustainable Travel Tip
The Historic District of Savannah is extremely walkable, and parking can be difficult. Though a rental car could be used for a day trip to the neighboring islands, wildlife reserves, or jaunts towards Charleston or Jacksonville, the best option downtown is to find a long-term parking garage and explore the city by foot or bicycle, as does a majority of the locals.
Seen from any waterway on the nearby islands, the Georgian sunset cannot be missed. Second only to the fiery skies is a photograph or video looking back towards River Street from the deck of the Belles Ferry or the banks of Hutchinson Island at dusk. All the shops and restaurants light up the cobblestones as the street performers pour music into the air.