What are the top things to do in Savannah?

Residents of Savannah pride themselves on their Southern charm and hospitality. Famous Southern chef Paula Deen hails from Savannah, and author John Berendt gave the rest of the country a taste of the city’s allure in his 1990s novel (and later movie) Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Experience the city’s grandeur and historical significance for yourself by taking a stroll down the riverfront, climbing lighthouses and spending time at the seacoast destination Jekyll Island.

1. Take a stroll around the city. Savannah’s historic district comprises just two-and-a-half square miles, but they’re packed full of historic structures, shops, inns, gardens and culture. Take a stroll down the riverfront or catch a ride on the Savannah Belles Ferry that’s designed to resemble century old vessels. After exploring the area, indulge in some Southern cooking and seafood for lunch or dinner. Take a stroll down the riverfront or catch a ride on the Savannah Belles Ferry that’s designed to resemble century old vessels.

2. The Tybee lighthouse. The Tybee lighthouse is one of the oldest active lighthouses in the U.S. Visitors may climb to the top for a scenic view of Tybee and historic Fort Screven. A museum tracing the history of Tybee from colonial times to 1845 is housed in a coastal artillery battery built in 1898. Exhibits and a gift shop are located in an 1880s lighthouse keeper’s cottage. The St. Simon lighthouse stands at 104 feet high and has been in continuous operation, except during wartime, since 1872. Visitors may climb to the top here also.

3. Jekyll Island. Enjoy seeing dolphins and sea turtles and experiencing salt water activities on Jekyll Island. Picnicking, biking, observing wildlife or visiting Summer Waves Water Park are just some of the things you can do at this seacoast destination. Once used as an exclusive retreat, Jekyll Island still gives historians and families a taste of that gilded age.

  • On July 12, 2013
    Shawndra Russell answered the question: Shawndra Russell

    What would be a perfect date night in Savannah?

    A perfect date night in Savannah is a progressive dinner that allows you and your date to stroll Savannah’s beautiful streets in between nibbles and drinks. Start with pre-dinner cocktails at Rocks on the Roof to watch the sun set over the Savannah River. Then, enjoy appetizers at Winston’s Wine Bar, an intimate underground wine cellar with 150 wines, great cheese and charcuterie boards or small plates for sharing, and seating for only 70—a guaranteed intimate setting. Next, dinner at romantic Vic’s on the River, with sweeping views of historic River Street won’t disappoint with artistic touches like lemon herb truffle butter or smoked tomato cream atop fresh seafood or meat. After dinner, meander through downtown toward Lulu’s Chocolate Bar. Go for their humungous dessert martinis or up the romance factor by splitting their chocolate fondue or new Rapture Sundae for 2: homemade frozen mousse with fresh berries and housemade sauces paired with shots of Chambord, Amarula, and Chocolate Liqueur (feeding each other optional).
  • On July 12, 2013
    Shawndra Russell answered the question: Shawndra Russell

    What are the best boutique hotels in Savannah?

    Rocks on the Roof As one of only eight Andaz hotels in America (Hyatt’s boutique line), Savannah’s Andaz does an excellent job of the brand’s mission to infuse local touches, such as farm-to-table cuisine, handcrafted décor by local furniture maker Harley Ashbaugh, and salons featuring local artists and musicians. They also host Saturday brunches with a do-it-yourself Bloody Mary bar and Skip Fridays, an excuse for locals to play hooky for the afternoon and frolic in the roof terrace pool alongside hotel guests. 
    Additionally, two Kessler properties bookend Historic Downtown: the Bohemian on River Street and the Mansion on Forsyth Park. Each of these stylish properties aims to be contemporary and colorful, with large collections of art and eye-catching interior and exterior designs. The restaurants at each offer fantastic food, while their separate lounges deliver top quality, unique cocktails. And Rocks on the Roof at The Bohemian provides one of the best views of River Street and the Talmadge Bridge.
  • On July 12, 2013
    Shawndra Russell answered the question: Shawndra Russell

    What’s new in Savannah?

    Perhaps the biggest sensation of late resulted from the announcement of the brand-new Savannah Food and Wine Festival taking place November 11-17. This celebrity-filled event includes appearances by Hugh Acheson, Steven Satterfield and Chris Hastings among others. Savannah’s restaurant scene continues to grow, so the announcement of celebrity Chef Acheson opening up an Italian-inspired place in 2014 also caused quite a stir. Other notable openings include the latest from the Tran family, who own three popular Asian establishments and are taking a stab at a pure seafood experience with Chive Sea Bar—no sushi in sight. The Bier Haus, a German and Belgian joint, recently opened their doors after months of anticipation by salivating Savannahians.
    Another festival announcement by Kayne Lanahan, the mastermind behind the indie-focused Savannah Stopover, shows another area of growth for Savannah—our music scene. Lanahan’s fall Revival Fest  will focus on bluegrass and incorporate all things Southern, including food and crafts.
  • On July 12, 2013
    Shawndra Russell answered the question: Shawndra Russell

    What is the weather like right now in Savannah?

    Shawndra Russell Summers in Savannah are sultry—highs are often in the 90s and high humidity equates to vacation hair with volume, especially after the somewhat regular afternoon summer showers sweep in. Nights cool off a little, but temperatures stay in the 70s or 80s. Being outside requires staying hydrated and seeking shade, which we thankfully have a lot of due to centuries-old oaks inhabiting our 22 squares downtown. You’ll also find large outdoor umbrellas at most of the restaurants and bars, or soak up the ocean breeze at nearby Tybee Island. For up-to-date weather information, visit local news station WSAV’s website.
  • On June 29, 2013
    Shawndra Russell answered the question: Shawndra Russell

    What are the best day trips near Savannah?

    Savannah’s coastal locale makes it a great place to road trip from as the journey will include lots of watery vistas. Tybee Island is the ideal day trip, at only 20 minutes from downtown Savannah but with plenty of entertainment to fill a day. Kick things off with a diner-style, funky breakfast at The Breakfast Club, then rent kayaks to check out pristine Little Tybee. Add a leisurely bike ride that winds throughout the island and have dinner overlooking the ocean before heading to Sting Ray's or Tybee Island Social Club for live music.

    Other nearby choices? St. Simons and the other Golden Isles are peaceful and quaint, making them a nice respite for a day. Or consider Hilton Head Island, about 45 minutes away and with a dog friendly beach (at times) and lots of premier golf courses. A few celebrity chefs also have restaurants there, including Robert Irvine and Orchid
  • On June 29, 2013
    Shawndra Russell answered the question: Shawndra Russell

    Where is the best nightlife in Savannah?

    City Market has live music most days, while Congress Street is where you’ll find many of Savannah’s liveliest bars, such as dive bar The Rail Pub—voted 7th best Happy Hour in America. Jazz’d, Jen’s & Friends and Lulu’s Chocolate Bar make for great date or girls’ nights out, with cozy atmospheres and stellar martinis. Rocks on the Roof, The Sparetime, and 22 Square Bar at Andaz are all known for quality, classically made cocktails, or throw back a few beers while playing some bar sports at Dub’s Pub, Retro on Congress, or Congress Street Social Club. The karaoke at McDonough’s and Bay Street Blues is tough to beat, while those who’d rather sing along than take center stage will enjoy Savannah Smiles Dueling Pianos. Live music at The Jinx leans toward the harder rock, country or alternative, where Sentient Bean (acoustic, singer-songwriter) and Jazz’d feature softer sets. Wine enthusiasts should check out Winston’s Wine Bar or Maxwell’s.
  • On June 29, 2013
    Shawndra Russell answered the question: Shawndra Russell

    What is nightlife like in Savannah?

    Many people take advantage of Savannah’s liberal to-go cup policy, which means you can hop from place to place with a drink in tow no matter where the night takes you. Our nightlife options run the gamut—intimate date spots, raucous settings for karaoke or shouting alongside dueling pianos, and quirky live music venues. The crowd is a mix of artsy SCAD students, Savannah professionals, and fun-seekers ready to let loose while on vacation. Savannah’s music scene continues to grow, so most nights you can find a show from acoustic to country, covers to rock. One quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil sums up our nightlife well: “If you go to Atlanta, the first question people ask you is, ‘What's your business?’ In Macon they ask, ‘Where do you go to church?’ In Augusta they ask your grandmother's maiden name. But in Savannah the first question people ask you is ‘What would you like to drink?’
  • On June 29, 2013
    Shawndra Russell answered the question: Shawndra Russell

    What are the best bakeries in Savannah?

    Savannah is known for a lot of things—its beauty, history, squares, and to-go cup policy to name a few—but you’ll hear many tour guides describe us as a “Sweet City” too, and Lulu’s Chocolate Bar is one of the sweetest you’ll find. Rich, decadent cheesecakes, tarts, and brownies get more attention than their huge dessert martinis—quite a feat! Goose Feathers Express Café and Bakery shows that not all baked goods are created sweetly. You’ll find stuffed croissants, savory quiches, and an assortment of fresh bagels and pastries. Back in the Day Bakery released their first, and very popular, cookbook last year, but even if you can imitate some of their tasty treats, recreating their just-baked bread used for their hearty sandwiches is almost impossible. Lastly, Foxy Loxy Print Gallery and Cafe and sister spot The Coffee Fox provide several vegan choices and their tough-to-keep-stocked kolaches.
  • On June 29, 2013
    Shawndra Russell answered the question: Shawndra Russell

    What are the best neighborhood restaurants in Savannah?

    The best neighborhood restaurants provide great food, a unique, inviting atmosphere and a source of pride for the locals who frequent them. One of my favorite places to take out-of-towners is Crystal Beer Parlor—a former speakeasy that has retained the old-school feel and has a huge menu. The darling of SoFo is Green Truck Pub, a tiny farm-fresh burger spot that keeps locals wrapping around the building day after day. Those looking for a higher-end experience can’t go wrong at Elizabeth on 37th, housed in a 1900s mansion and the answer many Savannahians offer when asked about their favorite dinner destination. And if you want breakfast or to satisfy a sweet tooth, the popular Back in the Day Bakery will hit the spot—owners and husband-and-wife team released their first cookbook in 2012, putting Back in the Day in the global spotlight. Nearby Butterhead Greens is one of my favorite neighborhood lunch spots, with daily lunch combination specials, an infused water of the day, and a daily locally sourced soup. Plus, their Senor Guapo is one of my favorite sandwiches in Savannah.
  • On June 29, 2013
    Shawndra Russell answered the question: Shawndra Russell

    What are the best day trips near Savannah?

    Savannah’s coastal locale makes it a great place to road trip from as the journey will include lots of watery vistas. Tybee Island is the ideal day trip, at only 20 minutes from downtown Savannah but with plenty of entertainment to fill a day. Kick things off with a diner-style, funky breakfast at The Breakfast Club, then rent kayaks to check out pristine Little Tybee. Add a leisurely bike ride that winds throughout the island and have dinner overlooking the ocean before heading to Sting Ray's or Tybee Island Social Club for live music.

    Other nearby choices? St. Simons and the other Golden Isles are peaceful and quaint, making them a nice respite for a day. Or consider Hilton Head Island, about 45 minutes away and with a dog friendly beach (at times) and lots of premier golf courses. A few celebrity chefs also have restaurants there, including Robert Irvine and Orchid
  • On June 26, 2013
    Shawndra Russell answered the question: Shawndra Russell

    What are the best neighborhoods in Savannah?

    At times, people debate the names, borders, and divisions of neighborhoods in Savannah, which makes it challenging to talk about. However, the truth is, Savannah is pretty much divided into two areas: Historic Downtown, and Everything Else. Harsh but true. However, part of that “everything else” is the emerging SoFo (South of Forsyth Park) area—quickly being recognized as the creative hub of the Hostess City. SCAD students and young professionals live here, and the First Friday Art March events encourage everyone to come out and support the local galleries. Some of Savannah’s best neighborhood dining is also in SoFo, such as Green Truck Pub, Foxy Loxy Café, and Local11ten (soon to be joined by celebrity chef Hugh Acheson’s new endeavor, tentatively titled The Florence).
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