16 Reasons You’ll Visit Savannah and Never Want to Leave

Dec 6, 2015

Even the most seasoned traveler can get lost in the warmth of Savannah's Southern hospitality.

You'll find Instagram-worthy architecture, history, natural beauty and rib-sticking Southern eats, sure to delight all five senses and that spine-tingling sixth one.

Just back from Georgia, here are 16 reasons Savannah is still on our mind:

1. You're Walking Through a Picture Book

Let's be real: "made in the shade" takes on a whole new meaning in Savannah, with the famous ancient, Spanish moss-draped trees lining the gorgeous streets and squares throughout the city. For a walk through a Spanish-moss fairytale, head over to Wormsloe Plantation.

And you just don't see houses like this anymore.

For maximum mansion-viewing, we suggest a stroll down Jones Street.

The city boasts some of the oldest houses in the country, dating as far back as the early-mid 1700s. You’ll notice some maintain their original brick structures, elegant wrought-iron railings and two sets of staircases. Back in the day, men and women had to walk up different steps because a man had to marry a woman if he saw her petticoats. #TBT

2. Savannah Has a 'Star' Quality

If you think the city looks like something out of a movie, that’s because it is. “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” and “Forrest Gump” are the two most notable movies to be filmed in Savannah, and “Something to Talk About”, “Cape Fear” and “Glory” also feature scenes in the city. Don't forget to take your box of chocolates (or pralines) for a picture opp in Chippewa Square.

3. You Can Travel Through Time

Don't feel like walking? Take a horse-drawn carriage or a trolley around the city.

The “DOT” Express Shuttle is Savannah’s free transportation around the Historic District, but guided trolley tours will get you from point A to B and fill your head with fun facts.

4. You'll Enjoy "Square" Dancing

One of the first things you’ll notice when walking around Savannah is that it’s got a lot of squares -- 22 to be exact.

Why so many? The city’s squares were originally developed as a fire prevention method, but today they serve as peaceful gardens and grassy areas where you can take a second to learn a little history or just take a break in the city.

5. You Can Wear Short Sleeves in the Winter

Leave that parka behind!

Savannah is downright balmy in the winter, with high temperatures in the 60s and low 70s between January and March. It cools off a bit at night, so be sure to layer, but your snow boots can definitely stay at home.

6. You Won't Go Home Hungry

Do yourself a favor and wait however long it takes to get into Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room for lunch. Their slogan is “If the colonel made chicken this good, he’d be a general,” so yeah, they know their stuff.

Stuff yourself silly and make new friends at the communal table while chowing down on homemade food such as this ...

7. Seriously, Bring Your Appetite

You’re going to want more, so make your way down to The Olde Pink House.

Set in an 18th century mansion, the restaurant boasts both formal and casual dining options, some of which you can enjoy to live music. Be sure to start your meal off right with the delicious Low Country She Crab Soup or fried green tomato and choose from Southern dishes like Bourbon molasses grilled pork tenderloin, sweet potato with pecan vanilla butter and collards or sautéed local shrimp with country ham gravy and cheddar cheese grits cake.

8. Why Stop Now?

This is not a drill. There’s more delicious dining out there and you’ll definitely want to make a stop at Vic’s on the River.

Along with serving Southern cooking like wild Georgia shrimp and smoked cheddar stone ground grits, Vic’s also dishes up history. Set in a 19th-century warehouse, the building was used during the Civil War by General Sherman’s officers. The main dining room still has a map on the wall hand-drawn by Union soldiers, detailing Sherman’s march from Tennessee through Georgia.

9. Savannah Has a Sixth Sense

After all that eating, you'll need to go for a walk. May we suggest a ghost tour? If ghosts are real, you’re sure to find them in Savannah.

Restless spirits are said to haunt historic homes and cemeteries. Just ask any Savannah native and they’ll be sure to tell you their favorite ghost story (or two).

10. It's Seriously Spooky

Rent a car or catch a ride out to Bonaventure Cemetery, a “you’ve gotta see it to believe it” experience. Break out the black and white filters on your Instagram to up the spooky factor.

Visit the famous graves of famous haunters like Little Gracie, a young girl who died and was buried in the 1800s, but whose parents are buried in New England…. or Johnny Mercer, an Academy Award-winning songwriter who wrote “Moon River” and “Hooray for Hollywood”.

11. You're Good "To Go"

Need to calm your nerves after all those ghosts (or during a ghost tour)? Get a drink -- to go. The Historic District allows open containers, so you can take in the city by foot, tasty beverage in hand. You can even buy a beer in one bar, walk a block with it, and finish it in another. Locals like to call these magical and legal 16-ounce cups "travelers."

12. Savannah Has a Sweet Tooth

If you don’t go home with a bag full of pralines, saltwater taffy and chocolate fudge, you’re not doing it right.

Step inside Savannah's Candy Kitchen and be greeted with a free praline sample, or stop in Savannah Bee Company to sample fresh honey (tupelo, wildflower, acacia and orange blossom to name a few) or delicious mead varieties. Or, stop by Leopold's, a Savannah institution since 1919 with hand-churned flavors such as chocolate chewies & cream, honey almond & cream, peanut butter chippy and mocha chocolate chip.

13. You'll Shop 'Til You Drop

Your inner bohemian will have a field day shopping in Savannah's unique boutiques and antique shops. Make sure to check out the one-of-a-kind artwork created by Savannah College of Art and Design students and faculty at ShopSCAD.

14. You'll Be Rollin' on the River

Feel the ballast stones from centuries-old voyages under your feet while you walk down River Street past old cotton warehouses now part of a buzzing riverfront home to hotels, shops and restaurants. Get your sea legs with a riverboat cruise down the Savannah River.

15. You're Not Far Away from a Beach Day

Tybee Island, also known as Savannah Beach, is just 18 miles from Savannah and it’s worth the visit.

Take a stroll along the three miles of public beach and reward yourself with a trip to Coco’s Sunset Grille. Every night, the bartenders pass out free shots, so that the entire bar can toast the setting sun. Cheers!

16. Savannah Is Easy to Visit and the Hotels Make You Want to Stay Forever

A popular weekend getaway for much of the Southeast, Savannah is within a 4-hour drive of Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Jacksonville, and Orlando. For those visiting from outside the South, there are nonstop flights from 13 cities, including NYC and Boston to Savannah Hilton Head Airport.

And who wouldn't want to cozy up in a room like this ...

Or look out on a river view like this ...

Or grab a nightcap at this hotel bar ...

Plan a Savannah getaway with these hotel deals.


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