The charming Southern city of Savannah, Georgia, is rich in history, natural beauty and unique local color. Dating back to 1733 as the first planned city in the United States, Savannah has one of the nation’s largest historically preserved urban areas situated just a few miles upstream from the Atlantic Ocean. The antebellum architecture and moss-covered oak trees line streets that can be dotted with everything from sprawling mansions and Civil War forts, to art galleries, restaurants and bars.
The amount of activities to choose from in Savannah is almost limitless, as the city can easily cater to just about any whim imaginable. Whether it’s ghost hunting through the haunted historic squares, shopping through endless antique and apparel shops on Broughton Street, frolicking on the sandy beaches of neighboring Tybee Island or gallery hopping throughout the Historic District, the “Hostess City of the South” has something for everyone. Savannah is cultural as well as indulgent -- spend the day visiting the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum, Telfair Museum of Art and Old Fort Jackson, while spending your nights at the many watering holes, upscale bars and pulsating nightclubs in town. Adults can even take their alcoholic beverages to go in what’s called “traveler cups.”
The recent influx of award-winning restaurants and celebrity chefs like Paula Deen that have stormed onto the Savannah dining scene have put this bustling Georgia town on the culinary map. Almost as famous for its food as for its history, foodies will find an array of restaurants from BBQ joints and crab shacks, to renowned steakhouses and neighborhood soul food spots. A true taste of Savannah will come at Mrs. Wilkes’ Boarding House, where local classics like fried chicken, succotash, and shrimp and grits are served up buffet style. The Lady & Sons is the Deen family’s must-try restaurant, while the Olde Pink House is a local institution and serves diners Southern-fusion fare.
Savannah/Hilton Head Island International Airport (SAV) is the largest and most widely used domestic and international serving airport in the region. Savannah has two public transportation options, including the Chatham Area Transit (CAT), which is a bus service that runs routes throughout the city, and the River Street Streetcar, which is a bio-diesel hybrid and makes stops throughout the downtown and Historic District areas. There is also the Savannah Belles Ferry, which is a free ferry ride that runs across the Savannah River between the Historic District and Hutchinson Island.
Savannah’s climate is classified as humid subtropical and is characterized by hot, humid summers and mild winters. The average high temperature in July is 92.3° F (33.5° C), while the average low in the coldest month of January can dip down into the high 30s. The best time to visit the city is spring and autumn, when temperatures tend to hover in the pleasant 70s and the severe heat and thunderstorms of the summer months are avoided.