When To Go
The best time to visit Savannah is from March through July because the foliage is in bloom and many interesting festivals and events take place from St. Patrick Day celebrations to music, art, wine, and seafood festivals. August through December is also considered an excellent time to visit because there are fewer crowds and the temperatures are mild and pleasant. There are many events that take place during this time of year that include a jazz, pirate, film, food, and wine festival, and a harbor boat parade of lights. In January and February, the temperatures are the coldest of the year but plenty of warm southern hospitality to go around! In February, there is a Black History Festival that includes a multitude of organizations and events from performing and visual arts to ethnic cuisine.
Savannah’s charms are legendary and take many forms. From instagram worthy period architecture, and antebellum history, to park-like squares that ooze Southern hospitality and mouth-watering food, this city has just the right ingredients for a memorable trip.
Port Royal Island’s Antebellum Homes
A perfect stop along the way to Savannah is the coastal city of Beaufort founded in 1711. Located on Port Royal Island, Beaufort is known as the Queen of South Carolina because of its impeccably maintained antebellum mansions. The best way to experience the second oldest city in South Carolina is to take a horse drawn carriage ride through the heart of the historic district. You will see breathtaking antebellum homes, historic churches, and scenes that bring back the golden age of the south.
Picture Perfect Savannah
The heart of Savannah is found in the Historic District, River Street, and at the City Market. It is a city where Spanish moss drapes itself on gnarled oak trees that line the streets amid beautifully preserved colonial and antebellum style homes. The homes are usually brilliant white with giant columns and colorful panels, making a tour of this city one of the best places in the South to see well-preserved period buildings and homes.
A visit to the Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters is like stepping back in time. Visitors will tour one of the finest examples of Regency architecture in America as well as original slave quarters designed to the house. This fascinating interpretive tour delves into the complexities of the most and least powerful people in 19th century Savannah. This tour is rich in history and filled with original artifacts, and well preserved architecture.
City Market dates back to the 1700s when it was the central market where people would buy and sell their wares and farm produce. City market withstood two fires, the Civil War, and the hurricane of 1860. Today this this four block shopping and dining area still buzzes with energy and activity…it is alive and well! Stoll through shaded courtyards while browsing the shops and galleries or wander in the warehouses that line the street where you will find local artist studios and artisanal food shops.
This is a barrier island is just off the coast of Savannah and is a popular vacation spot because of its unspoiled beaches. In addition to beautiful beaches, visitors to the island will find the Tybee Island Light Station that dates back to 1736 and is the oldest and tallest lighthouse in Georgia. One of the biggest attractions offshore around Tybee Island is the bottlenose dolphin. Take a sunset cruise for an up close look at these beautiful sea creatures.
Chatham Artillery Punch and Fried Green Tomatoes
Food is trending in Savannah and there are many restaurants that offer a fresh modern twist on old southern style cooking. Some of the all time favorites according to Savor Magazine include fired green tomatoes, fried chicken, shrimp and grits, pralines, and peaches. For a cocktail try Chatham Artillery Punch. This is a champagne cocktail made with rum, brandy, and bourbon that have been around since the colonial period. It was named after Georgia’s oldest military unit.
For an added bit of evening fun, book a Ghost Tour of Savannah – it is thought to be one of the most haunted cities in America! The 90-minute walk is easy and guides participants by lantern past historic homes and squares, and along cobblestone streets lined with giant trees draped in Spanish moss that looks ghostly in the evening light. On this tour you will discover Savannah’s spooky side through legends, history, and ghost stories.