Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Peter Unger
Savannah, Georgia, Travel Guide: Explore the Hostess City of the South
Savannah, Georgia, is a charming Southern destination for travelers ready to learn profound history, indulge in local cuisine and immerse in a thriving arts and culture scene. The significant contributions from African Americans in Savannah include the legacy of the Underground Railroad and the preservation of the Gullah-Geechee culture.
Savannah is famous for going all out for holiday events including Halloween ghost tours, Christmas river parades and New Year’s Eve waterfront fireworks celebrations. The culinary scene offers authentic Southern dishes with some great BBQ and seafood spots. With haunting beauty and deep-seated traditions, Savannah offers an unforgettable travel experience for anyone looking for a small-town getaway with a big personality.
Quick Travel Facts Savannah, Georgia
- Best time to travel: March to May and September to November
- Time zone: Eastern Standard Time (EST)
- Noteworthy: Savannah Book Festival (February), Savannah Music Festival (March-April), Savannah Food & Wine Festival (November), Savannah Christmas on the River and Savannah New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the River (December)
- Vacation type: Romantic Trip, Culinary/Foodie Trip, Southern History Tours, Halloween Trip, Friends Trip
Play: Things To Do In Savannah, Georgia
Savannah’s Ghost City “Dead of Night” Walking Night Tour
As one of the most haunted cities in the United States, this Savannah walking tour is a perfect evening activity if you’re a fan of the macabre and enjoy learning about its deep history. Savannah’s Ghost City Dead of Night Walking Night Tour is the perfect way to explore the city as you embark on a sunset journey into the unknown starting at Johnson Square and ending at Wright Square. You’ll visit hard-to-find spots that are reputedly haunted, giving you a truly unique and intimate glimpse into Savannah’s beautiful history and haunted past.
Southern Flavors of Savannah Walking Dessert Tour
The Southern Flavors of Savannah Walking Dessert Tour is a must-do activity on your trip. This private tour is ideal for travelers with limited time to explore and want to taste all the city’s famous sweet treats. On this 3-hour walking tour, visitors will walk through the charming neighborhoods that house the bustling bakeries, coziest cafes and tasty taverns.
On this tour, travelers enjoy samples of mouthwatering desserts while sipping on coffee or tea. The tour guide will share historical facts and colorful stories about Savannah’s most iconic squares.
Savannah City Market
The Savannah City Market is a fun place to relax, shop, dine and learn. There is something for everyone as the lively spot is the perfect place to enjoy great Southern food, live entertainment and local art. The stunning Art Center is a must-see showcase of working artist studios.
If you’re in the market to shop or grab a bite to eat while you explore, there are 12 shops and six restaurants to choose from.
700 Kitchen Cooking School
If you’re a foodie or want to add a culinary adventure to your itinerary, the 700 Kitchen Cooking School offers unique cooking classes. The company has both individual and group packages available, and people of all skill levels are welcome. Located in the 700 Drayton Restaurant, you’ll enjoy interactive hands-on classes in a state-of-the-art environment. You’ll get to try new tastes, flavors and techniques.
Savannah African Art Museum
The Savannah African Art Museum is a non-profit institution that offers guided tours with free individual admission Wednesday through Saturday. The museum’s mission is to educate all audiences about the power, diversity and spirituality of African art and culture. There are over 1000 objects from West and Central Africa, including educational reproductions, and ceremonial and spiritual objects. The museum’s collection represents over 28 countries and 180 ethnic groups spanning the entire continent of Africa. The museum offers a variety of educational programming, lectures and workshops about the origins and history of every African art piece.
Gourmet: Best Restaurants in Savannah, Georgia
Co-owned by Executive Chef Mashama Bailey and managing partner Johno Morisano, The Grey is an elevated Southern restaurant located in the heart of historic downtown Savannah. The beautifully restored 1938 art deco Greyhound bus terminal offers a cozy atmosphere that combines old-world hospitality with new and exciting menus.
In 2022, Executive Chef Mashama Bailey became the first Black woman to win a James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef. Her personal take on Port City Southern food layers deep and soulful flavors using regional produce, seafood and meats. She also has a wide selection of European wines and Atlantic Trade liquors.
Geneva’s Famous Chicken & Cornbread Co.
This Southern food restaurant is Black-woman owned. Since 1983, Head Chef Geneva Wade has been on a mission to feed her community. As a staple in the Savannah community, it’s no surprise that Geneva’s Famous Chicken & Cornbread Company brings foodies from all over.
The menu includes the best chicken, seafood, sandwiches and salads. It also has unique cornbread flavors. The side orders are all true Southern delights with a twist, like broccoli and apple slaw, black bean salad and chicken gumbo.
Sisters of the New South
This Black family-owned restaurant is led by husband and wife duo, Vicky and Kenneth Brown, along with the help of Chef Vicky’s mother, Johnnie Mae Bing, and mother-in-law, Scealy Hooker. Chef Vicky’s three sisters, Betty Miller, Dorothy Bing, and Esterline Bing created a menu with the unique spice of Coastal Georgia in mind.
The menu includes authentic Southern flavors like smothered shrimp and grits, slow-cooked ox-tails and BBQ rib dinners.
Belford’s Seafood and Steaks Restaurant
Located at the southwest corner of Savannah’s City Market, Belford’s Seafood and Steaks Restaurant offers locals and travelers an award-winning menu and chef’s specials. If you’re looking for a fantastic brunch experience, the Champagne Brunch menu is available on Saturdays and Sundays.
Ashford Tea Company
This Black-owned tea company is a mainstay for tea lovers in Savannah. As a premium tea purveyor and online tea distributor, the Ashford Tea Company is dedicated to providing its customers and clients with a consciously priced selection of the highest quality teas and tisanes from around the world.
They have a variety of options to enjoy including a Tea & Dessert menu with a delicious selection of teas and a rotating list of desserts. If you’re looking for an evening of food, music, and spoken word, the Ashford Tea Company recently added a live event called Poet Tea every third Friday of the month.
Stay: Best Places to Stay In Savannah, Georgia
Chic Downtown Home
This Black woman-owned Airbnb is a single-family home with three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and a fully loaded kitchen. There’s free parking, so you won’t have to worry when you come back to relax after a fun day exploring Savannah. The chic dining room is modern, yet welcoming for larger groups, and the backyard is great for family stays.
This creative and affordable boutique hotel sits right in the heart of Savannah. It’s a unique bed and breakfast that is a well-known gathering place for artists looking for inspiration and creative connections. You’ll enjoy that bohemian community vibe during your stay as you leave with more friends than you came in with.
They offer safe and clean rooms at one of the most affordable rates on the market, making it a perfect stopover when traveling through the Southeast Coast.
Adorable Cottage In Forsyth Park
This cozy cottage is conveniently located two blocks from the famous Forsyth Park in Savannah. The cottage is a beautifully renovated late 1890s Victorian space that is fully equipped with everything you need to make your stay feel like home.
The back patio offers guests some serenity before heading out on their next excursion. You can relax in the spacious living room with the flat-screen television or catch up on remote work with fast WiFi. This Airbnb is a dog-friendly stay, so you can bring your furry friends along for the adventure.
Get Away: Getting To and Around Savannah, Georgia
Flying into Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) is the best option to go straight to your destination. Keep in mind baggage policies and transportation options from the airport to your final destination in Savannah.
Peak tourist season in Savannah is from March to June when the weather is warm and there are many festivals and events taking place. However, this also means that flights and accommodations are more expensive, so plan accordingly. Consider traveling during the off-season from August to February for mild weather, fewer crowds and better deals on flights and hotels.
If you’re traveling to or around Savannah by car, choose your route based on your starting location and preferred travel experience. There are several ways to get there. Travelers can take I-95 if they are coming from north to south or I-16 if they’re coming from the west.
Always stay up-to-date on traffic conditions and weather forecasts to avoid any surprises on the road, especially during peak traffic hours and holiday weekends and events.
Savannah has a public transportation system operated by the Chatham Area Transit (CAT) system, which provides various modes of transportation. They operate on various routes throughout the city with schedules and routes available on the CAT website and on the app.
The downtown historic district offers streetcar service runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day with extended weekend hours. The water ferry connects River Street to Hutchinson Island. The convenience of the CAT Bike Share program allows you to rent a bike and explore the beautiful city at your own pace.
Explore Savannah On Foot
Savannah is a gorgeous town to explore on foot. The historic district has beautiful cobblestone streets and sidewalks, and there are many town squares, parks and winding streets. There are plenty of self-guided walking tours available to learn your way around and see some of the famous landmarks and attractions.