Forsyth Park with the oak trees and Spanish moss that typify Savannah

Savannah, the historic riverside birthplace of Georgia, was settled in 1733 by British colonists led by General James Oglethorpe and Colonel William Bull. In 1864, when General William Tecumseh Sherman marched in, the mayor of Savannah gave Sherman's men run of the city in exchange for leaving it untorched. As a result, Savannah is one of the few major cities in the South with antebellum charm and architecture remaining intact. Savannah has one of the largest historic districts in the country.

Southerners joke that in Atlanta, the first thing locals ask you is your business; in Charleston, they ask your mother's maiden name; and in Savannah, they ask what you want to drink. It's partly that ethos that keeps the city tourism industry flourishing, along with a little help from what locals call "The Book:" Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (also a feature film). The local art school, Savannah College of Art and Design, also keeps the city peopled with liberals and awash in accessible, affordable art.



 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°F) 60 64 70 78 84 89 92 90 86 78 70 62
Nightly lows (°F) 38 41 48 54 62 69 72 72 68 57 47 40
Precipitation (in) 3.5 3.1 3.9 3.2 4.2 5.6 6.8 7.2 5 2.9 2.2 2.7

Film and Television

Get in

By car

I-95 and I-16 are both readily accessible to the city.

By plane

Savannah/Hilton Head Island International Airport (IATA: SAV) has a delightful glass-covered square with benches and shops in the center of the terminal, echoing the public squares in Savannah's Historic District. Rental car, Grayline shuttles, taxis, and other ground transportation are on the lower level to take you to Savannah.

By train

Amtrak operates a passenger terminal at Savannah for the Palmetto and Silver Service trains running between New York City and Miami, Florida with three southbound and three northbound trains stopping at the station daily.

By bus

Greyhound - The Greyhound station is on W. Oglethorpe Ave. inside CAT's Joe Murray Rivers, Jr. Intermodal Transit Center, about a half mile from River St.

Get around

Horse and Carriage

By public transit

By car

The major east-west street through the Historic District is Bay Street, and the major north-south street is Abercorn, which begins at Bay Street and extends south through the city. Parking in the Historic District can be challenging but there are several public parking garages including a new underground 1100 space parking garage beneath the recently completed Ellis Square. On-street parking in the city at metered spaces is free on the weekends, but the spaces fill quickly beginning around mid-morning. Parking spaces nearest to River Street are the fastest to be filled.

On foot

By bicycle

By private bus tours

By horse and carriage


Forsyth Park fountain
Bonaventure Cemetery


Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Moshe Safdie, the 64,000-sq. ft. Jepson Center for the Arts is a state-of-the-art museum facility, featuring expanded gallery spaces, expanded educational resources, much-needed art storage facilities, sculpture gardens, an auditorium, café and museum store.
Over the years the Telfair has become an invaluable confluence of arts, culture and history that reaches out to its audience through a diverse schedule of exhibitions and programs. Currently among the city's most-visited attractions, the museum is even more popular with the 2006 opening of its third venue, the Jepson Center for the Arts.


One of Savannah's many historic homes

Historic public squares

Gen. Oglethorpe and Col. Bull laid out their new settlement in 1733 in a series of wards, in which commercial and residential buildings surround a public square. The original four public squares were Johnson, Ellis, Telfair, and Wright. By the mid 19th century, there were 24 public squares in Savannah. Two squares, Elbert and Liberty, both along Montomery St., have been lost to modern construction, and a third one, Ellis, once lost, is being restored.

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist



The Paris Market & Brocante



Local treats


Savannah is called the "Hostess City of the South" and as such, there are no shortages of watering holes; from hole-in-the wall joints to upscale bars. In downtown Savannah, it is legal to consume alcohol in public. Ask the bartender or doorman for a "go cup" (a "traveler" if you're a local) to pour your libation in.


Stay safe

Savannah's Historic District is perfectly safe for exploring the area during the day and at night with at least one other person - a normal safety precaution. Outside the historic district crime is more prevalent. While exploring the Historic District please do remember this is a tourist area and there will always be those who prey on tourists - be cautious but more so at night. Savannah-Chatham County Police patrol the downtown area frequently on horseback and in patrol cruisers. The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is prominent throughout the downtown area and SCAD's Security detail frequently patrols areas near their buildings on bike and vehicle. River Street area is good for drinking and fun but watch your back on a busy weekend. Anything and everything goes.


Go next

Routes through Savannah

Fayetteville Charleston  N  S  END
Fayetteville Charleston  N  S  Jacksonville Orlando
Raleigh Columbia  N  S  Jacksonville Orlando
Fayetteville Port Wentworth  N  S  Midway Jacksonville
Charleston Ridgeland  N  S  Midway Jacksonville
Columbus Macon  W  E  Tybee Island END

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, March 16, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.