Now that you’ve landed in the heart of Dixie, mastered the art of saying y’all correctly, and identified the best beverage to carry while strolling along the oaky avenues, you need to get yourself some culture and rest a spell. Keep reading for the essential guide on what to do and where to sleep during your Savannah travels.
WHAT TO DO
Forsyth Park Known as America’s first planned city, part of Savannah’s charm lies in the squares and parks that are neatly placed around the downtown grid. Forsyth Park is the best place to start and end your days in the historic district. Act like a local and jog around the 30 acre park before 8am when the humidity will leave you breathless. FREE.
Bull Street dares you not to stare. So many gorgeous mansions, so many brick sidewalks leading to strategically placed squares for socializing and commerce. Start at Forsyth Park and walk up Bull Street to the exceptionally tacky River Street to get snapped back to the 21st century. FREE.
Sellers & Higgins Walking Tours We like the Sellers & Higgins Tours the most because of the sincerity of the guides and the rascally topics the tours address. Currently four different themes are available, King Cotton, Backstory Savannah (“We’ll cover all the spicy tales of Lechery, Treachery and Debauchery…Savannah style! Love-gone-wrong, miscarriages of justice, duels, corruption, the “oldest profession”, skullduggery, hoaxes and scandals are included”), Antebellum Savannah and Women of Savannah. All are winners. $20 per person.
Savannah Slow Ride In case touring Savannah while riding a 15 person bike that you pedal with strangers who are drinking alcohol is your preferred way to see the sights. $25 per seat for a two hour ride.
Owens-Thomas House If you only have time for one house tour in town, make it this one. One of America’s “finest examples of English Regency architecture”, family heirlooms, and gulp, intact slave quarters. Lots to see, lots to discuss…Guided tours only, hours vary. Tickets start at $15.
Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Museum of Art Believe me, you’ll get enough “old” while in town looking at historical homes and trees that are older than the United States. Some contemporary art will refresh your cultural palate. Admission $5-$20.
shopSCAD For the best souvenirs and Mother’s Day gifts, plan on spending some time and cash at shopSCAD. Support emerging designers + pat yourself on the back for paying a fraction of what you would pay at New York museum stores. Decorative objects, fashion, jewelry and more are yours to discover.
Lucas Theatre Originally built in 1921, the Lucas Theatre underwent extensive renovations and reopened again in 2000. Catch everything from classic movie screenings to comedy shows and classical symphony music brought to you by the Savannah Philharmonic. Self-guided tours are available Tuesday – Friday from 10am -4pm; schedule may vary depending on what’s showing.
WHERE TO SLEEP
Mansion on Forsyth Park The best of everything in the historic city center is within a 15 minute walk of this big-style hotel (think large bright abstract paintings on dark walls, illuminated faux-marble and mirrored elevators). With a superb location overlooking Forsyth Park, the Mansion is close to the action you want to be near, ahem fantastic dining options like Leoci’s and Local 11ten, yet far enough away from the tourist crowds on River Street. Built in 1888 with an interior that is very 21st century. The reception staff are knowledgeable and friendly, and quick to grant an upgrade if possible. Rooms start at $169.
The Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront Launched by Kessler, the same hotel group responsible for Mansion on Forsyth Park, both properties are now part of Marriott’s Autograph collection. Time to redeem your points. This chic property with heavily stylized interiors offers a lively atmosphere on the river, close to touristy knick knack shops and bars with luminescent frozen drinks. Rooms start at $229.
The Dresser Palmer House Ohhhh so you want a classic bed and breakfast ooozing southern hospitality and charm from the holes in the lace doilies? The sweet sixteen rooms inside the Dresser Palmer House should provide the balance needed between a four poster bed and floral prints that swallow the room. Expect a full Southern breakfast in a Victorian dining room each morning as well as a complimentary social hour with wine and snacks, Monday – Saturday from 5pm – 6pm. Rates start at $179.