Peach Tea and good ol’ southern hospitality – get that and more when you visit Savannah.
We traveled to Savannah in May 2020 during the dreaded Corona Virus lockdowns – actually just one week after the state of GA opened back up. So, only some hotels and about 20% of the restaurants were open.
It was nice to take a break from locked down Arizona and see something new. Although we travel all over the globe, we have never really spent much time in the SE Unites States outside of Florida.
Let me start by saying Savannah airport is a great little airport and easy to navigate. If you use Uber (which we did) you go outside and turn to the right for a waiting area to get your Uber ride. It is a short 20min ride to historical downtown Savannah.
Google Map of our Hotels & Key Sights
Here are our recommendations for best sights in Savannah. Again, this was during the Corona Virus so there are many places we wanted to visit but of course they were closed due to the Pandamic, so this is a small amount of things and places we visited in this trip.
Use the + or – button to scroll through our recommendations.
Our hotel in Savannah
There are quite a few hotels in and around the historical district. A few quaint local places and lots of nicely done chain hotels. As we are IHG and Marriott focused, our hotel was the Fairfield Inn by Marriott, in Savannah Georgia It is a newer hotel with larger suite rooms and just on the edge of downtown within easy walking distance of all the sights.
Another hotel we could highly recommend was the Homewood Suites by Hilton. It was also a nicely done, newer hotel and right down along the river walk and River street bars and dining.
We had incredible weather for our trip, coming in May you could tell within a month or two the weather would be quite sticky and uncomfortable so we just lucked out. With the great weather, the traffic low, the small downtown, and so many great parks to see, we decided to do our usual and rent some bicycles!
We ended up renting from a nice local bike shop owned by a Taiwanese couple called Sekka Bicycle Shop. It is right next to the famous Leopold’s Ice Cream shop(!) so be sure to grab a nice scoop of ice cream before you head off, maybe one after you finish too! 🙂
Squares and more Squares
There are some beautiful parks (I think there are 21 in total!) to experience throughout Savannah, most are called “squares” – which are mini parks throughout the middle of downtown Savannah- one in each early ‘ward’ and originally used for military purposes back in colonial days. Each offers a quaint place to sit below big shady live oak trees and people watch.
One of the squares, Chippewa Square, is the most famous as it was used as the spot where Tom Hanks plays Forrest sitting on a park bench talking about the box of chocolates. If you want to learn more, here is a link to some great parks throughout Savannah to check out…..Savannah Squares and Parks
Tours in Savannah
There is an endless supply of tours in Savannah but due to corona virus issues, many were still closed during our visit. Savannah is famous for their many nighttime ‘haunted tours’. Unfortunately, we were unable to take any so can’t really recommend any specific one to you. However, we did take a daytime walking tour of downtown.
Walking Tours- free walking tours. The tour is inexpensive and done by a local who knows the area. They take you through the heart of Savannah, learning about haunted homes and great little cafes to stop off and grab a bite to eat. Please tip generously! This tour is ~90 minutes.
We can also recommend a couple of excursions nearby which are worth a half day trip:
This is a really nice outing for the whole family. Its a 15 minute drive from Savannah to one of the original plantations in the area owned by one of the original 100 or so settlers who came from England to develop Savannah into a buffer colony between Spanish settlements to the south and more prosperous English settlements in the Carolinas to the north.
There are a number of short hikes through this impressive plantation which include some interpretive signs to learn about long ago days and even an operating blacksmith village during tourist season weekends. Wormsloe also has the oldest structure still remaining in Savannah dating back to 1745. Lots of great photo opportunities here as well – see our little video here…Youtube video of Wormsloe
This is another “must do” on your list when visiting Savannah. This cemetery also a 15min drive outside the historical area. They say Bonaventure is one of the most haunted cemetery in the world. One of its famous inhabitants is Little Gracie who died of pneumonia at the age of 6 and is said to roam the cemetery at night, people have said to hear here laughing and playing.
The cemetery is a great place to visit if you enjoy the paranormal – unfortunately it closes at 5PM so you can’t really go at night. But, with all the Spanish moss hanging from huge live oaks hanging low over 1800’s headstones, one can only imagine how creepy this would be in the evening. Bonaventure Cemetery is also famous for the movie, “Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil” which was directed by Clint Eastwood. There are several tours you can do at the cemetery or you can simply go on your own, hours are 8am – 5pm. Expert tip: The historical society has a nice little self guided app you can download from iTunes for $4.99. See out video of Bonaventure Cemetery here….Youtube video of Bonaventure
Websites used for
Interesting Facts about Savannah
Historic downtown Savannah has 286 trees planted in the square.
You can walk around with alcoholic beverages.
Savannah is the first planned city in the United States.
The city of Savannah was a Christmas present to President Lincoln.
The Pirates’ House is a restaurant that is close to the river and still in operation, it was originally opened in 1753. FYI make a reservation to check this out.
One of my favorite places to grab a drink was Wet & Willies.
My favorite drink is the Bahama Mama, with banana, coconut, raspberry, pina colada and a little bit of rum – ha ha!!!! Be careful a couple of these drinks you will be dancing on the tables!!!! They also have great bar food and munchies for those late night in Savannah.
Savannah is known for their comfort food. Only about 20% of the restaurants were open so we had slim pickings. One of the restaurants I wanted to go to was Paula Dean’s restaurant called The Lady & Sons. Unfortunately due to Corona Virus the restaurant was closed, who wouldn’t want to try some homeade chicken pot pie! : )
Another stop that I would recommend for some great pizza by the slice is Vinnie Van Go-Go’s Pizza huge slices and so delicious!
MUST HAVE TRAVEL essentials
Read more about some of my favorite accessories under my travel tips.
This portable fan is approved from The Scottsdale Travel Chick. Make sure to purchase a portable fan for your trip, it can get hot and sticky there.
Make sure you have a good sun hat for your trip, this has an adjustable strap as well as good ventilation so your head can breathe a little in the hot sun.
Sunscreen is a must in the summertime. This has a SPF of 46, got for sensitive or acne prone skin. This is not a greasy lotion and has no smell, so you male or females could use this lotion.
Get updates, travel tips, and more straight to your inbox!