Savannah is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, delighting millions of visitors, both new and returning, every year.
Savannah is visited year-round, but for most people spring and fall are the ideal times to see the city, when the weather is at its best. It is also easy to get to, especially from the southeast and east coast, either flying or driving or by bus or train.
What sets Savannah apart is its widely-known National Landmark Historic District, one of the most beautiful and completely preserved historic urban landscapes in the United States.
Savannah is one of only a few cities in the country to have retained much of the character and integrity of its historic landscape, still possessing many of the 19th-century homes and buildings and the unrivalled system of squares and trees for which the city has been well-known for over a century.
Savannah was founded in 1733 as the first major European settlement in the new colony of Georgia, and is one of the oldest cities in the country. From these beginnings it grew into an important port and economic center. Later came its roles in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.
Savannah is small enough to be walkable, but large enough to have a full range of attractions, festivals and cultural events.
The city is home to many sites and attractions of national significance, from forts and battle sites to some of the oldest black congregations in the country, and of course the famous city plan.
Many of the best things to do in Savannah are free: a walk around the old parts of the city to enjoy its architecture and its pretty parks and squares; the riverfront promenade; the atmospheric cemeteries and old churches and synagogues.
Savannah also has a wide range of other attractions.
Historic homes range from the residences of wealthy business people such as the slave-owning former inhabitants of the Owens-Thomas House, to the more modest middle-class Depression-Era home of celebrated writer Flannery O’Connor, to the King-Tisdell Cottage, once home to two of Savannah’s early-20th-century African-American entrepreneurs.
Museums explore the history of Savannah’s commercial, cultural and maritime history. Four art museums display a range of local and national art, and there are also dozens of independent art galleries. Within a few miles of the historic district are Old Fort Jackson and the former Wormsloe Plantation, both popular with visitors.
Savannah is host to year-round events and festivals. It has one of the largest St Patrick’s Day parades in the country, besides jazz and music festivals, arts events and tours of the city’s homes and gardens, and the usual seasonal and holiday celebrations.
Situated in the heart of the lowcountry, Savannah also serves as a gateway to the Atlantic seaboard of Georgia and South Carolina, with beautiful beaches, coastal scenery, seafront resorts and attractions all within easy reach of the city.
Dozens of nature sites where the abundant wildlife and birds of the marshland and coastal forest can be seen are within a drive of an hour or so. Skidaway Island State Park is within a short drive of Savannah; the secluded barrier islands of Wassaw and Little Tybee are accessible by boat tour or kayak.
Less than an hour northeast of Savannah, into South Carolina, is Hilton Head, another of the southeast’s most popular resorts, and nearby is the charming city of Beaufort. Charleston too is only two hours away.