Spring is an especially good time to visit Savannah, and undoubtedly the most popular season with tourists. The weather is generally warm and sunny without the oppressive heat of summer, and in the early weeks of spring, Savannah’s trees and shrubs are laden with beautiful flowers.
Many of the biggest festivals and events are held in spring. Savannah’s world-famous St Patrick’s Day celebrations draw large crowds to the city. Outside of St Patrick’s Day, several music festivals bring large numbers of people; Savannah’s springtime house and garden tours are also popular.
If you don’t mind spending a little more on accommodation and transport or risking longer lines for some restaurants and attractions, this is probably the best time of year to visit the city.
If you want to see Savannah’s shrubs and flowers at their peak, March through April is the best time of year to visit. Azaleas start blooming in March (sometimes as early as late February) and other flowering species follow in the weeks after. Savannah’s squares and parks, and Bonaventure Cemetery, are particularly beautiful at this time of year.
Throughout spring, Savannah is mostly sunny and warm, becoming hot by the last weeks of May: temperatures average 70°F (20°C) in March, going into the high 70s (25°C) in April and reaching the mid 80s (30°C) in May. Overall, April is probably about the best month to visit, weather-wise, with the longest sunshine hours of the year, but before the temperatures climb too high.
Rainfall is fairly consistent across the spring months, before rising sharply from June, staying high through the summer. March to May, rainfall averages around 3-3.5 inches per month. If you are staying more than a few days, there is a good chance it will rain at least once, but a completely dry stay is also possible.
If this is the sort of weather you most enjoy, but a springtime visit isn’t going to work, travel in fall instead, when it is warm, sunny and much drier than the summer months. You won’t get to enjoy the flowers of spring, but there are many festivals and events, particularly food-related, to compensate.
If you are planning to visit in March, you need to be aware of Savannah’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations, whether to plan for it or to plan around it.
The parade is a huge annual draw for visitors to Savannah, and hotel and accommodation prices rise accordingly! Plan on spending considerably more for your accommodation in Savannah over the few days around St Patrick’s Day than you would at most other times of year.
The St Patrick’s Day Parade (usually on March 17), Savannah’s annual St Patrick’s Day celebration is probably its most famous event, when the city hosts one of the biggest parades in the country. The parade attracts a boisterous (and in some cases intoxicated) crowd and much of the city is given over to the festivities. If this isn’t your thing, choose another time to visit.
Other Irish-themed events, including the “Greening of the Fountain” in Forsyth Park, the Tara Feis in Emmet Park and the sister St Patrick’s Day Parade at the nearby seafront town of Tybee Island, are held in the week or so beforehand.
When booking accommodation for a visit around mid-March, give especial attention to the rate you are paying on each day of your stay; if you’re not that interested in St Patrick’s, you can save a lot by bringing your trip forwards or backwards by only a day or two.
If you do want to visit during this period, and particularly during the few days of the St Patrick’s Day events, you will usually need to book your accommodation many months in advance, as the more desirable places will sell out fast.
For St Patrick’s Day, see above
Savannah Stopover, early March. This music festival features dozens of bands and artists, playing concerts across several Historic District locations.
Savannah Tour of Homes and Gardens, late March to early April. Self-guided walking tours allow access to private homes not usually open to the public. The tour is held over several days, with a different city district covered each day.
Savannah Music Festival, late March to early April. The largest music festival in Georgia is held in Savannah each spring, with over 100 artists giving concerts and performances at locations across the city during the more than two weeks of the festival.
North of Gwinnett Street Tour of Hidden Gardens, mid to late April. Self-guided walking tours, organized by the Garden Club of Savannah, take in several private gardens not normally open to the public.