If you want a single answer to the question of when is the best time of year to visit Savannah, then that answer is: “spring.”
Spring is when Savannah blooms, with many of the shrubs and trees in the squares and parks and along its streets flowering around March and April (the precise timing varies year-to-year). The weather too is at its best, and several of the city’s most popular annual events and festivals are held at this time of year.
Savannah is a beautiful destination year-round, though, and other times of year each have something to offer: festivals and events, good weather, smaller crowds or lower prices.
How long to visit Savannah for depends on how much you want to see. Many people like to visit for a long weekend, which is enough time to see the best of the Historic District and a few attractions.
If you will want to see more of the city and the Georgia and South Carolina coast, plan a longer visit.
Savannah is easily combined with a trip to the equally beautiful Charleston, only around two hours north of the city by car and accessible too by train and bus. Several seafront communities/towns are likewise within only an hour or two of Savannah, which make for an especially appealing side trip in the hot summer months.
Savannah’s beautiful architecture and squares make it a joy to visit at any time of the year. To see the city at its very most visually captivating, though, visit in late March to early April, when the azaleas and other shrubs, and flowering trees such as the dogwood, are at their peak.
If you want to see the classic southern tree, the magnolia, in bloom, aim for later spring through early summer.
Even if you miss the best of Savannah’s flowers, you can still enjoy the appeal and atmosphere of the drapes of Spanish moss that hang from the city’s trees, as the moss is there year-round.
Savannah’s subtropical climate produces weather that ranges from mild in the winter, through pleasantly warm in the spring and fall months, to humid and often uncomfortably hot at the height of summer.
For the best weather, visit in spring or fall, when it is warm without being too hot, and rainfall is at its lowest. Savannah is a city best seen on foot, so visiting at either of these times of year will be a more comfortable experience.
Temperatures in spring peak on average in the 70s to 80s. In summer, the average daily maximum temperature tops 90, returning to spring temperatures in fall. For most of the year, rainfall is around 3 inches per month, rising to 5-6+ inches in the summer.
Winter brings cooler weather, and the humidity can make it feel quite cold. It is also more likely to be overcast at this time of year. Freezing temperatures are rare (as is snow), with average daily maximum temperatures in the low 60s and minimum nighttime temperatures averaging around 40°F or higher.
If you especially mind the heat, try to avoid the hottest (and wettest) months, July and August. September too can often be hot and humid.
Hurricane risk is lower in Savannah than other southeastern cities, due to its position relative to the usual storm track, but hurricanes are possible from June through September. Ordinary thunderstorms are frequent in the summer months.
Any of the warmer months, including spring, bring a large number of insects. Repellent is advised, especially if you plan any trips into the surrounding lowcountry.
Most of the larger events held in Savannah are scheduled for the spring and fall months. Some of these events draw many out-of-town visitors, and it can be harder to find a place to stay (and eat and park) on the days the festival is held.
In spring, some of the city’s most beautiful historic homes and gardens are opened to the public. The Savannah Tour of Homes and Gardens is held around late March, and the North of Gwinnett Street Tour of Hidden Gardens around mid April.
Spring music festivals include the Savannah Music Festival, the largest music festival in Georgia, held over two weeks around late March into April. Also in March are two smaller music festivals, the Savannah Stopover and the A-Town Get Down Art and Music Festival.
Each year, Savannah holds one of the biggest St Patrick’s Day parades in the world. Huge numbers of visitors come to Savannah on and around March 17 to enjoy the festivities.
Bigger events are rare in the hot and humid summer, but fall brings cooler temperatures and with them another wave of festivals: the Savannah Jazz Festival in late September, Oktoberfest and the Savannah Film Festival in October.
The Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival, one of the region’s largest seafood festivals, in held in nearby Richmond Hill, GA over several days around mid October, and then the week-long Savannah Food and Wine Festival around mid November.
Savannah’s event calendar winds down in winter, but the light displays and decorations of the holiday season around Christmas and New Year’s Eve attract many people to the city. The Black Heritage Festival is held in February, to coincide with Black History Month.
Savannah has two main tourist seasons. The biggest is spring and early summer, March through early July. Another peak comes in fall.
The best prices for accommodation can be found in the off-season, which for Savannah is in winter. January and February in particular are unpopular with tourists, and you can expect to be sharing the city with a lot fewer people at this time of year.
The Christmas to New Year period is the exception to the winter lull, when many people like to visit for the lights and holiday festivities.
In Savannah, you might also find better prices in high summer (late July through August), when vacationers are drawn instead to the beaches and sea islands of the coast.
Charleston is only 100 miles up the coast from Savannah, and many people like to combine visits to the two cities into a single trip.
Charleston’s proximity to Savannah means that it shares most of its climatic characteristics, with the same mild winters and hot, humid summers.
However, although spring is generally considered to be the best time to go to Savannah, in Charleston the fall season (late September through early November) is spring’s equal — and for many, the more agreeable time of year.
You will enjoy both cities in either season, but broadly speaking, if you want Charleston to look its best, go in spring, especially April. If you prefer cultural activities, museums and festivals, choose fall.
If you decide on springtime for your trip to Savannah and Charleston, make Savannah the first stop and Charleston the second, as the plants bloom a little later there.
Georgia is one of the most popular destination states for people who want to see the South, and you may wish to see other of its attractions as part of your trip to Savannah.
On the whole, the best times to visit Savannah hold true for the rest of the state, but there are a few variations and special factors to consider, depending on which of Georgia’s other regions you want to see.
North Georgia mountains The mountains of northern Georgia (5-6 hours drive from Savannah) are one of the most beautiful parts of the state in which to enjoy the outdoors. Georgia as a whole is best avoided around August, but if this is when you have to travel, a visit to the mountains offers a cooler and more pleasant respite from the heat and humidity of summer.
North Georgia is also a popular destination for autumn leaf watching, with the region’s state parks the best place from which to enjoy the fall foliage. Georgia’s dominant autumn colors are orange and gold, and they are usually at their peak around early to mid November.
If you do want to visit the mountains, it is best to avoid traveling in winter. Although the rest of Georgia is usually mild and snow-free, ice and snow can both present problems in the most upland parts of the state at this time of year, and you may find many outdoor attractions and trails are closed.
Sea Islands The main charm of Georgia’s barrier islands, from Tybee down to the Golden Isles of Jekyll and St Simons, is the beach and other outdoor activities. None of the most-visited islands is more than 100 miles from Savannah, with Tybee Island the nearest and easiest to get to.
Spring through fall are the ideal times to visit Georgia’s barrier islands, where the region’s hot summers are made more bearable by cooling ocean breezes and the water itself, which should be warm enough for swimming from May through September.
Atlanta Atlanta is one of the primary destinations in the South (and the USA) for its cultural attractions and range of things to do. It is around 4 hours or so by car from Savannah, and easily accessible by other modes of transport too. Travel options between Savannah and Atlanta
So far as tourism goes, the high and low seasons in Atlanta are less marked than in Savannah, and in contrast to the summer lull in Savannah’s events calendar, Atlanta’s festivals and outdoor events continue year-round.
Still, spring and fall are the better times to see Atlanta, when the flowers and autumn foliage, respectively, are at their peak and the city is at its best. If you are thinking of visiting in winter, bear in mind that the weather in Atlanta is somewhat colder than Savannah and the coast.