8 Reasons to Fall In Love with Savannah
The oldest city in Georgia and "Hostess City of the South", Savannah makes for a wonderful place to call home.
From its historic buildings to its sumptuous comfort food, here are the reasons to fall in love with the beautiful queen city!
1. Southern Hospitality
Who wouldn't want to feel welcomed every time they hit the streets? Rated as one of the Top 10 Friendliest Cities in the US through Conde Nast's Reader's Choice Awards, Savannah brings a unique flair to the celebrated Southern hospitality. As indicated in their website, "locals of Savannah are so fun and talkative you'd think it was an act. (It's not.) One of our readers noted: "The folks in restaurants, on the streets, and on their balconies were so kind and welcoming." The city feels eminently walkable and safe, and even has chilling ghost tours for those who prefer their locals a bit more...spirited. The general laid-back atmosphere and squares dripping with Spanish moss make for an eminently peaceful setting." If you're looking to feel at home even when you're out and about, then Savannah is the place to be!
2. Historic Preservation
From the cobblestone of River Street to the colorful row houses, Savannah today looks much like it did 200 years ago. You’ll find much of the historic district antebellum architecture intact, largely retaining the original town plan prescribed by founder James Oglethorpe. Savannah's downtown area, which includes the Savannah Historic District, the Savannah Victorian Historic District, and 22 parklike squares, is also one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States.
(Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
3. The Oak Trees
Savannah is filled with oak trees — the kind that twist and turn in varied directions. Spanish moss on the tops and branches make for the iconic Southern look you see in so many movies. The towering live oaks dripping with Spanish moss frame the city and make it unmistakable. From the long drive at Wormsloe to Jones Street, said to be Savannah’s prettiest street, you will fall in love with Savannah’s trees.
4. Quirky Shops
Savannah is a wonderful city for shopping, and while there are plenty of chain stores, it is best to support local business and discover some of the treasures of Savannah. From used book stores, to a spice and tea shop, and even a Parisian-themed store, there's something for everyone. If you are looking for cool souvenirs, head to popular downtown shopping destinations City Market and River Street. Both areas are steeped in history and feature shops geared toward Savannah’s many visitors. An art lover? ShopSCAD is an eclectic store featuring jewelry, artwork, accessories, housewares and apparel crafted by Savannah College of Art and Design students, alumni and faculty. For those who like to get a taste of local flavor while they shop but also want to check out the goods at national retailers, Broughton Street is the place to be. Located in the heart of the city’s Historic District, Broughton Street boasts a number of fantastic local businesses, including affordable and funky jewelry store ZIA Boutique and the Savannah Bee Company, a gourmet market that specializes in local honey.
5. The Squares
Savannah is known for its unusual city layout: it’s home to 22 squares that divide the city into wards. While they were originally created to facilitate military exercises, today they’re known for their beauty. Each of these squares is like a mini park, named for a historical figure with a statue, fountain, or monument honoring a different historical figure in the middle. The most notable square is Forsyth Park. Find artists and musicians performing, walk through the Saturday farmers market, or find a picnic spot to people watch and relax at one of these beautiful city havens.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
6. Southern Food
Southern food is amazing, and with the queen of Southern food herself, Paula Deen, calling Savannah home, you know you can get good your dose of good old-fashioned cooking here! Experience the ultimate in comfort food in as you enjoy Collard Greens, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, or Poke salad in any of Savannah's iconic restaurants. Dine in sophistication at The Olde Pink House Restaurant, named for the beautiful shade of pink stucco that covers its old brick. Or try something unique at Alligator Soul. Recognized as one of the best restaurants in Savannah, the restaurant features a Cajun and Creole cuisine made from fresh, organic ingredients, with an exotic menu that changes seasonally and includes selections like elk, antelope, and camel.
7. The Cocktail Hour
Savannah loves its cocktails and craft beers! It is one of only six localities in the country to allow drinking in public (in the historic district), as long as you keep it 16 ounces or less in a plastic (not clear) cup. Restaurants also feature their libations, including their home blends. The Olde Pink House has their own custom-made craft beer unique to the restaurant, and The Grove's housemade cocktails are a must-try. For a drink with a view, explore Peregin's rooftop deck. Perched on top of Perry Lane Hotel in Savannah’s Historic District and designed with an all-weather and open-air appeal, the bar offers hand-crafted premium cocktails and an impressive wine list for that ultimate dining experience
8. The Ghost Stories
USA Today named Savannah one of America’s top ten haunted cities, which is no wonder, since it is built on Indian burial grounds and cemeteries. Steeped in rich and scary history, the city features several places where you can get your fill of the scary stuff. The two centuries old Willink House disturbs its neighbors and passers by with the front door creaking open before it slams itself shut. Currently running as a museum, the Davenport House is famous for the number of lost souls that have resided in the house through the years. And of course, Savannah is home to guided ghost tours which let you explore its cemeteries with an experienced guide and storyteller.