Savannah’s antebellum architecture and romantic atmosphere helped the Georgian city earn a spot on this year’s list of World’s Best Cities. So what to do in Savannah if you want to plan a perfect weekend?
You can’t ignore the attractive public squares created by General James Oglethorpe, who designed Savannah, America’s first planned city on a grid.
Of the original 24 squares, 22 still remain, including Chippewa Square, where Forrest Gump famously told his story to locals. (The park bench was a prop, but you can see it in the Savannah History Museum.)
When visiting Georgia’s first city, stroll along cobblestone River Street, which gently curves along the thriving water port — it’s the perfect spot for ship watching. You’ll find nine blocks of shops and restaurants tucked inside restored cotton warehouses. Authentic Civil War artifacts, buttery pecan pralines, rare books, and a selection of fresh seafood and Lowcountry fare are all on offer.
The historic City Market is one of the most fun things to do in Savannah. Farmers and traders have been meeting here to hawk their provisions since the 1700s. Today, it’s a great spot to hear live music, admire the art galleries, and peruse fresh produce.
In addition to being one of the best cities in the world, Savannah also has the distinction of being one of the most haunted cities in America. Visitors can choose from dozens of spooky tours, where you may sip a pint in a haunted pub, explore the city by hearse, or pay your respects at Bonaventure Cemetery, known for its pathways covered by tree boughs and Spanish moss.
There’s also the grand, Queen Anne-style Kehoe House in Columbia Square. Guests bedding down at the mansion have reported hearing the laughter of twin girls who died while playing in the chimney — even though it’s an adults-only B&B.
Savannah may come across as a classic Southern Belle (and indeed it is) but the city’s liberal open-container policy has encouraged an exciting nightlife. If you’re in town in March, you could take part in the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the country.
With so much to see and do, (and a hospitable demeanor that earned it the nickname the “Hostess City of the South”) is it any wonder Savannah was voted one of the top cities in the world?