Savannah Is the Gorgeous Southern City You'll Want to Visit Next

Savannah, Tram passing the town hall
Photo: Jordan Banks/Getty Images/AWL Images RM

There are very few cities in the world that have as multifaceted a reputation as Savannah. Filled with history and charm, there's an obvious elegance that exudes from the streets.

But just when you think you understand what this town is all about, it'll turn around and give you a mischievous wink.

Make no mistake that Savannah is a city filled with character: A walk downtown will show you endless squares surrounded by live oak trees and Spanish moss, charming pastel-colored townhouses, and places to eat and shop every which way you decide to turn.

But what you may not know is how eccentric this place can be. Embracing art, culture, and yes, even a little dose of misbehavior.

01 of 20

Savannah's Old Town Trolley Tours

Savannah Trolley past a row of colourful houses
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An efficient way for visitors to learn about Savannah's history and culture is to hop on the Old Town Trolley Tour, where you'll be driven through the city streets by an expert guide.

02 of 20

Downtown Savannah

Typical architecture of downtown Savannah, GA with palm trees.
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Because of its hot and humid climate, Savannah's greenery consists mainly of live oak trees and tons of Spanish moss, as well as palm trees, which are dotted throughout the city.

03 of 20

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Cathedral of St Johns the Baptist in historic downtown Savannah, Georgia,USA
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Construction of this church began in 1873 and was completed in 1896, only to be destroyed by fire two years later. After years of rebuilding, the church reopened in 1912, featuring spectacular stained-glass windows and impressive architecture. It's known to be a sanctuary for anyone who walks through its doors.

04 of 20

Savannah City Hall

Savannah, Tram passing the town hall
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This gold-domed piece of stunning architecture dominates Savannah's historic district skyline, while its interior features a beautiful dolphin fountain. The second floor houses the mayor's office and council chambers.

05 of 20

Forsyth Park

People walking in Forsythe Park, one of the many city parks in Savannah.
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The largest park in the historic district of Savannah, Forsyth Park consists of 30 acres of land, with the often-photographed fountain that serves as its focal point.

06 of 20

Talmadge Memorial Bridge

Ship entering port of Savannah - Talmadge Memorial Bridge
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The city of Savannah is also a bustling seaport, where you'll find the Talmadge Memorial Bridge spanning the Savannah River between downtown Savannah and Hutchinson Island.

07 of 20

Savannah Wildlife Refuge

Beautiful Spanish Moss-draped lane at the Savannah Wildlife Refuge
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Established in 1927, the Savannah Wildlife Refuge is home to nearly 30,000 acres of freshwater marshes, creeks, and bottomland hardwoods. Because of the swamp-like terrain, most of the refuge is only accessible by boat.

08 of 20

Savannah's Skyline

Savannah, Georgia downtown at dusk.
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The architecture of Savannah, Georgia's fifth-largest city, is even more picturesque from above.

09 of 20

Tybee Island Lighthouse

Tybee Lighthouse Tybee Island
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With five miles of shoreline, nearby Tybee Island is a beachfront getaway that's 20 miles from Savannah's historic district. There, you'll find the state of Georgia's oldest and tallest lighthouse.

10 of 20

Savannah's Riverfront

Savannah Georgia Seaport
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Established in 1733, Savannah was the first colonial and state capital of Georgia and is considered to be the first planned city in the U.S. Today, it's home to hundreds of thousands of residents and attracts millions of visitors each year to explore its historic roots and incredible architecture.

11 of 20

Savannah's Historic District

Tree lined historic homes on the community road in Savannah Georgia
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The majority of Savannah's historic homes have been preserved and renovated, and many have been converted into museums and restaurants for the public to explore and enjoy.

12 of 20

Leopold's Ice Cream

Leopold's Ice Cream Savannah
Courtesy of Leopold's Ice Cream

No trip to Savannah is complete without stopping at Leopold's, an ice creamery that's been open since 1919. The homemade ice cream recipe has remained unchanged since the creamery opened its doors nearly a century ago.

13 of 20

Savannah College of Art and Design

One of the old buildings the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
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Commonly known as SCAD, the Savannah College of Art and Design is one of the top art and design universities in the United States. The campus is scattered throughout the Historic District, and anyone visiting Savannah is encouraged to visit shopSCAD, a store that showcases art made by students that is available for purchase.

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River Street

Early morning on the historic cobblestoned River Street lined with pubs and restaurants.
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This cobblestone street is home to nearly 100 shops, restaurants, and pubs, all looking out toward the Savannah River. At night, street musicians set up shop to perform alongside the waterfront.

15 of 20

Wormsloe Plantation

Savannah, Georgia oak tree lined road at historic Wormsloe Plantation.
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A quick drive from downtown Savannah, you'll find yourself at the stunning entrance of Wormsloe Plantation. It's famous for its mile-long entrance of live oaks and Spanish moss, known as the Avenue of the Oaks, and is one of the most photographed sites in the Isle of Hope.

16 of 20

Bonaventure Cemetery

Angel statue and monument in Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia.
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Because of Savannah's haunted history and its appearance in the popular book and movie, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," many travel to Bonaventure Cemetery to view the larger-than-life tombs and ornate statues.

17 of 20

Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room

Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room in Savannah, Georgia
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What was once a boarding house is now a family-owned restaurant, serving up unforgettable homestyle Southern food to guests at communal tables. Be prepared to wait in line though: This restaurant is quite popular among locals and visitors and only serves lunch Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It's also cash-only (there's an ATM on site) and you can expect to pay $30 per person, including tax.

18 of 20

The Paris Market

The Paris Market
Courtesy of The Paris Market

You'll feel as if you've opened a door to another world once you enter this French-inspired store. With two stories of classic Parisian home goods and eclectic interior designs, this is the spot where you'll want to purchase all your souvenirs.

19 of 20

The Mercer-Williams Home

Mercer Williams House on Monterey Square in the Historic District of Savannah, Georgia.
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A former residence of lyricist Johnny Mercer, the Mercer–Williams Home is more notable for its other inhabitant, Jim Williams, an antiques dealer who was tried for the murder of Danny Hansford, which allegedly took place at this very home — it's also the real-life event that inspired the book and movie, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." Tours are allowed on the ground floor, but the upstairs is off limits, adding to the home's already spooky ambience.

20 of 20

The Olde Pink House

The Olde Pink House Restaurant, Reynolds Square, Savannah, Georgia
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Considered to be one of Savannah's greatest and most classic restaurants, The Olde Pink House offers Southern food in an upscale setting. The building is a notable landmark and its interior consists of several floors of hidden gems, such as a cozy underground tavern with live music.

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