By Mario R. Mercado
April 01, 2014

There are many reasons to visit Savannah, Georgia: its historic architecture, delicious food, and hospitality. If you are a golfer, Hilton Head Island and its courses are only an hour away. But now, while an endless winter keeps its grip on the Northeast, there may be no better reason to visit the gracious city where spring is in full bloom, than the Savannah Music Festival.

It is one of the country’s best and most wide-ranging—classical, bluegrass, rock, jazz, folk and world music—and it is in full, fabulous swing. Programs showcase the world’s best performers, some making American debuts, at intimate venues throughout the city’s historic district. You won’t feel closer to the music-making than in Savannah.

Among the more than 100 performances: mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital; a jazz piano showdown featuring Marcus Roberts, Aaron Diehl, Cyrus Chestnut, and Christian Sands; and Red Baraat, a brassy big band that blends classic funk with North Indian bhangra rhythms, sure to banish any memory of winter with a rollicking, rousing dance party.

The festival runs through April 5.

Mario R. Mercado is arts editor at Travel + Leisure.