Steeped in history and charm, Savannah is the largest city in Georgia and a great destination for anyone who wants a quick and deep immersion in rich Southern culture, excellent Southern food and the Southern Gothic atmosphere so well conveyed in the famous bestseller set here: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
Founded in 1733, Savannah is a perfect place to learn about the Revolutionary and Civil wars, since the city has a number of fine museums. One of the best is the Savannah History Museum, located on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. It's a National Historic Landmark that has a wide array of artifacts (over 10,000), some of which are one-of-a-kind pieces that date to the Revolutionary War. But this is more than your typical war museum. It also features clothing styles of the 19th and 20th centuries, displays that are sure to draw the attention of anyone interested in fashion. The Oscar of Savannah-born songwriter Johnny Mercer is here, as is Forest Gump's famous bench, so there's interest as well for film enthusiasts.
For a little living history, you can see cannon-firing demonstrations on Saturdays at the Fort Pulaski National Monument on the edge of the Savannah River. A pivotal site in the Civil War, the fort is much as it was 150 years ago, after a full restoration in 1924. The fort and its environs are also a great stop for nature enthusiasts. The area is home to 11 protected species, including the manatee and the peregrine falcon.
For yet more history, visit the theater. You can watch live performances in the Historic Savannah Theatre on Bull Street. In the lobby of what's deemed to be the oldest operating theater in the United States, you'll see photographs, interesting newspaper clippings and artifacts that mark this venue's 193-year run. Its restoration in 2002 has given it a state-of-the-art sound and light systems, as well as an art deco facade reminiscent of the 1940s.
Dining and Shopping
While carriage and trolley tours are still one of the best ways to explore the city, just strolling the cobblestone streets will bring many discoveries. Quaint cafes and specialty food shops will tempt your tastebuds with aromatic servings of sweet tea, delectable fried green tomatoes and, of course, the rich and tasty local delicacy called she-crab soup. (Many claim Savannah has the best cuisine in the South.)
Other destinations to include on any tour by foot are the downtown river walk along the lazy Savannah River and Savannah's historic district, which is the nation's largest. For shopping, check out River Street, which offers nine blocks of stores selling everything under the Southern sun.
211 East Gaston Street
175 Bourne Avenue
1105 US Highway 80
1105 US Highway 80