Savannah, Georgia, is a beautiful southern Georgia city absolutely dripping with history. This walkable destination is full of small parks and squares, old architecture, and delicious food. The Savannah River, Forsyth Park, and abundant Spanish moss are hallmarks of a visit to Savannah. Though tourists love to visit Savannah, you can easily escape the tourist traps by simply walking the city streets, where you get a more tranquil and personal look at the historic architecture. The food here is a wonderful mix of modern cuisine and Southern cooking.

Breakfast: Eat Southern Cooking, Savannah Style

Goosefeathers Cafe is one of the most popular spots in Savannah. Seriously, a line forms there every morning. If you don’t mind either getting up at the crack of dawn or waiting, you’ll adore your coffee and food here. The pastries are absolutely delicious, and so are the breakfast paninis. One of the most notable dishes is a vegetarian option called the Eggetarian. It’s got eggs, pesto, hollandaise, and more.

Visit Henry’s for simple yet delicious breakfast fare. This is the kind of place where you get traditional eggs, chicken and waffles, and breakfast meats, and it’s so good it doesn’t really need extra flair. The restaurant is inexpensive, and the proprietor (Henry himself) is often there working. Apparently, he’s quite friendly, so stop and chat if you get a second. Henry’s is also close to a lot of the historic sites in Savannah, so you’ll be in the perfect spot for your morning activities after grabbing a bite here.

cathedral st john the baptist
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah.

Mid-Morning: Take a Historic Walking Tour

Because Savannah has such a rich history, which begins more than 100 years before the Civil War, you can take all manner of historic walking tours through the city. Tours focusing on architecture, the Civil War, and hauntings are just a few of the popular options.

Many tour companies offer historic walking tours, with variations in time, subject matter, and price. Tour companies also offer one-on-one tours for just you and your family or friends. Or, take a larger group tour and get to know some other tourists. Usually, you need to book these tours in advance because they’re popular during peak tourist season. If you’re booking through a tour company that does personalized tours, then you must call ahead. A few free walking tours are available, too, so if you’re traveling on a budget, look out for those!

However, a tour guide is just one way to experience a Savannah walking tour. You can download some self-guided walking tours that lead you through the city. Experience the plentiful squares in Savannah, hit up the best places to shop, or walk down the streets with the most history. One of the best parts about doing your own walking tour is the opportunity to go off the map and explore any streets or shops that look interesting to you! Your smartphone is an asset on this kind of walk because you can look up historical information about everything you see.

Lunch: Go for a Local Lunch

The Green Truck Pub has a lot of homemade chow. The condiments are made on-premises, and the fries are cut there, too. Locals love this spot, especially the El Jefe burger. If you want the kind of gut-busting Southern food that pays no attention to calorie content, then Sisters of the New South is the lunch spot for you. Sweet tea, gravy-smothered dishes, and mac ‘n’ cheese are a few highlights on the menu.

Railroad museum
The Railroad Museum.

Afternoon: Hit the Beach at Tybee Island

Tybee Island is a small beach town about 30 minutes away from downtown Savannah. Though tourists are starting to flock to this beautiful Georgia beach location, Tybee Island is still relatively under the radar. You’ll get a quieter beach experience here than on most of the Atlantic coast. The beach itself is lovely, and because of its southern Georgia location, it experiences beautiful weather from early spring until late fall.

If you’re visiting in winter, Tybee Island boasts walking and biking trails that show off this area’s spectacular nature. You can also take out a kayak for some water recreation, or go on a bird watching tour.

The Cockspur Island Lighthouse is a tiny old lighthouse that hasn’t been used for more than 100 years. It’s a landmark that you can’t get to on foot. You can either walk a trail at Fort Pulaski, or take a boat near the lighthouse for a water view. Remember to stay a safe distance away, because an ecological system exists near the lighthouse that boats can disturb.

When you want a lesson in ecology, head to the Tybee Island Marine Science Center. The center offers beach walks with scientists who will give you interesting information about the beach you’re walking. They’re fun for visitors of all ages, and this is a great activity to do with kids.

Chippewa square
Chippewa Square in Savannah.

Late Afternoon: Walk Forsyth Park

Forsyth Park is one of Savannah’s most famous landmarks. This gigantic park features wide paths with trees arching over. Spanish moss drapes the boughs, creating a distinctly Southern outdoor landscape. The houses lining the streets next to Forsyth Park are beautiful historic homes, and the park itself has landmarks like the fountain and the Bird Girl statue. Forsyth Park often hosts festivals and gatherings, so there’s a good chance you’ll run into some celebration while you’re walking through.

During your Forsyth Park walk, you should stop at a few notable places. The first: the Mercer Williams House Museum. The house was finished in 1868, and today is a lovely example of architecture and furniture from the 18th and 19th century. The house used to only be open for historical and charitable reasons but is now open to the public. The Carriage Shop is a fun spot to shop for souvenirs, by the way.

Make your second Forsyth Park stop the Mickve Israel Temple. This is the third-oldest Jewish congregation in the United States. It’s been around since 1733, and the current temple was finished in 1878. Its gorgeous architecture is a sight to behold. The sanctuary offers short tours, usually between 30 and 45 minutes long, every weekday excluding Jewish holidays and public holidays. They start at 10 in the morning, and the last one begins at 3:30 p.m. Check the tour schedule at the Mickve Israel website.

Dinner: Sit Down to an Adventure

For cheap eats, choose Angel’s BBQ, because this spot has seriously delicious brisket. You can get all kinds of southern barbecue sauce for your food, and while they’re all delicious, you can never go wrong with the traditional hot sauce.

Choose an adventure for dinner by stopping at Pirates’ House. This restaurant is pirate-themed, yet surprisingly upscale. The house has been around since 1753, which means tours often stop here. However, don’t turn your nose up because tourists stop by. The food is great for adults and kids and features Southern standards like shrimp n’ grits and fried green tomatoes. Try the honey pecan chicken, and be sure to have dessert, too.

Andrew low house
The Andrew Low House.

Where to Stay

Hotels

One of the best parts about a trip to Savannah is staying in a historic hotel. You have many choices in central Savannah when you want to room in a building with history. The Olde Harbour Inn is a four-star hotel sitting on the Savannah River. It mixes modern luxury with historical charm, and legend says this spot is haunted. The Eliza Thompson House and the Olde Savannah Inn are likewise four-star boutiques with charming historical accents.

You can choose luxury accommodations in Savannah, too. One of Savannah’s top hotels is the Kimpton Brice Hotel, a sophisticated and modern four-star property. The Mansion on Forsyth Park, Autograph Collection, is a gorgeous brick mansion with luxury rooms on the inside. The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa caters to guests who want the same kind of luxury no matter where they go.

Historical boutiques and luxury hotels aside, a stay in Savannah does not have to be expensive. Stay away from the waterfront and get budget accommodations that offer great values for their low rates. The Quality Inn Midtown and the Baymont Inn and Suites Savannah Midtown offer standard hotel amenities and prices for just a fraction of those you find downtown.

Vacation Rentals and Hostels

Savannah is full of historic homes and apartment buildings, and many residents offer vacation rentals. Options include renting a room in someone’s house, renting a snowbird’s vacant home, or going through a rental company. Whatever you choose, vacation rentals often put you in a residential neighborhood in Savannah instead of the tourist areas.

Savannah vacation rentals vary in price the same way hotels do; you can find rooms for under $50 a night, or spend well over $200 a night depending on the number of people staying, the size and location of the rental, and the season during which you’re visiting. Save some money by cooking your own food, and get extra space for bigger groups when you choose a vacation rental. The neighborhoods near Forsyth Park are especially beautiful, so look for accommodations there.

Currently, Savannah has only one hostel, the Savannah Pensione. This hostel offers private rooms for affordable prices and is within walking distance of many of the Savannah attractions you want to see.

Telfair
Telfair Museum in Savannah.

Airport Guide

If you fly into Savannah, Georgia, on a commercial flight, you’ll land at the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. This airport is relatively small, which means it has a limited number of direct flights in and out. When flying to Savannah, you’ll probably have a layover somewhere. However, choosing one of the airlines that flies into this airport will help you in your flight search.

Airlines and Terminals

Four airlines offer year-round service to Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport: American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, and United. Three additional airlines offer seasonal service: Allegiant, Air Canada, and Sun Country Airlines. The most common cities with nonstop flights to Savannah include: Charlotte, Dallas, Atlanta, New York City, Houston, Boston, and Chicago.

Seasonal cities with nonstop flights to Savannah include: Columbus, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Toronto.

The airport has two levels: the first level is where you find ground transportation like rental cars and rideshare pickups, plus baggage claim. The second level is the terminal, with G gates, shops, and charging stations.

Airport Amenities

The terminal area features a Starbucks, a few restaurants, and some gift shops where you can buy clothing, souvenirs, and food. Some of the restaurants feature dining areas, like the PGA Tour Grill, while others are stalls where you can grab a quick to-go bag before your flight. At one end of the terminal sits Savannah Square, an amenities area featuring bathrooms, shops, a shoe-shine station, and the elevators and escalators to the first floor. Savannah Square is also where you enter the security checkpoint.

Ground Transportation

Find rental car counters near baggage claim on the first floor of the airport. You have a lot of choices for renting a car: Hertz, Budget, Alamo, Avis, National, Dollar, Enterprise, Thrifty, and Payless.

However, if you’re choosing public transportation while in Savannah, you also have many options for getting to and from the airport. Chatham Area Transit buses stop at the airport and will take you to different spots in the city. You can check the website for a full daily schedule.

A long list of taxi companies serve the Savannah Airport. You can either arrange your pick-up ahead of time, or you can visit the taxi stand when you’re ready to leave the airport. You can also arrange a motorcoach or a shuttle to pick you up. Check with your hotel to see if they have a hotel shuttle to and from the airport before arranging a private shuttle.

A visit to Savannah usually means a lot of walking, so pack a comfortable pair of shoes and check the weather before you go. Savannah often has lovely weather, though a few days in winter can get chilly, and summer is very humid. The city is beautiful and worth a visit at any time of the year.