20 Photos That Will Convince You to Plan a Trip to Savannah
Originally appeared on Travel + Leisure
There are very few cities in the world that have aa 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.
Savannah’s Old Town Trolley Tours
An efficient way for visitors to learn about Savannah’s history and culture is to hop on a Trolley tour, where you’ll navigate through the city streets by a guided expert.
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 that are dotted throughout the city.
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
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 was reopened in 1912 and featured spectacular stained-glass windows and impressive architecture. It’s known to be a sanctuary for anyone who walks through the church’s doors.
Savannah City Hall
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.
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.
Talmadge Memorial Bridge
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.
Savannah Wildlife Refuge
Established in 1927, this refuge is home to nearly 30,000 acres of freshwater marshes, creeks and bottomland hardwoods. Because of the swamp-like terrain, about half of the refuge is only accessible by boat.
The architecture of Savannah is even more picturesque from above. Savannah is Georgia's fifth-largest city.
Tybee Island Lighthouse
With five miles of shoreline, Tybee Island is a beachfront getaway that’s twenty miles from Savannah’s historic district. There, you’ll find the state of Georgia’s oldest and tallest lighthouse.
Established in 1733, Savannah was the first colonial and state capital of Georgia and is thought of as America’s first planned city. Today, it’s home to hundreds of thousands of residents and attracts millions of visitors each year to explore the city’s historic roots and incredible architecture.
Savannah’s Historic District
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.
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.
Savannah College of Art and Design
Commonly known as SCAD, this college is one of the top art and design universities in the United States. The campus is scattered throughout Savannah’s Historic District, and anyone who travels to Savannah is encouraged to visit shopSCAD, a store that showcases all the works of students and are available for purchase.
This cobblestone street is home to nearly 100 shops, restaurants and pubs, all looking out towards the Savannah River. At night, street musicians set up shop to perform alongside the waterfront.
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.
Because of Savannah’s haunted history, many travel to the Bonaventure Cemetery to view the larger-than-life tombs and ornate statues.
Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room
What was once a boardinghouse is now a family-owned restaurant, serving up unforgettable homestyle Southern food to guests at communal tables. Be prepared to wait on a line, though: This restaurant only serves lunch Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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 of your souvenirs.
The Mercer-Williams Home
A residence to lyricist Johnny Mercer, this home is more notable for it’s other inhabitant, Jim Williams, an antiques dealer who was tried for the murder of Danny Hansford, which allegedly took place at this very home. Tours are allowed on the ground floor, but the upstairs is off limits, adding to the home’s already spooky ambience.
The Olde Pink House
Considered one of Savannah’s greatest and most classic restaurants, The Olde Pink House offers up Southern food in an upscale setting. The building is a notable landmark, and its interior consists of several floors of hidden gems (like the cozy underground tavern with live music).