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Savannah embodies the ideal of fine Southern living: storied mansions, live oaks draped in Spanish moss, mint juleps on the verandah. But there's plenty of free spirit in this Southern Georgia city, too, a fact underscored in John Berendt's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The blockbuster book has drawn thousands of visitors to Savannah's ghost tours and Bonaventure Cemetery. All of that and good food too? Welcome to Savannah!
Things to Do
The charming city of Savannah, peppered with historic pink, red and blue houses, and boasting a downtown River Walk meandering along the Savannah River, begs to be explored on foot. Wander the 2½ -mile spread of the nation's largest National Historic Landmark District and people-watch in its numerous and lush neighborhood parks. To sense the Savannah of General James Oglethorpe in 1733, tour the city via the Savannah River Queen with historic tales of this Southern gem.
Savvy shoppers inevitably make their way to River Street, where nine blocks of shops sell Southern cookbooks, folk art, pottery and jewelry. Tasteless souvenirs (Kiss-Me-I'm Irish T-shirts and green beer on St. Patrick's Day) also abound. ShopSCAD, operated by the hip and expansive Savannah College of Art and Design, has been such a hit that the school opened satellite shops in Atlanta and Lacoste, France. Student-designed toys, home décor, clothing, jewelry and handbags seldom sit on the gallery's shelves for long.p>
Nightlife and Entertainment
Downtown Savannah's Johnson Square is the site for many an evening open-air concert in warm weather, when the city's best musicians get toes tapping with Dixieland, jazz and Big Band tunes. Year-round music lovers can be sure to find music on River Street after dark. Just walk along the street, listen for music you like and pop in. Since a sultry summer night just begs for a cool beverage, check out Savannah's fun drinking spots: Mercury Lounge, the Monkey Bar and Bernie's.
Restaurants and Dining
Foodies flock to Savannah for some of the finest seafood -- some would say the finest cooking -- in the South. Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room, like a boarding house, serves a single, hearty meal to guests around a common table. Authentic, seasonal, down-home favorites fill the table, including shrimp 'n' grits, black-eyed peas, fried chicken and collard greens. Stylish and meticulous, Elizabeth on 37th is considered Savannah's most upscale, relying on creative twists on fresh local seafood and produce. Locals head out to the beach at Tybee Island for casual seafood, The Crab Shack, for instance, "Where the elite eat in their bare feet."
With American Airlines flights to Savannah, it's easy to discover this charming Southern belle on the coast of Georgia. This historic city is full of quiet fascinations, from architecture to secret gardens, that will keep you enthralled. Add its famously good food and libations, and this is one destination you'll want to spend time exploring. We've made it easy to make your way around the city with our tips on the best things to do in Savannah.
The Landmark Historic District is tops on our list of activities in Savannah. The city boasts more than 20 picturesque squares, many of which contains sculptures, stones or statues that pay tribute to a colorful past. After all, Savannah played a role in both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Within the district you'll find two neighborhoods on the National Register of Historic Places: the Victorian District and the Thomas Square Streetcar Historic District. A wonderful way to explore these areas is on foot; Savannah is a very walkable city. There are many historically and architecturally significant homes here, and many are open to the public for tours. We recommend the Andrew Low House (revered by many as the residence of Girl Scouts founder Juliette Magill Gordon Low), the Mercer-Williams House (made famous by the book and movie In The Garden of Good and Evil), the Sorrel-Weed House (where Robert E. Lee was once a guest) and the Owens-Thomas House (considered one of the finest surviving examples of English Regency in the United States and where the Marquis de Lafayette was once a guest).
Don't consider your tour of homes complete without visiting the gardens as well. In fact, spending time in the gardens of this city is one of our favorite things to do in Savannah. Another one of our favorites may be on the side of macabre: taking a ghost tour. There are many cemeteries throughout the city, where the Spanish moss trails forlornly and gracefully. The Ghosts and Gravestones Tour is a guided tour after dark that will take you to the most fascinating sites, accompanied by the lore that made them noteworthy.
Don't let your appetite be scared away, however, because this is one place that aims to please with its culinary delights. After all the walking and touring, one of the most popular activities in Savannah is leisurely enjoying a meal and an iced beverage (whether that's sweet tea or a mint julep). Take time to savor your meal wherever you decide to dine; there's hardly a poor choice to be had. Seafood, good old Southern home cooking and fine haute cuisine all coexist here. Savannah, after all, is where you'll find the restaurant run by renowned Southern cook Paula Deen. And we can tell you from personal experience, no matter how long the wait may be, it is well worth it!
If a getaway to this charming city sounds appealing, let American Airlines help you fly to Savannah. Friendly people, captivating history and delectable delights are waiting for you. Plan your trip today.
|Savannah Film Festival||Oct - Nov 2013 (annual)||Savannah|
|Savannah Children's Book Festival||Nov 2013 (annual)||Forsyth Park|
|Savannah Harbor Boat Parade Of Lights||Nov 2013 (annual)||Savannah Harbor|
|Holiday Tour of Homes||Dec 2013 (annual)||Savannah|
|Super Museum Sunday||Feb 2014 (annual)||Savannah|
|Savannah Irish Festival||Feb 2014 (annual)||Savannah Civic Center|
|Savannah St Patrick's Day Parade||Mar 2014 (annual)||Savannah|
|Savannah Music Festival||Mar - Apr 2014 (annual)||Savannah|
|SCAD Sidewalk Arts Festival||Apr 2014 (annual)||Forsyth Park|
|17 Hundred 90||International||Historic District||3||1|
|700 Drayton||International||Historic District||4||4|
|Alligator Soul||American Regional||In & Around The City Market||3||2|
|Belford's||American Regional||In & Around The City Market||3||2|
|Bull Street Chophouse||Steaks/Chops||Historic District||4||2|
|Clary's Cafe||American||Historic District||1||2|
|Elizabeth on 37th||American Regional||In the Victorian District||4||3|
|Garibaldi's||Seafood||In & Around The City Market||2||1|
|Huey's||American Regional||On the River||2||2|
|Il Pasticcio||Italian||Historic District||2||1|
|Johnny Harris Restaurant||American||In the Victorian District||2||1|
|Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room||American Regional||Historic District||1||2|
|Ruan Thai||Thai||In & Around The City Market||1||1|
|Sapphire Grill||American Regional||Historic District||4||2|
|Shrimp Factory||Seafood||On the River||2||1|
|Six Pence Pub||American||Historic District||1||1|
|The Chart House||Steaks/Chops||On the River||3||2|
|The Lady and Sons||American Regional||On the River||1||3|
|The Olde Pink House Restaurant||Seafood||Historic District||3||3|
|Vic's on the River||American Regional||Historic District||2||2|
|17 Hundred 90 Lounge||Bars & Pubs||1|
|Bernie's||Bars & Pubs||1|
|Chuck's Bar||Gay & Lesbian Bars||1|
|Club One||Gay & Lesbian Bars||3|
|Gallery Espresso||Bars & Pubs||1|
|Kevin Barry's Irish Pub||Bars & Pubs||1|
|Mellow Mushroom||Bars & Pubs||1|
|Mercury Lounge||Bars & Pubs||1|
|Planters Tavern||The Club & Music Scene||1|
|Savannah Smiles||Bars & Pubs||1|
|Alex Raskin Antiques||Antiques||1|
|E. Shaver, Bookseller||Bookstores||1|
|J. D. Weed & Co||Antiques||1|
|John Tucker Fine Arts||Art||1|
|Morning Star Gallery||Art||1|
|Plantation Sweet Vidalia Onions||Food||1|
|River Street Sweets||Food||1|
|Savannah's Candy Kitchen||Food||1|
|The Christmas Shop||Gifts||1|
|The Paula Deen Store||Kitchenware||1|
|Andrew Low House||Historic Site||1|
|Davenport House Museum||Museum||1|
|Green-Meldrim Home||Historic Site||1|
|Juliette Gordon Low's Birthplace||Historic Site||1|
|Massie Heritage Interpretation Center||Historic Site||1|
|Owen-Thomas House and Museum||Historic Site||2|
|Savannah History Museum||Museum||1|
|Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum||Museum||1|
|Telfair Mansion and Art Museum||Museum||2|
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