There’s no shortage of accolades for beautiful Savannah, Ga. Livability.com ranks it “A Top 10 Romantic City,” while Travel + Leisure says it’s the “Best City for Affordable Getaway” – two great reasons to make your way there.
“The Hostess City of the South,” is on the Savannah River, about 20 minutes from the Atlantic and Tybee Island, known as Savannah’s backyard beach. The oldest city in Georgia, Savannah ( www.visitsavannah.com) is also an important seaport.
Get your bearings with a city tour – by trolley, carriage, group bike or river cruise. You’ll find there is a cruise for just about any topic (info: http://bit.ly/1kM9tXV).
The list of must-sees is lengthy. Start out with a visit to City Market ( www.savannahcitymarket.com) and soak up the authentic feel of the city. Covering four blocks within the historic district, it displays the works of artists in many mediums, presents music and has great dining and shopping. Stroll along Riverfront Plaza and Factors’ Walk where renovated 19th-century cotton warehouses and passageways now house shops and restaurants.
Architecture is a big draw. Visitors can spend many delightful hours meandering through fascinating buildings, including old government structures and magnificent churches. Savannah is famous for its park-like squares: The historic district contains 22 of them ( http://bit.ly/1hceeV2).
Visit the Telfair Museum of Art ( www.telfair.org), the oldest public museum in the South. “Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain” exhibit will be open through May 4. Plan ahead to take in a show at one of the many performance venues, including the Savannah Theatre ( www.savannahtheatre.com) and the Johnny Mercer Theatre ( www.savannahcivic.com).
Savannah is serious about festivals and Rousakis Riverfront Plaza ( http://bit.ly/1kRfAud) is the perfect backdrop. Join the many seafood lovers on May 2-3 for the River Street Seafood Fest. On June 6-7, it’s all about the second annual Blues, Jazz & BBQ Festival. Come celebrate American patriotism at the River Street Fourth of July Festival & Fireworks Extravaganza, July 4-6. Follow your nose to the first-ever Bacon Fest weekend Sept. 5-6.
Tybee Island ( www.tybeeisland.com) offers an abundance of options for outdoor recreation, including boating, fishing, hiking, kayaking and cycling. Sign up at Moon River Kayak Tours ( www.moonriverkayak.com) where eagles and ospreys accompany you on your ride through the Lowcountry estuary.
If it’s a romantic getaway you are seeking, escort your significant other to Alligator Soul ( www.alligatorsoul.com), 22 Squared at the Andaz ( www.savannah.andaz.hyatt.com) or Vik’s on the River ( www.vicsontheriver.com) – all known for their romantic atmospheres. Join long-standing traditions at Belford’s Savannah Restaurant ( www.belfordssavannah.com) where steak and seafood rule. Take your Lowcountry appetite for a modern spin at A. Lure ( www.aluresavannah.com). Allow the chef at Leoci’s Trattoria ( www.leocis.com) to build your Italian culinary fantasy. Plant yourself firmly in the South at The Lady and Sons ( www.ladyandsons.com), the restaurant of Paula Deen and family. Don’t abandon your evening before stopping in at Lulu’s Chocolate Bar ( www.luluschocolatebar.net), Savannah’s award-winning dessert restaurant, for a specialty cocktail. How does a Lulutini made with Van Gogh chocolate vodka, Meletti Ciocolatto liqueur, crème de Cacao and real chocolate sound?
Wake up in the morning with a trip to Goose Feathers Café ( www.goosefeatherscafe.com), Savannah’s hot spot for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Come for a tasting of many types and flavors of honey and learn about the magic of bees and beekeeping at the Savannah Bee Company ( www.savannahbee.com). Zenda Douglas