How to Spend a Long Weekend in Savannah, Georgia

This cultural haven is the perfect place for a long weekend getaway.

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Savannah, Georgia is one of the most captivating cities in the South, thanks to the dreamy combination of its lush landscape, sense of history and old-fashioned Southern charm. Whether you’re a foodie, history buff, nature lover or architecture enthusiast, Savannah truly has something for everyone—the picturesque yet quirky coastal city is the perfect place for a long weekend getaway.

While Savannah is often overlooked in favor of popular spots like Charleston or New Orleans, it's time to give the city it's due. Along with a plethora of idyllic luxury hotels, Savannah’s culinary scene has also become a major attraction as of late, with an impressive roster of innovative chefs taking advantage of the state’s local resources to build robust menus inspired by the surrounding landscape.

The longstanding creative presence of the Savannah College of Art and Design fuels a dynamic and artistic atmosphere throughout the entire city, and there are plenty of historic museums and attractions among the cobblestone streets worth a visit—and don't forget to stop at the Forrest Gump bench on Chippewa Square. Aside from its obvious small town allure, Savannah is also a wonderfully eccentric spot—founded in 1773, Savannah is considered to be one of America’s most haunted cities, and features several eerily beautiful cemeteries (Bonaventure Cemetery is a standout).

Now that you're ready to pack your bags and head to the the charming coastal community, check out our guide on what to do when you visit Savannah. 

Where to Stay

Alida Hotel

  • 412 Williamson Street, Savannah, GA 31401

Alida opened in 2018, and quickly became a River Street hot spot loved by locals and visitors alike. The hotel features creations by SCAD in each room, offering a reminder that one of the best art and design schools in the country is found right in the neighborhood. The 173-room hotel offers three places to eat and drink: The Lost Square, an outdoor rooftop bar; Rhett, a restaurant that specializes in Southern coastal dishes;  and the Trade Room lobby bar. The rooftop saltwater pool, complete with private cabanas, is especially popular during those sweltering Georgia summer. 

The Alida Cabana Club. The Alida

Perry Lane Hotel

  • 256 E Perry Street, Savannah, GA 31401

If you want to be right in the middle of the action, then book a stay at the Perry Lane Hotel. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a scene from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in this elegant 167-room property, which channels old school Savannah, but with a modern twist. Plus, it’s just steps away from the Spanish moss-covered Forsyth Park, the oldest and largest public park in Savannah.

The hotel boasts an impressive art collection and three dining options, including the recently reopened Peregrin rooftop bar. Relaunched in collaboration with innovation studio SCADPro, the rooftop features a nature-inspired mural and a checkerboard floor pattern evocative of an Alice in Wonderland sense of whimsy. Take in views of St. John the Baptist Cathedral as you sip on carefully crafted cocktails and snacks by chef Daniel Herget.

Peregrin at Perry Lane. Perry Lane

JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District

  • 400 W River St, Savannah, GA 31401

If you’re looking for something different than the expected Southern boutique hotel, try this 430-room property, right on the riverfront. It’s composed of three buildings: the nautical-themed Atlantic Building, which has a rooftop pool and bar, the classic European-style Three Muses and the Power Plant Building which, as you may have guessed, is in an old power plant. The latter has been entirely refurbished, with bright-colored carpets, bold artwork and a massive fossil collection, which includes a chrome-dipped model dinosaur fossil hanging in the lobby, nicknamed Chromina Joule.

JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District. Terry Allen

Where to Eat

Husk Savannah

  • 12 W Oglethorpe Ave, Savannah, GA 31401

Craving Lowcountry classics with an innovative twist? Husk, which has a sister restaurant of the same name in Charleston, sources directly from local farmers and the waterways. Located right in the middle of the historic district in a restored 19th-century house, Husk is known for its 12 varieties of regional oysters, with a menu that is updated daily. The restaurant, which features an open kitchen, also offers over 200 wine options.

Husk Savannah. Husk

The Olde Pink House Restaurant

  • 232 Abercorn St, Savannah, GA 31401

Initially built as a private home by James Habersham, Jr. in 1771, the Olde Pink House Restaurant has since been transformed into an upscale eatery that epitomizes Southern hospitality, complete with 13 unique dining spaces adorned with portraits and chandeliers. Locals and tourists alike clamor to get their hands on the cornbread biscuits, crab beignets and shrimp and grits “sushi,” so we recommend making a dinner reservation a few months in advance. As for its signature pink color? It was actually a mistake—Habersham used red brick for the foundation, which bled into the white plaster. He kept trying to cover it, but when Alida Harper Fowlkes bought the property in 1930, she embraced the hue and converted it into a tea room.

Cotton & Rye

  • 1801 Habersham St, Savannah, GA 31401

No matter how busy you are during your time in Savannah, you must make your way to Cotton & Rye. Everything is made in-house (even the crackers), and all the ingredients are locally-sourced. Housed in a midcentury former bank building, you can’t go wrong with any of the items on the menu, from the fried chicken thighs to the grilled trout. Finish with a slice of the much-lauded peanut butter pie and a glass of whiskey.

Cotton & Rye. Cotton & Rye

The Collins Quarter

  • 621 Drayton St, Savannah, GA 31401
  • 151 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401

For a bit of Australian flair at your brunch, head over to either of the two Collins Quarter locations for shakshuka-style grits and spiced lavender mochas. The bustling restaurant is always full of energy, and if you want to enjoy a boozy brunch, try the Bloody Mary. Though the eatery is best known for brunch and breakfast, their dinner is also quite strong.

Where to Drink

Savoy Society

  • 102 E Liberty St Ste 109, Savannah, GA 31401

With a strong retro vibe including funky furniture, vinyl music and cleverly-named cocktails, Savoy Society is a place to see and be seen. Nibble on snacks including a cheeseboard and pickled deviled eggs, pick a juicy cocktail and enjoy the people-watching. Owners Joshua Holland and Matt Garappolo aimed to combine some of the magic of nearby beloved dive bar (and a favorite watering hole of former President Jimmy Carter’s) Pinkie Masters—now a late-night sandwich shop—and the Diplomat Luncheonette.

Six Pence Pub

  • 245 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401

Savannah is regarded as one of the most haunted cities in the U.S., so tourists have their pick of ghost tours. A haunted pub crawl is surely one of the most fun options on these walking tours, especially if it features the Six Pence Pub. Dine on British pub favorites like Scotch eggs and Welsh rarebit, though you could also just opt for nachos. As for its inclusion in the haunted pub crawl? Pots have been known to go flying off countertops, and light bulbs will occasionally burst out of their sockets. Nothing like a bit of Savannah ghost ambiance with a pint.

Six Pence Pub. Jacob Mathers

What to Do

Shop at the Paris Market and Brocante

  • 36 W Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401

The Paris Market and Brocante is modeled after the bazaars and flea markets of Milan, Rome, Florence and London, and you just might  want to make multiple trips to make sure you take it all in. Every corner of the two-level city market store is delightfully crammed with furniture, home decor, dishes, vintage clothes, toys and an extensive assortment of ornaments during the holidays, plus a cafe to keep you stuffed with pastries and hopped-up on cappuccinos. For other shopping, the Savannah Forsyth Farmers’ Market, at the intersection of Bull Street and Park Avenue, is always a great Saturday option, and the home goods and clothing store Asher + Rye looks like something out of Gwyneth Paltrow’s dreams.

Take a Trip to Tybee Island

If you do find yourself wanting to get away from the city and you've gotten in all your sightseeing, consider a day trip to Tybee Island. It’s about a 30-minute drive from downtown Savannah, and there’s also a $10 shuttle bus. Didn’t bring your beach supplies? No worries. The town caters to impromptu visits, with plenty of little shops. When you aren’t basking in the rays on the beaches, take a long walk to the Tybee Island Light Station and Museum for a self-guided tour. The pier is also particularly photographable. Watch the sunset or have an adventurous lunch at The Crab Shack, where you can feed real gators as you dine on a low country boil. If you want to explore further, head out to Moon River District and see the real Moon River that Savannah native Johnny Mercer based his beloved song of the same name.

Tybee Island. Tyler Edic for Unsplash

Do a Candy Crawl

You can barely go a block in Savannah without spotting a candy store. Savannah’s Candy Kitchen, a mom-and-pop-type shop that also offers fudge, toffee, candy apples, pies and cakes, has two locations in the city. If you don’t find enough sugar there, venture over to one of River Street Sweets’ three outposts. Similar to Savannah’s Candy Kitchen, this store has a vintage vibe and is known for its saltwater taffy, pralines, hand-dipped ice cream and a wide variety of truffles.

If you want something more modern, head over to the city's latest confectionary delight, OMG! Candy Store. The very Instagrammable shop, which also has a location in Charleston, sells an extensive variety of modern and vintage candy, making it impossible to have a bad time.

OMG! Candy Store. OMG! Candy

Experience Savannah History and Culture at the Museums

So much of the work of SCAD is intrinsically woven into the fabric of the city, but you can see it all come together at the SCAD Museum of Art. It serves visitors and students alike, and features 10 dynamic gallery spaces presenting exhibitions and commissioned works by international emerging and established artists. Exhibitions range from painting, sculpture and photography to digital media, fashion and jewelry, complementing the artistic disciplines offered at the university. The Evans Center for African American Studies, established in 2011, celebrates Black art and culture, and is a must-visit.

In the Savannah Historic District, the Telfair Museum is another worthy stop, composed of the Jepson Center, Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters and Telfair Academy. Less than a 10-minute walk away, there's also the Prohibition Museum, which transports visitors through the history of the prohibition movement. If you're hungry, make sure to book a reservation at The Grey, right nearby.

The SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia. Courtesy of SCAD/ Aman Shakya

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