Savannah, GA


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A very walkable downtown featuring a wealth of historically and architecturally unique buildings, all nestled about a grid formed by a series of park-like squares, makes Savannah, Georgia, a unique destination for history lovers and outdoor buffs alike. Shopping and dining opportunities abound downtown in areas such as River Street, City Market, and Broughton Street. Nearby Tybee Island offers miles of beaches for seashore lovers; meanwhile, the Hilton Head Island resort is is famous for its fine dining and 24 on-island championship golf courses.

Must see in Savannah
Savannah's must-see attraction is its system of 22 public squares in the city's downtown National Landmark Historic District. Built between 1733 and 1851, 21 of them are urban green spaces with majestic Live Oak trees, benches, floral displays, broad sidewalks, and fascinating monuments documenting historic people and events, while the other one features underground parking and fountains for kids to splash in during hot weather.

Where to stay in Savannah
The Savannah area offers a broad range of accommodations to fit the budgets and lifestyles of travelers looking from everything from romantic getaways to family vacations. The downtown area is best known for both its charming bed-and-breakfast inns, as well as major multi-story luxury hotels. In the suburbs, hotels and motels of all types and brands are located near the airport and on the south side of the city. Meanwhile, nearby Tybee Island has numerous hotels, condos and beach homes for rent by those looking for a beachside vacation.

When to go to Savannah
With its temperate climate, just about anytime is a great time for a visit to Savannah. Prime periods include the spring, particularly from mid-April to late May, when the city's floral array comes fully into bloom; and autumn, from mid-October through the end of the year. Summer days can be extremely hot and humid. Winter, meanwhile, is wet but generally relatively warm. Also, the city can be very crowded, both people- and traffic-wise, during its famous St. Patrick's Day festivities.

Where to get lost in Savannah
Wander the squares downtown and take a tree-lined trip back in time. Or walk River Street, Broughton Street, or the City Market and enjoy some people-watching, while at the same time visiting whatever store, pub, or restaurant catches your eye along the way.

The best deal in Savannah
Purchase a triple-site pass from Telfair Museums and enjoy substantial discounts on visits to The Owens-Thomas House, a treat for both history fans and students of building architecture; the Telfair Academy, home to nineteenth- and twentieth-century American and European art; and Jepson Center, featuring exhibitions of contemporary art.

Local tip for visitors to Savannah
Leave plenty of time to enjoy Savannah's ever-growing restaurant scene, which has something for everybody when it comes to variety of cuisines, from down-home Southern to Continental to cutting-edge fusion, offered at all sorts of price points.

Author's bio: Martin Sinderman is a freelance writer as well as owner/operator of Savannah Sidewalk Tours, a walking-tour company.