Hotel at a Glance: Inn at Ellis Square
The Inn at Ellis Square has been a part of Savannah’s historic Bay Street for so long that it’s earned a distinguished nickname: locals call it the Grand Lady on Bay Street. The hotel makes its home in the Guckenheimer building, which has stood on Ellis Square since before the Civil War. The square boasts a rich history as one of the first built in Savannah during the 18th century.
- Nearby attractions include City Market and the Savannah River.
- Sip a cocktail amid old-fashioned chandeliers and crimson leather sofas at the onsite Dominique’s Lounge.
- Marketplace Breakfast Room helps guests refuel with deluxe continental breakfast on the house.
- Guest rooms and suites feature cable TV and free wireless or high-speed Internet.
- Fitness center stocked with stationary bikes, ellipticals, and treadmills<p>
Savannah, Georgia: Historical Mansions and a Lively River Walk
Founded in 1733 as Georgia’s first town, Savannah is not only one of the most graceful cities in the South but also one of the most historic. The old but well-preserved architecture landed it on Forbes’s 2011 list of America’s Best Downtowns, and Travel + Leisure dubbed it one of the World’s Best Cities for the way it “reveres its heritage.” You can see this in the city’s 22 famous public squares, which play host to some famous landmarks, such as antebellum-era houses framed by moss-covered oak trees. Head to Oglethorpe Square to see the Owens-Thomas House, an English Regency–style mansion completed in 1819 that now serves as a museum; tours here depart from the original carriage house and go past its charming English-style parterre garden.
Another relic of Savannah’s past, River Street curves for about a mile along Savannah River’s south bank. The cobblestone walkways are lined with 100-year-old cotton warehouses that have been converted into antique shops, brewpubs, and galleries. Explore the riverfront in style aboard one of the Old Town sightseeing trolleys or during a horse-drawn carriage tour. Though the street is tamer than it was a few decades ago⎯when it was overrun with muscle cars and rowdy sailors⎯there’s still plenty of energy here, with a lively pub scene and views of large ships lumbering toward the dock.
A five-minute walk west will take you to the City Market, a four-block public meeting space on the edge of downtown. This section of Savannah’s sprawling historic district has established itself as one of the city’s top destinations for entertainment and dining thanks to the many artists’ studios, open-air restaurants, and taverns found here.