Founded in 1733 as Georgia's first town, Savannah is one of the most graceful cities in the South. It’s also one of the most gracious, in terms of providing things to do. The city’s historic architecture is well preserved in its 22 public squares, which play host to famous landmarks and 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. The house now serves as a museum, and tours that depart from the original carriage house go past a charming English–style parterre garden.
Another relic of Savannah's past, River Street curves for about a mile along the 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. River Street is also home to Savannah’s Candy Kitchen, which has been crafting signature pralines for more than three decades. 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.
Savannah’s restaurant scene is as much an attraction as its historic sites. Tucked away in the Ellis Square District, Goose Feathers dishes out European–style sandwiches and Southern baked goods, the latter group of which includes a signature Whoopie Pie. Back in the Day Bakery, the riverside Aqua Star Restaurant, and First Friday Oyster Roasts at The Westin Savannah Harbor also contribute meaningfully to Savannah’s culinary culture.
It seems that not only tourists are attracted to Savannah. Ghosts and other supernatural entities take over the streets at night, providing enough spooks to sustain the city’s reputation as one of America’s most haunted. Explore the eerie parks and alleyways with the help of Savannah Tours on Foot, a group of paranormal enthusiasts that leads tours and pub crawls to the city’s most bone-chilling locales.
For people who are looking to revel in the spirit of the old South, many attractions retain their historic appeal.