Hotel at a Glance: Best Western Plus Savannah Historic District
This Best Western Plus lies just inside the neatly laid-out grid of Savannah’s 18th-century Historic District. It makes an ideal home base for exploring the city’s Georgian, Greek Revival, and Gothic buildings and numerous public squares.
- Ride for free: Savannah runs free streetcars and shuttles throughout the Historic District and a ferry to Hutchinson Island (the landing is just a 10-minute walk from the hotel).
- A walk in the park: Stone walkways at Forsyth Park (about 1.5 miles south of the hotel) lead through groves of oaks draped with spanish moss to an enormous fountain.
- Free breakfast includes cereal, fresh fruit, yogurt, eggs, and toast.
- Swanky digs: Guest rooms feature painted brick walls, granite bathrooms, and upgraded fixtures and bedding.
- Worth a day trip: Tybee Island, a laid-back beach community with a sandy shoreline containing historic forts and a lighthouse, is just a 30-minute drive away.
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 the most historic. The old but well-preserved architecture landed it on Forbes’s 2011 list of America’s Best Downtowns, and Travel + Leisure recently 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 agowhen it was overrun with muscle cars and rowdy sailorsthere’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.