This quirky hotel built in 1964 features retro roadside-motel decor and complimentary Southern sweets
Hotel at a Glance: Thunderbird Inn
The Thunderbird Inn feels like a classic 1960s motel gone rogue. The newly renovated inn’s L-shaped frame is punctuated with vibrant pops of color, and its neon roadside sign almost always displays a zany message. Guest rooms match the theme with hip furnishings and artwork. Nostalgic touches that include old typewriters and complimentary MoonPies on every pillow are the icing on the cake. This edgy-meets-vintage vibe earned the inn a spot on USA Today’s list of the 10 Best Retro Hotels in the USA.
- Still cool after 50 years: The inn celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014.
- Tasty snacks include freshly made popcorn, RC Cola, and Krispy Kreme donuts.
- Attention dog lovers: Pups staying at the Thunderbird are presented with beds and treats. The staff at the front desk is happy to provide you with the names of pet-friendly shops, cafes, tours, and parks along with preferred Savannah pet etiquette. There’s even an enclosed dog run on the property.
- Earth-conscious upgrades include eco-friendly private baths, recycling, and solar panels so you can feel good about your stay.
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 dubbed it one of the top cities in the United States and Canada in 2013. The city’s 22 famous public squares 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. A short walk west of River Street will take you to the City Market, a four-block public meeting space on the edge of downtown.