Make Yourself at Home in the Hostess City of the South
When you travel to Savannah, take along a reverence for the past and a penchant for romance. You'll also want to pack a spirit of adventure, because Georgia's first city is full of surprises. There are plenty of things for couples to do as well as fun things to do with friends.
Savannah's 22 public squares are a source of civic pride. After losing two of the 24 original squares to development by the 1950s, preservationists stepped in to protect the remainder. Surrounded by lovely restored houses and dotted with monuments, statuary, fountains and relics, Savannah's lush pocket parks serve as outdoor museums, begging your patronage. Discover some of the prettiest along Bull and Abercorn streets.
AAA/Michael L. Camarano
This destination city woos romantics to its doorstep with handsomely appointed historic inns that transport guests to another era. To complete the seduction, restaurant choices range from fine nouvelle Southern cuisine by candlelight to down-home-dining hot spots such as celebrity chef Paula Deen's The Lady & Sons. Horse-drawn carriage rides, riverboat cruises and trolley tours offer carefree sightseeing options, while museums of art, history and maritime heritage provide hours of casual browsing through outstanding exhibits and collections. Entertainment runs the gamut from live jazz at City Market to live theater at three performance venues.
If it's excitement and adventure travel you seek, nothing spikes the adrenaline like a ghost walk through a cemetery. Experts on paranormal activity rank Savannah high on their most-haunted-city lists. For history buffs, a world of discovery awaits at old forts, plantation sites and lighthouses. And those seeking outdoor activities have easy access to Tybee Island's natural resources for swimming, kayaking, fishing or ecotouring.
By CarAccess to the city is available from the interstate highways—I-95, I-16 and I-516. Jim Gillis Historic Savannah Parkway (I-16, SR 404) connects Macon with Savannah. A major freeway, Veterans Parkway, connects downtown Savannah with Georgetown. Others include the Coastal Highway (US 17), Harry S Truman Parkway and US 80. For the most updated routing information, use a detailed map of the city or consult a AAA Travel professional.
Street SystemSavannah is a gridded city, with 22 historic public squares. Most visitors will spend time in the Savannah Historic District, which is bounded by the Savannah River, East Broad Street, Gwinnett Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. Main thoroughfares include East Broughton, Bull, East Bay and River streets.
ParkingOn-street parking can be scarce; group travel offers an alternative means to see Savannah. Visitors can otherwise expect to pay about $10 per day in private parking spaces. Five city-owned garages are available throughout the city, with rates $1-$2 for the first hour, with daily maximum usually $16-$20. There are six city-owned surface lots available, with rates ranging around $0.50-$2 an hour. After enforced hours and during the weekend, most lots owned by the city are free. Free on-street parking is available Sunday only, just north of Liberty Street. Parking fees may vary during the weekend and special events.
A visitor parking pass offers the most affordable way to park on vacation; visitors can buy a one-day pass for $15 or two-day pass for $24 from either the Savannah Visitor Center (301 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.) or the Mobility & Parking Services (100 E. Bryan St.).
Public TransportationChatham Area Transit (CAT) has 15 bus routes in the city and Chatham County. One-way fare is $1.50; passes may vary.
DOT provides fare-free service in the Savannah Historic District. Shuttles run between 24 stops Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m.-midnight, Sat. 10 a.m.-midnight, Sun. 10-9. Savannah Belles Ferries connect downtown to Hutchinson Island daily 7 a.m.- 12:30 a.m. and 7-6 from Waving Girl Landing.
In-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. All hotels must meet the same basic requirements for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality to be AAA Approved. A rating of one to five AAA Diamonds tells members what type of experience to expect, from no-frills to highly personalized.
The sales tax rate for Savannah is 7%. The state of Georgia adds a $5 per night fee on all hotel-motel stays less than 31 days.
Candler Hospital (912) 819-6000; Memorial Health (912) 350-8000; St. Joseph’s Hospital (912) 819-4100.
301 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Savannah, GA 31402. Phone:(912)944-0455
Some major carriers serve the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV), 15 miles from the historic district.
Hertz, (800) 654-3080, is at the airport and offers discounts to AAA members.
The Amtrak train station, (800) 872-7245, is at 2611 Seaboard Coastline Dr.
Service is provided by Southeastern Stages, (912) 232-2135, and Greyhound Lines Inc., (800) 231-2222, at 610 W. Oglethorpe Ave.
Cab companies include Yellow Cab of Savannah, (912) 224-3298 or (912) 236-1133 (base fare is $2 with a rate of $1.92 per mile), and Chatham Cab, (912) 691-4466 (base fare is $2.28 with a rate of 38c per 1/6 mile).
Bus service is provided by Chatham Area Transit (CAT); phone (912) 233-5767 for information about routes and schedules.