Immerse Yourself in Culture
Though Savannahians enjoy taking it easy and basking in the city’s beauty, we’re still city dwellers who appreciate art, culture and good food. Savannah has variety of notable annual cultural festivals, among them the Savannah Music Festival, Savannah Film Festival and Savannah Book Festival.
Savannah has always been a haven for creative minds, providing inspiration for native son Johnny Mercer, who penned the classic song “Moon River,” and countless writers including Conrad Aiken and Flannery O’Connor. The city remains just as culturally relevant today, with an array of art galleries and museums, acclaimed annual festivals and more.
A Burgeoning Food Scene
Savannah’s food scene has exploded in the past few years and has it all, from world-class establishments to eateries in marshland settings with dress codes so casual, you can go barefoot. Southern home cooking practically started here, and our just-caught-off-the-boat seafood couldn’t be fresher.
What you might not expect, though, are the special places that gourmets around the world place on their lists of culinary “must-tastes.” Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room, Elizabeth on 37th
, the Olde Pink House, Local 11ten, and Hugh Acheson’s newest restaurant, The Florence, have all received accolades.
Savannah also features many food festivals including the Savannah Food and Wine Festival, Jewish Food Festival, Tybee Island Wine Festival, BBQ & Blues Festival and more. There are several farmers’ markets including Forsyth Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning.
When the sun goes down, Savannah's history sleeps and the night comes alive with music, dining and fun.
There is a wide array of venues sure to please everyone, from pubs and underground taverns to jazz clubs and tapas bars. Hear jazz and blues — or bluegrass. Go salsa or swing dancing. Sing along in a piano bar or puff away in a cigar bar. The coffee houses and clubs throughout the city provide live music and lively conversation.
Savannah also offers evening tours, outdoor concerts, theater performances and frequent fireworks and festivals. Theoretically, you could stay out all night —although we do suggest that you get some sleep to keep up with the daytime fun.
Shop Until You Drop
Savannah’s shops run the gamut, from unique locally owned boutiques to major retail chains. The Historic District is a popular shopping destination, featuring a mix of clothing boutiques, galleries, gourmet markets and upscale national chains.
Oglethorpe Mall and Savannah Mall offer more traditional retail therapy, along with several notable shopping centers on the Southside and in Midtown Savannah.
In 2015, the Outlet Mall of Georgia, located in the burgeoning city of Pooler, will offer another shopping opportunity.
Annual Events and Celebrations
Savannah’s roster of annual events
and festivals is impressive and diverse. Savannah may be best known for its annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration. The city’s parade is the second largest in the nation and draws hundreds of thousands of visitors from near and far.
Music lovers of all genres have reason to celebrate the Savannah Music Festival, which features an exciting array of musical talent from around the world. The free Savannah Jazz Festival has been a tradition for more than three decades. And the new Savannah Stopover festival is putting Savannah on the map as a destination for alternative and rock music.
The star-studded Savannah Film Festival, sponsored by the Savannah College of Art and Design, showcases some of the best filmmakers in the world. SCAD also sponsors three other prominent annual festivals — the Sidewalk Arts Festival, International Festival and Sand Arts Festival.
Local literati get to rub elbows with world-famous authors at the Savannah Book Festival, which has featured past guests such as Stephen King, James Patterson and Dave Berry. Little literati can get in on the act too at the annual Children’s Book Festival, an outdoor event that has showcased the talents of some of the best children’s authors and illustrators in the business.
Savannahians love food and have several tasty annual food festivals to prove it. The popular Greek Festival and Shalom Y’all Jewish Food Festival are perennial favorites, while the new Savannah Food and Wine Festival has already attracted attention from world-class chefs.
Other festivals and events include the Savannah Craft Brew Festival, Picnic in the Park, Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and ½ Marathon, Oktoberfest, Fashion Week, Latino Heritage Festival, Scottish Games, Telfair Art on Tap, Tour of Homes, Savannah Pride, First Saturday on the River and many more.
Art Galleries and Museums
Art buffs will never run out of things to do in Savannah. The city has more than 60 art galleries — more than 200 percent more per capita than New York City. Art aficionados will appreciate the variety of art on display, from fine art to modern masterpieces.
Savannah’s art museums feature art spanning the centuries. The Telfair Museums’ three sites, the Telfair Academy, Jepson Center and Owens-Thomas House, feature impressive collections with works by artists such as Jasper Johns, George Bellows and Roy Lichtenstein, along with the largest public collection of visual art by Kahlil Gibran.
SCAD has a variety of museums including the SCAD Museum of Art, a 2014 AIA Institute Honor Award for Architecture winner. The museum’s permanent collection boasts works by artists such as Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol and includes rotating exhibits.