Top 5 Best Things To Do in Savannah

Savannah, a must-visit destination. Named a Pursuitist 5-Star Gold Award winner for 2023.

Pursuitist presents our insider’s guide to the Top 5 Best Things To Do in Savannah, curated by renowned luxury travel expert and journalist Christopher Parr. Named a “Top 10 Luxury Travel Blogger” by USA Today, Parr has also been selected as the official winner in Luxury Lifestyle Awards’ 2023 list of the “Top 50 Best Luxury Influencers and Bloggers in the World.” Join us, as Parr serves as your guide for a wonderful 48-hour pursuit in Savannah, sharing the best the city has to offer its visitors.

Pursuitist 5-Star Gold Award - The Best of the Best in LuxurySavannah, Georgia has been proudly recognized by Pursuitist as a premier travel destination for 2023, earning the distinguished Pursuitist 5-Star Gold Award. The ultimate luxury travel insider Pursuitist recently explored this charming Southern city and discovered the can’t miss places to eat, stay, shop and play for a quick 48 hour trip. With its leafy squares, historic homes, and lively art scene, Savannah entices visitors to slow down and savor its ambience. Follow Pursuitist’s must-do itinerary for making the most of a weekend in this enthralling Historic riverside town with Southern charm and modern luxury.

Where to Stay

Make your homebase one of Savannah’s newest luxury hotels, like the Perry Lane Hotel located in the hip Historic District. This 167-room property, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, strikes the perfect balance between Southern charm and modern indulgence. Sip coffee on your balcony overlooking the courtyard pool and enjoy complimentary bike rentals to explore Savannah’s squares. Rates start around $350 per night.

Perry Lane Hotel, part of Marriott's Autograph Collection
Perry Lane Hotel, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection

The Pursuitist Tips:

  • Book a courtyard view room for the full Perry Lane vibe.
  • Take advantage of the nightly complimentary wine reception.
  • Don’t miss small details like the sweet treats at turndown service.

Or opt for the iconic Mansion on Forsyth Park, known for its grand 700-piece art collection. This 125-room Victorian Romanesque Revival property sits right next to the 30-acre Forsyth Park. Enjoy the cooking classes and food tours included in your stay. Rates begin around $389 per night.

Please note and visit fast – the Mansion will shut down on July 31. The Mansion on Forsyth Park has a new name – “Hotel Bardo Savannah” – and is currently in the process of a major renovation. It is expected to reopen fully in February 2024. The team being the Perry Lane project are leading the new Bardo Savannah project – so we’re excited by this decision and direction. 

Inside the Mansion on Forsyth Park
Inside the Mansion on Forsyth Park

The Pursuitist Tips:

  • Request a park view room to overlook the iconic fountain.
  • Make time for a signature treatment at Poseidon Spa.
  • Take advantage of the nightly complimentary craft cocktail hour.

Savannah offers old world charm paired with indulgent amenities for an quintessential Southern escape. Relax in your historic lodgings before setting out to explore the city.

Where to Eat & Drink

Make your first Savannah stop the Grey, a chic eatery by Johno Morisano and Chef Mashama Bailey  that is housed in a converted 1938 art deco Greyhound bus terminal. Chef Mashama has garnered national acclaim for her inventive Southern dishes like chicken bog and lobster mac and cheese. The Grey, one of my all-time favorite restaurants, never fails to delight and surprise diners with its seasonal ingredients and constantly changing menu of inventive comfort food. Beyond its inventive cuisine, the Grey impresses with its cool, converted space in Savannah’s Historic District, exuding a warm and welcoming spirit.

Johno Morisano and Chef Mashama Baile of The Grey
Johno Morisano and Chef Mashama Baile of The Grey
The Grey remains one of my favorite culinary discoveries

The Pursuitist Tips:

  • Opt for a cocktail like the El Colectivo with juice made in-house.
  • Make reservations in advance as walk-ins are not accepted.
  • Ask your server for recommendations to get a taste of Savannah’s Lowcountry cuisine.

In the evening, indulge in the ultimate farm-to-table experience at Local 11 Ten. Chef Brett Cavanna sources from farmers and producers within 100 miles to craft dishes like rare seared yellowfin tuna or the pan roasted pork chop. The dark, sultry interior matches the rich seasonal offerings. Also check out their outdoor space Perch, a Savannah rooftop oasis featuring live music, appetizers and cocktails.

Perch at Local 11 Ten
Perch at Local 11 Ten

The Pursuitist Tips:

  • Have a pre-dinner drink at the adjoining Raw bar.
  • Save room for creative desserts like the lard pie.
  • Make reservations well ahead of time to sample this hotspot.

After dinner, head to the Fitzroy, a spirited gastropub with Australian-inspired fare in the heart of downtown Savannah. Sidle up to the striking black marble bar and sip creative cocktails like the Running Up That Hill made with Barr Hill Gin. Or opt for the Hemingway Daquiri, created with Plantation White Rum. As the evening progresses, the vintage-filled lounge becomes even livelier with live music from Savannah’s talented local musicians. Their sounds pair perfectly with the Fitzroy’s good-time vibe and inventive elixirs. Beyond cocktails, visitors can also enjoy elevated pub grub like grilled meat pies or avocado toast at dinner or weekend brunch. The moody interior provides a cozy retreat, but the real star is the sunshine-soaked rooftop, overlooking bustling Broughton Street. Whether you stop in for a drink or a full meal, the Fitzroy offers a taste of Australian-inspired revelry and hospitality in Savannah.

The Pursuitist at The Fitzroy
The Pursuitist at The Fitzroy

The Pursuitist Tips:

  • Ask the bartenders for bespoke cocktail recommendations
  • You must order the Sweet & Spicy Pork Skins at the Fitzroy
  • Come on the earlier side before it gets crowded.
  • Check out the curated vinyl collection between sets.

With celebrated Southern chefs putting a novel spin on regional cuisine, Savannah’s food and drink scene shines through with flair and flavor.

What to Do

After fueling up, start your cultural explorations by wandering through the 22 verdant squares dotted throughout the Historic District. As Savannah was laid out in 1733, original city planners James Oglethorpe and William Bull integrated these small parks throughout the grid. Today, locals and visitors alike love relaxing amid the fountains and monuments.

The Pursuitist Tips:

  • Pick up a picnic from savory deli Zunzi’s to dine al fresco.
  • Time your visit for March when the squares burst into bloom for the annual Tour of Homes where historic houses are open to the public.
  • Grab a bench in Chippewa Square where Forrest Gump sat for his famous bus stop scene.
Forrest Gumpin’ It (in the wrong Square)

Next dive into Savannah’s vibrant art scene with a visit to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Museum of Art. Housed in what was once the oldest railroad facility in the world, this contemporary museum showcases innovative exhibitions along with pieces from SCAD’s permanent collection. Be sure to check out the André Leon Talley Gallery, named for the Vogue editor and SCAD graduate. Admission is free.

The Pursuitist Tips:

  • Ask the docents for background on the architecture along with the art.
  • Sign up in advance online for one of the museum’s architecture or art history walking tours.
  • Browse the Museum Shop for unique jewelry, prints and books.

Beyond its cuisine and culture, Savannah dazzles visitors with a fun, visitor-friendly perk – the open container policy. Unlike many cities, Savannah allows patrons to wander with alcoholic beverages in the historic public squares and streets of the downtown area. Visitors can sip an old fashioned or mint julep as they amble amid the live oaks and monuments of the 22 historic squares. Just be responsible and respectful, and the city is your picturesque playground. Stop for a spiked Arnold Palmer while admiring the Italianate architecture of the Mercer House. Or cheers with a blood orange paloma while passing the stately Andrew Low House, once home of Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low. With a to-go cup in hand, the squares, statues and storied streets of Savannah truly come alive.

Exploring the Squares
Exploring the Squares of Savannah

With its verdant squares, cultural attractions, and hands-on opportunities, Savannah entices visitors to meander through its cobblestoned streets and get inspired.

Where to Shop

Between sightseeing, pop into Savannah’s quaint boutiques andmarkets for quality souvenirs and gifts. Start at Paris Market & Brocante, housed in a landmark iron building from 1873. This European-style emporium overflows with aromatherapy products, eclectic antiques, bath luxuries and more. Don’t miss their exclusive fragrance collections.

The Paris Market
The Paris Market

The Pursuitist Tips:

  • Ask associates like Barry or Michael for the backstory on antiques that catch your eye.
  • Schedule time to indulge in a custom perfume consultation.
  • Sign up for a calligraphy class in the upstairs studio for a classic keepsake.

Around the corner lies Savannah Bee Company, the place for honey based indulgences. Sample different varietals like orange blossom or wildflower at the tasting bar. Peruse the signature body care products like honey hand creams or lemon lip balms. Take home gift boxes with signature flavors like Tupelo or Acacia raw honey.

The Pursuitist Tips:

  • Ask about special small-batch honeys that sell out quickly.
  • Taste the certified organic Tea Room honeys ideal for infusions.
  • Don’t miss their Mead Lounge next door for honey wine tastings.

With eclectic shops and local finds, Savannah offers the perfect places to uncover artisan treasures as mementos of your getaway.

In a dispatch from the heart of Southern charm, The Pursuitist joyously crowns Savannah as a destination par excellence for a swift yet sumptuous 48-hour respite. This romantic river city, brimming with the allure of a bygone era and the vibrant pulse of the present, manages to marry the antebellum grace with an edge of urbane sophistication.

Enveloped in its enchanting spell, one experiences the quintessence of luxury – where cobblestone streets and moss-draped oaks form the backdrop for a weekend symphony of exceptional epicurean delights, awe-inspiring cultural performances, and an ineffable sense of homeliness that echoes throughout its beautiful squares.

Savannah invites you to take an indulgent bite of her extraordinary cuisine. Prepare for a tantalizing journey across an array of delectable southern fare, where pralines and pecans dance in harmony with spiced shrimp and grits, bringing forth a culinary orchestra, both rustic and refined, that will enrapture your palate.

Yet, the allure of Savannah extends beyond its gastronomic grandeur. It’s a city teeming with culture, a living canvas where art imbues the mundane with magic. The numerous galleries that dot the cityscape stand as testament to Savannah’s vibrant art scene, often outdone only by the lively performances that grace her historic theaters and public squares.

But what truly sets Savannah apart is its warmth and cordiality. In the town where the term ‘Southern hospitality’ feels understated, the locals welcome you with open hearts, embodying a sincerity that turns visitors into family and short sojourns into cherished memories.

In the end, a visit to Savannah is more than just a weekend getaway. It’s an indulgence of the senses, a celebration of art and culture, a testament to the beguiling charm of the South. It’s an experience that leaves a trace of sweet longing, prompting a whisper of promise to return. So prepare for a dance with Savannah – she’s all set to enthrall your tastebuds, enliven your spirit, and ensnare your heart.

These are the reasons why the editors have named Savannah, GA, a must-visit destination and the recipient of the Pursuitist 5-Star Gold Award for 2023. Its vibrant arts scene, rich culture, culinary delights, small-town charm, and remarkable luxuries make it a highly desirable spot for travelers. From romantic escapes to rejuvenating weekend getaways, we recommend Savannah as a top destination for sophisticated travelers to experience in 2023.

Top 5 Best Things To Do in Savannah

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Originally posted 2023-10-31 17:09:35.