Savannah is known for...
1. Historic Squares:
Savannah’s 22 squares are the city’s ultimate free attraction, boasting breathtaking monuments, grand live oak trees and ample green space. From the soaring marble monument memorializing General Count Casimir Pulaski in Monterey Square to the charming white gazebo in Whitefield Square, where you’re likely to see a wedding in progress, Savannah’s squares are meant to be explored and enjoyed. All of the squares are located within walking distance of one another, so seeing them all in one day is easily doable. If you’re pressed for time, limit your journey to the picturesque squares along Bull Street.
2. Live Oak Trees:
Massive, magnificent and hauntingly beautiful, Savannah’s live oak trees are one of the city’s most iconic symbols. The trees, which are native to the Southeastern part of the United States, can live for hundreds of years and have impressive Spanish moss-covered canopies, making them the perfect spot to escape from the sun’s rays. You can find live oaks in every corner of the city, but for the most spectacular vista, head to Wormsloe Plantation, an 18th-century colonial estate that features a dramatic, oak tree-lined entryway.
There’s perhaps no better place to learn about Savannah’s history than in her cemeteries. Colonial Park Cemetery, located in the center of the Historic District, features gravesites that date back to the mid-18th century. Laurel Grove Cemetery, on the city’s west side, is a stark reminder of Savannah’s segregated past, with separate sections for whites and blacks, along with a Civil War burial ground for Confederate soldiers. Bonaventure Cemetery, on the city’s east side, boasts breathtaking views of the Wilmington River and is the final resting place for several notable Savannahians, among them songwriter Johnny Mercer and poet Conrad Aiken.
4. Events and Festivals:
People travel to Savannah from near and far to party like Irishmen at the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. The parade, the second largest in the nation, is held every year on March 17 (except when the holiday falls on a Sunday), but expect the party to get underway a few days prior and continue until the last pint of Guinness is chugged. If you’re not feeling green or if you prefer a more sophisticated scene, check out one of the city’s prestigious annual festivals, including the Savannah Music Festival, Savannah Film Festival and Savannah Book Festival.
Savannah is a town that embraces art and artists. The Telfair Museums, which comprise the Telfair Academy, the Jepson Center for the Arts and the Owens-Thomas House, feature an impressive permanent collection of more than 4,000 works from the 18th century to the present. The influence of the Savannah College of Art and Design’s thousands of students can be felt throughout the city, with numerous venues displaying their unique works and wares. Savannah also boasts dozens of art galleries, many of which are located in City Market, a charming, open-air marketplace in the heart of the Historic District.