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Savannah: The Hostess City of the South

One of the beautiful statues along the Savannah river and a view of the Talmadge Memorial bridge

Road trips are one of my favorite ways to travel. Driving to destinations takes longer to reach than hopping on a flight, but I love to watch the landscape change through the car window, and it allows for casual opportunities to visit additional areas you may have missed otherwise.

View of the Westin Savannah Harbor Hotel from my room

I typically make a few stops along the way to break up the trip, stretch my legs, and take in the scenery of a new place. After visiting family for the holidays, I took a trip down south where we spent a few memorable days along the riverfront in the enchanting city of Savannah, Georgia.

JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District Hotel Lobby

We stayed at the eclectic JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District hotel. The main lobby of the hotel was a lot to take in at first. Check-in was located in an area called Generator Hall that had an industrial feel contrasted with colorful lights and a chrome-dipped model dinosaur fossil that hung above brightly lit displays of crystals and natural artifacts that gave a cool energy to the place. I tend to enjoy staying in quiet, more intimate, smaller-scale inns or hotels, especially after a long drive. I did warm up to this large-scale space because there was such a variety of amenities at the JW Marriott. Between the on-site restaurant selections, lovely gift shops, and art galleries it felt like we were in an all-inclusive resort.

Street view of shops in the Plant Riverside District

My intentions for staying in Savannah while on this trip were to relax along the riverfront, learn about the city’s rich history and wander through the interesting shops along River Street. There are hop-on/hop-off tours available, but we chose to walk freely through the narrow streets.

William Washington Gordon Monument

Known for its city squares as the gathering places of beauty and history, we found ourselves in one of the oldest city squares, Wright Square. The central monument in this historical park is dedicated to William Washington Gordon, who founded the Central of Georgia Railroad. Surrounded by layers of greenery, this intricate and beautiful constructed memorial was established in 1882 but the surrounding square was built in 1733.

View of Savannah City Hall from Johnson Square

After a long day of taking in the sights, we came back to the hotel to refresh and have dinner at Myrtle & Rose rooftop garden restaurant. There we watched the sunset over the river while enjoying several small plates in the flower-inspired atmosphere.

Lights along the Savannah waterfront at night

After our meal, we walked along the promenade and were surprised to see a free street performance right next to our hotel. Streetmosphere is a circus show that performs incredible acrobatic acts every Friday and Saturday night at 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm on the Riverwalk. As the temperature began to drop, we were able to appreciate the exciting show from the window in our hotel. It was an awesome way to end a lovely spontaneous day.

The Georgia Queen before our Riverboat Cruise

The following afternoon, we decided to hop aboard the Georgia Queen paddleboat for a narrated sightseeing cruise along the Savannah River. The Savannah Riverboat Cruise experience was entertaining, informative, and a wonderful photography opportunity. During the 90-minute tour, the captain informed us about the general history of the city and shared in his excitement when we were lucky enough to pass by a pod of dolphins swimming in the river.

View from the lower level on The Georgia Queen

The Georgia Queen is an 1800s inspired paddleboat that spent many years traveling the Mississippi River, before calling Savannah home. The vessel has multiple decks, which allowed for the busy tour to feel less crowded and offered unique views from different areas on the ship. I highly recommend taking this tour to see Savannah’s beauty from a new perspective.

Final views of the riverwalk

I suggest spending at least three to four days in Savannah to fully immerse yourself in the vibrant history, art, shopping, and unique attractions that this city has to offer. Since we had to continue our travels south, we were only able to spend a couple of days in Savannah, but as we packed up for the next leg of our trip, we felt rejuvenated and excited to return one day soon. This friendly yet laid-back atmosphere was exactly the type of stop we needed to extend our adventure and make lasting memories along the way.

Talmadge Memorial Bridge

Have you ever been to Savannah? Comment below with any recommendations for my next trip to the “Hostess City of the South”!

Thanks for reading,

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Thanks for taking me on this journey, India! The combination of your beautiful photographs and vivid details in your reporting transported me to Savannah!

India Blake
India Blake
Feb 04, 2022
Replying to

Thank you for reading! I so appreciate your response to my work.


Feb 03, 2022

These are really wonderful photographs of Savannah. I especially admire the one of what looks like the Rolls Royce mascot, "the Spirit of Ecstasy," and the one that is beautifully dominated by the American flag. When I visited friends who have a house in an historic part of town but spend most of their time on a plantation across the Savannah River in South Carolina, I enjoyed exploring some remarkable, rather mysterious (to me) rural areas. I hope to be back in Savannah just next month, and if I do, I'll follow some of your travel advice!

India Blake
India Blake
Feb 04, 2022
Replying to

Thank you for sharing your Savannah experience as well! The statues and sculptures throughout the city were so beautiful. I look forward to hearing about your visit next month!

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