Savannah: The Hostess City of the South
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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,