Savannah brings the timeless charm of the South to new levels. Do you want to explore the wonderfully kept period architecture, the leafy squares, perfectly aligned squares, and the haunted stores of this Southern Belle?
Then step into this Georgian adventure and learn where to stay in Savannah; let us be your guide!
The 3 Best Parts of Savannah, GA
Savannah has lots of small districts that are evenly divided throughout the city because of its well-planned urban development.
Here we chose the best three districts within the central area of the city:
- The Downtown/Historic District: The heart of Savannah, this most central area is a great place to start exploring the city.
- The Victorian District: Perfect for history lovers and flaneurs who want to explore well-preserved 19th-century colonial architecture.
- Starland: The perfect place for artists and those who want to uncover the alternative scene of Savannah.
Where to Stay in Savannah: Best Areas & Hotels
Savannah is Georgia’s fifth-largest city, with a population of about 147.000 people. It’s a city with a strong Southern charm, where every corner seems to tell a story of its own — including the accommodations options.
Did you know that the city is considered one of the most haunted places in the US? One example is The Marshall House, which is now a hotel, but used to be a hospital during the Civil War and Yellow Fever epidemics.
Another example is the Moon River Brewing Company, with its lady in white standing at the top of the restaurant’s staircase.
This whiff of the supernatural adds to the otherworldly charm of Savannah, and the blend of historic 19th-century mansions with the busy spirit of modern city life paints both a modern and timeless picture.
The core of the city is the historic or downtown district, where you’ll encounter countless stores and unique food joints, as well as the famous small squares offering a bit of shade and respite from your city walk.
Most accommodation options are in this part of the city, so regardless of your budget, you’ll be able to find something that works for you here.
The Victorian and Starland Districts are another story, however — they mostly have mid-range and upper mid-range, as well as luxury-type accommodations. Something more affordable can be found in local B&Bs and rooms for rent.
1. The Downtown/Riverfront District
The historic district is where all Savannah first-timers should begin their exploration of the city. It’s a joy to walk through its streets, admire the restored 18th and 19th-century mansions, and take refuge in the oak shade on one of its 22 park squares (yes, you read that right!).
There are a lot of things we love about this district, and the huge choice of restaurants and food joints is certainly one of them.
More than 100 restaurants grace the streets of Savannah’s Downtown serving traditional Southern cuisine by the Savannah River or quirky, one-of-a-kind South African sandwiches.
The Savannah River runs right through the central area, and one of the things you should definitely do there is take a boat tour. Seeing it from the water will give you a memorable experience of the whole city.
You can also visit the open-air City Market, which has existed since the 1700s. It’s a warehouse type of space where you can find food and artwork from local creatives. We’re sure you’ll find something worthy to take back home as a souvenir as well!
A stroll through River Street by the quay will uncover all the hip bars and late-night clubs in the historic/downtown area. Our personal pick is the aptly named Savannah Smiles Dueling Pianos.
It’s a bar perfectly described by its name, where the guests choose the songs, which then have to be played by two people dueling on the pianos.
Yeah, it’s as fun as it sounds. If you want a more casual hangout place, visit Dub’s, or go to Saddle Bags Savannah for the classic American experience — there are mechanical bull riding and regular live performances!
Things to Do
- Take a stroll down to the remarkable Jepson Centre (part of the Telfair Academy museums) to satisfy your artistic itch and see all the old and new contemporary artists from the American South and beyond.
- Chippewa Square — if you’ve ever seen Forrest Gump, you will recognize this park. That’s right — it’s the place where Forrest sits on the bench and tells his life story! If you’re a movie buff or a fan of this classic, it’s something that you can’t miss visiting.
- You can also visit the Savannah History Museum to learn more about this city. It contains more than 10.000 items from 1733, when the city was first established. Here you’ll also find the original bench from Forrest Gump.
Where to Eat
- The Collins Quarter is a great brunch option that serves Australian dishes. Take our recommendation and don’t miss out on the Lavender Mocha!
- It doesn’t get more southern than Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room! If you ever want to try truly southern fare, this is the place. And don’t forget to take the sweet tea at the end, a famous Southern refreshment.
- Vic’s On the River is a fine-dining restaurant that serves Southern cooking, located in a 19th-century warehouse.
- Zunzi’s is a locals’ favorite. It serves different kinds of South African sandwiches, and people often queue around the block to get a taste (the locals’ choice is the Godfather).
- Not only does The Pirates’ House serve delightful Southern dishes but it’s also a whole experience, with its pirate theme and rustic interiors.
The Downtown/Historic District Budget Hotels
- Quality Inn Savannah Historic District is a two-star hotel located near the Savannah River Quay. It’s close to many shops and restaurants, and it has everything you need for a cozy stay without costing too much. It’s also a pet-friendly hotel, so a good option if you’re traveling with your furry friend. Rooms have private bathrooms, Wi-Fi, and a coffee machine.
- The Marshall House is a three-star historic hotel in the heart of the historic district. It was built in 1851, and before it was a hotel, it served as a hospital, so as we mentioned earlier, it has a spooky vibe. Still, it’s a nice hotel with an elegant atmosphere that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
The Downtown/Historic District Mid-Range Hotels
- Planters Inn is a charming three-star hotel overlooking Reynolds Square. It has a beautiful terrace that you can enjoy as a guest. The rooms have free Wi-Fi and a rustic, homey vibe to them. This place really brings a cozy but also classy Southern feel to the hotel experience, and we love it.
- Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Historic District is a three-star hotel, a more budget-friendly option from the famous brand, but still offers a pool, a gym, and room service. It has a great location — right in the city center — just a couple of minutes walk to Savannah’s waterfront.
The Downtown/Historic District Luxury Hotels
- The Alida is a beautiful four-star hotel with an outdoor swimming pool. The rooms are spacious, with large flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and a beautiful en suite bathroom with rainfall showerheads. We also highly recommend the hotel’s rooftop bar, which offers impressive views of the city and the river.
- JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District Hotel is a luxury five-star hotel by Savannah’s waterfront. All rooms are decorated in a luxury, neo-baroque, yet also minimalist style, with Wi-Fi and private marble bathrooms. Some have river views, and others have city views.
2. Victorian District
The Victorian district is a delightful place if you’re looking for a sweet romantic getaway vacation or a quieter spot within the central areas of Savannah.
As its name says, it’s a district filled with beautiful Victorian mansions and B&Bs, which add to the romantic flair of the area. A walk through the Victoria District is a beautiful and fun experience in and of itself.
If you’re a fan of 19th-century and early 20th-century architecture and beautifully preserved, colorful historic buildings, you’ll love strolling through this great neighborhood.
One example is the Eckburg Hall, where the Savannah College of Art and Design is located. The district borders the beautiful Forsyth Park on the southwest side, which is another reason you should stay here with your significant other.
Take them on a stroll through the park’s famous white fountain amid the flower beds and soak up the atmosphere of those warm Georgian afternoons. Savannah has its mystical side, as we mentioned earlier.
In the Victorian District, you’ll be able to find a shop called Ordinary Magic, selling herbs, jewelry, minerals, protective crystals, books, and other magical lifestyle products. If you’ve ever watched the show Charmed, you know what we’re talking about.
Things to Do
- Forsyth Park is a beautiful 30-acre park if you need to unwind from the city bustle. It has all kinds of recreational facilities, like basketball and tennis courts, that you can also use.
- If you’re looking for a fun activity with your loved one that you’ve probably never tried before, you should try glassblowing. That’s right — the Hostess City Hot Glass workshop offers classes for everyone interested in this quirky practice. You can even take your little masterpiece home as a unique souvenir from your trip to Savannah.
- If you want to stay active while vacationing, then get to know the Victorian district and Savannah through a bike tour. The Savannah on Wheels offers guided and private tours that are an exceptional experience of the city on two wheels.
Where to Eat
- Betty Bomber’s is a local favorite with a casual vibe, serving excellent burgers and sandwiches for a fair price.
- Bull Street Taco is a laid-back food joint where you get top-notch Mexican food, beer, and cocktails. There’s also a lovely patio for those who prefer sitting outside.
- Cotton & Rye is a stylish restaurant located in a former 1950s bank. It serves New American gastropub cuisine with a twist and has a bar where you can go for cocktails and local wine and spirits.
Victorian District Budget Hotels
- B&B Zia Gianna is a nice and cozy bed and breakfast that offers free Wi-Fi and air-conditioned rooms. Each room has its private bathroom. There’s also a beautiful garden that guests of the property can use, as well as a spa and wellness center. The property serves breakfast every morning, which is included in the price.
Victorian District Mid-Range Hotels
- Bellwether House is a typical Southern mansion that’s also really close to the city center. It has a wonderful terrace and offers rooms with private bathrooms and free Wi-Fi. You can have breakfast at the property every morning. There’s also a restaurant as part of the house, which serves American and Indian food.
- Catherine Ward House Inn is a three-star bed and breakfast type of accommodation. It’s a cozy and welcoming place to stay, just a two-minute walk from Forsyth Park. All rooms have Wi-Fi, a TV, and a fridge. Some rooms also have a private balcony and a small spa bath.
Victorian District Luxury and Mid-Range Hotels
- Mansion on Forsyth Park is a four-star luxury hotel near Forsyth Park. It has an outdoor pool, a fitness center for those who don’t want to miss out on their exercise while vacationing, and a spa and wellness center for those who just want to relax. The rooms are big, with marble bathrooms, a TV, and Wi-Fi. We recommend going to the rooftop lounge, having a drink, and just enjoying the sunset and the great view of the park.
3. Starland District
The Starland district lives up to its name. Located north of the Victorian district, it epitomizes Savannah’s artsy, laid-back, and creative side. It’s filled with galleries, studios, improv theaters, and quirky shops that are now thriving even though they used to be rundown in the 1990s.
Starland is for artsy people looking for that perfect vintage piece on their trip abroad — we suggest trying your luck at the Vintage Vortex Savannah.
If you want to look for antique furniture, art, and other items, look no further than Picker Joe’s Antique Mall & Vintage Market.
For those of you who are music lovers and are trying to find a vinyl record that no one has to bring back to your home collection, check out Graveface Records & Curiosities.
The cute and quaint cafes are also something that makes Starland truly special for visitors and locals. Stop by the Foxy Loxy Cafe, a beloved local’s coffee and Tex-Mex joint, for brunch and an evening menu of beer and wine.
If you feel like you need something extra exotic and want to fly over to Hawaii but can’t, then go to the Water Witch Tiki. It’s a quirky bar opened as an homage to Hawaiian culture, offering great cocktails. Plus, you’ll get to meet people who love to tell tales of local Hawaiian legends.
Things to Do
- Starland Strange & Bazaar perfectly encapsulates the spirit of Starland. It’s a store but also not — it sells a very curious and eclectic mix of goods like stickers, t-shirts, a personal line of adult sprinkles, and also sweet treats. There’s even a room reserved for private events where you can have a unique shopping experience with champagne, a professional stylist, and a photoshoot session.
- The Front Porch Improv Theatre is the perfect spot if you like standup comedy or theater, and especially if you’re looking for a laugh on the weekends.
- Starland Yard is the go-to place for food lovers. It’s an outdoor food court that hosts international food trucks. There’s also a bar and pizzeria on the premises.
Where to Eat
- The Vault Kitchen & Market is an inventive Asian fusion restaurant located in a historic Bank of America building.
- 520 Wings is a beloved fast-food joint owned by locals, offering Georgian specialties such as fried chicken, fish, and burgers.
- Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is another beloved fast-food chain that offers house favorites like spicy fried chicken and biscuits.
- Elizabeth’s on 37th is an upscale restaurant that takes pride in its locally sourced seafood and other locally harvested ingredients. It’s located in an elegant 1900s mansion, and it’s pretty expensive, so don’t go there if you’re not prepared to splurge.
Starland District Budget Hotels
There aren’t a lot of budget options in Starland District. If you’re looking for more affordable accomodation, check out our recommendations in the Victorian District and Savannah Downtown.
Starland District Mid-Range Hotels
- Azalea Inn and Villas is a four-star hotel about 20 minutes away from Starland. It’s a very cozy hotel decorated in the Southwestern style, offering spacious rooms with TV, Wi-Fi, and private bathrooms. Some rooms even have fireplaces and balconies. The hotel also has a pool with a garden. Forsyth Park is nearby.
- Justine Inn Savannah is a three-star hotel that’s located in an 1877 French Renaissance-style townhouse. For the price you pay, you get a free homemade breakfast every day, as well as snacks, wine, and cheese in the evening. There’s free Wi-Fi in all rooms and a private bathroom.
Starland District Luxury Hotels
- Amethyst Garden Inn is a four-star hotel located in a beautiful 19th-century Neo-Gothic mansion painted in vibrant purple color. It’s a lovely place to stay if you’re willing to spend an extra buck because it’s definitely not cheap. The hotel has free parking, Wi-Fi, and a garden with a terrace.
- The Gastonian, Historic Inns of Savannah is a four-star bed and breakfast located only two blocks from Forsyth Park. This large southwestern mansion offers spacious rooms with free Wi-Fi, TV, and other amenities for a cozy stay.
- McMillan Inn is a four-star hotel about 20 minutes away from Starland. It has a garden with an outdoor swimming pool and a terrace with a shared lounge for hotel guests. All rooms have private bathrooms and Wi-Fi; some have a balcony or a patio with pool and garden views.
So, Where Should You Stay in Savannah, GA?
Savannah is a great place to visit if you want to experience the Southern charm and hospitality. With its numerous quality food joints, Savannah doesn’t disappoint with its gastronomy either.
Overall it’s a place that’s not too big but one that offers plenty to do for its size. Accommodation-wise, Savannah, much like Santa Fe, is not easy on the budget traveler. Most budget-friendly places can be found locally through B&Bs and rooms for rent.
|🍽️ Best for Shopping & Dining||Downtown Savannah|
|🏰 Most Historic Area||Victorian District|
|🎭 Most Artistic Area||Starland|
Hotels and inns are more expensive, with rates that usually fall somewhere between mid-range and luxury. The Historic/Downtown District offers the most extensive choice of accommodation types and price ranges.
Here, it’s more likely to find affordable accommodation than in the Victoria District, which is oriented more towards the upper-mid range and more luxury accommodation.
The Starland District, even though it’s exceptional and very charming, offers scarce accommodation options.
If you want to be close to this district, you’d better get accommodation in the nearby areas — we provided the best options above, which are also primarily upper midrange and luxury hotel rooms and inns.
So, with so much to see and do, what are you what are you waiting for — book your trip today to experience for yourself all that this historic riverside town has to offer. Happy travels!