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What to do in Savannah

Savannah Overview

Welcome to Savannah, where our convention hotels are conveniently situated in the Historic District. If you'd like to get a quick overview of the area, you can watch a short video below. In this historic neighborhood, there's no shortage of things to see and do, making it easy to simply step out of your hotel and begin your exploration.

One of the best places for information about what to do in Savannah is the "Visit Savannah" website.

Click on this link to view the website. Visit Savannah | The Official Guide to Savannah

Savannah Tours

If you've attended a convention before, you're likely aware that a considerable portion of your time will be spent at the hotel, socializing with both old and new acquaintances, and participating in a busy event schedule. However, in those rare moments when you find yourself with some free time, there are plenty of tours available that offer a chance to explore and experience the sights and sounds of Savannah.

Here are five ideas to start with...

Old Savannah Tours Trolley
  • Historic District Walking Tour: A walking tour through Savannah's Historic District is a popular way to explore the city's rich history and architecture. The tour takes visitors through the district's cobblestone streets, past historic homes, and squares while providing insight into the city's past.

  • Savannah Riverboat Cruise: A cruise down the Savannah River is an excellent way to take in the city's beauty from a different perspective. Visitors can enjoy live music, food, and drinks while taking in the stunning views of the city's skyline.

  • Ghost Tour: Savannah is said to be one of the most haunted cities in America, and taking a ghost tour is a popular way to learn about the city's spooky past. These tours take visitors to haunted locations and provide stories of the city's most infamous ghosts and legends.

  • Bonaventure Cemetery Tour: The Bonaventure Cemetery is a beautiful and historic cemetery located just outside of Savannah. Visitors can take a guided tour to learn about the cemetery's history and the famous individuals buried there, including poet Conrad Aiken and songwriter Johnny Mercer.

  • Trolley Tour: A trolley tour is a convenient way to see the city's most popular landmarks and attractions. The trolley takes visitors to popular sites such as Forsyth Park, River Street, and the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist while providing interesting commentary on the city's history and culture.

Image by Jesse Bowser

Why is Savannah one of America's Most Haunted Cities?

Explore Savannah's chilling history and discover why it's considered one of America's most haunted cities along with New Orleans and Salem. Here are five spine-tingling reasons that make Savannah's supernatural side truly unforgettable:

  1. Haunted Battlefields: Savannah's history is marred by catastrophic conflicts like the Siege of 1779 (240 killed and 600 wounded) and the Civil War capture of Savannah by General Sherman. It is believed that the souls of unsettled soldiers haunt the city, leaving behind a spiritual residue.

  2. Lingering Disease Victims: The 1820 Yellow Fever epidemic claimed a tenth of of Savannah's citizens, and the lingering spirits of its victims are said to be bound by the agony they endured, unable to move on.

  3. Terrifying Fires: Devastating fires in 1796 and 1820 destroyed numerous buildings and claimed many lives, binding the deceased to their place of passing, forever haunting the city.

  4. Murders and Dark Secrets: Savannah's history includes notorious murders like the Mercer House murder and the 1959 Abercorn Street tragedy. These chilling tales are often recounted on ghost tours, revealing the city's darker side hidden within historic mansions.

  5. Legacy of Slavery: Savannah's reliance on slave labor before the Civil War has left a haunting legacy. Stories suggest that the spirits of once-enslaved individuals seek vengeance against their captors, with tales like the sinking of the French ship Grietely continuing to haunt the city.

Discover the supernatural mysteries that surround Savannah, where history and hauntings intertwine to create a captivating and spine-tingling experience.

Image by Heather Ford

Savannah Restaurants

When you see the number of restaurants located with a short walk of the hotel you are going to want to come to Savannah early and stay a few extra days! Below is a partial list of nearby restaurants .  These are primarily for breakfast and lunch. 

To see a longer list recommended dining options, including those within walking distance of the hotels click here. Savannah Dining Options

Parker's Market

Parker’s Market $ 222 Drayton Street; 912-233-1000; Historic Savannah’s 24-hour gourmet grocery store. Like a European grocery, Parker’s Market surprises with its quirkiness, variety and charm. Who would expect a gas station to be rated “Best Gourmet Food” 3 years running? Where else would you find homemade food, imported cheeses, fine wine, fresh flowers, and specialty coffees—all when you need them? Stop by Parker’s Market Urban Gourmet for a taste of upscale contemporary living—a true Savannah experience. Located one block from the DeSoto.

J. Christopher’s $ 122 East Liberty Street; 912-236-7494;  J. Christopher’s was founded on a very simple idea: to provide cheerful, relaxing neighborhood eateries serving all your traditional breakfast, brunch, and lunch favorites.  Located across the street from the DeSoto. Open Daily 7am-2pm


Savannah Coffee Roasters $ 215 W. Liberty Street: This is Savannah's oldest coffee roaster. Its newest location on Liberty Street between the two convention hotels. They are open from 7am-5pm daily and in addition to great coffee they have a great breakfast and lunch menu. Make it a stop when walking between our hotels, 

Clary’s Café $ 404 Abercorn Street; 912-233-0402
Where Savannahians have been enjoying food and lively conversation since 1903. American soul food
serving breakfast all day and lunch. Enjoy their famous crab cakes benedict and stuffed french toast.
Casual dining with prices ranging $3.95-$11. Open 8am-2pm Daily. Located two blocks from the DeSoto.

Gallery Espresso $ 234 Bull Street; 912-233-5348;

Oldest coffee house in Savannah serving gourmet European coffee, tea, baked goods, local desserts, and

lunch. Open 7:30am-8pm Monday- Thursday; 7:30am-9pm Friday-
Sunday. Located 1 block from the DeSoto on Chippewa Square.

Mellow Mushroom $$ 11 W.Liberty Street: Yes, Mellow Mushroom is a chain, but don't count it out. It is a local chain only is a handful of southeastern states. In addition to great pizza it has salads and sandwiches. Opens daily at 11 a.m.

Six Pence Pub $$ 245 Bull Street; 912-233-3151;

Offers sandwiches, soups, and hearty fare served in an old English Pub atmosphere. Traditional English-
style public house with great outdoor seating. Six Pence Pub has a lively bar with an extensive array of

beer, wines and liquor. Located across the street from the DeSoto. Open 7 days a week 11am -11pm

The Public Kitchen & Bar $$ 1 West Liberty Street; 912-200-4045;
Located next to the DeSoto and opened September 2012 by the same owners as Local11Ten. Offers a
roof top patio and is pet-friendly but with limited seating. Menu includes a variety of sandwiches,
salads, and gourmet burgers for lunch as well as fish, steak, chicken and pastas for dinner. Open
Monday & Tuesday 5pm-10pm; Wednesday-Sunday 11am-3:30pm & 4:30pm-10pm

Treylor Park (Hitch) $$ 300 Drayton Street.    Step out of the Desoto, turn right and you'll find the Treylor Park at the next corner. "Hitch" doesn't open until 11, so no breakfast, but you will find a great (unusual) selection of lunch and dinner items. Check the menu before you go because there are so many choices that you need time to peruse it.  

Fire Street Food $ 13 East Perry Street; 912-234-7776
Located across from the DeSoto’s front doors on Chippewa Square. Offers a modern atmosphere with
great comfort food including sushi, Kobe burgers, sandwiches, salads and much more. Open 11am-3pm
& 5pm-10pm Monday-Friday; 12pm-10pm Saturday & Sunday

Gryphon $$ 337 Bull Street; 912-525-5880
Gryphon, housed in an adapted turn-of-the-century pharmacy, is the epitome of Southern hospitality,
elegance, and charm. Serves tea, coffee, sodas and light meals. Students, as well as locals and tourists,
relax in the tea room while admiring the antique furnishings. Fourteen original stained glass windows
with mortar and pestle motif convey the original purpose of the shop. Gryphon is located directly behind
the DeSoto on Madison Square. Open 11am-6pm Thursday, Friday & Saturday; 9am-4pm on Sunday.

McDonough’s Restaurant & Tavern $ 21 East McDonough’s Street; 912-233-6136 Open since 1987 McDonough’s Restaurant and Lounge, located on
McDonough Street across from the Savannah Theatre and just 1 block from the DeSoto, is definitely a
local’s hangout. It combines offbeat locals and a steady tourist crown, and also mixes a traditional Irish
pub with a more modern karaoke bar (consistently voted best in the city). Open 10am -3am Daily

City Market

City Market Savannah

City Market in was once a bustling central marketplace for trading and shopping, but after years of tragedies and population growth, it became a ghost town. The Old City Market was demolished in 1954, but locals were disappointed and kindled Savannah’s preservation movement.


A new City Market district was eventually built with the decaying remains of the Old City Market. Today, City Market is a popular destination for restaurants, art galleries, shopping, and nightlife. Visitors can enjoy great food, find unique gifts, view incredible artwork, sip to-go drinks, and celebrate holidays throughout the year.

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Made in Savannah - What to Take Home!

If you like to bring home souvenirs from your travels then you won't have a problem finding unique things things made in Savannah. Just tap on the links to view the offerings. 

Savannah’s Open Container Policy: The To-Go Cup Takeaway

Savannah’s open container policy is a unique characteristic of the city.

What is Savannah’s open container policy?

The legislation in Savannah simply permits patrons and party goers to carry open drinks. The legal way to consume said drinks are in a plastic, 16-ounce cup (not bottles, mugs or flasks) and in the parameters of the Historic District. This encompasses everything from River Street to Jones Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard to West Broad Street. With no federal or state law restricting open containers, local legislation and Savannah sided in favor of open containers and to-go cups. Cheers!

Savannah never shies from a good time.

It should come as no surprise that the open container policy serves (pun intended) the city and its guests well with larger annual events. The biggest event is Savannah’s famous St. Patrick’s Day festivities, during which to-go cups abound. The New Year’s Eve tradition on River Street is not to celebrate with a ball drop, but instead with the dropping a big red to-go cup. If New Year’s Eve falls on a Sunday, law states that alcoholic beverages can be served until 3:30 a.m.

Aside from Savannah, few cities in the United States permit patrons to carry drinks in open containers. Other sites with open container policies exceptions include the city of New Orleans and Beale Street in Memphis.

Rest assured, as long as you wander the streets of the Historic District, you can safely bet you’ll be allowed to sip and savor.

This article is one of many produced by Go to their website for more articles and information about Savannah. For the full Open Container article click here. Savannah’s Open Container Policy is a unique characteristic of the city.


Prettiest Street in Savannah?

According to Google search, the "Prettiest Street in Savannah" is Jones Street.  Located only a few blocks north of Liberty Street it is the perfect place to stroll under the canopy of the Live Oak trees (dripping with Spanish Moss, while admiring the beautiful homes. 

Jones Street
Jones Street Homes
Kiwi reading a book

Getting to Know Savannah Before You Go

Here are 10 books that you might enjoy reading to learn more about Savannah and the South.

  1. "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" by John Berendt - This non-fiction book is a classic that takes readers on a journey through the city of Savannah, its people, and its history. It is a great introduction to the city's unique atmosphere and colorful characters.

  2. "The Book of Speculation" by Erika Swyler - This novel is set partly in a small town on the coast of Long Island and partly in Savannah. It tells the story of a librarian who discovers a mysterious book that seems to hold the key to a family curse. It is a haunting and beautiful tale that explores the power of family and the magic of the sea.

  3. "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker - This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel tells the story of Celie, a young African-American woman living in the rural South in the early 20th century. While it is not set in Savannah, it is a powerful exploration of the lives of women in the South and the challenges they face.

  4. "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd - This novel is set in South Carolina, but its themes of family, race, and identity are universal. It tells the story of a young girl who runs away from home and finds solace with a group of beekeeping sisters in a small town. It is a beautiful and moving story that will resonate with many readers.

  5. "Savannah Blues" by Mary Kay Andrews - This novel is a fun and lighthearted mystery that is set in Savannah. It tells the story of a woman who inherits a run-down mansion in the city and sets out to restore it to its former glory. Along the way, she uncovers secrets about the mansion and its former owners. It is a great beach read that captures the charm and mystery of Savannah.

  6. "The Last Song" by Nicholas Sparks - This novel is set in a small coastal town in North Carolina, but its themes of love, loss, and family are universal. It tells the story of a teenage girl who is sent to spend the summer with her estranged father and learns about forgiveness and the power of music.

  7. "Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell - This classic novel is set during the Civil War and Reconstruction era in the South. It tells the story of Scarlett O'Hara, a strong-willed and independent woman who struggles to survive and thrive in a changing world. While it is a long read, it is a must-read for anyone interested in the history and culture of the South.

  8. "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett - This bestselling novel is set in Mississippi in the 1960s and tells the story of a young white woman who writes a book about the experiences of African-American maids. It is a powerful and emotional story that explores race, class, and gender issues in the South.

  9. "The River Widow" by Ann Howard Creel - This historical novel is set in the early 1900s in a small town on the Mississippi River. It tells the story of a young woman who is forced to flee her abusive husband and finds refuge with a group of riverboat women. It is a gripping and suspenseful tale that explores the strength and resilience of women in difficult situations.

  10. "The Book of Old Houses" by Sarah Graves - This memoir tells the story of a woman who buys an old house in Savannah and embarks on a journey of renovation and self-discovery. It's a great read for anyone interested in Savannah's historic architecture and preservation.

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