In our "Travel Guide to the South" series, staff at Alliance partner hotels and others in-the-know give their recommendations on what to see, what to do and what to eat in the South.
“It’s an old city—it has an old feel, old charm and old elegance.”
Since its foundation in 1733, Savannah has successfully woven together an intricate tapestry of colonial history and gentile hospitality. Surviving the ravages of war and reconstruction, it wasn’t until the 1950s that a group of women banded together as the Historic Savannah Foundation in an effort to preserve historic structures threatened by the wrecking ball. “The aesthetic beauty is like no other in the country,” says Erica Backus, director of public relations for the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce.
Now one of the country’s most popular vacation spots, Savannah has welcomed more than 50 million visitors in the last 10 years. “The best thing I can say about Savannah is that we don’t consider it modern in any respect,” says Albert Wall, owner and innkeeper of The Stephen Williams House. “It’s an old city—it has an old feel, old charm and old elegance.”
For a true taste of the South, Wall suggests partaking in a Lowcountry boil, which includes shrimp, sausage, corn, potatoes and onions. Backus favors another Savannah favorite, shrimp and grits, which she describes as “indicative of the flavors of the area and foods that are staples in Savannah homes.” For a nice spin on this classic, she recommends dining at The Olde Pink House.
Juliette Gordon Low formed the first Girl Scout troop in America at her residence on Lafayette Square on March 12, 1912.
Wall recommends an architectural tour with Beth Reiter of Architours. “As a former preservation officer for the city, she is especially qualified,” he says. “She’s as good as you can get.”