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Flights to Savannah

About Destination

Savannah is the embodiment of the idyllic Southern city with grand old mansions, green parks with fountains and huge moss-draped trees, and cobbled streets along the waterfront. These all combine to provide a beguiling charm and make it one of the highlights of Georgia.

Savannah lies on the Atlantic coast at the mouth of the Savannah River, directly on the border with South Carolina. It was the first town in North America to be laid out on a regular plan, part of which was a large number of lovely historic squares throughout the city.

ATTRACTIONS TO VISIT IN Savannah

1. Bull Street

The best way of getting to know Savannah's historic district is to take a stroll along Bull Street and the side streets that extend in either direction. The starting point is City Hall (1905), opposite which is the U.S. Customs House, built in 1852 on the site of the colony's first public building.

To the south of this is Johnson Square, the first square laid out in the new planned town, with the Christ Episcopal Church (1838) on the site of the colony's first church of 1733. There are many historic squares to explore in this section of Savannah. Along this stretch are also coffee shops and restaurants, some with outdoor tables that are perfect for people-watching.

2. Forsyth Park

Forsyth Park is the largest and most active park in Savannah. It was created in the mid-19th century, at a time when large parks were fashionable in American cities.

The large, cast-iron fountain was placed here in 1858 and intended to be the focal point of the park. It has remained the primary feature in the park since that time, with several periods of restoration, including the most recent major restoration in the late 1980s.

Forsyth Park is also a lovely area to walk, with large shady trees and paved paths. Surrounding the park are a number of interesting old buildings. In the spring, the park puts on a great display of color when the azaleas are in full bloom. Within the park is the visitor center and Band Shell, with amenities that include a café and snack bar.

3. National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force

The National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, located just outside Savannah, is one of the nation's top museums dedicated to World War II history. In addition to a memorial and extensive information about the Eighth Air Force regiment, the museum has many historic exhibits that explore various phases of the conflict.

The tour begins with an introduction to Germany in the wake of WWI and a look at how the Nazi regime was able to rise to power with the use of propaganda. Exhibits also include films about life as a bomber pilot and a re-created airfield, as well as dioramas and interactive exhibits.

4. Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences

The Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences, more commonly called the Telfair Museum of Art, has been operated by the Georgia Historical Society since it opened in 1886, and it is the oldest art museum in the state. Art Collections include European and American works in a variety of media with a focus on 19th- and 20th-century art.

Among the featured artists are Robert Henri, George Luks, and Childe Hassam. The museum is also home to a sculpture gallery and rotunda added by architect Detlef Lienau. The building that houses the museum, a 200-year-old mansion designed in the Neoclassical Regency style, is equally impressive.

5. Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah was first built in the 1870s and then rebuilt in 1899 after a severe fire. It took more than a decade to redecorate the new cathedral. The building again underwent restoration work in the 1950s and 60s, and more work was done in the 80s and 90s.

The interior is a delight, with marble railings and floors and a marble altar. The main altar, carved in Italy, weighs 9,000 pounds. The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is also well-known for its incredible Renaissance-style murals and a pipe organ with 2,308 pipes. Above the organ is the Great Rose Window, with panels radiating out from the images of St. Cecilia in the middle.

6. Squares of Savannah

Savannah's many public squares are one of its most attractive qualities, especially on a hot city afternoon when you need a spot of shade and a few moments with nature. These are the best places to visit in Savannah for peace and relaxation.

Several of the most popular squares are located along historic Bull Street, including Chippewa Square, which is known for its appearance in the film Forrest Gump; the city's largest and oldest Johnson Square; and Madison Square, which is conveniently close to shopping and dining.

7. Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace

The birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, a founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA, was built in 1821. Her family home, which was the first National Historic Landmark in Savannah, has been restored to how it looked in the 1880s and furnished with many original Gordon family pieces.

In the Gallery are some of Gordon's original artworks, as well as some of the family's furnishings and memorabilia. Some of the collections on display in the house include jewelry, photographs, and written material.

8. Bonaventure Cemetery

Bonaventure Cemetery is one of the best-known historic cemeteries in the country, loved for its sprawling Victorian layout and beautiful stonework monuments. The grounds are spectacular, with massive oak trees draped with hanging moss. If the setting looks familiar, it may be because it was featured as a setting for the novel and film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

The cemetery covers more than 100 acres, and its historic district is more than 14 acres, home to graves from as early as 1846. In addition to stunning marble tombs, the cemetery is the final resting place for nearly 1,300 veterans of the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and other conflicts.

9. Owens-Thomas House

The Owens-Thomas House is Savannah's most important historic home thanks to its dedication to looking at the lives of the slaves who worked and lived here.

The Slave Quarters are just part of the exhibits, which look at daily life for the 14 enslaved workers who ran the home, worked the grounds, and raised the children.

Tours of the home discuss the complicated nature of relationships between the slave owners, children, and slaves themselves, and encourage visitors to continue to ask questions after they leave. The home is a National Historic Landmark and is operated by the Telfair Museums.

10. Riverfront

Iron steps lead down from Factors Walk to the Riverfront, a row of 19th-century warehouses now occupied by shops and restaurants. This is a popular area day and night with old-style candy stores, like River Street Sweets that sells fresh fudge and other treats; unique art galleries; and souvenir vendors.

Excellent views of the port and suspension bridge can be had from here or from Hutchinson Island. An ideal way to get the best Riverfront photo-ops is by taking the free ferry that brings you to the island and back, a ride that is particularly lovely in the evening.