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Best Time to Visit Savannah, GA: Your Guide to Every Season

Guest Post by: Marly Garman

Savannah, Georgia, has a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty. As such, visitors can enjoy a unique and memorable experience every time of year.

With its charming cobblestone streets, hauntingly beautiful moss-draped oaks, and a calendar teeming with festivals and events, Savannah welcomes travelers seeking relaxation and adventure. 

Whether you are interested in the city's storied past, its vibrant culinary scene, or simply a quiet stroll through the park squares, you will have a great time regardless of when you visit.

Savannah Roof Tops

Understanding the city's weather patterns will help determine your ideal time to visit. Mild temperatures in the spring and fall months make them particularly pleasant. 

However, each season in Savannah shines in its own way: blooming azaleas in spring, bustling markets in summer, festive decorations in winter, and all year round, the city never lacks Southern charm. 

Additionally, for those looking to immerse themselves in the local culture, Savannah's numerous festivals, including the famous St. Patrick's Day celebrations, can provide an unforgettable experience. 

Building a luscious green trees in Savannah, Georgia

On the other hand, quieter times of the year offer a more relaxed pace with the same access to the city's historic district, architecture, museums, outdoor activities, and indulgent dining options.

I have been fortunate to visit Savannah several different times of the year, and I have always had a fantastic time. 

Savannah's enchanting allure, accentuated by its vibrant arts scene, diverse shopping, and entertainment venues, makes it a city that caters to a wide array of interests and desires.

From hidden gems off the beaten path, knowing just a little in advance is the best way to make the most of Savannah, and I am here to share all my favorite tips. 

Key Highlights

Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia

- Ideal visit times are spring and fall for pleasant weather
- Festivals and cultural events offer a unique highlight to your trip
- History, haunts, shopping, and culinary delights galore!
- Rental cars are optional if you plan to explore the historic downtown exclusively
- Accommodations are plentiful, offering a variety of options

Weather Patterns and Seasons

Savannah, Georgia, is generally considered a three-season destination. However, considering average temperatures, storms, and bugs, everyone has a favorite time of year to visit.

A fountain and surrounding vegetation in Savannah Park Squares

Winter in Savannah: Mild Temperatures and Quieter Streets

During winter, enjoy mild temperatures with averages ranging from highs of 60°F to lows around 40°F. 

The cooler weather of the winter months makes for a more peaceful visit. The quiet streets make it a lovely season for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle or have a more intimate getaway.

Spring Blooms: Perfect Time for Outdoor Activities

Pink Scene building in Savannah, Georgia

Spring in Savannah is simply delightful. The hostess city is painted with the vibrant colors of flowers in bloom. 

Average high temperatures hover around a comfortable 70°F to 80°F, perfect for cute spring outfits and plenty of outdoor activities. Additionally, Savannah's famous parks and squares are at their most beautiful.

Summer Highlights: Festivals and Warm Temperatures

Savannah vegetation at sunset

Summertime is when Savannah truly comes alive with festivals and events. The daily average high temperature is in the low 90s°F, and yes, it can be incredibly humid. It is also the beginning of hurricane season, which is worth monitoring closely. 

But do not let that deter you; the city's spirit is contagious during this period. Remember to include a light rain jacket with your other essential summer packing list items. 

Fall in Savannah: Cooler Temperatures and Cultural Events

You will enjoy cooler temperatures in the Fall, with averages dropping to highs between 70°F and 80°F.

This season is filled with cultural events and festivals that reflect Savannah's rich heritage. It is a spectacular time to visit as the summer heat dissipates and the city showcases its autumnal hues.

Historic District, Architecture & Museums

Owens Thomas House

Savannah's Historic District beckons with its Southern charm, displaying an array of architectural marvels and cultural institutions that enrich our understanding of the past.

Exploring the Charm of Savannah's Historic Buildings & Homes

Stepping into Savannah's Historic District is akin to traveling through time. Historic homes with sturdy yet graceful structures speak volumes of the city's past. 

The Owens-Thomas House, an 18th-century mansion, offers glimpses into antebellum life, displaying fine examples of English Regency architecture. 

Meldrim Green House

Similarly, the Green-Meldrim House, once General Sherman's headquarters, now stands as a museum that tells the rich history of its walls with a stunning Gothic Revival style that is hard to overlook. 

The workmanship and beauty of the Green-Meldrim house make it my favorite historic home in downtown Savannah. If you are a fellow Architectural enthusiast, you will want to take advantage of the opportunity to visit these house museums.

Other Historic Homes to Visit:

- Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace
- Sorrel Weed House
- Harper Fowlkes House
- Davenport House

Walking Tours: A Stroll Amidst History

Mercer Williams House

Aside from trolley tours, walking is one of the best ways to experience the historic savannah cobblestone streets shaded by Spanish moss and giant oaks. 

Forsyth Park is a beautiful starting point for a casual morning stroll before making your way to the other squares around the city. 

You will not want to miss Chippewa Square, famous for the iconic Forrest Gump bench scene. A few blocks further, you will be on River Street, once a prominent marketplace for trading imported goods.

Now, it has become a bustling promenade with boutiques, restaurants, and more. The park along the river offers a great view of the massive cargo ships coming into port, and after dark, the riverfront is a favorite hot spot for nightlife. 

Art and Museums

Art in Telfair Museum

Savannah has an incredible arts and culture scene, with institutions like the Telfair Museums, which include the neoclassical Telfair Academy and the contemporary Jepson Center. 

The Savannah College of Art and Design also has a considerable presence in the city, bringing collections that honor Savannah's heritage and its thriving young artistic community. 

Additional gems like the American Prohibition Museum and the Ships Of The Sea Maritime Museum offers narratives of bygone eras and maritime history. 

Other Must-Visit Cultural Institutions:

- Pin Point Heritage Museum
- Beach Institute African American Cultural Center

Waterfront of Savannah, Georgia with a riverboat in the shot and the Savannah skyline behind it

Cultural Events and Festivals

Savannah's cultural scene bursts to life with its festivals celebrating music, film, art, and St. Patrick's Day. Though visiting during special events can be pricier and busier, it is a great way to experience the city's vibrancy. 

Savannah Music Festival: Live Music and Performances

The Savannah Music Festival is one of the city's premier events, typically running from late March to early April.

People come together to enjoy various live music genres, from classical to jazz. You can revel in the performances, dance the day away, or learn from the musicians through workshops and lectures.

Savannah Film Festival: A Cinematic Celebration

SCAD theater building

During the fall, usually in October or November, the Savannah Film Festival lights up the screens with a showcase of established and emerging talent. It is a great time to amplify the art of filmmaking through screenings, panels, and awards. 

The historic city becomes a backdrop for cinematic innovation, with past venues including the Mercer Williams House Museum, famous for its connection to the film adaptation of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."

Patrick's Day Celebrations: Green All Around

Wear green with pride as St. Patrick's Day turns Savannah into a weekend-long celebration. The parade is usually the second-largest in the United States. The streets are filled with floats, marching bands, and dancers celebrating the rich Irish heritage.

Outdoor Attractions and Activities

Savannah live majestic oaks

An array of outdoor activities showcases Savannah's lush greenery, rich history, and beautiful coastal sights. 

Whether it is lounging in its picturesque parks, exploring the haunted corners, enjoying beach attractions at Tybee Island, or soaking in the serenity of Forsyth Park, there are always outdoor activities to experience.

Parks and Squares: Relax in the Greenery

Savannah's historic district is dotted with more than 20 town squares, perfect for resting in the shade after hours of walking around the city. Forsyth Park remains a favorite for locals and tourists, featuring walking paths and shaded areas with benches.

Tybee Island: Sun, Sand, and Sea

Tybee Island lighthouse

A short drive from the city brings you to Tybee Island, where the Atlantic Ocean kisses Georgia's coastline. 

It is the perfect place for sunbathing, swimming, and various water sports. Plus, historic Fort Pulaski is nearby for those interested in exploring the area's military history.

Ghost Tours: Discover the Spooky Side

For adventurous spirits drawn to Savannah's spooky side, you might enjoy an evening exploring one of the most haunted cities in America. 

Join a ghost tour and get chills from tales of spirits lingering in historic homes, or wander the eerie pathways of Colonial Park Cemetery at night.

Haunting Experiences:

- Evening Ghost Tours: A thrilling exploration of haunted history
- Bonaventure Cemetery: Guided walks among historic and eerie tombstones

Forsyth Park: A Green Oasis

Fountain in Forsyth Park

Forsyth Park, one of Savannah's largest and most visited parks, offers a peaceful escape with its open green spaces and tree-lined walking paths. 

There is a weekly farmers market where you can sample local delights and ample space for picnics, sports, or simply enjoying the outdoors. 

Remember to stop by the iconic fountain synonymous with Savannah's charm. It is a great place to take photos to capture a quintessential Savannah moment.

Dining and Culinary Experiences

Savannah has many delicious food options, from traditional Southern fare to inventive new dishes. Whether you are craving some down-home cookin' or a refreshing ice cream cone on a sweltering day - this city has it all.

Savannah's Famous Culinary Spots

Picnic in Savannah, GA

I cannot discuss Savannah's dining scene without mentioning The Olde Pink House, one of the city's most cherished establishments. Here is why it is a must-visit:

- Historic Charm: Dining in this 18th-century mansion is like stepping back in time
- Local Flavors: They serve local food with a twist, including their famous shrimp and grits

Another gem I take pride in is Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room, synonymous with hearty Southern comfort food. 

It is community dining at its finest - be prepared to make friends over fried chicken and collard greens. It is an especially great spot if you are new to Southern fare and want to taste over twenty different dishes.

The Crab Shack in Tybee Island

The Crab Shack out on Tybee Island offers an unforgettable outdoor dining experience - imagine eating fresh seafood under the canopy of live oaks.

If you are looking for a lively atmosphere, City Market offers various options, from casual eateries to upscale bistros. Then there is Collins Quarter in Forsyth Park, renowned for its café culture and farm-to-table offerings.

For our health-conscious friends, Brighter Day Natural Foods offers a variety of refreshing, nutritious options. 

Grab a smoothie or a cold-pressed juice to beat the heat and keep your energy up as you explore this beautiful city. It is my favorite place to stock up on picnic fare before lounging in the park.

Ice Cream and Treats on a Hot Day

Ice cream at Wildflower Cafe in Savannah, Georgia

A hot Savannah day calls for a stop at Leopold's Ice Cream. This classic establishment has been the talk of the town since it opened in 1919, offering hand-crafted ice cream. With flavors rotating regularly, there is always a new taste to try. 

However, the lines can be brutally long. But if you are okay with sampling a smaller variety of flavors, visit the Jepson Center. They sell Leopolds with virtually no wait at their lobby cafe. 

Shopping: Boutiques & Thrifting

Whether you are keen on finding one-of-a-kind items or exploring local boutiques and thrift shops, there is something to entice every shopper.

Favorite Boutiques and Thrift Spots:

E. Shaver Booksellers building in Savannah, Georgia

- The Paris Market: A treasure trove of whimsical and eclectic items that evoke the feel of a European bazaar. Perfect for art and gifts!
- Harper Boutique: For the latest trends in fashion, I enjoy the curated selection at this chic spot
- East & Up: Sustainable shopping is at its best here, where I find upcycled and vintage clothing
- Satchel: The perfect place to buy a custom handbag or leather goods
- Wright Square Vintage & Retro Mall: My go-to for quirky vintage finds and nostalgic treasures
- Art Galleries: Immerse yourself in local culture with classic and contemporary pieces. Great galleries are scattered throughout the city
- E. Shaver Booksellers: A haven for book lovers seeking a memorable read in a cozy atmosphere

Accommodations and Travel Planning

Homes and iron staircases in Savannah GA

A crucial part of planning any trip is considering where to stay and how to get around. Let's look at the best times for hotel deals and make sense of the city's transportation options. 

Many people on the East Coast choose Savannah as a great road trip destination. But if you are traveling from afar, the nearest airport is the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, which is about twenty minutes outside the city center. 

Hotels & Vacation Rentals

I recommended looking for hotel deals in Savannah's low season, which generally falls between January and March. 

During these months, hotel rates tend to be more affordable, and you can often find lower prices at well-known establishments like Hilton brand hotels. 

The high season typically runs from April to July and then picks back up in October for the fall festivities, so hotel prices during these times will be at their highest.

Savannah VRBO Rental

Another option is to look for Airbnb or VRBO rentals. Though you will not get the daily turn-down service, staying in a home adds charm, authenticity, and a sense of what living in the city is really like. 

It is always my favorite way to go. On my last trip, my friend and I stayed in a walkup circa 1800 just a few doors down from Flannery O'Connor's home. 

The flat was spacious, with 10-foot ceilings, huge windows, and beautiful decor. Plus, it had a modest kitchen where we could prepare some of our meals, which I love doing.

Navigating the City: From Rental Cars to Walking

Savannah is a city best enjoyed on foot, especially around the historic district. However, renting a car is a must if you plan to explore areas outside the city, like Hilton Head or Charleston

Rental car rates fluctuate throughout the year and are typically higher during special events and festivals. Booking a rental car in advance is wise, especially if your trip coincides with the high season, to ensure availability and potentially secure better rates. 

Parking Spots in Savannah, Georgia

A word of advice: go compact if you can. Parking around the city is extremely tight and hard to come by. Even staying in a hotel, you may have to pay for parking, which can add up quickly. 

Special Tips for First-Time Visitors

When planning your first trip to Savannah, GA, the little details can make your vacation unforgettable. I am here to share some insider advice so you can enjoy every moment in this charming city.

Packing Essentials for Savannah Weather

A rainbow coming from the Savannah City Hall

Savannah is a beautiful destination any time of the year, but being prepared for the weather is key. Here is a brief guide on what to pack so you can plan your luggage accordingly:

- Spring (March-May): The weather is mild; pack light layers, a rain jacket, and comfortable walking shoes
- Summer (June-August): It is hot and humid; bring a sun hat, sunglasses, and a decorative folding fan to stay cool
- Fall (September-November): This season is similar to spring but with less rain. However, still bring a rain jacket and pack some cozy layers just in case.
- Winter (December-February): Usually mild; however, a warm jacket is advisable

Year-round, I recommend bringing a refillable water bottle, comfortable shoes, sunglasses, and bug spray to ward off the Georgia gnats. 

Finding New Friends and Experiencing Southern Hospitality

Mrs Wilkes in Savannah, Georgia

Savannah is the best place to experience genuine Southern hospitality. Here is how to make the most of it:

- Join local tours: They are a great way to meet new friends and learn about different places from a local's perspective
- Dine at communal tables: Choosing restaurants with communal seating can lead to delightful conversations and a unique dining experience

With these tips, you are set for a fantastic visit to Savannah, where every moment is an opportunity for a new and unique experience.

Happy Travels!

Streets in Savannah

Whether you prefer the mild temperatures and blooming azaleas of spring (my favorite time of the year to visit), the vibrant festivals and warm days of summer, the cultural events and cooler weather of fall, or the peaceful charm of a mild winter, Savannah has a unique allure that promises a memorable experience.

With its historic architecture, scenic parks, lively arts scene, and renowned Southern hospitality, Savannah invites you to explore its streets, savor its culinary delights, and immerse yourself in its rich history and culture.

About the Author:

Marly Garman guest post information

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