A city jam-packed with history, elegant townhouses and towering oak trees, Savannah is a delight at any time of the year, but it's particularly fun in the fall, when the action-packed events calendar goes into overdrive.
The fall also sees uncomfortable summer temperatures dip to balmy levels: in other words, ideal conditions for exploring on foot or two wheels.
If you're looking to avoid the crowds completely, bring a coat and come in winter, and duck from historic house to historic house as you explore the sights. If you can handle the heat, high summer is another quiet time – the sultry heat drives everyone out of town to nearby beaches. On the flip side, there's the spring peak season; the city throngs with people but there's something about seeing the azaleas in full bloom that makes it all worth it.
Here's our guide to help you decide the best time to visit Savannah.
Shoulder Season: Mid-September to November
Best time for exploring the outdoors
With the breaking of the summer heat and a welcome drop in humidity, fall is a lovely time to be Savannah. This is prime sightseeing weather, with warm days and lots of sunshine. Get out on foot or rent a bike and explore. The crowds start to pick up again in October thanks to a host of events like the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival, Savannah Pride and The Shalom Y’all Jewish Food Festival.
The run-up to Halloween is also a fun time to be in Savannah, with lots of spooky lore to follow in the city's historic quarters and eerie old houses aplenty in the Victorian District. There's loads of organized Halloween fun, from kid's costume parties to bar crawls for twenty-somethings and dinner party tours of Bonaventure Cemetery.
High Season: March to June
Best time for music festivals
The late-spring/early-summer peak season sees the weather achieve perfection. The heat and humidity have yet to reach sweltering levels but days are warming up nicely and spring flowers fill the streets. Expect large crowds and higher prices. This is the time to enjoy Savannah's famous azaleas in full bloom in the city's old quarters, or rock out at music festivals such as the Savannah Stopover Festival and Savannah Music Festival.
Low Season: January to February, and July to mid-September
Best time for avoiding crowds
The cooler temperatures mean fewer crowds and a quieter city overall, and it's never truly cold in Savannah; snow puts in appearance about once a generation. Still, it's a good time to be indoors, and with the absence of crowds, winter provides the perfect time to visit the city's many historic buildings and the Telfair Museums. And if you’re feeling especially courageous, take part in Tybee Island’s Polar Plunge, as locals dive into the chilly (for Georgia, at least) ocean to celebrate New Year's Day.
The other quiet time is high summer. It's hot, hot, hot in Savannah, and humid too, so you'll work up a sweat doing anything. Do as locals do and head for the ocean –here's a breakdown of the best beaches near Savannah.
The city's “Slow-vannah” moniker really rings true during the year's first month – it's the off-season, but winter weather is typically mild so visits to downtown attractions are still doable.
Key events: Tybee Island Polar Plunge, Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade
It's a great time to visit Savannah if you want to avoid springtime crowds. Winter camellias kick into bloom as a prelude to the iconic azalea blossoming that begins in March.
Key events: Savannah Black Heritage Festival, Savannah Book Festival, SCAD’s DeFINE Art 2021
Spring swings into full effect, with Forsyth Park and the city's 22 squares all abloom with azaleas, cherry blossoms and more.
Key events: St Patrick’s Day Parade, Savannah Stopover Festival
Spring high season kicks off with more visitors than any other month (March St Patrick's festivities aside). The weather is sunny with darn near perfect temperatures – it's a great time to start hitting the beach.
Key events: Savannah Music Festival
The heat begins to turn up in May and beach season is well underway. Memorial Day weekend is popular for both locals and visitors, so arrive early to get a good spot on the sand.
Key events: Savannah Scottish Games
Summer weather starts to swelter and SCAD graduation brings a big crowd around the end of May or the beginning of June. Once the students are gone, tourism really quietens down.
Key events: Juneteenth celebrations
Hot, sticky and humid are the dog days of summer – save for July 4 festivities downtown and on Tybee, there's not much happening on the ground.
Key events: Fourth of July, Savannah Bananas season kicks off
Long and languid are the days of Savannah's hottest month. You can seek shelter at the beach, but the water isn't as refreshing as you'd hope. Stick to AC with a pitcher of sweet tea.
By now, locals are praying for boiling temps to cool down, and all they're getting are daily afternoon thunderstorms – it's the thick of hurricane season. At least the rain (kinda) helps break the heat of the day.
Key events: Savannah Jazz Festival, Pin Point Seafood Festival, Taste of Soul Food Festival
The arrival of autumn brings visitors flocking back to the city, with mild, pleasantly warm weather and more festivals and events than any other time of year. Halloween is a howl in this spooky, literal ghost town.
Key events: Tybee Island Pirate Fest, Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival, Savannah Pride, Oktoberfest, Savannah Film Festival, Shalom Y’all Jewish Food Festival, Savannah Greek Festival
The autumn weather is still pretty warm and dry, making it a great time to stroll and sit around Savannah's squares. The popular Rock and Roll Marathon brings tons of visitors early in the month.
Key events: Savannah Food & Wine Festival, Telfair Art Fair
Smaller crowds make for a much more relaxed visit during the holiday season. The weather can be mildly chilly, but sunny days are still typical and perfect for seeing the sights.
Key events: Christmas on the River, Tybee Island Lighthouse Christmas
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13 best things to do in Savannah
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Top 6 day trips from Savannah
This article was originally published February 2021. It was updated September 2021.