For those of us in greater Atlanta, Savannah is as close as we can get to the beach. It’s a four-ish hour drive from my home, making it the perfect spot for a weekend getaway. 

I like to take a half day on Fridays so that I can get to Savannah with plenty of time to check in and unwind before dinner. I’m usually in no hurry to depart on Sundays, so I'm able to make the most of my time.

A cobbled street lined with historic buildings at dusk
Make the most of your weekend in Savannah with these recommendations © Sean Pavone / Getty Images

Here are my recommendations on how to make the most of your weekend.

  • When to arrive: I recommend starting the day no later than mid-afternoon, perhaps around 2pm. If you can swing it, Thursday night is even better! 
  • How to get from the airport: Splurge on a rideshare to get into the city from the airport since the bus might take an hour or more. 
  • Getting around town: You’ll most likely be getting around on foot. Taxis and rideshares can cover greater distances, like if you’re going to Tybee Island or south of Forsyth Park. 
  • Where to stay: Savannah has everything from charming inns to luxury hotels. My favorites are the retro vibes of the Thunderbird Inn, the JW Marriott Plant Riverside District for its museum-esque lobby, and the Alida Hotel, named for a historic preservationist. I’ve also enjoyed a friend’s Airbnb, which lets me feel, at least temporarily, like a local.
  • What to pack: The most important thing you’ll need is comfortable shoes, especially if you’ll be getting around on foot. A hat is also a good idea, especially during the summer months. I also like to carry a folding fan to keep me cool. The city is fairly laid-back, so you won’t need to adhere to a dress code unless a restaurant requires it.
A pedestrianized street lined with shops and restaurants, with diners sat at tables outside
Take a walking tour of Savannah, and then head to City Market, full of shops and restaurants © Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock


Morning: Start your day with breakfast. Dottie’s Market has artisan foods to take with you, like specialty jams and sauces, but it’s the prepared dishes that make it a favorite. The bagel BLT will keep you full for hours. If all you need to get your day started is coffee and a pastry, head to the Coffee Fox down the street.

The shops on Broughton St open around 10am, so once you’ve had a bite to eat, check out the local boutiques like Clockwork Skateshop, Nourish, an organic bath products store, and secondhand threads at Glory Days Vintage

How to spend the day: Get a quick overview of the city and its history by joining Free Savannah Tours for a 90-minute walking tour. You’ll pay a small booking fee, and tips are encouraged, but you won’t find a cheaper tour in town, running at 9:30 and noon. 

Many of Savannah’s iconic homes now operate as museums, so step inside to see how the locals who once owned them lived. The Juliette Gordon Low house is a popular stop for Girl Scouts and grown-ups alike. The Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters is an important look at what life was like for both the wealthy merchant class and enslaved people in the 19th century. 

After a morning of tours, enjoy an outdoor lunch, picking up picnic supplies from Fancy Parker’s, an upscale outpost of the gas station chain in a historic service station. Grab fried chicken, sandwiches and a soda to enjoy in one of Savannah’s famous squares. Chippewa Sq, of 1994-movie Forrest Gump fame, is a short walk away. 

Then head to the City Market, with abundant shops and restaurants. Don’t miss the American Prohibition Museum, which covers the history of the failed experiment and ends in the speakeasy, where you can enjoy a cocktail. 

Dinner: If you only have time for one restaurant in town, make it the Grey. Its many accolades are well-deserved, with a menu truly inspired by the region, including oysters and pork cooked in sorghum. If you’re looking for something more casual, Crystal Beer Parlor is a local favorite for its burgers and crab dip.

After dark: River St certainly has its charms, but if you’re not looking for the party crowds, pop into one of Savannah’s cocktail bars like Artillery or Alley Cat Lounge.

A black and white lighthouse rises above a sandy beach
Spend your Saturday exploring historic sites, or lounging on the beach, at Tybee Island © Marcus E Jones / Shutterstock


Morning: Operating year-round, the Forsyth Farmers Market in Forsyth Park is the best way to start the day. It opens at 9am, and you’ll find both produce sellers and prepared food vendors, so pick up a coffee and pastry to explore. When you’re all packed, make the 30-minute drive to Tybee Island, Savannah’s beach community, where you can get another caffeine fix at Tybean. (If you don’t have a car to make the trek, get a hotel pool pass and chill for the day at somewhere like the Thompson or the Alida.) 

How to spend the day: Pick up lunch from Finches Sandwiches & Sundries in Thunderbolt on your way. The Romaine Empire is a fave, best with a side of Old Bay-dusted tots to share. 

If you just want to lounge in the sand and surf, settle in for the afternoon. But if you’re looking to explore, wander to the historic pier, which has been featured in movies like The Last Song (2010) and Baywatch (2017) or hit the trails at Fort Pulaski. Take a tour of the 1773 Tybee Lighthouse or cool off with a cold one at Back River Brewery

Dinner: Before you head back downtown, enjoy a seafood feast at one of the island’s restaurants. Sea Wolf has quirky decor, tiki-style cocktails, and a menu of oysters and fancy hot dogs. The Crab Shack is a Tybee staple, with tables tucked amongst the trees where diners eat heaped portions of shrimp and crab. 

After dark: Back in Savannah, if you’re not too tired and sunburnt, join one of the after-hours ghost tours of the city, or belly up to the bar at the Original Pinkie Masters, one of Savannah’s oldest dive bars. 


Morning: For your last day in town, get an early start by heading to the Starland District for breakfast. Flora and Fauna serves biscuits, breakfast sandwiches and beautiful pastries, while Big Bon Bodega makes freshly baked bagels daily.

How to spend the day: Explore the district’s many shops and businesses like Two Tides Brewing, which has coffee in the morning and pints come afternoon. Pop into Superbloom for jewelry and gifts and Graveface Records & Curiosities for records and offbeat knickknacks. Grab a slice from Starland Yard, an open-air food hall made of converted shipping containers.

When you’ve had your fill, head back to the hotel to check out, saying goodbye to the city – only until your next weekend visit.

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