With this winter dragging on, our thoughts are turning south and to quick, cheap getaways. Besides its charm, rich history, great food, and intriguing blend of offbeat and classic, here are a few reasons why Savannah is topping our must-visit list.
This week, on February 13, JetBlue will begin non-stop service from New York and Boston to Savannah/Hilton Head. While the round-trip fares are comparable to prices on other airlines – starting at $150 from New York and $240 from Boston – the additional flights (two a day from New York; one a day from Boston) open up our travel options and may still save us money. (JetBlue lets you check one bag for free.)
A New Chic Hotel:
In early May, one of our favorite boutique hotel chains will open for business in Savannah. The Brice, by Kimpton Hotels, will occupy the site of Savannah's first Coca-Cola bottling plant in historic downtown. It will have 145 guest rooms that start at $192 per night, as well as a craft cocktail bar and restaurant. Our enthusiasm for Kimpton Hotels is not solely based on the fact that they offer a free wine hour every weekday evening. The chain also offers free WiFi to members of its (free) loyalty program, yoga mats in every room, and free bicycle rental at all their hotels – so you can create your own (free and environmentally sound) tour of the city.
If you can't wait that long to get away, another chic and affordable option is the Andaz, also in the historic district, where rates start at $169. If you would rather stay away from the chains, the charming Marshall House is recognized as Savannah's oldest hotel and retains original design details from the 1850s. Rates start at $175 per night.
Savannah knows how to celebrate, and has a full event calendar to prove it. Each year on Mrch 17, the city holds one of the biggest St. Patrick's Day parades in the world. The city's fountains are dyed green and a parade, consisting of military units, floats, and marching bands makes it way through Savannah's Historic District to River Street where the party continues. Tickets for reserved bleacher seating to watch the parade start at $25. Book your hotel early if you want to see this; the event attracts 400,000 visitors a year.
From March 20 through April 5, Savannah will host Georgia's largest music event, the Savannah Music Festival. The program highlights genres from jazz and blues to classical and bluegrass, with performers including the Avett Brothers and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Ticket prices vary according to artist, but start at $20.