Travel on Point(s)

Travel on Point(s) is an independent, advertising-supported website. This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites like and This compensation does not impact how or where products appear on this site. Travel on Point(s) has not reviewed all available credit card offers on this site. Reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any partner entities.

Travel on Point(s) is an independent, advertising-supported website. This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites like and This compensation does not impact how or where products appear on this site. Travel on Point(s) has not reviewed all available credit card offers on this site. Reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any partner entities.

Things To Do In Savannah, Georgia

Our friend Jim Fatzinger The Travel Organizer is back with another trip report. This time around he covers all of the things to do in Savanah. Whether it is where to eat, walking tours, museums or taking in the natural beauty Savanah, Georgia has to offer, Jim has you covered. He also goes over an option of where you can stay (or not) when visiting historic Savanah. Let's dive in!

Why Did We Choose Savannah, Georgia?

Not because Savannah is just 240 miles from our home; although that is why we drove on this city break. The lowest cost for a roundtrip ticket between Charlotte and Savannah was $447 and we spent less than $50 for gas! Savannah has been on our radar for quite a while, but the math and timing associated with a hotel stay moved the needle enough to make definite plans.

Allow me to explain. I could book our 4-night stay using the hotel’s website for $1,264.98 or I could make our reservation for the same room through AAdvantage Hotels for $1,390.43. So, for $125.45 more, I would earn 14,200 redeemable miles, worth more than the $125, and Loyalty Points at a rate of 113 per dollar. As a Charlotte “hub captive,” who is still on the requalification hamster wheel, this seemed like a win-win.

Where We Stayed In Savanah (A Cautionary Tale)

The property: Staybridge Suites, Savannah Historic District itself offered everything we wanted (except free parking…see below):

  • Terrific location (walkable to everything in Savannah’s historic district),
  • Complimentary breakfast (which always included at least 4 hot items) from 6:30-9:30am,
  • Complimentary happy hour (with appetizers and wine), M-W, 5:30-7:00pm,
  • Free Wi-Fi (which was plenty fast for browsing, e-mail, etc.),
  • An adequate fitness center (open 12 hours/day), and
  • On-site self-laundry.

Parking in the lot directly behind the hotel is $25/day, just a few dollars more than the daily charge for parking in the city’s garages. It was worth it for the convenience to us. Space is limited but the hotel has arrangements with a nearby parking facility for overflow.

Service Is Lacking

Sadly, the attractiveness of the property and its amenities was tarnished by our multiple unprofessional encounters with hotel staff and management. We had some billing issues where we were charged multiple times for parking, because we were told the card declined. After inquiring with the General Manager, knowing this was likely an issue on the hotel's end, we were told there would be no issues with the billing. A few days later we were alerted to the double charge. When I went to the front desk we were met with some hostility over the matter from the General Manager. I can not recommend this property because of that experience.

Where We Ate

Savannah makes TripAdvisor’s top 10 U.S. food destinations every year and the ranking is well deserved – as you will see.

Things To Do In Savannah

Clary's Cafe

Just like John Cusack, who played the author John Kelso in Clint Eastwood’s film adaptation of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, we sat at the counter at Clary’s Café for our meal here. The menu is huge (as are the portions, as you can see from the photo here!) and breakfast is served all day. Expect a wait for a table, but we arrived at 11:45am and were seated by Noon.

Travel on Points tips: In addition to being a Dosh restaurant, Clary’s Café is also on the Dining Rewards network. I earned 126 AAdvantage miles and $1.05 cash back for our dine with the two programs.

The Pirate's House

The Pirate’s House, so named because it was frequented by sailors and pirates in the mid-18th century, has been lovingly restored. That is true all the way down to its haint blue shutters and doors to ward off evil spirits. Legend is that Robert Louis Stevenson was inspired to write his classic tale while visiting here in 1883. You can even see rare, early edition pages of Treasure Island hanging on some of the interior walls. The menu has a decidedly southern emphasis with dishes like she-crab soup, okra gumbo, fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, and sides like Georgia peach piccalilli, collard greens, and Savannah red rice.

Travel on Points tip: Make your reservation on OpenTable and earn 100 points.

Repeal 33

Pre-COVID, this space was named Prohibition and featured a large, communal table. During its 5-month closure in 2020, its owners reimagined the interior space to space tables farther apart and renamed the restaurant Repeal 33. The name is inspired by the repeal of prohibition by the passage of the 21st amendment on December 5, 1933.

My wife ordered the steamed mussels ($16) and street corn ($10). I just had to try their “Southern schnitzel” – a fried chicken cutlet served with bacon lardons, spaetzle, collard greens, house-made sauerkraut, and a French gruyere mustard sauce ($32). Quite an eclectic dish!

Travel on Points tips: You can earn another 100 points toward a future dine by making your reservation on Open Table. I also earned 5% ($6.25) cash back by paying for our meal with a card connected to my Dosh account.

Dinner Savannah

Emporium Kitchen & Wine Market

Emporium Kitchen & Wine Market, in the Perry Lane Hotel (a Marriott Luxury Collection Hotel), is “an American brasserie” where “…the warmth of Southern hospitality intertwines with the elegance and sophistication of French culinary artistry.”

As its name suggests, the wine list here is impressive. The lobster pasta with leeks and tarragon in a mustard crème sauce ($33) with a glass of Chardonnay sounded so appealing we did something very unusual for us. We both ordered the same thing. While this dish didn’t skimp on the lobster, we agreed the sauce came very close to overpowering the delicate sweetness of our favorite crustacean. Other diners have raved about the tableside raclette burger ($25).

For dessert, we shared the restaurant’s take on baked Alaska: cream cheese ice cream, seaberry sorbet, pistachio chiffon, pineapple, and meringue flambéed tableside ($15).

Travel on Points tip: Make an early reservation on OpenTable to earn 1,000 points. Those points are worth $5 – $10 toward a future meal at an OpenTable restaurant.

Long Lines

Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room

You’ll find Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room on virtually every list of Savannah dining recommendations. You can’t make a reservation, and there is always a line on Savannah’s most picturesque street when Mrs. Wilkes’ doors open at 11:00am weekdays. Unfortunately, they are closed weekends.

Inside, eight tables seating 8-12 each are spread across 2 rooms. Tables are filled, one at a time, so that the first group seated is getting ready for dessert when the chairs at the last table are being filled. We joined the line at 10:30am on a Wednesday and were at the last table filled in the first seating.

When you sit down, the table is already overflowing with dishes of every Southern side imaginable: collard greens, black-eyed peas, sweet potato souffle, macaroni and cheese, okra gumbo, cornbread, biscuits, etc. The star entree is Southern fried chicken. However, you can also expect to find platters of smoked sausage, stewed beef, and meat loaf on your table.

This all-you-can-eat meal costs $30 (ages 13+) or $15 (12 and under), cash only. Save room for dessert; there’s always banana pudding and often peach cobbler. Also, don’t forget the stretchy pants.

Things To Do In Savannah

Better Than Sex

The name intrigued me, so I visited the website for Better than Sex. It is a dessert-and-drink café on the western end of Savannah’s main shopping street. The menu is entertaining as almost every item as well as the snappy repartee of servers are double entendres.

We decided to share “The Fourgasm” – “a little tease” of four of their most popular desserts:

  • A slice of “Between My Red Velvet Sheets Cheesecake” (red velvet cheesecake with a dark chocolate cookie crust topped with silky chocolate frosting)
  • “Man Flowers” (chocolate cake made with Sam Smith organic chocolate stout beer, and dark chocolate frosting topped with chocolate stout ganache)
  • “Caress My Carrot” (carrot cake with dried cranberries, pineapple, and walnuts, vanilla bean cream cheese frosting and a honey-dipped tip)
  • Plus, the disappointingly uncreatively named “All American Cheesecake.”

Drinks can be rimmed in chocolate upon request as well. My wife ordered the choco-coffee, as if we hadn’t already had an overdose of chocolate with the dessert sampler described above! I ordered “Peanut-tration,” Skrewball peanut butter whiskey served in a brandy snifter rimmed with white chocolate and chopped peanuts.

Inside, the lighting is dim and candlelit tables are separated by walls or curtains. This was the first (and, probably, the last) time I would pay $80 for dessert, but it certainly was a memorable experience!

Tours We Took

Even though we could have spent our entire time eating on our visit to Savanah, we did carve out some time for some tours too. Here are a couple of note you can consider while visiting Savanah. No shocker, one involves food!


Bonaventure Cemetery

No visit to Savannah would be complete without a stroll through the tranquil grounds of Bonaventure Cemetery. It was on the bench pictured here, in the gravesite of Conrad Aiken, the first Georgia-born author to win a Pulitzer Prize for poetry, that a local woman (Mary Harty) with a deep knowledge of Savannah’s history and legends told author John Berendt the story of the murder of Danny Hansford, the subsequent trials of Jim Williams, and Williams’ sudden death in the same room where Danny Hansford died that became Berendt’s best-selling novel “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” The iconic “Bird Girl” statue that graced the novel’s cover was originally found here also, but now has a new home at the Telfair Academy (see below). There is no charge to visit the cemetery, which is open 8am-5pm daily.

Tip #1: Drive through the cemetery toward the river for ample parking.

Bonus for Travel on Points readers: You can request a free, annotated map of the cemetery’s most famous gravesites and scenes from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Free Savanah Walking Tours

If you’ve read any of my previously published trip reports, you’ll know that one of the first things I do when visiting a new destination is look for a well-reviewed, guided tour. This helps orient me to the place I’m visiting, provides historical and cultural context for attractions on my itinerary, and often yields “insider” tips on restaurants, etc.

In Savannah, there are basically two choices: Genteel & Bard, which offers 4 different tours, and Free Savannah Walking Tours. Multiple emails to Genteel & Bard went unanswered, so we booked the 1:00pm “Historic Savannah Tour” with Free Savannah Walking Tours. We thoroughly enjoyed one of the best “free” walking tours we’ve ever experienced. Our guide, Chuck Norras, was knowledgeable, witty, and kept our group moving at a steady, but comfortable pace.

Tip: Free Savannah Walking Tours also offers a 10:30am tour which, if you’re visiting during the summer, might be your better option.

Savanah Taste Experience Tours

Have I mentioned that Savannah is quite the foodie city? The 4 (!) food tours offered by Savannah Taste Experience leave no doubt that this is so.

Things To Do In Savannah
Here Are The Details On Each:
  • Port City Food Tour (the one I took), offered up to 4x daily, year-round, starting at $76.95 per person.
    • This 3-hour tour features 6 stops that tell the story of the groups that have made Savannah the vibrant, multi-cultural city it is today. The meeting place and first stop for the tour was Zunzi’s, home to the Conquistador, chosen as a finalist on the Travel Channel’s Best Sandwich in America show. The Andaz Shrimp and Grits (pictured here) was sublime. The perfectly prepared shrimp were complemented by melted leeks and smoked pork belly served atop a bed of cheddar and blackened cream sauce grits. (This item is on the dinner menu for 22 Square, the hotel’s restaurant, for $27.)
  • First Squares Food Tour (3 hours), also offered up to 4x daily, year-round, starting at $76.95 per person.
    • This tour ambles through some of Savannah’s 22 historic squares uncovering secrets of Savannah’s history on stops at 6 different restaurants and local food boutiques including a brewery, a British bakery, and a riverfront raw bar specializing in Low Country cuisine.
  • Southern Fried Expectations Food Tour, offered Sunday – Thursday, year-round, starting at $62.95 per person.
    • Wash down iconic dishes synonymous with “southern” (e.g., hushpuppies, fried chicken and biscuits) with a sample of one of the “world’s greatest daiquiris” on this 2-hour food tour.
  • Walktails and Bar Bites Tour (2½ hours), offered Thursday – Saturday, year-round, starting at $86.95 per person.
    • It’s legal to walk around with alcoholic beverages in Savannah’s historic district (as long as they’re in transparent, plastic cups). This adults-only happy hour tour starting at 4:00pm elevates Savannah’s permissive “to go cup” law by making 4 stops for unique cocktail pairings.
Space Is Limited

Every Savannah Taste Experience tour is limited to 14 participants ensuring lots of personal attention. That also means they sell out quickly, so make your reservation(s) as far ahead as possible to get the tour and time that best fits your schedule.

Savannah’s Waterfront

This is where the city’s history began on February 12, 1733. Former warehouses landside on River Street are now home to restaurants, art galleries, and gift shops while a riverside walk takes one past points of interest including those below.

The so-called “Echo Square” (a small section of Rousakis Plaza) at 305 E. River Street is easily missed. Look for 4 short, curved planters around a circular plaza resembling a compass opposite the shops Bob’s Your Uncle and Fannie’s Your Aunt. Supposedly, if you stand in the center and speak, you’ll hear your voice echoing back to you but no one standing outside the square will be able to hear what you say. We found the auditory phenomenon underwhelming, perhaps due to the ambient noise from the crowds on River Street.

Things To Do In Savannah

The African American Family Monument (9 East River Street) sparked controversy when it was unveiled because the inscription on its base, taken from a powerful poem by Inaugural Poet Maya Angelou, recalls the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade in graphic language.

A striking memorial titled “A World Apart” at 100 West River Street honors the 527 local soldiers who died in the European and Pacific theaters of World War II.

The vertigo-inducing “Stone Stairs of Death” can be found in the alleyway between Dubs Pub (225 West River Street) and Two Cracked Eggs Café (301 West River Street) connecting Bay Street (at the top) to River Street (at the bottom).

The lobby of the J.W. Marriott Plant Riverside (400 West River Street) is kind of like a combination natural history museum (with monumental geodes and a chrome dinosaur skeleton suspended from its atrium ceiling) and art gallery that is well worth a visit.

“Samplefest” at City Market

Here’s a fun – and, with one very minor exception, completely FREE activity. You can sample what’s on sale at the addresses below. Tip: Most of the businesses below also have outlets along River Street; those addresses are indicated in parentheses.

  • Beef Jerky Experience, at 305 West St. Julian Street, offers samples of any of the more than 100 varieties of jerky they sell – from exotics (think ostrich, kangaroo, alligator, etc.) to vegan jerky.
  • Savannah’s Candy Kitchen, at 318 West St. Julian Street, specializes in pecan pralines, buttery toffee, brittles, and caramel-glazed pecans. (Also at 225 East River Street)
  • Byrd’s Famous Cookies, at 213 W. St. Julian Street, is perhaps best known for its light, crisp, nutty benne wafers, made using a 300-year-old recipe. (Also at 300 West River Street)
  • Wet Willie’s, at 20 Jefferson Street, claims to serve the “world’s greatest daiquiris” which come in 20+ flavors including “chocolate thunder”, “white Russian”, “sex on the beach”, etc. And, because of the open container policy in Savannah’s historic district, you can get your choice in a “to-go” cup. (Also at 101 East River Street)
  • You can do a free honey tasting at Savannah Bee Company, 104 West Broughton Street. (Also at 1 West River Street)
  • The Georgia Tasting Room, 306 W. St. Julian Street, offers a tasting of 6 regional wines for just $3. At 50¢ per pour, how wrong can you go? I saw some bottles from Biltmore Estates, which makes some passable wines, in the shop. They also offer “wine smoothies” which look a whole lot like Wet Willie’s daiquiris!

Attractions We Visited & Absolutely Loved

Here are some of the other attractions we visit during our stay in Savanah.

Things To Do In Savannah

Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist

The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist on Abercorn Street between Harris and Liberty Streets is open to visitors Monday through Saturday from 9-11:30am and 1-5pm; also on Sundays from 1-5pm: The interior of this French Gothic cathedral is breathtaking but some of its secrets are best unlocked through free talks offered, almost on an individual basis, by very knowledgeable docents ($3 donation suggested). Docent John Pryer offers engaging and informative talks regularly; contact the cathedral for his schedule. If your schedule and his don’t coincide, you can view a recording of one of his talks here.

Telfair Museums

The three Telfair Museums below are accessed with a single ticket which is valid for 7 days from the date of purchase. All 3 museums are open daily, 10am-5pm. The cost is as follows:

  • $30 per adult
  • $27 per senior or military
  • $20 per student
  • $10 for ages 6-12
  • 5 and under are free

The details on the three Telfair Museums are as follows:

  • The Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters is the only Telfair Museum requiring a reservation because it involves a guided tour which focuses on the conditions and legacy of urban enslavement.
  • The Jepson Center at 207 W. York Street focuses on modern and contemporary art through its permanent collection and changing exhibitions. There’s also an immersive children’s art space.
  • The Telfair Academy at 121 Barnard Street is a gallery of 19th and 20th century American and European art with a special exhibition room for the iconic “Bird Girl” statue which graces the cover of Berendt’s novel, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
Best Travel on Points Tip:

I’ve written about this “hack” before (see “Windy City Getaway” and “Santa Fe Trip Report”, for example), but if you enjoy visiting museums, galleries, science and technology centers, etc., you can save a ton by getting the “Travel Membership.” It is good for 2 adults and up to 6 children living at the same address in return for a charitable contribution of just $125 to the Kern County Museum in Bakersfield, CA.

On this trip alone, we saved $78 in museum admission fees! We’ll save another $82 on our upcoming trip to Flagstaff, AZ. So, by the end of that trip, we’ll have realized $35 more than the cost of our membership in free museum admissions and our admission to over 1,400 museums/institutions nationwide will be absolutely FREE for the next 8 months!

Things To Do In Savannah

Congregation Mickve Israel

No, the Congregation Mickve Israel is not a church; it’s the only Gothic synagogue in North America. It is also home to the 3rd oldest Jewish congregation in the United States! Docent-led tours are offered Monday through Friday at 10am, 11am, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm. The cost is $10 per person for 12 and older, or $5 for children under 12. The ticket include explanations of the sanctuary architecture and symbols, a discussion of the role early Jewish settlers played in the founding of Savannah. You also get a visit to the synagogue’s Museum where you can see the oldest Torah in North America.

Davenport House Museum

Tickets for tours of the Davenport House Museum can be purchased in the gift shop (which used to be a pharmacy) at 323 East Broughton Street. The cost is as follows:

  • $15 per adult
  • $12 for senior, military, or students ages 18-21
  • $10 per student ages 6-17
  • Children 5 and under are free

The Davenport House is where, in 1955, Savannah’s historic preservation campaign began with 7 women who blocked the planned demolition of this 1820 Federal style house so that the land could be turned into a parking lot.

Things To Do In Savanah: ToP Thoughts

It’s really hard to believe we did everything in this report over the space of just four days! Golfers and beach lovers could easily pair the ideas herein with a few days on Tybee Island or at nearby Hilton Head and have a memorable weeklong getaway. You should have some great ideas of things to do in Savanah for your next visit.

Let us know your favorite tips, activities, sites and restaurants in Savannah, Georgia over in the ToP Facebook Group.

Here are Jim's other trip reports:


We promise to keep things short, sweet, and packed with awesome insights!