Savannah, Georgia turned out to be a bit of a surprise for me. It had everything you’d imagine – weeping trees, old houses and churches, amazing hospitality but, what we soon found out is that the area can be quite dangerous as well.
The hotel that we stayed at was a very nice (the Springhill Suites) and it was located just on the edge of the historic district. We soon found out that you really need to confine yourself to this area, as the zone outside the historic district isn’t exactly pleasant.
According to a tour driver, who took the guys on a haunted tour, crime is very high in Savannah but you are generally very safe within the historic district as it it heavily policed. Learning this made us a little more cautious than we might have otherwise been, but it didn’t damper the trip. And it shouldn’t stop you from going there – it’s a beautiful area, full of history and most definitely a place you should see.
What are my tips for visiting Savannah? They are as follows:
#1 – Park your car and leave it. The historic area is not terribly large, if you’ve got decent mobility you should be able to walk it all quite easily. Also, you’ll be able to experience the city much better by foot – finding fun places to shop, eat and just generally browse. I’d highly suggest stopping by the Savannah Bee Company and sampling some honey mead wines (and also buying some stuff – my grandmother was a big fan of their products, I wish I could get it in Canada!)
Tip #2 – You can drink in public. As long as you liquor is in a plastic container/cup it is perfectly legal to drink in public in Savannah. As soon as we learned this we cracked open some cans of Four Loko (more on that later) and went on our way.
Tip #3 – Stay inside the historic district. I already said this above, but this is my strongest recommendation. On our first night there, the two guys in our group went across the road to a local gas station. They proclaimed before leaving that “if we’re not back in 10 minutes, we’re dead!” Likely a slight exaggeration, but it wasn’t the best area.
Tip #4 – Watch out for scams. That friendly man who offers to take your photo? Yeah, he’s probably going to want cash afterward. Most of these people are totally harmless, but just be aware.
Tip #5 – Take a free tugboat ride. There are many riverboat cruises you can take, but if
you don’t want to commit to the time and price of these, you can just hop on a tugboat and head across the river and back. There’s not much on the other side, other than a fancy hotel, but it’s a fun way to spend an hour or so.
Although I didn’t present the best picture of Savannah I don’t want you to think it’s a horrible, unsafe place to visit. Just be aware of your surroundings and you’ll be just fine!