Enjoy All Savannah Has to Offer
Established in 1733, Savannah is chic and sophisticated with plenty of stories to tell. Known for its rich history, natural beauty, eclectic architecture and romantic ambiance, Savannah tells the tale of past generations with an added modern punch of high-style boutiques, galleries and restaurants.
Savannah’s beautifully-restored homes, churches and public buildings embody our residents’ love of history and respect for preservation. And it’s that architectural ambiance mixed with the city’s unique, tree-filled squares, which has given rise to a tourism industry that’s boomed dramatically since the mid-1990s.
With its well-preserved past, its playful personality and its many opportunities for outdoor recreation, Savannah draws tourists. More than 12 million people visit yearly with 7 million overnight visitors, all spending more than $2.1 billion and stimulating the ongoing development of new hotels, restaurants and shops.
Savannah is diverse in its major economic sectors — manufacturing, tourism, small business, military, shipping from the port, higher education and large-scale healthcare and eldercare providers—with tourism leading the pack. Economic growth in Savannah can be attributed to many hospitality entities throughout the city.
An urban preservation movement led by concerned citizens in the mid-1950s saved Savannah’s architectural treasures threatened by urban renewal. These residents formed the Historic Savannah Foundation, which saved several historic buildings thereby boosting this city’s aesthetic feel, culture and economy. Additionally, since the late 1970s the Savannah College of Art and Design has renovated more than 1,000 historically-important buildings including those it occupies in the downtown area.
Savannah has long been a favorite of visitors enthralled by the azaleas and Spanish moss-covered live oaks of the historic squares, the quaint atmosphere of the cobblestoned waterfront, the tranquility of nearby marshlands and beaches and the free-flowing Southern hospitality. But tourism truly took off in the 1990s when John Berendt’s novel, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” focused attention on Savannah. Curiosity prompted by the best-seller lured readers here in droves and created a cottage industry revolving around what locals still refer to as “The Book.”
Today’s tourist focus is on the full getaway experience. Visitors come in search of the total package looking for cozy inns and hip hotels, popular Coastal cuisine, unique tours of every kind, cultural experiences and festivals year round.
With a hint of her coy smile, Savannah blends the best of the old and the new. Elegant and eccentric … That’s Savannah!