Savannah's National Historic Landmark District is one of the largest of its kind in the United States. The district features a wide assortment of architectural designs across many uses, including commercial, residential, and even industrial. As Georgia's first city and its first capital, the area has a tremendous amount of history belying its past as such an influential center of commerce. Even today the Port of Savannah bustles with activity. But what's also hopping is the city's tourism industry. Visitors come from all around to experience the Savannah's many sights including the architecture and the beauty of its many parks.
Savannah's downtown features several areas with a Main Street feel. The first is Broughton Street, which is the closest to a traditional Main Street in Savannah. Next is the City Market area, a thriving pedestrian mall full of shops, restaurants, and clubs. Finally, there's Factors Walk and River Street on Savannah's waterfront. This area is one of the oldest and features historic buildings that were once large cotton warehouses. This area also features shops and restaurants but also has a bustling nightlife scene. Savannah, Georgia is about 140 miles north of Jacksonville, Florida and about 110 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina. Other Main Street areas on Georgia's coast include St. Simons Island and historic Brunswick, both located in the Golden Isles region.
Spend your day shopping and dining on Broughton Street in downtown Savannah, Georgia.
Savannah's City Market is a nearby pedestrian mall that features shops, restaurants, and clubs.
Head to River Street on Savannah's waterfront for more shopping, dining and even nightlife.
We start our tour of Savannah on the 300 block of East Broughton Street. That outdoor cafe and plaza used to be a parking lot.
This is the 200 block of East Broughton Street. SCAD is the Savannah College of Art and Design, which plays a major influence on the city's downtown. That stark building on the left is also part of SCAD.
Leopold's Ice Cream has long been a fixture in Savannah. The interior was designed by Academy Award nominated designer Dan Lomino who used many of the original fixtures and also decorated with Hollywood posters, props and signed photographs.
The restored Lucas Theatre on Abercorn Street has hosted many Hollywood luminaries and also features details of Greek revival, Art Deco and Neoclassical styles of architecture. Don't forget to take a horse and buggy tour of the area.
On the 100 block of East Broughton Street, the Marshall House is one of the longest running hotels in Savannah. Notice the wrought iron work along the front of the building.
Across the street from the Marshall House, you'll find more shops and businesses. The high-rise in the background is the Manger Building, once a hotel, it's now an office building.
A blend of old and new architectural elements can be found on the zero hundred block of East Broughton Street.
Across the street, you can find more shops, including an Art Supply store to serve the area's many students and artists.
The intersection of Broughton Street and Bull Street marks the heart of downtown Savannah and features a mix of architectural styles, including this example of mid-century architecture. Levy Jewelers, which has been in business for over a 100 years, recently moved in and renovated the building.
Catch a horse and buggy ride at the intersection of Bull and Congress Streets. In the background is Johnson Square, the oldest and largest of Savannah's famous town squares as laid out by James Oglethorpe, founder of the Province of Georgia.
Heading south on Bull Street we take a slight detour. Here's a shot of some shops and restaurants along the zero hundred block of West State Street.
Continuing south on Bull Street we find more boutiques and cafes along the zero hundred block of West York Street.
Bull Street itself is not a straight line but instead dog-legs around each of the squares it comes across. This is Wright Square named after a former governor of Georgia. However, the monument itself is for William W. Gordon who constructed a railroad to Savannah.
Shops and businesses can be found past Wright Square on the 100 block of Bull Street.
We make it back to Broughton Street. Here's an historic building on the zero hundred block of West Broughton. Although businesses occupy the ground floors of most buildings in downtown Savannah, many of the above floors are vacant, waiting to be rehabbed into lofts and apartments.
More shops across the street on the other side of the zero hundred block of West Broughton Street.
Another side street, this time we're on the 100 block of Whitaker Street.
Boutiques and gift shops fill the historic buildings on the 100 block of West Broughton Street.
How the times have changed. A Gap now occupies a former location of the Kress department store.
Here's a sidewalk cafe on the 100 block of Barnard Street.
There's more than one way to get around Savannah. Notice everyone pedaling on this contraption? It's called a Crawler and it's 100% pedal powered.
A clothing boutique now occupies what was once a five and dime next door to a modern day General Store (this one sells coffee) on the 200 block of West Broughton Street.
Plenty of boutiques and window shopping can be found along the 300 block of West Broughton Street.
More boutiques and a spooky-looking pub on the 300 block of West Broughton Street.
One more boutique as we reach the western end of Broughton Street's shopping district. We're at the intersection of Broughton and Montgomery Streets.
We head south and find more businesses along the zero hundred block of Montgomery Street.
We make it to Savannah's City Market, a pedestrian mall in the heart of downtown. The pedestrian-only street is also known as West St. Julian Street and this is a shot of its 300 block.
This is the intersection of West St. Julian Street and Jefferson Street. Watch out for cross traffic on Jefferson Street!
The City Market was once a market where farmer's brought their goods to Savannah. Today, you can find other kinds of merchandise in the area.
Here's another view of the intersection of West St. Julian Street and Jefferson Street. Notice the Information Booth in the middle of the road? No cars will be driving this way. However, the bike taxis look like they're willing to give it a try.
At the eastern end of the City Market is Ellis Square. Originally one of the city's squares, it was replaced with a market house and then a parking garage before finally being restored, this time with a Visitor's Center and a splash park. The parking garage was moved underground.
We make our way closer to Savannah's waterfront and reach the area called Factors Walk. The Cotton Exchange building was constructed during the height of cotton's influence on Savannah's economy. The building is an example of Romanesque Revival architecture.
The buildings along Factors Walk are built entirely above a public street. Notice the walkways to get across to them. Today these buildings contain shops, restaurants, and inns.
Hotels, shops, and restaurants line the other side of busy Bay Street. You can pick up a trolley and take a tour of the city. Here's a shot of the 100 block of East Bay Street.
Parks separate Bay Street from Factors Walk. This park contains the Old City Exchange Bell, believed to be one of the oldest bells in Georgia.
A view of historical structures along the 200 and 300 blocks of Bay Street. Many of the city's accommodations can be found in this part of town.
Cars and pedestrians share the ramp heading down towards Savannah's River Street. Elevators are also available to make the trip a little easier.
Here's another cobblestone ramp that will take you down from Bay Street to River Street. Notice the bridges leading to the upper floors of the historic buildings.
River Street is Savannah's entertainment district and a favorite for tourists. Many of the historic buildings once served Savannah's cotton industry and were used as warehouses. Today you'll find shops, restaurants, clubs, and hotels. This is a shot of the 100 block of West River Street.
A modern day Hyatt has been built over River Street, paying homage to Savannah's history of building structures over streets. At least you can still find shopping underneath the hotel.
The businesses add a burst of color to Savannah's historic past. This is the zero hundred block of East River Street.
Another view of the same block. Visitors crowd the narrow sidewalks. You can also see the modern Hyatt that was constructed over River Street.
Another ramp to get back into the center of downtown Savannah. This view gives you an idea of how the buildings were originally built over the public streets.
As the sun starts to go down, people are ready to party on River Street. You can carry alcohol in public in the Historic District as long as it is in a paper or plastic "To-Go" cup. No bottles and cans and one per person. Bars close at 3:00 a.m.
Two levels of outdoor dining on the 100 block of East River Street in Savannah.
Because of the all the tourists, you can find a lot of gift shops, including these along the 100 block of East River Street. Notice the wrought iron work on the sides of the historic structures. Also, you seem to find a lot of state flags waving along River Street.
It's probably easier to take the trolley than it is to drive on River Street. This stretch of the 300 block of East River Street features more industrial-looking buildings.
Although the other side of River Street mostly features the park-like Riverfront Plaza, this stretch of the 400 block of East River Street has restaurants and shops on the river side of the street. Notice the railroad tracks in the roadway.
We come to the eastern end of our tour of River Street. A more modern hotel rises in the distance.
We turn around, cross the street and head back along the waterfront. This is the John P. Rousakis Riverfront Plaza. The building across the river is the Westin and Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa and can be reached by ferry.
The Savannah River along with other signs of the city's bustling port industry. In the background is the Talmadge Memorial Bridge.
The Riverfront Plaza provides space for artists and musicians, and even events. But you'll also find more statues, monuments, and memorials such as this World War 2 Memorial.
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