Guide to Venturing Off Savannah’s Beaten Path
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The center of Savannah’s Historic District is packed with popular activities, but venturing off the beaten path reveals some of Savannah’s more obscure hidden gems. Use this helpful guide to map out places of interest along Savannah's perimeter.
Our first stop is hidden in plain sight on the Savannah Waterfront. That’s right, Savannah's lively River Street is home to the commonly missed Echo Square. Step into the center square where an “X” marks the spot and experience the phenomena. The acoustic anomaly of the area gives off an echo which can only be heard by those inside the square. Echo Square can be hard to find, so look for the shop Bob’s Your Uncle and head towards the river from there.
Next, fans of the creepy and bizarre will appreciate the Graveface Museum on east Factor’s Walk. Hidden within the charm of Savannah’s beauty and refinement, Graveface Museum showcases strange and unusual oddities from around the world. Featuring a large true-crime exhibit, classic horror film memorabilia and a retro pinball arcade, Graveface is one of the strangest places you will visit in Savannah. Factor’s Walk is home to a few businesses that can be tricky to find, so be on the lookout for the large wooden double doors on the 400 block of lower Factor’s Walk and enter if you dare.
The Kimpton Brice
Our next place off the beaten path is none other than the Kimpton Brice Hotel. This youthfully sophisticated boutique hotel is located in what used to be known as the Old Fort neighborhood of historic Savannah. Once a Coca-Cola bottling factory, the trendy hotel is just steps from the serenity of Washington Square and features a delightful courtyard, pool and restaurant. The hotel also welcomes dogs of all breeds and sizes, so fido doesn’t have to miss out on any of the fun either!
Webb Military Museum
You don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate the extensive display of artifacts at the Webb Military Museum on York Street. Observe antiquities from every American conflict dating back to the Revolutionary War. Many of the items have ties to Savannah and the friendly owner, Gary, knows the story behind each and every piece.
The Beach Institute + King-Tisdell Cottage
Both the King-Tisdell Cottage and the Beach Institute can be found just a few blocks apart on Price Street. The Beach Institute African-American Cultural Center is a school-turned-museum celebrating Black history, arts and culture. Nearby, the King Tisdell Cottage, built in 1896, is now a restored historic site housing African-American cultural artifacts. Both sites are part of the King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation, providing education and resources about Savannah’s African-American and Gullah-Geechee heritages.
Water Witch Tiki Bar
Just south of the Historic District lies the quirky Starland District which is home to the Water Witch Tiki Bar. Behind an unassuming commercial façade lies an otherworldly bar and restaurant decked in palm fronds and bamboo everything. Serving up elaborate concoctions complete with paper umbrellas, this Savannah bar will instantly transport you to the tropics!
Venturing to the western edge of downtown Savannah, you’d never know one of the city’s most beautiful bars exists along Martin Luther King Boulevard. Look for the gas lamps outside Repeal 33, formerly known as Prohibition, which signify the speakeasy-style tavern within. Get cozy in one of their intimate booths and order up bites from the reimagined menu.
Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum + Gardens
You don’t have to be a maritime enthusiast to appreciate the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum. Also located along the bustling MLK thoroughfare, the museum and especially its gardens are surprisingly serene. Stroll through the secluded garden walkways or admire dozens of model ships and vessels inside the museum.
Ghost Coast Distillery
Savannah’s first distillery since Prohibition, Ghost Coast Distillery, is just down the street from the vibrant new Plant Riverside District. Enjoy a free tour of the distillery facility, cozy up at the cocktail room bar or grab your favorite bottles and merchandise in the retail shop. Don’t worry, this libation-lovers paradise is still in the to-go cup zone!
The Weeping Time Historical Marker
Our last stop is just a quick trip by car to one of Savannah’s most important Black history sites. The Weeping Time Historical Marker, located about two miles west of downtown Savannah, tells the story one of largest slave auctions in American history. It happened here, March 2-3, 1859, where more than 436 enslaved men, women and children were separated from their families and sold. You can find directions to the historical marker using the address “2053 Augusta Avenue” in your navigation device.
Savannah’s outskirts are dotted with lesser-known jewels. Make it a point to venture off the beaten path during your next trip to Savannah with the help of this useful guide.