Courtesy of Richard Chambers

Road Trip Towns: Savannah, GA

The mountains and the beach are both common destinations for road trips from Columbia, but there are plenty of other vacation options within driving distance. One of these fabulous destinations is Savannah, Georgia. This cultural hub of the southeastern United States — and industrial hub of the Atlantic — is just a short two-and-a-half hour drive from Columbia. 

Reminiscent of Charleston and New Orleans, Savannah is the perfect weekend getaway. Like the other two cities, Savannah is well known for its historic attractions, beautiful architecture and tasty dining locations. 

The city, the oldest in Georgia, is the home of many landmarks of all sorts, including the Gothic-revival Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. Originally built in the late 1700s, the majestic cathedral has gone through renovation and relocation and is still popular with both tourists and local Catholics, many of whom attend the church's Mass weekly. 

The Savannah Historic District goes beyond the cathedral, though. Tourists will see an abundance of historical architecture and beautiful buildings. In the historic district, cultural events, such as the upcoming Savannah Music Festival and Savannah St. Patrick's Day Parade, take place throughout the year. The city is also Southern Gothic writer Flannery O'Connor's childhood home and is a pilgrimage site for many fans of contemporary fiction.

When the Georgia weather permits, Savannah’s Beach on Tybee Island is a gorgeous public access beach where you can relax or participate in water activities, and it is only 30 minutes from central Savannah.

Another one of Savannah’s tourist scenes is River Street. If you’re looking for hip, unique nightspots, this is your best bet. You can also visit Ghosts & Gravestones, one of Savannah’s most popular night excursions.

The city is also known for its classic Southern cuisine and is home to some of the country's oldest restaurants, including The Olde Pink House and 45 Bistro.

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