First Planned City in the United States
Founded by General James Oglethorpe in 1733, Savannah was the first planned city in what would become the United States. Using a distinctive grid pattern, General Oglethorpe, a representative of King George II, drew plans for a city consisting of park-filled squares and districts bordered by homes, businesses, and other buildings. Some of the first structures in Savannah and others constructed in the 19th century remain today. They are in Savannah’s Historic District, an area designated as a National Historic Landmark.
York Street and Abercorn Street at Oglethorpe Square
Moon Pies® and RC Cola
The Thunderbird Inn, on the edge of Savannah’s Historic District, bills itself as “the hippest hotel in Savannah.” The property is neither an inn nor a hotel. It’s a two-story motel with outside corridors. The motel, constructed in 1964, describes itself as having “smart Southern retro décor.” Upon arrival, guests receive fresh, hot popcorn. When entering their rooms, guests find a Moon Pie® on their pillow and cans of RC Cola. The complimentary continental breakfast consists of KrispyKreme® donuts and a choice of fruit juices. There is a coffee/tea maker in each room.
A Cultural Event… RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival
Oldest Hotel in Downtown Savannah
The Marshall House, constructed in 1851 by businesswoman Mary Marshall, is the oldest hotel in Savannah’s Historic District. Renovated at least five times, many of the property’s original features remain — brick walls, guest room doors, fireplaces, windows, wood floors, moldings, tall ceilings, and staircases. Some of the bathrooms have antique claw foot tubs. The hotel serves complimentary wine and cheese in the library every Sunday through Thursday evening. Guest room amenities include free Wi-Fi and high-speed wired Internet access, flat screen HD LCD television, CD player, coffeemaker, and mini-refrigerator.
The Marshall House
Constructed in 1852, 45 Bistro is a fine dining establishment located next door to The Marshall House. Open for dinner only, the restaurant, with exposed brick walls, showcases paintings by local artists.
Things to Do in Savannah
A comprehensive list of thing to do in Savannah appears in a TripAdvisor article. Visit the Davenport House Museum, restored 19th century Federal-style home of master builder Isaiah Davenport. Antique lovers appreciate the interior of the Hamilton-Turner House. This purportedly haunted Victorian house has 17th and 18th century antiques in the rooms. Chippewa Square, named for the Battle of Chippewa in the War of 1812, is the filming site of the Forrest Gump “box of chocolates” scene.
Davenport House Museum
Share Your Savannah Stories
If you had a choice, which would you prefer — staying in a motel which provided a free Moon Pie® on your pillow and a can of RC Cola, or staying in a restored 1851 hotel which provided complimentary wine and cheese in the property’s library in the evening? Please share your thoughts about this subject. (There isn’t a “right” or “wrong” answer.)
Have you stayed in Savannah’s Historic District? What did you like best about this part of the city?
Daisy Mariposa is a freelance travel writer who has worked with clients such as Hipmunk. She has Occupational Certificates in both Travel Management and International Business and has worked as a travel agent. Daisy has traveled to half the states in the United States and more than 33 countries, island nations, and island dependencies. She has certifications as both a Specialty Travel Writer and Travel Copy Writer from one organization and Industry Elite status in Travel from another.