It’s best to introduce yourself to the sights of Savannah by traveling from the river southward. It’s no small task to navigate the nation’s largest contiguous Historic District, but when in doubt it’s best to follow James Oglethorpe’s original plan of using the five “monumental” squares on Bull Street (Johnson, Wright, Chippewa, Madison, and Monterey) as focal points.
When you’re driving downtown and come to a square, the law says traffic within the square always has the right of way. In other words, if you haven’t yet entered the square, you must yield to any vehicles already in the square.
Many of the following neighborhood designations, like City Market and the Waterfront, are well within the National Landmark Historic District, but locals tend to think of them as separate entities, and we’ll follow their lead.
While largely in private hands, the Victorian District—with historical certification and protection of its own—contains some wonderful architecture that unfortunately is often overshadowed by the more ornate buildings in the Historic District proper.
The Eastside includes many areas that are technically islands, but their boundaries are so blurred by infill of the marsh and by well-constructed roads that you’ll sense little difference from the mainland.
To most locals, “Southside” refers to the generic strip mall sprawl below Derenne Avenue, but for our purposes here the term also includes some outlying islands. I include them in the southern part of town because of the general direction and length of travel.
© Jim Morekis from Moon Charleston & Savannah, 4th Edition