The Savannah Visitors Center (301 West Broad St., Savannah, Ga. 31499, 912-233-6651) is a good place to start a visit to the city. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends. There is an excellent, and free, 15-minute slide show that is an interesting introduction to the city. Also available are city maps and more brochures than you'll want to carry away.
Be sure, though, to ask for "Staying in Savannah," which lists area hotels, motels and the historic inns, along with details of accommodations, addresses and phone numbers.
If Savannah has a season, it is in the spring, and to a lesser extent in October. Reservations are always a good idea.
WHERE TO STAY: Accommodations are varied. Several national chains have motels in the historic district with rates ranging from $40 to $80 or more. To best savor the flavor of the city you might consider one of the inns in the historic district; a visitors center brochure lists 19. Most were once old mansions and have only a few rooms. Some offer such amenities as sherry, a continental breakfast, private gardens and even a fireplace and private patio. Rates for two are generally from $60.
WHERE TO EAT: Dining in Savannah presents a delightful dilemma. The number of restaurants that come highly recommended makes it hard to choose. Seafood is found nearly everywhere, but the range of fare extends from hamburger to French. Among the highly rated are The Olde Pink House, which occupies the only remaining 18th-century mansion. In the basement there is a tavern with an enormous fireplace at each end of the room, and in winter it is a favorite spot of the locals. The Pirate's House, with 23 dining rooms, has a devoted clientele. Elizabeth on 37th has its fans, as does The River's End, where you dine over the water at Tassey's Pier.