The Kessler Collection’s Plant Riverside District, the largest redevelopment in the history of National Historic Landmark District, has officially opened as “Savannah’s Entertainment District,” a $375 million project expanding the city’s iconic riverfront to a 4.5-acre waterfront hospitality and entertainment destination, anchored by the 419-room JW Marriott Savannah hotel.

“Plant Riverside District is my career legacy and gift to my hometown of Savannah,” said Richard Kessler, Chairman and CEO of The Kessler Collection, in a statement. “The project brings new life to Savannah’s riverfront with world-class entertainment, curated galleries, over a dozen dining options and jaw-dropping natural science exhibits for all ages. It’s truly a unique visitor experience and the first of its kind in the southeast.”

The development features more than a dozen restaurants and lounges, including Baobab Lounge, an upscale parlor rooted in African culture; Electric Moon, a high-energy rooftop bar with slides from deck to terrace; and Graffito, an authentic Neapolitan-style pizzeria. The quarter mile extension of new riverwalk offers open-air riverfront dining at District Smokehouse, District Seafood, and Riverfront Biergarten, the latter in partnership with Savannah-based Service Brewing. Entertainment experiences built around local culture and music create a lively riverwalk ‘streetmosphere’ featuring cirque entertainers.

“In place of a generator that once produced electricity, Richard’s vision created a new generator, an economic driver that provides 600 to 800 new jobs and new tax revenues for local governments,” said Mayor Van Johnson.

Visitors also have access to an art gallery, riverfront park honoring Martin Luther King Jr. and natural science exhibits that include a135-foot chrome-dipped dinosaur; oversized geodes, gemstones and fossils; a pre-historic tortoise shell; an Ice Age bear; and the world’s largest nugget of Copper. Daily experiential programming includes family-friendly scavenger hunts, a dinosaur dig area, mindful flow yoga classes on the Electric Moon terrace, and noon performances from a 7 ft. pipe organ on the Beethoven Terrace.

This entertainment destination is Savannah’s fifth official district and allows guests to experience two unique hotels within the JW Marriott Savannah for a customized atmosphere to match their style: romantic and elegant styling in the Three Muses building and historic chic architecture in the Power Plant building.

Phase III of Plant Riverside District, coming Spring 2021, debuts the third mixed-use hotel building within the complex dubbed The Atlantic, themed around bold and contemporary maritime details. The finished district will feature Live Music Venue, a concert venue with acts by Live Nation and Compass Pool Lounge, a rooftop pool with breathtaking views of the Savannah River.

For more information on Plant Riverside District, go to plantriverside. For more updates on new protocols, visit Recommend’s Safe Travels page. Stories about future travel can be accessed at #AmazingDaysAhead.