Savannah’s Cultural Highlights

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Savannah, Georgia, is known for its beautiful town squares, Southern charm and “haunted” history, but this city is drawing more travelers with its evolving culinary and arts scene.

Savannah is aiming to become a culinary destination and there’s no better way to draw foodies than with a food and wine festival. The 2013 Savannah Food & Wine Festival will bring together national and international winemakers, wineries, celebrity chefs, winemaker Rob Mondavi, Jr., and the James Beard Foundation.

“Savannah is one of the most charming cities with a deep history, Lowcountry cuisine and genteel people. My family and I are excited to bring our little part of Napa Valley to this great town, especially in the festival’s inaugural year,” says Rob Mondavi, Jr.

The festival will take place Nov. 11-Nov. 17 and feature week-long wine pairings and cooking classes; the street-party style River Street Wine Stroll with tastings and street music; and a Jazz & Bubbles Brunch at The Westin Savannah Harbor Resort & Club.

For more information, visit

The city is also showcasing its art scene with the Savannah VOICExperience Festival Aug. 3-17. The festival will feature over 100 vocal artists, concerts, operas, workshops and events, a third of which will be free to the public. For more information, visit

Bike tours are a common way to explore a city, but Savannah Slow Ride takes the typical bike tour to a new level with tours on one 15-person bike pedaling through historic downtown. The 2-hour tours ($25 pp) take travelers on pub crawls throughout the historic district; on a Boos Cruise with stories about the city’s haunted houses and mass graves; and on an art excursion at City Market. For more information, visit

From now through Dec. 31, the Hampton Inn & Suites Historic District is offering the Land and Sea package taking guests on a cruise on the Savannah River Queen paddle boat and an Overview or All Day Loop trolley tour before or after the cruise.

The 154-room hotel, decorated in Old Savannah Brick with gas-lit lamps, is located near the Savannah History Museum and shopping area at River Street and City Market. Call for rates. For more information, call (912) 721-1600 or click here.

Meanwhile, travelers looking for a health retreat can take part in the Kessler Wellness Weekend on Sept. 6-8 at the Mansion on Forsyth Park, part of the Autograph Collection.

The 2-night package features accommodations; daily locally sourced meals; face and skin assessments; daily customized spa services; a health assessment; yoga and meditation classes; and a professionally guided wellness education.

The 125-room hotel in the Historic District dates back to 1888 and features the full-service Poseidon Spa, the 700 Kitchen Cooking School, 700 Drayton Restaurant and Bohemian Gallery. Rates for the package start at $1,500. For more information, call (800) 228-9290 with code LPR or visit

For more on Savannah, visit For more on Savannah’s emerging culinary scene, see Scrumptious Savannah from the August 2011 issue.