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Why People Love Living in Savannah, GA

Savannah's not only one of America’s oldest cities, but one of its most striking. The sheer number of grand, stately, and charming buildings downtown led Congress to declare the entire area a national landmark. Georgian mansions, Gothic cathedrals, gabled porticos, temple facades, and red-brick warehouses sit along avenues lined with oak trees dripping Spanish Moss. But while everyone is struck by the elegant buildings (Even General Sherman thought they were too beautiful to be burned), the architecture isn’t the only reason people love living in Savannah, Georgia.

Its pleasant weather, low-costs, and walkability, not to mention the parks, beaches, and magnetic Southern charm, have made it a favorite with both families and retirees. It’s one of the friendliest places you’re likely to find, a warm, welcoming city with lots to offer both young and old Americans.

Savannah, GA

Low-Cost Comfort

Living in Savannah doesn’t require a lot of cash. Everything is cheaper here compared to the rest of the U.S.: groceries, utilities, transportation, even basic consumer goods. Housing is especially affordable. Homes and apartments are nine percent less than the rest of the state and 28 percent less than the rest of the country.

Growing Economy

Like many Southern cities, Savannah is going through an economic boon, adding thousands of jobs and attracting billions in new investments. While tourism remains a major pillar, manufacturing, healthcare, and trade are growing rapidly.

There are over 400 manufacturing firms operating in and around the city, including Gulfstream Aerospace, the largest private employer in the area. In 2022, Hyundai Motor Group announced the building of an electric vehicle and battery megaplant just south of the city, which will significantly raise demand for engineers and technicians when it opens in 2025. JCB's North American Headquarters is also located in the city, supplying construction equipment and training to job sites across the United States and Canada.

Memorial University Medical Center and the St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System treat patients from all over Georgia and the South Carolina coast. Expanding medical services and the opening of a new care complex has led to a growing need for nurses, doctors, and specialists. Every year, it’s estimated healthcare spending generates over $1.5 billion in personal income across the entire metropolitan area.

At the same time, the Port of Savannah has seen a significant increase in cargo shipments. Already the single largest container terminal in the Western Hemisphere, its deepwater harbor and inland barges move almost six million TEUs (Twenty Foot Equivalent Container Units) every year. The city handles over 21 percent of East Coast trade and twelve percent of US exports, generating over $33 billion in revenue and employing hundreds of thousands of workers in the process.

Well-Planned Neighborhoods

Savannah was one of America’s first planned communities. When the city was founded in 1733, new homes were divided into wards, made up of eight blocks, arranged in a grid. For convenience, every ward was centered around a town square or park, while the surrounding streets provided clear routes for vehicles. This allowed pedestrians to travel quickly within wards and traffic to move easily between them.

As the settlement grew, planners replicated this pattern, expanding the number of wards from six to 28. (After the 2010 restoration of Ellis Square downtown, the number of wards dropped to 22.) As a result, Savannah is both highly walkable and bike friendly. Most errands can be accomplished on foot, especially near the historic core, allowing residents to shop, dine, and play without ever having to set foot in a car unless they want to.


Parents living in Savannah don’t spend their days worrying about how to entertain their kids. The city boasts a huge number of attractions for children and families. Besides the parks dotting every ward in the city, there’s also:

  • Mother Mathilda Beasley Park. Named for Georgia's first African-American nun, this extensive park features a pavilion, dog-park, baseball diamond, sports field, and two playgrounds. It's one of Savannah's best spots for picnics and cookouts.
  • Oatland Wildlife Center. See over 150 species of birds, animals, and reptiles in large, natural habitats, including cougars, bison, bald eagles, American alligators, gray wolves, and white-tailed deer. There’s even a farm on-site, where kids can interact with pigs, rabbits, donkeys, and cows. Summer camps, toddler programs, and special holiday events provide even more opportunities to get up close with wildlife.
  • St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in America, behind New York and Chicago. The parade, which features horses, floats, bagpipers, and lots of traditional Celtic music, winds all the way through the historic core and is attended by over 15,000 people. They even put green dye in the Forsyth Park fountains downtown!
  • Children’s Museum. Situated entirely outdoors, in the old Central of Georgia Railway repair facility, this interactive playspace offers a wide range of carefully designed exhibits to help stimulate your child’s imagination, including a reading nook, exploration maze, and sensory garden, where colorful and scented plants help encourage their connection to nature.
  • Children’s Theater. Stages plays and workshops designed to educate and entertain your kids. Theater classes help them develop their acting and singing skills, while the theater’s lively productions enthrall and delight audiences with their colorful design and astounding performances.


Humans aren’t the only ones who enjoy living in Savannah. Dogs love it too. There are fourteen dog parks for them to enjoy, as well as over sixty miles of leash-free trails in the forests and marshes surrounding the city. Most walking tours are happy to accommodate dogs as well.

Together you can explore famous buildings, prominent landmarks, and haunted houses. You can even take them out kayaking and paddle-boarding, if they aren’t afraid of the water. The historic district also boasts a number of dog-friendly diners, such as Huey's Restaurant, Olympia Cafe, and District Smokehouse.

Savannah is also home to the WolfGang Bakery, a chain of doggy shops selling leashes, toys, premium chow, and gourmet treats. You can even bring your pup in for a luxurious spa experience that will leave them begging to come back again.

Fine Weather

Savannah isn’t just a Southern city, but a coastal one. Its proximity to the ocean helps moderate temperatures, ensuring they rarely climb above 90°F or dip below 40°F. And even though the city receives more than its share of rain (50 inches per year on average), it’s concentrated into a relatively small number of days. Most of the time, it’s warm and clear, perfect for a walk in the park or seaside trip.

Great Beaches

Living in Savannah gives you access to some of the best beaches in the country. During summer, you’ll find people from all over Georgia and South Carolina crowded onto Tybee Island, just twenty minutes outside the city. Though not technically part of Savannah, Tybee Island is often referred to as “Savannah’s Beach,” thanks to its proximity and popularity.

One of America’s best and most varied coastal communities, Tybee offers a lot besides swimming and sunbathing. On North Beach, you can explore Georgia’s oldest lighthouse, shop for specialty made jewelry, rent kayaks and airboats, sign up for surfing lessons, or charter deep-sea fishing expeditions.

Mid Beach is home to great restaurants, as well as the Tybee Island YMCA. Its summer programs offer kids the chance to go paddleboarding, surfing, and canoeing while their parents relax and enjoy the sun. The gentle waves make it an ideal spot for families with small children.

South Beach is where you’ll find the iconic Tybee Island Pier and Pavilion, a great place to shop and snack. Tybee’s most celebrated bars, nightclubs, and hotels, are located here as well, most just a stone’s throw from the ocean. For a real treat, head round to the Back River. Cruising the inlets and waterways is a great opportunity to interact with local wildlife, including migratory birds and dolphins that wander in from the coast.

Campers can paddle across the Back River to Little Tybee Island, a nature preserve twice the size of the main island. You can spend the day exploring pristine beaches and salt marshes before marveling at the spectacular sunsets and falling asleep under the stars.

Wild Restaurants

For foodies, there’s always something new in Savannah. The city’s constantly finding new ways to introduce people to the rich, savory, and indulgent flavors of Southern cuisine. Besides memorable meals, Savannah also serves up memorable settings. Restaurants here are remarkable both for their food and their atmosphere. No one living in Savannah will want to miss out on:

  • Olde Pink House. Serves traditional favorites such as fried chicken, fried shrimp, and fried green tomatoes in an elegant colonial mansion built in 1771. The building was a meeting place during the Revolutionary War before being converted into a bank in 1821 and a military command post during the Civil War. The sophisticated yet casual decor recalls the glamour of the old Colonial Period. According to rumor, ghosts of former soldiers sometimes visit for a drink at the bar.
  • Pirate’s House. Originally a sailor’s tavern and inn, where sea dogs and scallywags were known to drink and plan their adventures, Pirate’s House serves steak, seafood, and pasta, as well as a wide selection of regional favorites, such as grits, gumbo, and okra in a rollicking atmosphere.
  • The Grey. Recreates a forgotten slice of 20th century Americana. Set in a beautifully restored 1938 art deco Greyhound Bus Terminal, this vintage restaurant has a seasonal menu that includes a healthy mix of meat, seafood, and vegetables. Stop by for weekend brunch to enjoy biscuits and gravy, crab beignets, and quiche with summer squash.
  • Alligator Soul. Located in an old grain basement, this upscale dining establishment offers a wide range of handmade dishes, made with fresh, local ingredients. Diners can feast on alligator boudin fritters, diver scallops, wild boar shank, and a wide variety of exotic game, such as elk, antelope, and ostrich. Be sure to check out the intricate stonework and jazz murals before you leave.

Moving to Savannah, GA

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