Savannah is a spooky, ethereal place where Spanish moss hanging from live oak trees meets Civil War history and ghostly culture. It's pedestrian-friendly, tourist-friendly, and history-filled. Trolley rides abound day and night, a new hands-on please-touch art museum for kids encourages the Modigliani in your family, and you're minutes from gorgeous beaches and bottle-nosed dolphins on Tybee Island.
Tourists come to Savannah all year long, though July and August bring tons of tourist crowds and the Georgia sun is brutal. The rest of the year the weather is mild (though you can expect it to be hot and humid in the spring and fall), and you can still hit the beach in December.
It's almost always hot in Savannah, especially in the summer. And it tends to get pretty muggy as well. The late fall and winter are great times to visit, as the relentless summer sun is more forgiving, and average 75-degree days are usually warm enough to go to the beach. Regardless of the outdoor temperature, the whole family should bring a sweater or sweatshirt; the air conditioning inside is often jacked up high. weather info.
Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) has flights from Atlanta and dozens of other cities. You can often find good deals on ValuJet and Delta, which have hubs in Atlanta. The airport is about a 20-minute drive from downtown (more if there's traffic). Taxis from the airport cost between $25 and $50, depending on where you go. But you'll need to rent a car if you want to explore Tybee Island or anywhere else. Amtrak also has a passenger terminal in Savannah, with trains from Boston and Miami making daily stops there. Greyhound buses also service the city.
Savannah is a very walkable city -- it's small, well organized, and pedestrian friendly. The city's public transit system, the Chatham Area Transit (CAT), includes ferries, trolleys, and buses. CAT trolleys in the historic district are offered free of charge (how cool is that?), though you might enjoy walking around the city so much that you won't bother with them. Savannah Trolley Tours also has an unlimited hop on, hop off option to make visiting easier. Driving in Savannah is not recommended, as the streets are crowded and confusing (many are one-way and cars have to circumnavigate the historic squares, which make going short distances time-consuming). However, if you go to Tybee Island you'll want to take your car.
Savannah is a festive place, with more than 200 events a year, many of them fun for families. A complete list can be found at SavannahVisit.com, but here are some kid-fun highlights:
Check the city's official website for visitors, SavannahVisit.com, and with the Savannah Waterfront Association. The Savannah Visitor Information Center, which has helpful employees and just about every Savannah-area pamphlet and map known to mankind, is located at 301 Martin Luther King Blvd. They're open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, and most holidays.
Savannah is not as expensive as a lot of other cities. Many of the nicest things to do -- going to Forsyth Park, checking out the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, soaking up the sun at Tybee Island -- cost little or nothing. Hotel space can get pretty pricey, though. You can sometimes find good package deals, with hotel and attractions included. Check for specials on SavannahVisit.com.