Remarkable in its charm, location and history, Savannah is the jewel of Georgia. Close to the Georgia Sea Islands and the beaches of the Georgia Coastline, Savannah is a city that prides itself on eccentricity, hospitality, old world sophistication, great grub, art and fun. The term "Southern hospitality" was invented there. Seeing why just became a lot easier with inexpensive packages to Savannah and the many low-priced activities all over town.
Savannah Packages (tel. 866/327-8861; www.savannahpackages.com) offers land-only special packages with available hotels across the downtown waterfront areas. A "Celebration in Savannah" includes two nights' accommodations at a tourist class hotel a short ride to downtown, in this case the Clubhouse Inn and Suites located on Abercorn Street, a special gift basket upon arrival, a private horse-drawn carriage tour of the city and a full complementary dinner for two at the Pirates House, a seafood restaurant founded in 1853 where traveling pirates ate and rested on their treasure-hunting jaunts. The total cost of the package comes to $419 for two people. If you purchase this package online, be sure to write in what you're celebrating for a special surprise when you arrive in Savannah.
Other trips from Savannah Packages include a package that focuses on Savannah's impressive art world. The two night package costs approximately $594 for two people and includes two nights' accommodations at a downtown hotel, one full dinner at a local Savannah gourmet restaurant, admission for two to the Telfair Museum of Art at the Jepson Center for the Arts (tel. 912/790-8800; www.telfair.org), admission to The Owen-Thomas House and Museum, a dinner for two at the Riverhouse Seafood Restaurant, an full-day pass to Savannah's local trolley system, and an evening horse drawn carriage ghost tour. Telfair's new 96,000 square foot exhibition space opened to the public in March, 2006. On display through May is an exhibit of American furniture manufacturers. With all Savannah package trips, hotel upgrades are available and additional activities such as a riverboat cruise or a local longstanding musical show can be booked online or in Savannah.
To book a hotel and explore Savannah on your own, Bed and Breakfasts of Savannah (tel. 800/322-6603; www.bedandbreakfastsofsavannah.com) has five different hotel properties to choose from and the additional discount hotel all with online booking capability. For a weekend in July, availability showed up at all five bed and breakfasts and an additional, less expensive tourist class hotel bearing a starting price of $79 per night price at the Master's Inn Suites -- Midtown Savannah, about a ten minute drive to historic downtown.
Other hotel options available through the site include a queen-sized room at the East Bay Inn (tel. 800/500-1225; www.eastbayinn.com) for $149 per night. The East Bay Inn is located in the historic district just "steps away" from the waterfront. The East Bay has 28 rooms with wireless Internet available. The road to Tybee Island and Savannah's nearby beaches, I-16, is easily accessible from the waterfront area. On the hotel's website, a special two-night weekday Ghost Tour package of Savannah is available for approximately $430. The package includes two nights in the East Bay, a book by a local author titled Ghosts of Savannah, a ghost map of Savannah featuring 46 haunted sites, and two tickets to a Ghost Walk of Savannah. To bring your pet, the hotel has a $35 surcharge.
Just 18 miles east of Savannah, Tybee Island (www.tybeeisland.com) is a quaint beach community with three miles of sandy beaches. Tybee is very mellow for a coastal town on the Atlantic with surfing, science, sea life and scenery at the forefront of activities. People touring Savannah often spend a night or two at Tybee. Inns can be inexpensive with summer rates starting around $75 per night in some cases. The Tybee Island Inn (tel. 866/892.4667; www.tybeeislandinn.com) is just a five minute walk to the beach and a twenty minute drive to Savannah. Rates at the Inn range from $99 to $299 depending on the type of accommodations and the number of people staying in a room.
In addition to rest and relaxation, Tybee is known for its marine research and sea life activities. The Tybee Island Marine Science Center (tel. 912/786-5917; www.tybeemsc.org) offers activities such as beach discovery walks, sea turtle watching, kayak races, sea camps, classes, lectures, march walks, and other educational activities that acquaint you with the natural elements surrounding beach life. Class registration is very inexpensive coming in at $7 for adults and $6 for children. General admission to the center starts at $4 for adults and $3 for children. Hours are daily from 9am to 5pm with the Center closing at 12 noon on Tuesday.
Air/land combination trips to the Savannah area can be found at Travelocity (tel. 888/872-8356; www.travelocity.com). The travel website offers Sunday to Monday trips that if booked through their "Last Minute Travel" section two weeks in advance start at $417 with round-trip airfare out of New York and hotel two nights' hotel accommodations. Hotels for this package are found in and around Midtown Savannah, a five-minute drive to the historic section of town. A similar three night trip from Cincinnati starts at $523 per person. To put this in comparison with discount airfares found at Priceline (www.priceline.com), round-trip airfare out of New York to Savannah for a weekend in mid-June starts at $339 on Continental. Air and hotel combo packages start at around $560 per person with accommodation near the Savannah International Airport.
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