Savannah for Art Lovers

A guide through the thriving arts scene of Georgia's first city.

The Savannah College of Art and Design has made Savannah one of the top cities in the country for the arts. The school brings more than 9,000 students and their talents to the city each year and has created a rich arts culture. Discover museums, galleries, theaters and more on this tour for the artistically inclined. 

Where to Find Art

SCAD Museum of Art: Visit the college's own art museum to see contemporary art from students and exhibitions by professional artists. Access to a monthly schedule of special exhibitions, lectures and gallery talks are included with regular admission.

City Market: Art is everywhere in this market that stretches four blocks. During the day, stroll the art center and watch the artists at work, and shop various local galleries. At night, sip craft beer or a cocktail and listen to local musicians at restaurants and bars throughout the market.   

City Market
City Market (©Jeremy Thompson/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Lucas Theater: This historic theater opened in 1921 and was restored in 2000. Supported by SCAD, the theater is a venue for opera, orchestras, concerts, traveling theater companies and film series. In November it is home to the SCAD Savannah Film Festival, and in the spring, the Savannah Music Festival.

Savannah Telfair Museums: The first public art museum in the south, the Telfair Museums feature a collection of more than 4,500 American and European works of art in three buildings—19th century works in the Telfair Academy, family-furnishings art from 1750-1830 at the Owens-Thomas House and contemporary art at Jepson Center for the Arts

Lucas Theatee
Lucas Theatre (Scott Beale, Laughing Squid/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Where to Eat

Flying Monk Noodle Bar: For a taste of Asia, sample fresh-cut noodles from various countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, China, Thailand and Korea. They're served up with local vegetables and seasoned with exotic spices. Add meats like Peking duck and "crispy succulent pig" to your meal from the chopping board.

Leopold's Ice Cream: There is always a line stretching for a half a block, but don't let that deter you. In business since 1919, this shop makes its own ice cream behind its nostalgic soda fountain. Waiting in line can whet the appetite, so order up a cup of homemade soup and a sandwich to go with that delicious scoop.

Cha Bella: This farm-to-table restaurant just off Broughton Street sources most of its ingredients—all organic—from within a day's drive. The menu changes frequently based on what's available. Relax on the patio when the weather's nice. Movies are projected onto the wall paired with music from the staff's favorite playlists.

The Funky Brunch Cafe: One of the newest brunch spots in the Broughton Street area serves up a unique dining experience—griddles are built into your table. Pick your batter and toppings, then cook them up right at the table. 

Leopold's (©Alex Ford/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Where to Shop

Paris Market and Brocante: Find elegant and functional pieces amid a museum-quality window display. The exotic and vintage inventory is inspired by the owners' world travels, recently including finds from Milan, Rome and Florence.

24e Design Co.: Take a little of Savannah's artistic flair home by picking up a funky piece of artwork at this interior design company's store. Shop for unique furniture pieces, classic lighting fixtures or quirky pieces made from unusual materials. Think coffee table made from an airplane door

Whitaker Street: A few blocks from Broughton, toward Forsyth Park, is another stretch of shops and boutiques to explore. Look for unique decor at One Fish Two Fish, the perfect piece of stationary at La Paperie, then stop for a lunch of Southern comfort food at Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room


SCAD Museum of Art
SCAD Museum of Art (JR P/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Where to Stay

Savannah Getaways: Find rooms or homes for rent throughout the Historic District, ranging from quaint cottages for two to historic homes that sleep 10.

Hotel Indigo: This boutique hotel in the heart of the Historic District features views of City Market and the river and a hotel bar featuring locally sourced cocktails.