Savannah, Georgia stands apart as one of the most historic cities in the United States, renowned for its rich heritage and preserved architectural treasures. With its cobblestone streets, oak-lined squares, and meticulously restored buildings, the city exudes a timeless charm that transports visitors back in time. From the iconic Forsyth Park to the historic district’s array of stately homes and landmarks, Savannah offers a glimpse into centuries of culture.
The coastal town has a world-class reputation for hospitality and grace, proudly serving as a charming Southern escape where art, period architecture, trendy boutiques and haunted stories are all set under a veil of Spanish moss. Savannah is where exemplary cuisine comes straight from the coast and refreshing cocktails are served at every meal, and this is nowhere more evident than along River Street.
River Street has a long and storied past as Savannah’s historic working waterfront. The street has been transformed over the course of the last century into a premier center of tourism and hospitality, with traces of its industrial history remaining. The atmosphere on River Street is unmatched elsewhere and the offerings are endless.
For those looking to make the most out of their visit to the city’s iconic waterfront, we’ve compiled a list of where to stay, where to eat and what to do when exploring Savannah’s renowned River Street.
Where to Stay
One of Savannah’s most significant sites is the historic Riverside Power Plant, which anchors the west end of River Street. With its noble industrial architecture and monumental smokestacks, the structure is a signature landmark within the Savannah skyline. In 2012, The Kessler Collection acquired the site and began redevelopment plans for a vibrant mixed-use destination on West River Street with the historic power plant and its iconic 176-foot-tall smokestacks as the centerpiece. Creating the first public connections to the Savannah River through the west end of River Street in more than 100 years, today, Plant Riverside District stands apart as a lively entertainment destination anchored by the 419-room JW Marriott, offering incredible dining, rooftop bars, art galleries, high-end shopping, live music and spectacular performances year-round.
Encompassing 670,000 total square feet along the riverfront, Plant Riverside District allows guests to choose from three unique hotel buildings all with an exhilarating flair for the dramatic and a customized atmosphere to match their style: historic chic architecture in the Power Plant building, romantic and elegant styling in the Three Muses building and bold and contemporary maritime details in the Atlantic building. Paying homage to Savannah’s beautiful gardens and squares, the hotel’s lobby is filled with stones, geodes, crystals and even the world’s largest nugget of copper, bringing in a unique element of natural grandeur, and symbolize the transformation of the Power Plant to its new existence. The JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District is your place for luxury retreats, timeless events and electric entertainment on the riverfront.
Where to Eat
Plant Riverside District offers more than a dozen incredible restaurants, bars and lounges on the riverfront, including two popular rooftop bars. Located atop the Power Plant building, Electric Moon Skytop Lounge + The Moon Deck is an adult playground, complete with lawn games and a slide. Perched on the roof of the Three Muses building, the Myrtle & Rose Rooftop Garden is a romantic escape inspired by classical mythology. Here, guests can experience the most unique happy hour in Plant Riverside District. Inspired by the flowers used in the crowns often worn by muses in classical mythology, this rooftop bar is named for Myrtle & Rose, symbols of femininity, love and romance. Featuring a selection of handcrafted shareable bites and fragrant, botanically inspired cocktails, this romantic escape will transport guests with breathtaking views of both Savannah’s majestic river and charming historic district. On Saturdays and Sundays, enjoy the best champagne brunch downtown Savannah has to offer with inspired rooftop views.
A short five-minute walk down River Street lives Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront, one of the city’s prized jewels and hottest hangouts. Sister property to the JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District, the 75-room Kessler Collection boutique hotel offers old Savannah charm with a modern chic style, as well as an authentic taste of the Hostess City’s hospitality. The trendy hotel boasts a riverfront restaurant, Rocks on the River, and rooftop bar, Rocks on the Roof, attracting visitors and locals alike with their charming vintage and contemporary chic atmospheres, paired with their unparalleled views. The river-inspired dining experience at Rocks on the River offers American comfort food with a Southern contemporary approach, sure to spark the senses and leave socialites craving more. Those looking to extend the night after a delicious meal are pleased to find that Rocks on the Roof awaits only a quick elevator ride up from dinner. Rocks on the Roof – the original rooftop bar in the city – features a cozy fire pit, live entertainment, and an engaging tapas-style menu with extensive drink and martini choices.
What to Do
Discover a collection of carefully curated retailers, galleries, and specialty shops, where precious finds and aha moments await around every corner in the Savannah riverfront district. After exploring Savannah’s waterfront destination, guests can unwind at the hotel’s Poseidon Spa where therapeutic treatments and tranquility converge. Relax with a rejuvenating massage, prepare yourself for an event with a HydraFacial or treat yourself with one of our Wellness Rituals at this luxurious Savannah spa.
Depart from the riverfront oasis and discover the Hostess City’s rich heritage with one of the best things to do in Savannah, GA—a history tour! Journey back in time and get the insider’s view aboard Old Town Trolley Savannah, the only Savannah tour company officially endorsed by the Historic Savannah Foundation. On board the famous orange and green trolleys, you’ll hear fascinating historical facts, trivia and tales from the passionate hometown conductors. During Savannah Trolley Tours, you are invited to get off at every stop, stay as long as you wish and catch the next trolley when you’re ready. This is the ideal way to see the city and its sights at your own pace.
Traveling to Savannah during the holiday season? Be sure to check out The Kessler Collection’s annual Savannah Christmas Market at Plant riverside District for a one-of-a-kind holiday experience that blends Southern hospitality with European charm. The joyous event kicked off on Thursday, November 16, and will run through Monday, January 1, with live music and performances, children’s activities, photos with Santa Claus, the Savannah Harbor Boat Parade of Lights and more. Bring the family along to discover how Plant Riverside District is spreading good tidings and cheer as you create holiday memories to last a lifetime. Offering endless opportunities for holiday joy and excitement, the Savannah Christmas Market is a must visit event and the perfect addition to your family’s annual festive traditions.
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