Things to do
City Life or Beach Life?
Picture this. A romantic stroll under the old oak trees dripping with silver moss followed by afternoon tea at the delightful Mansion on Forsyth Park. I know what you’re thinking. Is this a scene from a movie? Maybe. But it can be your reality if you are thinking of retiring to historic Savannah, GA. Live among the 100 year old oaks, pink azaleas, and historic architecture as the “hostess city of the south” nourishes your body and soul. Retiring to Savannah has its perks – cost of living below the national average and climate are two of the biggest. Read on to learn more why Savannah is the place to live when you retire.
Established in 1733, Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia, in fact it was the British colonial capital of the Province of Georgia, the last of the original 13 colonies. Founded by General James Oglethorpe and his fellow passengers who landed on a bluff near the Savannah River, the city still displays the historic charm and foresight conceived by Oglethorpe centuries ago. Oglethorpe named this new city after the Savannah River and was keen to lay out the city in a series of grids allowing for wide streets and public squares that contained urban greenspaces. Of the original 24 public squares, Oglethorpe created, 22 are still in existence today. The cotton trade made Savannah a very wealthy city in the antebellum period. According to local lore, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman spared the destruction of Savannah on his famous fiery march from Atlanta to the sea because he was overwhelmed by the city’s beauty, much of which still stands today.
Things to do in Savannah
Things to do in Savannah
From beach outings on Tybee Island and casual strolls in the Historic District, to year-round tennis and golf, residents will find plenty of things to do.
Tour one of the nation’s most well-preserved historical areas. Wander around or hop on a trolley to tour the lovely homes, stunning architecture, charming inns and historic museums.
Grab lunch at a local institution, Miss Wilkes, open only for lunch Monday through Friday.
Walk up and down the cobblestone street, visit the shops, grab a take-away cocktail at a local pub and watch huge container ships cruise easily up the river to unload. There are plenty of great places to eat, drink and socialize on River Street
Tybee Island is a short twenty-five minute drive from downtown. Tybee Island is a barrier island with pretty beaches very close to Savannah so it is a perfect place for a quick get-away. Grab some coffee and watch the sunrise on this laid-back beach. Be mindful of the parking.
Savannah is overflowing with notable landmarks inside and outside of The Savannah Historic District. A few places to visit include: Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home, Bonaventure Cemetery, The Olde Pink House, Savannah Cotton Exchange, Fort Pulaski, Congregation Mickye Israel, and the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters.
When you visit Forsythe Park, you will see for yourself why people commonly refer to it as the Central Park of the South. Beautiful trees draped with Spanish Moss, grand fountains, beautiful gardens, and proximity to hotels, makes this 30 acre urban oasis a popular spot with locals and tourists alike.
According to the 2020 U.S. Census, Savannah is the largest city in Chatham County and is home to 147,780 people.
The perfect size town – not too big and not too small – with many different home buying options including single-family, multifamily, and condo. Savannah, GA is a great place to buy a vacation condo or a more permanent home when you retire.
If you are looking to retire, you may want to consider a condo in Savannah,GA. It’s one of the best places to retire, according to Forbes' list of the 25 Best Places to Retire in 2021. And according to the personal finance website, GoBankingRates, “your retirement savings will go farther in Georgia than 44 other states within the United States.” Depending on your budget, a Savannah, GA condo might be an affordable retirement home.
Not ready to retire but looking for a new professional adventure? Savannah has a thriving economy and growing demand for workers in the manufacturing, logistics, and distribution (fourth-largest port in the United States), military (large installations nearby) healthcare, the marine industry, tourism, and entertainment production industries.
The movie production business is doing so well in Savannah that Moviemaker Magazine named it the second-best place to live and work as a moviemaker. Moving making has brought more than $100 million annually in direct spend to Savannah over the past several years.
Savannah’s beauty and charm comes from its diverse neighborhoods. A majority of the city’s neighborhoods are contained within five principal areas:
Downtown comprises the Landmark Historic District and Victorian District. Lots of rental homes and hotels, but there are some stunning condos available in older townhomes.
Midtown or Ardsley Park is primarily a single-family residential community built-in 1910. The neighborhood has a variety of home styles from two-bedroom bungalows to four-bedroom colonial homes.
Southside or Georgetown is an area with mostly apartment complexes and is close to interstate highways.
Eastside or Gordonston is another established neighborhood in Savannah with an electric mix of homes.
The islands have a mix of residential and commercial. There are public and private boat launches, docks, and beaches.
Arts in Savannah
Arts in Savannah
Savannah's culture revolves around the perfect trifecta of food, history, and the beach.
There’s no shortage of dining options in Savannah. You’ll find plenty of southern favorites – shrimp and grits, fried chicken, crab stew — in addition to great sushi, burgers, tacos, curry, and more throughout Savannah. It’s remarkable the number of food establishments that exist in a relatively small city. But don’t worry if you need to stretch your legs before you’ve finished your drink because Savannah permits patrons to carry open drinks as long as they are held in a 16-ounce plastic cup.
The local historians and museum directors have taken great care to be thoughtful and creative in educating visitors on Savannah's past. With a history that's both complicated and fascinating, the following are a small selection of institutions that play an important role in educating the public: Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters, Webb Military Museum, SCAD Museum of Art, Pin Point Heritage Museum, Fort Pulaski, and Old Fort Jackson.
Want a beach day? Tybee Island is just 20 minutes from downtown Savannah. Does your perfect day start with a jog on the beach? Or do you prefer to end your day watching the sunset on the beach? If you live on or near the island you can do both.
Schools in Savannah
Schools in Savannah
Savannah is part of Savannah Chatham County Public School System, the 10th largest school district in Georgia The district comprises 23 elementary schools, eight Kindergarten through grade eight schools, eight middle schools, 11 high schools, five charter schools and nine other educational centers. The most notable school in town is the Savannah College of Art and Design or SCAD. Founded in the late 1970s, SCAD offers more degrees and specializations than any other art or design university. Savannah is also home to three other educational institutions offering bachelor's, master's, and professional or doctoral degree programs: Georgia Southern University-Armstrong Campus, Savannah State University, and South University.
Top 5 Reasons to buy a condo in Savannah, GA
Convenient coastal location - Downtown Savannah is within 25 minutes of Tybee Island, 45 minutes of Hilton Head Island, and two hours to Jacksonville, Florida. Plenty of opportunities for quick trips to the beach or other cities along the east coast.
Mild climate - Savannah’s weather is generally mild. The city has a subtropical climate with an average of 216 sunny days each year with 50 inches of rain. Be aware that Savannah can be affected by hurricanes between June and November. About three months of the year, the weather is pretty hot and muggy, but the other nine months are very pleasant.
Cost of living - Savannah’s an affordable place to buy a home or condo. Savannah’s cost of living is 10 percent lower than the national average. Property taxes and home costs are also lower than comparable coastal cities making it a great choice for a retirement home.
Growing diverse economy- In addition to its active port, the city is powered by manufacturing, tourism, healthcare, and movie production.
Favorable tax rules for residents over 65 - For retirees who are between 62-64 years of age retirement income up to $35,000 is tax-exempt, and that amount increases to $65,000 for those 65 years of age and older.
What are you looking forward to in retirement? More golf, jogs on the beach, time to explore?
If you like warm weather, a vibrant nightlife, beachy weekends, dozens of neighborhood parks, porch sitting, and fresh seafood, consider stretching your retirement funds with a move to Savannah. Condo options will give you the opportunity to live an active life without the upkeep of a single family home. With its pleasant climate, convenient coastal location, and rich culture, Savannah has all the perks for an active retirement.
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