River Street in Savannah, GA: What to See & Do + Where to Eat, Drink & Stay

Once a center of import and export commerce in the colonial-era South, iconic River Street in Savannah, GA, now oozes cobblestone charm with boutiques, galleries, bars, and restaurants. If you find yourself in the Hostess City of the South, be sure to explore this vibrant district brimming with entertainment and energy.

Get a feel for the neighborhood with a stroll along the lively River Street Boardwalk, lined with boutiques and shops and beautiful views of the Savannah River. Grab some delicious bites at the River Street Market Place and unwind in the lush green Emmet Park.

Delve into the city’s rich heritage at Factor’s Walk, and don’t miss the famous ‘Waving Girl’ at the scenic Rousakis Riverfront Plaza. For something different, hop on a charming paddle wheeler and glide along the Savannah River, soaking up the beautiful scenery.

Ready for some historic fun in Savannah? Use this complete guide when planning your adventures to decide what to see & do, where to eat & drink, and where to stay along Savannah’s River Street.

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What to see & do along Savannah’s River Street

River Street Boardwalk

Stretching along the Savannah River, the lively River Street Boardwalk is the beating heart of the neighborhood. Originally built in the 1800s, the picturesque promenade boasts cobblestone streets and historic buildings, exuding a captivating old-world vibe.

Amble along the River Street Boardwalk, browsing various boutiques and shops against a backdrop of beautiful views of the Savannah River. Watch boats passing by and take in the enchanting riverside scene. Explore galleries showcasing local art, from paintings to sculptures, and pop into artists’ studios to see creatives at work.

River Street Boardwalk

Feeling peckish after exploring one of Savannah’s coolest places to visit? Grab a coffee and a bite at one of the many cafés and restaurants serving Southern cuisine, seafood, and other delicious cuisine. Don’t miss the chance to try Savannah’s famous pralines, a sweet treat that’s a local specialty!

Keep an eye out for street performers and live music. The boardwalk often comes alive with talented artists, adding to the festive ambiance. Catch the sunset over the Savannah River – it’s a truly magical experience. Grab a bench, relax, and watch as the sky transforms into a masterpiece.

River Street Market Place

When it’s time to shop, head to the vibrant River Street Market Place on the east end of River Street. Set in several beautifully restored open-air sheds dating back to the 1800s, the market is a local favorite for shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Overlooking the picturesque Savannah River, the River Street Market Place seamlessly blends contemporary shopping with the district’s rich heritage. The bustling marketplace is home to more than 70 shops representing countries from all over the world, giving it a distinctly international feel.

River Street Market Place

Browse the diverse shops for special treasures, from unique clothing and accessories to handmade crafts and gifts. Discover local art, jewelry, and handicrafts from talented artisans. It’s a great spot to find something special to remember your Savannah trip itinerary.

Grab something to eat from one of the many food vendors while you watch the ships glide past on the river. The River Street Market Place often buzzes with live music and street performances, adding to the festive atmosphere.

Factor’s Walk

Get a fascinating glimpse into Savannah’s maritime history at the historic Factor’s Walk. Nestled between Bay Street and River Street in the Savannah Historic District, Factors Walk is a hidden gem brimming with history and unique charm.

Factor’s Walk is a historic area characterized by a series of elevated iron walkways that overlook the bustling River Street. These elevated walkways facilitated trade and commerce along the Savannah River. They were named for the 19th-century cotton factors who used the walkways to transport goods without being obstructed by the frequent flooding that occurred along the riverfront.

Factor's Walk

Wander along the iron walkways that once served as pathways for merchants and traders, taking in sweeping views of the Savannah River. It’s a serene spot to watch boats glide by and appreciate the river’s timeless beauty.

The buildings lining Factor’s Walk were once bustling warehouses, storing cotton, goods, and treasures from around the world. They’re a window into Savannah’s maritime and trading heritage. Historical Plaques: Keep an eye out for historical plaques that share the stories and significance of the area, giving you a deeper understanding of its past.

Some sections of Factor’s Walk showcase local art and creative displays, adding a contemporary touch to the historical setting. Don’t just stick to the walkways – explore the side streets and alleys that lead you to hidden corners and unique viewpoints.

Emmet Park

Escape the hustle and bustle of the River Street District and spend a few hours soaking up the peace and tranquility of Emmet Park. Located just above Morrell Park on Bay Street, this charming park is a serene oasis to unwind and relax.

Named after Irish nationalist Robert Emmet, the park is a tribute to Savannah’s Irish heritage. As you enter the park, you’ll spot a monument dedicated to Emmet, an Irish revolutionary who played a significant role in Irish history.

Emmet Park Savannah Spring

Emmet Park’s beautifully landscaped green spaces are home to several monuments, including the Celtic Cross Monument, the Chatham Artillery Monument, and the Vietnam War Monument. Find a quiet spot to relax with a book or simply bask in the sunshine.

Sit on the riverfront benches and watch boats glide by, listen to the gentle lapping of the river, and enjoy a moment of tranquility.

Graveface Museum

If you love the weird and wonderful, visiting the Graveface Museum is a must! Venture into the unique world of the macabre, the artistic, and the intriguing at this fascinating repository.

Established by Ryan Graveface, a musician and artist with a penchant for the unusual and the eerie, the eponymous museum houses an eclectic collection of oddities, curiosities, and macabre artifacts. You’ll encounter taxidermy animals, vintage medical equipment, peculiar art, and other unusual peculiarities.

Don’t be surprised to find artistic elements intertwined with the morbid. The Graveface Museum boasts the largest collection of John Wayne Gacy artwork and personal effects. You’ll also find an impressive array of artifacts from the Ed Gein case on public display.

If you’re a music lover, you’re in for a treat at this popular Savannah museum. Check out the vintage record store, where you can browse vinyl records and discover hidden musical gems.

Rousakis Riverfront Plaza

Experience Savannah’s vibrant energy at a live event, or enjoy a quiet stroll and unwind by the river’s edge at the scenic Rousakis Riverfront Plaza. Nestled between the Savannah River and River Street, the Rousakis Riverfront Plaza is a waterfront gem named after Savannah’s beloved former mayor, John Rousakis. It’s a place where the city’s past meets its present.

The plaza is part of the Savannah Riverwalk, a picturesque pathway that stretches along the river, connecting you to various attractions and dining spots. Soak up breathtaking views of the Savannah River and the iconic Talmadge Memorial Bridge as you meander along the path.

Rousakis Riverfront Plaza

Keep an eye out for the bronze statue of Florence Martus, the ‘Waving Girl,’ who greeted passing ships for decades with a friendly wave and a lantern at night. Hop on a riverboat cruise and explore the Savannah River from a unique perspective. Cruises often depart from the nearby docks, offering guided tours and captivating narrations.

The Rousakis Riverfront Plaza often hosts live music, events, and festivals, infusing the air with a festive atmosphere. As the sun sets, the plaza and river are beautifully illuminated.

Savannah Riverboat Cruises

Explore Savannah from a new angle on a nautical adventure with Savannah Riverboat Cruises. Hop on board a traditional riverboat and sail down the historic Savannah River while you take in the cityscapes.

Designed to evoke the ambiance of 19th-century paddle wheelers, the boats invoke the charm of a bygone era. During your cruise, you’ll be treated to engaging guided narration that weaves tales of Savannah’s history, landmarks, and maritime past, enriching your experience.

Savannah Riverboat Cruises

As you glide along the river, feast your eyes on breathtaking views of Savannah’s skyline, historic bridges, and the iconic Talmadge Memorial Bridge. Upgrade to a sunset or dinner cruise where you can catch the sun setting and enjoy a gourmet dinner against the backdrop of the Savannah River.

Savannah Bee Company

If you love bees and all things honey, stop at the Savannah Bee Company on West Broughton Street. This delightful store is a buzzworthy destination for all things honey-related.

As you would expect, the Savannah Bee Company offers honey tastings that’ll take your taste buds on a tantalizing journey through different types of honey, each with its unique profile. You can also purchase a range of other goodies, from honey-infused skincare products to beeswax candles and artisanal honey collections.

Savannah Bee Company

Peek into the glassed-in Bee Garden Hive, a live beehive exhibit that lets you observe the inner workings of a beehive without any stingy surprises. Learn more about this fascinating creature through artistic displays and creative presentations that pay tribute to these pollinators and celebrate the importance of bees.

Looking for unique souvenirs? The Savannah Bee Company offers an array of honey-related products that are perfect mementos for your visit.

Where to eat & drink

The River Street district is a haven for food lovers where history mingles with flavors, and cobblestone streets lead you to a tapestry of tastes. From Southern comfort to international delights, this historic district promises delightful dining with beautiful views.

Nestled in the heart of downtown, Olympia Cafe is your go-to spot for relaxed people-watching. You can’t go wrong with their gyro plate, especially with their zesty tzatziki sauce. And don’t miss out on their delectable baklava for a sweet finish. Beat the lunchtime rush by arriving a bit earlier or later, and if the weather’s nice, their outdoor seating is a real treat.

A converted warehouse turned into a lively hub with live music sound like fun? The Warehouse Burger ticks the box, and their craft beer collection is a hoppy paradise. The restaurant dishes out daily specials that often bring some delightful surprises. On weekends, getting there a tad earlier ensures you’ve got a prime seat for the live tunes.

Olympia Cafe in River Street

Along the waterfront, Vic’s On the River is all about class with a view. Don’t pass up on their Southern-style shrimp and grits, a local favorite. The dish pairs like a dream with a classic mint julep or a fancy glass of wine. Reserve your spot during busy times, and grab a table by the window for some added charm if you can.

Tucked away in a cozy corner, The Cotton Exchange Tavern is your spot to kick back. Their pulled pork sandwich is a winner, especially with a local craft beer or a refreshing cocktail. Their outdoor patio is a hidden gem for soaking in the vibes, and they’ve got trivia nights that are a hoot.

If you’re looking for a classic corner joint that’s all about frozen daiquiris, Wet Willie’s is where you want to be. Their Call-a-Cab daiquiri is a showstopper – go slow because it’s pretty intense! Try mixing up different flavors for a fun adventure.

Restaurant in River Street

Step into history with a modern twist at the Boar’s Head Grill & Tavern. Their prime rib is melt-in-your-mouth perfection and pairs perfectly with a classic martini or a smooth bourbon. Their daily specials are worth a try.

Perched high on a skyscraper, Electric Moon Skytop Lounge + Moon Deck is all about those breathtaking city views. Neon lights and futuristic vibes? Check and check. Their creative cocktails, like the “Galactic Goblet,” are a hit. And snacks? Well worth ordering. Arrive early to snag a spot on the Moon Deck – your Instagram feed will thank you.

Set in a trendy part of town, Rocks on the Roof is your spot for rooftop coolness. Modern design and artisanal cocktails are the name of the game. Take your pick from craft cocktails that’ll tantalize your taste buds. Their outdoor seating is perfect for people-watching, and happy hour is prime for trying different sips without breaking the bank.

Where to stay

With its central location, River Street is one of the coolest areas to stay in Savannah, GA. If you run out of accommodation options here, expand your lodgings search further into the city’s historic district.

Olde Harbour Inn

Olde Harbour Inn, Historic Inns of Savannah Collection

Overlooking the Savannah River, Olde Harbour Inn, Historic Inns of Savannah Collection is housed in a historic warehouse between River Street and Factors Walk. Expect beautifully appointed one- and two-bedroom suites with wooden floors, balconies, and modern amenities. Enjoy evening wine and cheese receptions and a nightly turn-down service with ice cream.

River Street Inn

River Street Inn

A short stroll from the City Market, the River Street Inn is a sophisticated riverfront hotel based in a historic cotton warehouse. Unwind in plush rooms with romantic four-poster beds, wooden floors, and balconies with city views. Kick back to live music over dinner at a casual riverfront seafood restaurant and stay fit in the hotel gym.

Hyatt Regency

Hyatt Regency Savannah

Ideally located for enjoying River Street’s vibe, the Hyatt Regency Savannah is a short walk from the Savannah Historic District and Forsyth Park. Top-notch facilities range from a heated indoor pool and a fine-dining restaurant to a 24-hour exercise room and a private boat dock. Relax over drinks in the hotel bar before retiring to a comfortable room or suite with iPod docks and free Wi-Fi.

Bohemian Hotel

The Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront, Autograph Collection

Set on the banks of the Savannah River, the Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront, Autograph Collection oozes elegance and style. Lavishly decorated suites boast maritime-inspired décor, marble-accented bathrooms, and original modern art. Balconies have whirlpool tubs and beautiful river views, and a riverfront restaurant serves Southern cuisine. Unwind on the rooftop bar to live music.

JW Marriott Plant Riverside

JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District

Spread across three historic buildings, JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District offers elegant accommodations with modern amenities. Book a suite for a loft-style bedroom with river views and a wet bar. You’ll be spoilt for choice for dining with several bars and restaurants, including a laid-back rooftop lounge. Indulge in pampering treatments at the hotel spa.


Ryan O'Rourke is a seasoned traveler and the founder & editor of Treksplorer, a fiercely independent guide to mid-range luxury travel for busy people. With over 20 years of extensive travel experience, Ryan has journeyed through over 50 countries, uncovering hidden gems and sharing firsthand, unsponsored insights on what to see & do and where to eat, drink & stay. Backed by his travel experience and in-depth research, Ryan’s travel advice and writing has been featured in publications like the Huffington Post and Matador Network. You can connect with Ryan on Twitter/X at @rtorourke.

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