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Ellis Square

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Ellis Square, Savannah, GA, USA

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit Ellis Square later in the evening when the interactive fountains are lit up with colorful lights – it's a wonderful photo opportunity and less crowded. Also, nearby, there's a secret spot with the best homemade ice cream that's not on most tourist maps, ask a local for 'Leopold's' and enjoy a treat away from the main crowds."

What is Ellis Square?

Ellis Square, nestled in the heart of Savannah, Georgia, is a storied public space that brims with culture and history. It is one of the original squares laid out in the 1733 plan of the city by General James Oglethorpe and serves as a testament to Savannah's historic urban planning. Today, Ellis Square is a vibrant and multifaceted hub where locals and visitors alike congregate to relish the city's charming atmosphere. You'll find open areas for gatherings, interactive fountains perfect for cooling off on a hot day, and ample seating which invites people to sit and watch the world go by.

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History of Ellis Square

The history of Ellis Square is as layered as the city itself. It was named after Sir Henry Ellis, the second Royal Governor of the Georgia colony. The square once hosted the City Market, a bustling center of commerce for Savannah's residents. However, in the 1950s, the historic market was demolished to make room for a parking garage, a move that sparked outcry and later became a catalyst for the historic preservation movement in Savannah. It wasn't until the early 2000s that the city reclaimed this space for public use, removing the parking garage and restoring Ellis Square to its former glory, albeit with a modern twist.

In its reimagining, Ellis Square became a blend of the past and present. The square's revitalization included elements that honored its history while providing contemporary conveniences. This delicate balance between old and new makes Ellis Square a fascinating chapter in Savannah’s urban narrative.

Why is Ellis Square Important?

Ellis Square is significant for several reasons. It is a living emblem of Savannah's historic preservation efforts, a visible sign of the city's dedication to maintaining its cultural heritage while adapting to modern needs. The square also serves as a social and recreational nerve center, fostering community interaction and connection. It's where history is not just told but experienced; where cobblestone streets meet the conveniences of today's expectations for public spaces.

Moreover, Ellis Square is pivotal because it encapsulates the essence of Savannah. It's a reflection of the city's grid layout, which was revolutionary at the time of its conception and has been exceptionally well-preserved. This design has given Savannah a unique character that defines its identity, and Ellis Square is a cornerstone of that identity.

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Things to Do & See at Ellis Square

Ellis Square offers a myriad of activities and sights that make it a must-visit destination. For starters, visitors can enjoy the interactive water fountain, which provides a playful escape from the heat and is particularly popular among children. The square is surrounded by a lively array of shops and eateries that cater to various tastes, ensuring that you can shop, dine, and enjoy the local fare all within a stone's throw.

Art enthusiasts will appreciate the contemporary art pieces that dot the square – these works add a creative flair to the historic atmosphere. There’s also the historic City Market nearby, an open-air market that gives you a feel of the bygone days when Ellis Square was the commercial heart of Savannah. At night, the square illuminates, with nearby bars and entertainment venues offering live music and a vibrant nightlife.

For a quieter experience, you can simply grab a seat on one of the benches and immerse yourself in people-watching. The square becomes a stage, and the passing locals and tourists the actors in the daily vignettes of Savannah life. Whether you choose to actively explore or passively observe, Ellis Square provides a full spectrum of experiences that celebrate the essence of Savannah.

Frequently asked questions

What is Ellis Square and where is it located?

Ellis Square is a public square in the heart of Savannah, Georgia, known for its historical significance, and is one of the original squares laid out in the city's 1733 plan by General James Oglethorpe.

What are some of the main features of Ellis Square?

Key features of Ellis Square include its interactive water fountain, ample seating areas, a life-sized chess board, and its proximity to Savannah's City Market, which offers a variety of shopping and dining options.

Can visitors attend events at Ellis Square?

Yes, Ellis Square often hosts a range of events such as live performances, festivals, and community gatherings, especially during the spring and summer months.

Is there a fee to enter Ellis Square?

Ellis Square is a public space and is open to everyone free of charge, making it a popular spot for both tourists and locals.

Are there guided tours available for Ellis Square?

Guided tours may include Ellis Square as part of a broader exploration of Savannah's historic district, and visitors can learn about its history and significance during these tours.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Ellis Square, Savannah, GA, USA

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps