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River Street

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

River St, Savannah, GA 31401, USA

Opening Hours

9:30 AM - 9:30 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"Be sure to visit River Street in the early morning or during weekday afternoons for a more peaceful experience, as it's one of the few times you can admire the historic cobblestones and riverfront without the bustling crowds. Also, check out the local artist's colony down Factor's Walk, just behind River Street; it's a hidden gem where you can find unique handmade gifts and art pieces."

What is River Street?

River Street is not just a street; it's the pulsating heart of Savannah's Waterfront, a cobblestoned stretch alongside the Savannah River bustling with activity. Here, centuries-old buildings, once cotton warehouses, have been converted into antique shops, boutiques, galleries, pubs, and restaurants. With the river on one side and these historic facades on the other, it feels like you've stepped back in time to an era when tall ships docked alongside the port, unloading their wares into the eager hands of merchants.

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But River Street isn’t merely a single dimension of commerce and history—it's a multi-layered experience. It's where the sweet aroma of pralines being made fresh can tempt any visitor, where local musicians add a soundtrack to your stroll, and where every quaint alleyway seems to hold a story. As night falls, the streetlights cast a warm glow on the uneven cobblestones, and the area takes on an almost magical quality, inviting locals and tourists alike to partake in the vibrant nightlife.

History of River Street

In the 18th and 19th centuries, River Street was a bustling hub of commerce and trade, a critical component of Savannah's economy. Cotton and other goods were exported worldwide from these very docks. The warehouses and buildings that line the street are monuments to that era, built to last and filled with character. During the cotton boom, Savannah became known as one of the most active ports in America, with River Street at its epicenter.

The area had its share of decline, but thanks to the Savannah Historic Development Commission, River Street was revitalized in the 1970s, with a focus on preserving its historic integrity. This renewal sparked new life into the old buildings and paved the way for the birth of one of Savannah's most beloved tourist destinations. The history is not just in the architecture—it unfolds as you walk along the street, where markers and plaques dot the landscape, offering stories of the past.

Why is River Street Important?

River Street is significant for a number of reasons. Historically, it's a living narrative of Savannah’s prosperous trade era and a testament to the city's ability to preserve its heritage. Economically, it has continuously served as an engine for local businesses, supporting a thriving tourism industry that appreciates the melding of the old with the new. Culturally, it’s a venue where Savannah’s southern charm and hospitality are on full display.

This waterfront promenade is not just about commerce; it's a social space where community events, such as festivals and fireworks displays, create lasting memories for its visitors. Its importance is also in its role as a community meeting place where residents and visitors alike come to relax, admire the views of the Savannah River, and enjoy the rotating array of entertainers, from jazz bands to street performers, adding a distinctive vibrancy to the riverside.

Things to Do & See at River Street

At River Street, there’s never a shortage of things to do and see. Take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the panoramic views of the Savannah River. Pop into the charming boutiques and galleries, each with its own unique offerings, from local artisan wares to high-end art. Foodies can indulge in an array of dining options, whether it's casual eats or upscale seafood restaurants. The famous Savannah's Candy Kitchen is a must-visit for a sweet taste of southern confections.

For those interested in history, there are various architectural and historical tours available—a great way to learn the stories behind the storied façades. And don't miss out on the riverboat cruises; they offer a splendid view of the city from the water and a sense of the maritime history that has so shaped Savannah. Lastly, the street proudly hosts numerous festivals throughout the year, bringing together the community and visitors for celebratory events that are sure to enrich your experience at River Street.

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Frequently asked questions

What is River Street in Savannah known for?

River Street in Savannah is known for its cobblestone streets, historic buildings, a wide variety of shops, galleries, restaurants, and its picturesque view of the Savannah River.

Can I take a riverboat cruise on the Savannah River?

Yes, riverboat cruises are a popular activity on the Savannah River, offering sightseeing tours, dinner cruises, and special event cruises along the waterfront.

Are there any historical sites to see on River Street?

River Street is home to several historical sites, including old cotton warehouses, the World War II Monument, and the African American Monument.

Is River Street pedestrian-friendly?

Yes, River Street is very pedestrian-friendly, with wide walkways, public squares, and no vehicular traffic on certain sections, making it ideal for walking, shopping, and dining.

What kind of dining options are available on River Street?

Dining options on River Street range from casual eateries to fine dining restaurants, with a focus on Southern cuisine and seafood, offering something to suit a variety of tastes and budgets.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

River St, Savannah, GA 31401, USA

Opening Hours

9:30 AM - 9:30 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps