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Welcome to Cvent's Meeting and Event Planning Guide to Savannah, a city guide for meeting professionals. Meet in Savannah for a one-of-a-kind experience that mixes historic architecture, cultural attractions, coastal cuisine and scenic beauty with successful conventions, meetings and special events. Savannah's eclectic sophistication will enthrall attendees, and 22 park-like, moss-draped squares placed throughout historic downtown will make them feel relaxed and focused. Elegant accommodations within blocks of abundant meeting venues make gatherings in Savannah a step above the rest.
Located just seven miles northwest of the Savannah Historic District, Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport sees more than 1.5 million passengers per year as they travel on one of an average of 45 daily departures to locations throughout the U.S. Despite its name, the airport currently does not offer commercial international flights, but it does have service to 15 nonstop, coast-to-coast destinations. Allegiant Air has recently added nonstop, seasonal flights from Ohio cities, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Akron/Canton to Savannah.
The Savannah International Trade & Convention Center, situated on the Savannah River, offers a modern, spacious venue for your next meeting, convention or special event. With a total of 330,000 square feet, the facility offers 100,000 square feet of prime exhibit space and 50,000 square feet of flexible space. Up to 21 breakout rooms are in the space, including 13 meeting rooms, four executive board rooms, a 25,000 square foot grand ballroom and a state-of-the-art auditorium. A 45 by 30 foot hangar door allows large equipment and aviation-oriented trade shows to be displayed in the center's exhibit hall. Additional meeting facilities located throughout downtown Savannah include the Coastal Georgia Center and the Savannah Civic Center.
There are a variety of convention hotels throughout Savannah including the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa (403 rooms), Savannah Marriott Riverfront (383 rooms), Hyatt Regency Savannah (347 rooms) and the The DeSoto (246 rooms). Nearly 5,000 rooms are available at various hotels in the Historic Meetings District and more than 15,000 total hotel rooms in the greater Savannah area. All hotels and meeting spaces in the Historic Meetings District are located within walking distance to numerous high-style boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and more.
Located just 15 minutes from downtown, the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport is one of the busiest in the Southeast. With more than 43 daily non-stop flights via American, Delta, Jet Blue, United and US Airways from Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Detroit, Houston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, it's easier to get here than ever before. The low-cost CAT shuttle and DOT shuttle are available for quicker travel, including a direct route from the airport to downtown. Once here, there are several ways to get around, with many visitors preferring to explore pedestrian-friendly Savannah by foot.
With more than 45 cultural attractions, Savannah draws meeting attendees craving a diverse experience. Trolley, Segway, and walking tours covering history, hauntings, architecture and food will fill down time with excitement and entertainment. Meeting attendees also are sure to enjoy Savannah's palate-pleasing, coastal cuisine and farm-to-table fare served at restaurants throughout the city.
Savannah's entire hospitality industry and business community works together to meet and exceed planners' requirements. Combined with the array of services found in Savannah, an expertly executed event can be created for any size group.
A National Historic Landmark, Savannah's beautiful Historic District is well known for its grid plan. Bordered by the Savannah River, East Broad Street, Gwinnett Street, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, the historic district was laid out in 1733 around four public squares to be used for forums and meetings. By 1851, it had expanded to 24 public squares, 21 of which remain today within the half-square-mile district.
Savannah's first National Historic Landmark is the birthplace and childhood home of Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low. Purchased by the Girl Scouts in the 1950s, it has been restored and furnished with original family pieces, including Low's own artwork. The home’s "Savannah box" style is known for its simple, practical design, marked by a center hall flanked by rooms on both sides. Special theme tours for groups are available by reservation.
Other notable structures include the 1818 Owens-Thomas House at Oglethorpe Square, the 1795 Spencer Woodbridge House on Habersham Street, the 1853 Gothic Revival Greene House at Madison Square, and the 1865 Beach Institute (the city's first African American school), on East Harris Street. The Mercer House in Monterey Square, recently the home of antiques dealer Jim Williams, was featured in John Berendt's novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
The Savannah Historic District is the location of many of Savannah's most cozy cafes and unique boutiques. Guest can enjoy a traditional tea over scones and jam at The Tea Room, or indulge in fried chicken and Southern sides at Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room. Shopaholics can pick up all manner of items, from sheets and linens to French antiques to handmade jewelry, at stores such as Savannah Fine Linens, Paris Market & Brocante, Shop SCAD, and E. Shaver, Bookseller. Self-guided tours of the historic district are available from the Savannah Visitor Center.
Created in 1851, 30-acre Forsyth Park is Savannah's largest and most popular park. Its forms the southern border of Bull Street in the historic district. Once here, visitors can explore Confederate and Spanish-American War memorials or hike the one-mile perimeter pathway that sweeps past beautiful historic homes.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
The city of Savannah boasts milder winters and cooler summers than most of the Georgia interior. The city's warmest month is July, with temperatures averaging 72°F to 92°F. Its coldest month is January, with an average high temperature of 60°F and average low temperature of 38°F.
Half of the area's average annual rainfall of 49 inches falls from June to September, which is typical of a monsoon climate. Hurricane season runs from June to late November, but Savannah is the lowest at risk area as compared to such coastal neighbors as Charleston, Jacksonville and Cape Hatteras. The most popular time to visit Savannah is in the early spring or late fall, when guest can enjoy dry, mild days.
Savannah Convention Center
The ultra-modern Savannah International Trade and Convention Center is a world-class facility, home to superior amenities and expansive meeting spaces. Located on the 2,000-acre Hutchinson Island, just a two-minute ferry ride from downtown Savannah, the convention center is twenty minutes away from the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. It is also conveniently adjacent to the luxurious 403-room Westin Savannah Harbor Resort and Spa.
Totaling 330,000 square feet, the convention center features 100,000 square feet of divisible exhibit space and 50,000 square feet of meeting space spread among 13 meeting rooms and four executive boardrooms. Its boardrooms can seat up to 55 people each, while its meeting rooms can hold up to 80 attendees.
For elegant receptions, the 25,000-square-foot Chatham Ballroom can host up to 1,134 guests. The convention center's two-story, 10,000-square-foot River Concourse atrium is also a stunning meeting venue with a light-filled ambiance and great views. Presentations are a success at the 367-seat Oglethorpe Auditorium, thanks to technological features such as dimmable incandescent lighting, adjustable accent lighting and full audio-visual services.
The Savannah International Trade and Convention Center is home to state-of-the-art technology, full audio-visual features and telecommunications services. Savor Savannah, the center's exclusive caterer, specializes in delicious Southern fare made with fresh, local foods. The center also features parking for 1,500 vehicles. Guests can also easily reach the center thanks to an on-site dock for the free Savannah Belles Ferry from downtown Savannah.
Savannah Civic Center
The 25,000-square-foot Savannah Civic Center hosts 900 events annually, including concerts, sporting events and meetings. The center's facilities include the 2,506-seat Johnny Mercer Theatre and the 20,352-square-foot Martin Luther King Arena, which can accommodate up to 9,600 people. The 6,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom can accommodate up to 400 people, while the East and West Promenades, each measuring 4,500 square feet, can accommodate 400 guests.
The center's second-floor wings are home to the 896-square-foot Cecil Day meeting room, with space for 50 people, and the 1,728-square-foot Lowell Mason meeting room, with space for 125 people. The expansive, versatile center features state-of-the-art audio-visual capability and technology, as well as in-house catering services.
Coastal Georgia Center of Georgia Southern University
The Coastal Georgia Center opened in the mid 1980s and has been a thriving facility ever since. An expansion project completed in 2003 has insured that our graduate programs continue to grow. The Coastal Georgia Center is operated by Georgia Southern University, in partnership with Armstrong State University and Savannah State University. We are located behind the Savannah Visitors Center, in beautiful downtown Savannah. Our location is close to major highways and several hotels and restaurants. At the Coastal Georgia Center, we provide meeting space, continuing education classes, graduate courses, distance learning and professional development classes. Many members of the Savannah community recognize the vital role the center plays in economic development and life-long learning. The center was planned and constructed by meeting planners, so that businesses and students alike could have every modern convenience during a meeting or in the classroom. This 2-story facility is one of the most up-to- date, providing satellite transmission, computer labs, distance education, wireless internet access in every room and laptop computers available for hook-up. In addition, we can meet most any AV equipment request. The Coastal Georgia Center has been the site for important meetings. Congressman Jack Kingston has used the Coastal Georgia Center several times, along with many other high-ranking government officials. Locally, the Board of Education, Laidlaw, Lummus Corporation, Southern LNG, and Verisign have all been pleased and satisfied customers, and continue to book events here on a regular basis.
Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV)
Distance: 10 milesApproximate taxi fare: $23 USD
The Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport is located just seven miles northwest of the Savannah Historic District. The airport sees more than 1.5 million passengers per year as they travel on one of an average of 45 daily departures to locations throughout the United States. Despite its name, the airport currently does not offer commercial international flights, but it does have service to 15 non-stop, coast-to-coast destinations.
In 2007, the airport completed a $14 million terminal expansion project. The expansion added 10,000 square feet of concession space and five new gates as well as a four-level garage. Connected to the terminal via covered walkways, the new garage raises the total parking capacity to 3,690 vehicles.
The airy, light-filled Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport features a variety of passenger amenities. The second-level Savannah Square boasts restaurants, a postal center, gift shops and self-service massage chairs. Passengers can also use the airport's terminal-wide wireless Internet at no charge. The airport offers shuttle service to major hotels in the Historic District for approximately $15 one-way and $25 round-trip.
The Savannah Amtrak station is located on Seaboard Coastline Drive, just outside of the Historic District. Trains run on the Silver Service/Palmetto route, which travels daily from New York City to Miami.
Savannah's Chatham Area Transit (CAT) bus line operates along 19 routes throughout downtown Savannah and Chatham County. Nearly 3.5 million passengers ride CAT's fleet of 55 buses each year. The Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport is serviced by the West Chatham route.
CAT buses run Monday through Saturday from 5:30 am to 11:30 pm and Sunday from 7 am to 9 pm. Cash fare is $1 per boarding. Children under 41 inches tall ride free. A week-long bus pass is $12, a month-long pass is $48 and an advance 10-ride pass is $10.
The CAT Shuttle is a free service with more than 30 stops throughout the Savannah Historic District and direct connections to the CAT bus lines. The climate-controlled shuttles run Monday through Saturday from 7 am to 7:30 pm and Sunday from 9:30 am to 5 pm.
The "dot" is Savannah's fare-free Downtown Transportation system.
The "dot" gets you where you want to go, when you need to get there, in and around Savannah's beautiful Historic District. One of their excellent services, along with the Savannah Belles Ferry and the River St. Streetcar, is their Express Shuttle. The easiest way to move through beautiful downtown Savannah is aboard the Express Shuttle.
The Savannah Belles Ferry is a free alternative to the Talmadge Bridge, which links downtown Savannah and Hutchinson Island, the site of the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center. The ferry line's docking locations include River Street at City Hall in downtown Savannah, the Waving Girl Landing at the Savannah Marriott Riverfront, and directly outside of the convention center on Hutchinson Island.
The Savannah Belles Ferry fleet consists of two climate-controlled vessels, the Juliette Gordon Low and the Susie King Taylor. The scenic, two-minute ride is offered daily every 15 to 20 minutes from 7:30 am to 10:30 pm.
Several rental car agencies, including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise and Hertz, are represented at Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. Agency counters are located outside of the baggage claim on the terminal ground floor.
Visitors to Savannah can grab a taxi at the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport outside of the baggage claim on the ground floor. Visitors should expect to pay $30 to $35 in taxi fare from the airport to downtown Savannah. In the city, taxis can be hailed on the street throughout the downtown region or found at hotel taxi stands.
Photo Credit: Visit Savannah
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