Savannah, Georgia is a southern oasis where nature, history, and urbanity meet. The quaint boutiques and parks mingle with Civil War historical sites and wetland habitats, making it the ideal place to recharge your batteries in nature while enjoying the amenities of civilization. Before booking your tickets and planning your trip, check out the top Savannah vacation rental locations.

1. Downtown Savannah

park fountain

Located at the heart of the city against the Savannah River is the downtown area fairly bursting with historical sites, parks, and shopping. Get a feel for the city by visiting the City Market, a four-block open-air area where you can visit some fun restaurants and boutiques. Explore the history of the place via Old Town Trolley Tours, or opt for a spookier option on a ghost tour. The Tricentennial Park boasts a Civil War-era train that aided the Confederate troops, while the Civil War Tour takes you to all the major Civil War sights such as the Green-Meldrim House and Andrew Low House. If you need a break from city life, take a stroll or run around the 30-acre Forsyth Park.

2. Midtown Savannah

street trees
Source: Flickr / Miguel Vieira

Enjoy the local flavor by strolling along Midtown’s Abercorn Walk. Not only does the neat line of shops harken back to days of yore, but they also offer some of the best shopping in the city. Opt for another type of shopping, and stop at Byrd Gourmet Marketplace for some culinary delights. Don’t forget to stop at Bella’s Italian Cafe, Toucan Cafe, and Sweet Potatoes for some delicious dining. Daffin Park is a little oasis of green amidst the city with a large field for your pooch to run, some tennis courts to get out all your – or your kid’s – nervous energy, and a lake that you can stroll around.

3. Southside Savannah

people paddling the boat
Source: Flickr / anoldent

Lying just to the southwest of Midtown, the Southside offers larger, more open areas with neighborhoods interspersed with forested regions and wetlands. By opting for a vacation rental here, you can kayak up Little Ogeechee River or Vernon River to explore the local marshes, or hop over to Fort McAllister Historic Park for a taste of the Civil War. Spend a day camping and hiking the area.

4. Garden City

crocodile on the grasses
Source: Flickr / Jeff Gunn

Head west along the Savannah River from the downtown area to Garden City for easy access to Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge boasts 29,000 acres of hiking, biking, and boating. Rent a few kayaks, and wind through Little back River, keeping your eyes open for a glimpse of the rare American alligator. Teach your kids about navigating nature by going on a geocache trail. While geocaching, look for the purple gallinule bird, a bright blue green animal.

5. Isle of Hope

giant trees beside the road

If you want to get the Savannah experience, go to Isle of Hope that boasts the huge oak trees and old mansions indicative of the antebellum era. Take a scenic drive through the curving limbs of the trees lining the roads. The Wormsloe Historic Site features the remains 18th-century Colonial estates. Walk through the gardens, or hike along the trails. The Marsh Walk meanders along marsh that abuts the Wormsloe estate, while the Battery Wymberly hike meanders through 3 miles of Civil War history.

6. Sandfly

people walking at the park

Sandfly, just to the west of the Isle of Hope, lies within a few miles of the downtown area. A vacation rental here puts you within driving distance of Savannah’s urban delights and the wilderness paradise of the marshlands. Spend an adult day swinging a club at the Bacon Park Golf Course or hanging out at Lake Mayer Park. Rent a paddle boat for a leisurely tour around the lake, or stroll along it on foot via the walking path.

7. Skidaway Island

blue sky over the grassland
Source: Flickr / G. DAWSON

Put yourself in the heart of the marshlands at Skidaway Island located between Skidaway River and the Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge. Enjoy a bite to eat at The Village while doing some shopping. The Skidaway Island State Park offers hiking trails as well as river access. The Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge with over 10,000 acres not only gives you a place to explore the marshes, but it also has sand dunes and beach access, the full nature experience. Teach your kids about this unique ecosystem while walking the nature trails.

8. Tybee Island

tall lighthouse

Tybee Island, a barrier island, lies between the marshlands and Atlantic Ocean. Opt for a boat tour of the creeks that make up the marshes, or spend luxurious days sunbathing on the sand beaches. Break up long hours of swimming with a visit to the Crab Shack for some authentic seafood – meanwhile enjoying a great waterside view – or the North Beach Bar and Grill featuring Caribbean cuisine. Don’t leave without stopping at the Tybee Island Light Station.

9. Georgetown

scenic watercourse
Source: Flickr / Stephen Rahn

Georgetown, south of Southside, sits along the marshland and interspersed with woods. Take the family on a scenic drive along the rivers and through the trees, then head inland to the downtown area for some hot eats and cool treats. Learn some more about the wetland habitat at the Chatham County Wetlands Preserve.