Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia and is the county seat of Chatham County. Established in 1733 on the Savannah River, the city of Savannah became the British colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and later the first state capital of Georgia.
A strategic port city in the American Revolution and during the American Civil War, Savannah is today an industrial center and an important Atlantic seaport. It is Georgia’s fifth-largest city, with a 2019 estimated population of 144,464.
Savannah’s architecture, history, and reputation for Southern charm and hospitality are internationally known. The city’s former promotional name was “Hostess City of the South,” a phrase still used by the city government. An earlier nickname was “the Forest City”, in reference to the large population and species of oak trees that flourish in the Savannah area. These trees were especially valuable in shipbuilding during the 19th century. In 2019, Savannah attracted 14.8 million visitors from across the country and around the world. Savannah’s downtown area is one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States.
The city’s location offers visitors access to the coastal islands and the Savannah Riverfront, both popular tourist destinations. Tybee Island, formerly known as “Savannah Beach”, is the site of the Tybee Island Light Station, the first lighthouse on the southern Atlantic coast. Other picturesque towns adjacent to Savannah include the shrimping village of Thunderbolt and three residential areas that began as summer resort communities for Savannahians: Beaulieu, Vernonburg, and the Isle of Hope.
Savannah’s unincorporated suburbs within Chatham County include several located on urbanized barrier islands east of the city.
- Dutch Island
- Isle of Hope
- Skidaway Island
- Talahi Island
- Whitemarsh Island
- Wilmington Island