Is Savannah better than Charleston? Locals weigh in on the ox of a century
This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Narcity Media.
The rivalry between Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina goes back centuries.
The two coastal port cities located in the southeastern United States are popular destinations for people from all over the world who want to experience southern hospitality.
Having grown up in the city of hostesses, I have to admit that I have a soft spot for my hometown of Savannah. The stone streets lined with massive holm oaks, the winding waterways of the Intercoastal, and the general laid-back attitude put me at ease.
But I’m willing to admit there are some things South Carolina does better.
I sat down with Ada, a good friend of mine born and raised in Charleston who works in the hospitality industry to determine once and for all what is best using our local expertise.
The stereotype has it that Charleston is Savannah’s most pretentious sister.
“I think at one point it was true, but Charleston has mellowed over the past ten years, and now it’s catching up with Savannah in terms of ‘quirkiness,’” says Ada.
In general, Savannah is less crowded and more laid back. Although the people and hospitality are friendly in both towns, in my experience the people of Savannah tend to be a bit more relaxed.
Savannah: 1, Charleston: 0
I’m willing to admit that Charleston beat us on this one. While Savannah’s food scene is slowly growing, Charleston’s has been thriving for years.
“I love that amazing food is never far away when I’m home,” Ada confesses.
The Charleston Food & Wine Festival is a great time of year to visit and enjoy all the city has to offer, in my personal experience. A hidden little French bistro called Chez Nous in Charleston was one of the best restaurants I’ve been to.
While you can find some dining gems in Savanah, the holy city’s food scene is still catching up.
Savannah: 1, Charleston: 1
Cost of life
According to the best placesCharleston is 24.2% more expensive to live than Savannah.
Savannah’s cost of living score is 88, which is cheaper than the US national average of 100, while Charleston’s is more expensive than average with a score of 109.8.
It’s in the real estate market where you really notice a difference, with the median home price in Savannah being $211,300 compared to $386,600 in Charleston.
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly city, Savannah is your best bet.
Savanna: 2, Charleston: 1
Savannah is known for its relaxed open container laws allowing you to legally carry open alcoholic beverages as you walk around and explore the city.
While this is convenient, it’s also a major draw for people looking to party too hard. Savannah has become one of the South’s staple consumer destinations.
Popular tourist areas like Congress Street feel like the Wild West after 10 p.m., so I personally enjoyed that Charleston’s nightlife was still bustling but felt a bit more controlled.
Plus, craft cocktail bars like The Belmont and The Last Saint make for memorable evenings in a chic atmosphere.
Savannah: 2, Charleston: 2
Both towns are known for their historic architecture and quaint coastal style.
“What I love about visiting Savannah are the trees,” Ada reveals, “Charleston is nice but Savannah has more charm and is more walkable.”
Savannah was created on a grid system, which means there are dozens of beautiful green spaces called squares that are scenic and easy to navigate.
These miniature parks also make Savannah incredibly walkable, and with sights like breathtaking and historic waterfront cemeteries hidden in the trees, it’s hard not to get swept away in the beauty of it all. that.
Savannah: 3, Charleston: 2
Both historic towns are full of beauty and hospitality, but one stands out more than the other based on our discussion.
I think Savannah is the winner here, due to the significantly lower cost of living and the laid back attitude of the locals.
Ada still feels attached to her hometown.
“Don’t get me wrong, I love Savannah, but Charleston is for me. I need more stuff, it feels more like a big city than Savannah. Both are cute, but Charleston wins.”
There is no right or wrong answer as to which city is best, the winner will be different for everyone depending on your preferences and the vibe you are looking for.
Before you go, check out our Guide to Responsible Travel to be informed, be safe, be smart, and most importantly, be respectful on your adventure.