Are you looking for a Savannah Historic District map? You’ll find plenty of them online, but this watercolor version is by far the prettiest option! Come check it out, and then stick around to learn the difference between the northern and southern sections of the Historic District.
If you’re new around here, first of all … allow me to extend a warm welcome.
My name is Erin, and I authored the Savannah First-Timer’s Guide. It combines my top Savannah travel tips from this website into one handy downloadable ebook.
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🏠 Savannah Historic District: Get the Scoop from a Local
Savannah Historic District Map
According to the National Park Service (NPS), the boundaries of Savannah’s Landmark Historic District are as follows:
- Northern Boundary: The Savannah River
- Eastern Boundary: E. Broad Street
- Southern Boundary: Gwinnett Street
- Western Boundary: Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Savannah’s local Metropolitan Planning Commission (“the MPC”) recognizes a slightly larger zone as the downtown Savannah Historic District.
The larger historic zone includes the Landmark Historic District as well as surrounding areas such as the Plant Riverside District, Yamacraw Village, the old West Broad Neighborhood (Frogtown), and the Kayton/Frazier Homes area.
This map shows a good overview of the larger Historic District section of Savannah, which is also commonly referred to as “Downtown Savannah.”
Oglethorpe’s Plan for Savannah
James Edward Oglethorpe founded Savannah in 1733. He was a fan of sensible urban design, so he laid out the city in a simple grid-like pattern.
The grid includes residential and commercial zones, as well as green spaces known as “squares”.
To summarize his original town plan in as few words as possible, let’s just say he created six “wards” — each one centered around a square.
The six original wards in Savannah were based around the following squares: Johnson Square, Wright Square, Ellis Square, Telfair Square, Reynolds Square, and Oglethorpe Square.
Each of the six wards contained four tything blocks (for residential use) and four trust lots (for civic use). Residents lived in small homes on the tything blocks, and it was common to have churches or similar public-use buildings on the trust lots.
The residential blocks are split by narrow lanes. These days, many homes in the Historic District feature carriage houses that have their entrances on the lanes.
Because Oglethorpe’s plan was so sensible, the Historic District expanded and grew to a total of 24 squares that were all based on his original design.
Savannah Historic District North vs. South
These days, to describe the Landmark Historic District in its simplest form, it’s easiest to break it up into two sections: the Historic District North and the Historic District South.
The northern section of the Historic District is the section from Oglethorpe Avenue north to River Street (or the Savannah River). Basically — it’s everything north of Colonial Park Cemetery.
The northern section has a high concentration of bars, restaurants, and hotels. It’s a very busy — and rather touristy — area.
The southern section of the Historic District is much more residential. It has fewer bars and hotels and includes more homes. It feels like a neighborhood and is much quieter than the northern section.
If you’re trying to decide the best place to stay, I’ve written a very detailed post that tells exactly what to expect from each area. It includes the pros and cons and discusses issues like homelessness and crime. You can find that post right here: Where to Stay in Savannah (According to a Local).
Map of Historic Savannah FAQs
Although the Landmark Historic District has well-defined boundaries set forth by the National Park Service (NPS), Savannah’s local Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) recognizes a larger zone as the downtown Savannah Historic District. The larger historic zone includes the Landmark Historic District as well as surrounding areas such as the Plant Riverside District, Yamacraw Village, the old West Broad Neighborhood (Frogtown), and the Kayton/Frazier Homes area.
According to the National Park Service (NPS), the boundaries of Savannah’s Landmark Historic District are as follows: The Savannah River (northern boundary), E. Broad Street (eastern boundary), Gwinnett Street (southern boundary), and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (western boundary).
The best place to stay in Savannah’s Historic District depends upon the type of activities you plan to do while visiting the area. The northwest section of the Historic District is an entertainment zone and has a high concentration of restaurants, bars, and shops. The southern portion of the Historic District moves at a slower pace and feels more residential.
Yes, Savannah’s Historic District is very walkable. The entire area only covers 2.031 square miles and it’s very flat, so it’s easy to get around without a car. In fact — as long as you don’t have any mobility issues — it’s best to leave your car at home to avoid annoying parking issues!
Visiting Savannah Georgia
If you’re planning to a trip to Savannah, here are a few additional resources I’ve created to help you out.
- Free Resources Library – When you sign up for my email list, you’ll get a checklist of “50 Things To Do On Foot in the Historic District (No Car Necessary)” and other helpful printables.
- Savannah First-Timer’s Guide – My ebook combines my most helpful Savannah travel tips from this website in one handy downloadable guide.
When you purchase my ebook, you’ll also gain access to a private Facebook group where you can ask questions about your trip and get advice from others who have recently visited.