If you’re trying to figure out the best time to visit Savannah and you’ve narrowed it down to one of the winter months, I can help you finalize your decision.

After all, I live in Savannah, and I’ve helped thousands of visitors plan their trips to the city. I’ll list a few of the top pros and cons they’ve shared with me through the years, and I’ll also tell you the things I personally love about winter in Savannah.

Pros of Winter in Savannah

I’m generally a positive person, so let’s cover some perks first.

  • Christmas in Savannah is a whole vibe; the Historic District looks like a Hallmark movie set.
  • January and February are considered “shoulder season,” so there aren’t as many crowds.
  • You can find the best deals on hotels in Savannah during low season, so that’s a perk.
  • Fewer crowds means it’s easier to get reservations at many popular Savannah restaurants.
  • Winter weather is rather mild overall, with plenty of days where you won’t need a jacket.
  • Winter is also when camellias bloom throughout the South!
  • The Southern live oaks are nearly evergreen, so they never appear completely bare.
  • Forsyth Park is planted with winter grass, so the park stays green year-round.
  • The Spanish moss is on the trees all year, so you’ll see it during the winter months.
  • There are plenty of museums in Savannah to keep you entertained indoors.
  • The city’s open-container policy* means you can stroll around with a drink to keep toasty.

NOTE: Open containers are allowed from River Street to Jones Street. Glass containers are forbidden. I suggest reading City of Savannah Code of Ordinance Sec. 6-1214 “Consumption of Alcohol on City Streets” to familiarize yourself with the rules, and pay close attention to section “b.”

Cons of Winter in Savannah

As much as I’m known for my positivity, I’m also known for my honesty. With that, let’s get to the cons of the wintry season.

  • Many restaurants utilize January for repairs, so they may close for a week or more.
  • When a rare cold front comes through, low temperatures can dip into the 20s.
  • The humidity of the coastal region makes chilly air feel bitingly cold.
  • With the wind blowing off the water, River Street isn’t as comfy during the winter months.
  • SCAD students go on a 6-week winter break, so the city doesn’t feel as vibrant.
  • It gets dark around 5:30 p.m., so there are fewer daylight hours to explore the city.

NOTE: Mrs. Wilke’s Dining Room, which is one of the most famous restaurants in Savannah, closes annually for the first 6 weeks of the year. They usually reopen around Valentine’s Day.

Does it Snow in Savannah?

Oh, man… I wish!

I would have so much fun taking pictures if it snowed here on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, we only get a big snowstorm once every 10 years (approximately). We do see a small dusting of snow every 5(-ish) years, and we average a few freezes each winter.

Our last decent snowfall was in early January of 2018 when 1.2 inches covered the ground.

Back in 1989, a huge wintry storm dropped 3.6 inches of snow on Savannah! It’s still the only white Christmas the city has seen to date.

We got close in December of 2023 when the city saw multiple days of freezing temperatures during Christmas week. Conditions weren’t right for snow, but many of the fountains in the area froze.

Related Reading: I realize I’m not using very technical weather terms, but if you want to learn actual temperature averages for each month, you can find that info here: Savannah’s Weather by Month.

A Few Favorite Pictures of Savannah in the Winter

I’m always looking for an excuse to share my photos, so here are a few “wintry” shots I took in Forsyth Park one recent sunny January day.

Pink camellias backlit by a golden sunset in Forsyth Park
Pink camellias backlit by the sun in Forsyth Park on a winter day in Savannah
Close-up of pink camellias with a bokeh background
Winter is prime camellia season in Savannah! | All images ©ErinClarkson | Lens: Canon RF 35mm 1.8 Macro

Brrrr… I can just feel the cold, can’t you? (Ha! I’m joking, but it was 51 degrees out when I took these. It felt like a rather typical January day in Savannah.)

Oh, and since I mentioned that Christmas in Savannah is a whole vibe, here are a few photos to give you an idea of the decor.

That middle shot of the fountain was taken by my friend Elizabeth from Elope to Savannah, and the last photo is one I took in Troup Square. Notice how green the trees are in both areas!

The Southern live oaks shed their leaves slowly and replace them as they go, and it usually happens beginning in late February and stretches through spring. They don’t ever look bare, and the only way you’ll really notice it’s happening is if you pay attention to the leaves littering the ground.

Golden leaves from a Southern live oak reflected in a puddle of water adjacent to the Mercer Williams House
Exhibit A: Fallen leaves from a Southern live oak reflected in a puddle near the Mercer Williams House. | ©ErinClarkson | Lens: Canon RF 50mm 1.2

My personal favorite winter month in Savannah is December, because I love the Christmas lights, the classic decorations, and all of the festive December events. I enjoy January for the peace and quiet it brings, plus it’s when the pink saucer magnolias start blooming. February is somewhat wishy-washy, with random cold fronts interspersed with early blooms from the azaleas.

Overall, the #1 reason why I love winter in Savannah is because it’s not summer! It’s so nice to stroll around the city without having to deal with miserable levels of heat and humidity.

Savannah Travel Guide

I hope these tips and photos were helpful! If you’re planning to a trip to Savannah, I’ve created a few additional resources to help you out.

  • Free Historic District Checklist – 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 FTG – 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.

If you have any questions about the winter season, please let me know in the comments below.