Bed and breakfast inns: I visited the following three inns, all furnished with period antiques and all in Savannah's historic district. A number of other inns can be booked through R.S.V.P. Savannah Bed & Breakfast Reservation Services at (800) 729-7787, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays; or the Savannah Historic Inns and Guest Houses at (800) 262-4667, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays.
Ballastone Inn, 14 E. Oglethorpe Ave.; (800) 822-4553. Rates: $95 to $175.Magnolia Place Inn, 503 Whitaker St.; (800) 238-7674. Rates: $85 to $165.
The Gastonian, 220 E. Gaston St.; (912) 232-2869. Rates: $98 to $225.
HOTELS: The Hyatt Regency, although a glaringly modern intrusion, has a central location overlooking the Savannah River on River Street. The DeSoto Hilton is near the center of town and is within walking distance of most attractions.
UPSCALE DINING: Elizabeth at 37th features chef-owner Elizabeth Terry cooking updated Southern classics in a turn-of-the-century mansion. For dining in an historic setting, the Olde Pink House, circa 1771, captures the style of the wealthy 18th century planters. The Pirate's House, mentioned in Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island," offers a more touristy setting.
FUNKY DINING: For fresh oysters on the half shell, Shuckers on River Street. For all you can eat, Southern-style cooking, Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House is a Savannah institution, run for decades by Sema Wilkes, 82. She's open weekdays only for breakfast and lunch and waiting is inevitable. I counted 102 people waiting at lunchtime recently, but the line moves quickly.
SHOPPING: Artwork and antiques. A collection of funky antique/junk shops are on Factors Walk, within walking distance of River Street. A number of antique shops, some featuring museum-quality furniture, and art galleries featuring works by area artists are sprinkled throughout the city.
INFORMATION: Savannah Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, (912) 944-0456, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.