Savannah, GA

Savannah named Best Weekend Destination in North America by "affluent travelers"

Peter Watson

Savannah has been crowned 2021's “Best Weekend Destination in North America” in luxury travel magazine's annual survey of its affluent readership.
Savannah has been named the “Best Weekend Destination in North America”Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Luxury travel magazine Global Traveler has announced the winners of its ninth Leisure Lifestyle Awards, and Savannah was recognized as the “Best Weekend Destination in North America” for the second consecutive year.

“On behalf of the hospitality and tourism industry here in Savannah, we are again thrilled to be named Best Weekend Destination in North America by the readers and viewers of Global Traveler.The Savannah visitor experience brings together the best of history, architecture, coastal cuisine and genuine Southern hospitality, which all gel nicely to present the ideal long weekend.” – Joseph Marinelli, president of Visit Savannah.

Global Traveler conducted a survey of its readers with open-ended questions for the best in many categories of leisure, luxury and lifestyle travel.

The survey ran in the magazine, as an insert to subscriber copies, as a direct mail questionnaire, online and was emailed.

“Visitors to Savannah tell us they return multiple times so that they can enjoy all that our destination has to offer,” says Marinelli. “From the unique shops of City Market to the detailed walking and trolley tours, to the beaches of Tybee Island, our city meets all the needs of the weekend warrior and keeps them coming back again and again."

Why is Savannah so popular?

Savannah is widely considered to be one of America’s most beautiful and hospitable cities.

The city is routinely ranked in the “Top 10 Places to Visit” by world-renowned travel publications and websites such as Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure Magazine, Southern Living and, Savannah is more popular than ever before.

Only recently, Savannah was also ranked fourth on a list of America’s best small cities. The report described the city of over 130,000 as an "urban gem that shines bright".

Resonance Consultancy has published the report ranking the nation's cities with metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) of populations above 100,000 but under 500,000.

Savannah is a pedestrian paradise

The city is also recognised as being a pedestrian paradise. Even with the nation's largest registered Urban Historic Landmark District, Savannah's 22 green squares and 1,600+ historically and architecturally significant structures are all within a 2.5 square mile area.

Wear your walking shoes and stroll the Historic District. Guide services can personalize your walk to a specific interest.

I stopped by Savannah, the oldest city in Georgia, during a road trip from Florida to South Carolina last year. ⁣

In general, I'm not a big fan of cities, but this friendly town, with its graceful mix of elegant townhouses, green parks and storied architecture, all bedecked beneath a veil of dripping moss, instantly had me charmed.⁣

I loved wandering around the city parks and the historic waterfront and who couldn't be charmed by the grand avenue of oak trees draped in moss at Wormsloe?

To take advantage of being in one of the greenest, most pedestrian-friendly cities in the country, tour our 22 beautiful park-like squares, stroll along River Street and take a trip to Savannah’s beach town, Tybee Island.

Both Savannah and Tybee offer unique outdoor settings and nature-related activities your readers will enjoy.

What is Global Traveler?

With nearly 550,000 readers, Global Traveler connects brands with US-based frequent, affluent travelers.

According to MediaMark Research (Gfk MRI), GT readers have an average net worth of $2 million and 50% are CEOs and owners of companies.

Their readers average nine domestic flights per year and 93% travel internationally on a regular basis (11 round-trips in the last three years), mostly in first and business class.
Global Traveler Magazine targets affluent travelersGlobal Traveler Magazine

More than 55% stay in 4- and 5-star hotels, at an average of 60 nights per year.

Global Traveler produces several special editions such as Leisure Lifestyle Edition, Global City Guidebook and Class Act Guide which complement monthly issues.

Each year, Global Traveler awards the GT Tested Reader Survey awards, the Leisure Lifestyle Awards and the Wines on the Wing awards (business- and first-class wine survey).

Full results

A complete list of the Global Traveler Leisure Lifestyle Awards winners is as follows:

Historical Attractions, International

Best Historical Attractions, Domestic
Charleston, South Carolina

Best Beaches
Costa Rica
Fourth Consecutive Year

Best Adventure Destination, International

Best Adventure Destination, Domestic

Best Leisure Destination in the United States
Charleston, South Carolina
Second Consecutive Year

Best Leisure Destination in Africa

Best Leisure Destination in Europe
Florence, Italy

Best Leisure Destination in Asia
Fourth Consecutive Year

Best Leisure Destination in Latin/South America
Santiago, Chile

Best Leisure Destination in Mexico
Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Best Leisure Destination for Groups

Best Weekend Destination in North America
Savannah, Georgia
Second Consecutive Year

Best Weekend Destination in the World
Second Consecutive Year

Best North American Ski Destination
Telluride, Colorado
Third Consecutive Year

Best International Ski Destination
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

Best Golf Destination
Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Best Caribbean Island
Dominican Republic

Best Island in Europe
Eighth Consecutive Year

Best Island Pacific Rim
Cook Islands
Sixth Consecutive Year

Best Island in the United States
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Best Family Cruise Line
Holland America Line

Best Luxury Cruise Line
MSC Cruises

Best Value Cruise Line
Emerald Cruise Line

Best Cruise Line Suites
Owner’s Suites, Oceania Cruises

Best Adventure Cruise Line

Best Small-Ship Cruise Line
Paul Gauguin Cruises
Sixth Consecutive Year

Best Large-Ship Cruise Line
Sixth Consecutive Year

Best River Cruise Line
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises
Fourth Consecutive Year

Best Cruise Line Entertainment
Princess Cruises
Third Consecutive Year

Best Cruise Line Dining
Second Consecutive Year

Best Cruise Line Spas
Seabourn Cruise Line
Third Consecutive Year

Best Cruise Ship Excursions
Princess Cruises
Sixth Consecutive Year

Best Cruise Line Rewards Program
Captain’s Club, Celebrity Cruises

Best Cruise Port
Port Everglades
Second Consecutive Year

Best Luxury Leisure Hotel Group in the World
Melia Hotels International
Seventh Consecutive Year

Best Hotel Chain Resorts
The Ritz-Carlton
Third Consecutive Year

Best Pet-Friendly Hotels
Westin Hotels & Resorts

Best Family Resort Chain in the World
Westin Hotels & Resorts
Fifth Consecutive Year

Best All-Inclusive Resorts
Excellence Group Luxury Hotels & Resorts

Best Tour Operator
Perillo Tours

Best Airport for Layovers
Miami International Airport
Second Consecutive Year

Best Airport for Recreation
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Best Stopover Program
TAP Air Portugal
Third Consecutive Year

Best Leisure Airline
Air Tahiti Nui
Third Consecutive Year

Best Airline for Onboard Entertainment
Air Canada
Third Consecutive Year

Best Airline Onboard Menu
Air Canada Business Class
Second Consecutive Year

Best Premium-Economy Class
Air Canada
Third Consecutive Year

Best Pet-Friendly Airline
United Airlines

Best Luxury Vehicle
Third Consecutive Year

Favorite Luxury Watch Brand
Tag Heuer

Best Leisure Car Rental
Fourth Consecutive Year

Best Destination Jewelry Brand
Na Hoku
Second Consecutive Year

Best Liquor Brand
Woodford Reserve

Outstanding Social Responsibility
United Airlines

Outstanding Customized Services

Outstanding Environmental Achievements
The Red Sea Development

Outstanding Innovations
Pittsburgh International Airport

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Peter Watson is a writer, photographer and adventurer. A keen trekker and climber he can usually be found on the trails of the Greater Ranges. He’s visited over 80 countries and is currently focused on climbing the seven summits – the highest mountain on every continent. Four down, three to go... He has also travelled extensively around the US developing a penchant for American backcountry, abandoned buildings and natural wonders en route.

Phoenix, AZ

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