United States

Savannah’s Best Historic Squares

When British General James Oglethorpe founded Savannah, GA in 1733, he had a plan. It was a plan to design a city of squares, a public gathering place for residents of this new city in the New World. Today, architects continue to admire Oglethorpe’s vision as a utopian ideal for urban planning, while Savannah’s 22 scenic, Spanish moss-draped squares continue to captivate residents and visitors alike. Start at City Hall, located at the top of Bull Street, and work your way down toward Forsyth Park to see many of the city’s most well-known squares.


Photography By Miguel Vieira, Flickr

1. Johnson Square

Built by Oglethorpe himself, Johnson Square was the first to emerge from his grand city plan in 1733. Named for Oglethorpe’s friend and South Carolina’s first Governor, Robert Johnson, it pays tribute to George Washington’s second in command, Nathanial Greene, with a gleaming white obelisk at its center. The first president himself may have even spoken from this spot. Georgia's first church, the marble-columned Christ Church, is also located here. Peoplewatch under the gigantic live oak trees and reflect on just how old this place is while sitting on a bench near the marble one dedicated to Savannah’s native son, the prolific songwriter Johnny Mercer of “Moon River” fame.

Photography By Christopher Elliott, Flickr

2. Wright Square

Savannah may not have existed if it weren’t for the gracious Native American Chief Tomochichi, who welcomed the British settlers and gifted his land to Oglethorpe.  The Yamacraw chief is buried in the city’s second square and a huge granite stone memorializes his generosity and instrumental role in the birth of Savannah. Slip into nearby Wright Square Café for coffee and a handmade chocolate treat. 

Wright Square

Bull and Presidents streets Savannah, GA

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Photography By faungg, Flickr

3. Chippewa Square

Some of Savannah’s squares have been made famous by their star turns. Chippewa Square got its big screen moment in “Forest Gump,” as one of the prettiest bus stops on film. You can’t sit where Forest sat with his box of chocolates—the movie-prop-bench resides in the Savannah History Museum—and you can admire the grand bronze statue of Georgia’s founder, James Oglethorpe, framed in Spanish moss.  Designed in 1815, the square commemorates the Battle of Chippewa during the War of 1812 and is home to the Historic Savannah Theatre, one of the oldest theaters in the US.

Chippewa Square

Bull and McDonough streets Savannah, GA

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About the Author

Robin Bennefield is a freelance writer and author of the travel blog, Robins Have Wings. She has climbed a volcano in Nicaragua, shopped for knock-off designer handbags in the backroom of a Shanghai kitchen and watched camels meander through her tented camp in the Sahara. She is hoping that her sip from the fountain of youth in Itaparica will have lasting effects.

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