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With its beautiful architecture and historic district, Savannah has long been considered one of America's most charming cities. But it's also home to an energetic live music scene that offers a bit of something for everyone, from progressive Southern rock at lively bars to tasty dinners at jazz joints to one of the best music festivals in the country.
And with JetBlue now offering daily nonstop service from New York (JFK) to Savannah/Hilton Head Island, there's never been a better time to start exploring the city's diverse music scene.
To help you plan your nightlife itinerary for your next Savannah visit, we've put together a roundup of our favorite places to boogie in town.
Savannah Music Festival (March 20 - April 5, 2014)
Acclaimed musicians from far and wide convene in Savannah each spring for the Savannah Music Festival. Now celebrating its 25th season, the popular festival features a diverse lineup showcasing an eclectic blend of sounds all over town. From the blues and soul of Taj Mahal to the banjo mastery of Béla Fleck to the flamenco rhythms of Tomatito, you'll find a bit of everything. Add the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Ricky Skagg's infectious bluegrass, and you can easily see why the Savannah Music Festival is the largest of its kind in Georgia.
Jazz'd Tapas Bar
Slink into this sleek, subterranean club to nosh on Chef Richard Hattaway's American take on tapas (Chèvre Creole Tomato Dip and Chorizo Sliders, anyone?) and indulge in some of the most diverse jazz in town, from blues and swing to classic vocals in the vein of Sinatra and local legend Johnny Mercer. Craft cocktails like martinis and Sazeracs dominate the drink list, while skilled musicians flock to this Historic District hot spot from Tuesday through Sunday.
Savannah Smiles Dueling Pianos Saloon
Be prepared to share your favorite songs at this all-request music venue, where patrons engage with the performing musicians. Piano players (many of whom tour the country) can hammer out virtually any hit your heart desires, and they might even encourage you to join them onstage. The drinks are cheap, as is the cover, and—thanks to frequent bachelorette and birthday parties—the people-watching is often hilarious.
Congress Street Social Club
Known for its always-popular outdoor patio and delicious pub grub, this multilevel sports bar in downtown Savannah also boasts some of the best music in town. Try some pulled pork tacos or brisket, then head upstairs for a cover-free show, where you'll boogie on an intimate dance floor to the best local funk, Southern rock and jam bands around.
The Wormhole—a divey and lively venue off the beaten path—is as eclectic as it is nerdy. And that's a good thing. Lineups range from psych rock and Southern rock to intimate acoustic shows with acclaimed guitarists and cutting edge electronic performances. Check their calendar for complete lineups, which even feature comedy nights and "nerd parties" (replete with trivia and games).
To start planning your Savannah escape, visit jetblue.com and book your nonstop flight from New York (JFK) today.