Road Trip Near Savannah: Drive on to the Drive-In!

Are you a fan of all things vintage, including entertainment? You’re in luck! Your unerring retro instincts guided you to the Thunderbird Inn, the hippest hotel in Savannah. Not all the attractions in and around Savannah date to the teenage centuries (you know, 18th century, 19th century. . .) We’ve got a soft spot for the middle of the 20th century, which is understandable since the Thunderbird was built in 1964. And we can steer you to places where the beat goes on for the Swingin’ Sixties. Continue reading

How Retro Can You Go-Go in the American South?

Retro hotel in Savannah Georgia visits dog friendly art gallery

Retro hotel's pet lover visits Savannah City Market retro art gallery that is pet-friendly, too!

In the American South, how retro can you go on a single vacation? Without a functioning time machine, what wonderful amenities from the traveling past can you experience for the first time, rediscover with delight, or introduce your children to?

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Thanks, Brown’s Guides, It’s Good to Be Noticed!

Savannah Inns and hotels | Thunderbird Inn retro hotel

Brown's Guides fans recently named Thunderbird Inn "Best One of Kind Hotel in Georgia"

Word is getting around: Overdone and over-priced is not the only way to do Savannah. The Thunderbird Inn is on the receiving end of some kind words from Brown’s Guide to Georgia on just that topic. That’s us on their website (check it out at and we’re also on their Facebook page.

It seems the Brown’s folks are impressed by our retro style and our budget philosophy – and who wouldn’t be? Our circa-1964 classic roadside motel is as true to its era as anything you’ll find in historic Savannah. Our rooms are clean, fresh and charming – plus they’re amenity-rich. We’ve added just enough of today to keep your yesteryear experience sharp, with things like Wi-Fi throughout the Thunderbird. Pick one of our deluxe king rooms and you’ll enjoy such features as streaming Netflix and a Wii game system. All this for a price that won’t break the budget! Plainly, it’s no accident that we’re known as Savannah’s hippest hotel.

So thanks, Brown’s Guide, for noticing what we do. Keeping the history, but dumping the stuffy part – that’s us! We’re not like everybody else. We like that about ourselves.

Social Marketing: Social Media Meets Up With Feet-on-the-Ground Sociability in New Savannah Georgia Travel Video

SAVANNAH Georgia (April 6, 2012) — Thunderbird Inn in downtown Savannah takes social marketing to a refreshing level. The Swinging Sixties, retro hotel weaves real world sociability into win-win relationships with its neighbors. The result is a lively video that introduce to new and less-publicized attractions near the pop culture traveler’s favorite lodging.

Titled Meet Up on the Boulevard, downtown Savannah, the YouTube-hosted travel short delivers a one-minute teaser focusing on the northwest quadrant of downtown Savannah. “It just makes good marketing sense to tap video and social media [like Twitter and Facebook] to get out a bolder, more far-reaching message to the public!” Mark Thomas adds. “By sharing the spotlight, we truly get across our message to create win-win relationships.” The marketing team is collecting Twitter and Facebook addresses, too, as they broaden the inn’s social marketing reach.


“I control the biggest neon sign in Chatham County, Georgia. I have put Thunderbird’s marquee into overdrive talking about nine pubs and restaurants, eight museums, three trolley companies, two historic cemeteries, one welcome center, plus churches, art galleries and the Civic Center in our immediate area,” Thomas adds.

“I’m a team player interested in pointing to unique things to do near Thunderbird Inn — retro, pop culture, nightlife, one-of-a-kind restaurants, historic spots, and only-in-Savannah attractions that entertain. Tourists and locals never tire of exploring the beautiful Bull Street Corridor, River Street, and Broughton Street [downtown Savannah’s Main Street],” adds Thomas. “Off the beaten tourist path in the northwest quadrant of downtown Savannah, there are character-rich, entertaining places that are truly worth the trip, too.”

Even the daisy flowers have special significance. They are a nod to Savannah-born Girl Scouts founder, Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low, who is buried in Laurel Grove Cemetery, just off MLK Jr. Boulevard near Gwinnett Street. Thunderbird Inn participates in the “Daisieis for Daisy” grassroots initiative to pay tribute to Mrs. Low during the organization’s 100th Anniversary year. “Anyone can do it. Just plant or use daisies somehow.” Thunderbird has been actively championing that initiative as well.


Mark Thomas is known as a neighborhood team player. He’s Thunderbird Inn’s general manager and a 2012 NEXTGeneration award winner. He set out two years ago to enliven the buzz about the often overlooked treasures that visitors and locals alike will find west of Barnard Street to Boundary Street, and along the MLK Jr. corridor downtown.

“In 2012, there are many wonderful and new tourism points of interest close by that make this the perfect time to ratchet up the conversation,” Thomas says. “What we’ve learned using social marketing tools is that ‘social’ is a key word that requires spirited interaction — listening for great information, asking and answering questions. With improved information we can do a better job of passing along Savannah travel tips to the inn’s visitors, especially about our downtown neighbors,” says Thomas.

“Through the process of making this video, we are now more sociable with our neighbors. We know more of them by name, and we better understand more of the unique offerings now, too. That equates to Thunderbird Inn being a valuable go-to source. We want to do ‘social’ very well in person and through social media.”


Dubbed ‘The Boulevard’ in the Thunderbird Inn’s latest marketing campaign, the name is shorthand for the area of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, plus a few blocks east and west — Barnard to Boundary streets. If Thomas and his neighbor businesses have their way, “The Boulevard” [Twitter hashtag #TheBlvd] will soon be among the top-of-mind answers to ‘What are some new things to do in downtown Savannah?’

More than a dozen businesses, including Ships of the Sea Museum, SCAD Museum of Art, and the Georgia State Railroad Museum participated in the first of a series of videos that Thunderbird Inn plans to produce. The collaborative video project was developed by Thomas, local marketing consultant Sandy Traub, and Guy Smith’s Popcorn Octane LLC digital production firm based in Hilton Head Island, SC.

“Stay tuned. We’ve only scratched the surface,” Thomas concludes.


Declaring itself The hippest hotel in Savannah™, the delightfully quirky, Thunderbird Inn (42 rooms) is where the historic downtown Savannah location and hip motel eccentricities meet up. Featured in New York Times, Southern Living,,, Dog Friendly magazine, the downtown inn-motel recaptures the southern retro spirit of the Swinging Sixties. The youthful General Manager, Mark Thomas, has directed the much-touted marketing toward a bold, free-spirited and young again approach, making the most of the popular resurgence of retro in the United States. Discounted Savannah lodging was never so much fun! Ask about discount local coupons, Staff Picks, MoonPie® on your pillow, and dog friendly / pet-friendly vacation accommodations. 611 West Oglethorpe Avenue, Savannah, GA USA 31401. Toll Free Reservations (866) 324-2661; International +1/912-232-2661; Fax 912-233-5551. Twitter: @TBirdInn; E-mail; Web:

Copyright (c) 2012 The Thunderbird Inn / Sandy Traub


SCAD Graduation: Cool Hotel, Hot Tickets

Savannah GA Inns and Hotels card

Welcome to Savannah, Georgia!

Got a soon-to-be SCAD grad on your family tree or your Facebook page? If so, you need to get busy. Graduation ceremonies are June 2, and the Thunderbird Inn is already half way to full that weekend.

The SCAD Class of 2012 (Savannah College of Art and Design for those of you who missed acronym practice) has grown so large that it will take three ceremonies at the Savannah Civic Center to fit all the pomp and circumstance in. Read the schedule and details at

Or you could just take our word for it. The largest, most comprehensive ceremony starts at 9 a.m., with seating opening at 8 a.m. Translation: you’re gonna want to get here Friday. And the later of the two degree presentation ceremonies doesn’t wrap up until 6 p.m. Translation: stay Saturday night, so you can celebrate in style.

You can drop a fortune on hotel rooms in Savannah – but thanks to the Thunderbird Inn, you don’t have to. A room with two double beds is $146/night, and king rooms are $159/night. Or splurge for the amenity-rich retro king rooms at $175 a night. (Plus tax, of course – but as someone smart enough to know a college graduate, you expected that.) And parking is both available and free at the Thunderbird, and we’re within walking distance of the graduation venue.

No wonder the Thunderbird Inn is already half-full for SCAD graduation weekend!

And don’t worry if not everyone in your party can score a ticket to the graduation (they’re in limited supply, you know.) All rooms at the Thunderbird come with free Wi-Fi. Hey, we may be retro but we’re also the hippest hotel in Savannah!

Copyright (c) 2012 The Thunderbird Inn, Savannah GA.