Let’s face it: Savannah  is a hard-drinking town, and not just on St. Patrick’s Day . Visitors expecting a Bible Belt atmosphere are sometimes surprised—often, it must be said, pleasantly so—at Savannah’s high tolerance for intoxication and its associated behavior patterns. (A few years ago a city councilman decided he’d had a few too many and simply got a ride home from an on-duty cop.) The ability to legally walk downtown streets with beer, wine, or a cocktail in hand also contributes to the overall joie de vivre.
A party here is never far away, any night of the week, so it makes sense to begin this section with a close, loving look at the bars, pubs, and taverns  that are the heart of Savannah ’s social scene and really make it tick. Bars close in Savannah at 3 a.m., a full hour later than in Charleston .
One catch though: Due to Georgia’s notorious blue laws, establishments that serve alcohol that do not derive at least 50 percent of their revenue from food may not open on Sundays. Supermarkets and convenience stores cannot sell alcoholic beverages of any kind on Sundays, and liquor stores are closed all day Sunday.
Arguably the single most civilized trait of Savannah  and certainly one of the things that most sets it apart, is the glorious old tradition of the “to-go cup.” True to its history of hard-partying and general open-mindedness, Savannah, like New Orleans, allows you to legally walk the streets downtown with an open container of your favorite adult beverage.
Of course, you have to be 21 and over, and the cup must be Styrofoam or plastic, never glass or metal, and no more than 16 ounces. While there are boundaries to where to-go cups are legal, in practice this includes most all areas of the Historic District frequented by tourists. The quick and easy rule of thumb is keep your to-go cups north of Jones Street.
Every other election year, some local politician tries to get the church folk all riled up and proposes doing away with to-go cups in the interest of public safety. And he or she is inevitably shouted down by the outcry from the tourist-conscious Chamber of Commerce and from patriotic Savannahians defending their way of life.
Every downtown watering hole has stacks of cups at the bar for patrons to use. You can either ask the bartender for a to-go cup — alternately a “go cup” — or just reach out and grab one yourself. Don’t be shy — it’s the Savannah way.