Arts, music, and culture take center stage at the following three festivals in Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida. Here’s more.

With festival season rearing its head in the warmer months, it’s not too early to start planning a road trip from Savannah to choice events in the Southeast. Arts, music, and culture take center stage at the following festivals in Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida:

Atlanta Dogwood Festival

An annual outdoor celebration for more than 80 years, it remains one of the most popular festivals in Georgia. The Atlanta Dogwood Festival spreads across Piedmont Park, the city’s massive green space. An art show featuring paintings, sculptures, and photography takes place along the park’s twisting walkways. Festival food, a disc dog competition, a 5K run, and more spans across three days. Live music highlights include performances by the official Jimmy Buffett tribute band, A1A, and an ’80s bash featuring 1980s tribute acts.

From Savannah: Take I-16 West/GA-404 West toward Macon. I-16 West/GA-404 West becomes I-75 North/GA-401 North. Take I-75 North to Atlanta. (Estimated drive: 4 hours.)

Spoleto Festival USA

Beginning in late May, the Spoleto Festival USA celebrates 17 days and nights to a variety of artistic performances. Music wafts through the air from outdoor venues and inside historic churches and theaters. Throughout the festival’s run, you’ll find a number of choices in the worlds of opera, theater, and dance; as well as Americana, symphonic, choral, chamber, and jazz music. Expect an outdoor concert finale complete with fireworks.

From Savannah: Take I-95 North toward Florence, S.C. Merge onto US-17 North toward Charleston. (Estimated drive: 2 hours.)

Jacksonville Jazz Festival

The strains of jazz music fill downtown Jacksonville throughout Memorial Day weekend at one of the largest festivals of its kind in the country. A trio of stages puts the spotlight on jazz artists. The 2016 edition of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival found more than 131,000 guests attending. An array of rising stars and well-known acts put on numerous performances. Highlights included Kem, Snarky Puppy, Dr. John, and others.

From Savannah: Take I-95 South toward Brunswick/Jacksonville. (Estimated drive: 2 hours.)

Jon Waterhouse

About the AuthorJon Waterhouse

Jon Waterhouse is an award-winning, Atlanta-based journalist specializing in entertainment, travel and lifestyle. His work has appeared in Esquire, BlackBook, Paste, Boy's Life,, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and many other publications. He's also served as an online reporter for and, and exclusive publicity writer for Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame act, Van Halen. In addition to writing, Waterhouse has the ability to produce exceptional audio/visual content, including audio slideshows. As the host, writer and producer of "The Pop Culture King Show," Waterhouse won a Georgia Association of Broadcasters Award for his work.