Savannah is a city of history, culture, food and drink–and I must say, it has the best of all of those categories. I recently spent a week in this gorgeous city and found that it is also a city of love! Below are the places that we fell in love with and the places that helped us take our love to the next level!
Ghost Tour. One of the coolest things that we did while in Savannah was go on a nighttime ghost tour. We chose the Ghost City Tours company and went on The Beyond Good and Evil tour that took us through some of the haunted hotspots and historical must-see places from the movie, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. It was comical, a bit creepy and gave us an introduction into the Savannah of the past. We walked the city at night as our tour guide took us to cemeteries, old homes and told stories of voodoo and hoodoo.
Wormsloe Historic Site. This historic plantation that stretches over 800 acres is most well known for the picturesque oak avenue, the 1/2 mile drive lined with 400 gorgeous oak trees with branches overlapping above creating a scenic canopy as you make your way into the site. With extensive history as a defense structure in colonial days, guests are able to walk through this plantation and it’s beautiful hiking trails to get a feel for what life was like back in the days when Wormsloe was established. Don’t forget your camera for this trip–you will definitely want more than one picture of those beautiful trees.
Tybee Island. During our trip we took a few days for sun and sand at Tybee Island. Only a 20 minute drive from downtown, it was the best of both worlds. We got our fill of the culture and history in the heart of Savannah, but we were also able to catch a few waves and see a few dolphins on these great beaches! I would recommend visiting the Tybee Island Lighthouse as well as The Breakfast Club restaurant, both excellent places to get a bird’s eye view of the island and grab a bite to eat.
The food in Savannah is some of the best I’ve had. We went to Tubby’s on Riverstreet which had delicious seafood followed by drinks at The Rooftop at the Bohemian which gave us killer views of the boats coming into the harbor under the gorgeous Talmadge Memorial Bridge. We ended night one with sweet treats from the River Street Sweets Candy Store (if you go, definitely try the pralines and the ice cream– they are to die for!!!)
Day 2 took us to Tybee Island where, after a long day of jumping waves and searching for dolphins, we were craving something fun where we could stay outside and eat anything from the sea. We chose The Crab Shack and we couldn’t have made a better choice. It was such a fun family friendly restaurant where the food was served on paper plates and there was a trash can in a hole in the middle of the table since so many shrimp were consumed and needed their tales discarded. There were cats that randomly visited the table (don’t worry, they were the restaurant pets, and even though I really don’t like cats, it was kind of a fun addition and they were incredibly well behaved). There was also a gator habitat just outside the doors of the restaurant in which you could feed live alligators! Definitely a tourist spot–but we had a ton of fun!
We also tried some of the less touristy spots that our awesome airbnb hosts suggested for us. The tapas bar, Jazz’d offered us an incredible four course tapas meal with an extensive wine selection and live music. Lulu’s Chocolate Bar is an INCREDIBLE bar that is filled with chocolate themed drinks and desserts. I highly recommend the chocolate martinis–I found out that night that alcohol and chocolate is pretty much my favorite combination, EVER. After dinner a few nights we hit up the newest bar, Prohibition, which was my idea of the best kind of bar. It was filled with antiques and history and bartenders that made differently innovative cocktails and told the most intriguing stories.
It was about 1000 degrees in the shade while we were there, so many of the outside things that we had planned on, didn’t end up happening so we were forced to find things to do that also involved air conditioning. One of our favorites was visiting the Savannah Wildlife Refuge. This was a three mile loop through the protected marshlands of Savannah. Originally we thought this would be a quick 45 min trip, but we ended up spending two hours taking a slow drive through the refuge as we listened to the history (spelled out on a local radio station that you can tune into throughout different points of the trip) and spotted wild alligators, birds, fish, ducks, etc. The best part was that we could stay in our air-conditioned car while still enjoying nature and it’s wildlife.
On one of the less hot days, we did get to walk along some of the Spanish moss, tree lined side streets to see the beautiful architecture of the mansions as well as visit a few of the parks, my favorite being Forsyth Park. Once again it had gorgeous natural green spaces, a”fragrant” garden filled with roses and large fountains that have been a Savannah staple for years.
Gallery Espresso was my go-to coffee shop each morning for delicious coffee, pastries and stuffed croissants, along with The Paris Market that had the best items to shop for as your coffee was cooling. We also did a bit of shopping at the local store fronts and had lunch at Goose Feathers Cafe.
A Savannah Engagement
My favorite day, however, was by far the last day in Savannah. After shopping eating and exploring, we returned to our airbnb to get ready for dinner at The Olde Pink House followed by a concert at the Historic Savannah Theater. I was surprised by my boyfriend of ten years (insert that Charlotte York quote from SATC here) with a beautiful ring. The best thing come to those that wait, was definitely the theme of the night. Since we were hundreds of miles from home, the sweet staff of the Olde Pink House made dinner that evening so special. It felt like a scene from Beauty and the Beast, while we sat in a beautifully ornate and elegant dinning room, sipping champagne, eating a wonderful decadent meal and were, once again, surprised with a candlestick just for our table and a peach sorbet dessert with “Congratulations” spelled out in chocolate. We then took our stuffed and happy selves to the Historic Savannah Theater, which was incredibly cool and one of the oldest theaters in Savannah to see the Piano Men. We were the youngest couple by quite a few years, however, we felt like family when the host called out his congratulations to us by name from the stage, and those around us cheered. The show itself was absolutely wonderful, filled with incredible piano playing of some of the most classic songs.
The whole night was something out of a movie and I am so grateful to all of the strangers turned new friends that we met that night to help us celebrate.
I was expecting the history, good drinks, great food and southern hospitality from this quirky city. I wasn’t expecting how romantic (even before the engagement) it felt. Savannah felt like an old love that reminds you of the beauty and joy that life brings each day.
Savannah, old sport, thanks for an amazing trip. We will be back one day to celebrate with you again.