Savannah is amazing with the town squares and the hanging moss and the French Colonial houses. It’s brutally romantic.David Morrissey
Ah, Savannah. One of the most visited, most talked about, and most photographed cities in the South. And with good reason. It popped up on Southern Living‘s list of The South’s Best Cities 2020, and any time you Google prettiest, best, friendliest cities in the South — well, you guessed it: Savannah is there, on everyone’s list.
Savannah seems timeless to us. It’s a place for history, but also for newness, as the waterfront expansion and updates in lodging will attest. But it’s also a pretty place with 22 laid-out squares for leisurely strolls, numerous live oaks throughout the city, and a concerted effort to preserve historic homes and buildings for years to come. We hope you’ve enjoyed our posts on Savannah, and this last one focuses on some of our favorite homes and a summary of what we did, where we stayed, and how we dined.
It goes without saying, perhaps, that Savannah homes are lovely. Most are two or three stories tall with steps leading from brick sidewalks up to the main (second) floor. Evidently, homeowners in Savannah are patriotic, judging from the plethora of American flags flying from porches. And everywhere you look, people are out — enjoying the parks, walking their dogs, or pointing to flowerpots tastefully filled with ferns and flowers of all kinds.
“Brutally romantic,” says David Morissey, and we agree.
But parks and homes are just part of the story of Savannah. It’s a foodie town, an art town, and a youthful one at that. Here’s where we stayed and what we enjoyed on our four-day trip to one of the South’s finest cities.
From modern high rise hotels to historic homes open to the public, Savannah has many choices for lodging. We stayed one night in City Market at Andaz, an affordable, newly decorated accommodation with friendly staff that put us squarely within walking distance of shops and restaurants.
But we also enjoyed three nights in one of the Historic Inns of Savannah — the Eliza Thompson House where we were spoiled with gourmet breakfast (think omelets, Southern grits, and sausages) as well as heavy hors d’oeuvres in the evening and a dessert before bedtime.
Don’t count out a stay on the riverfront, though. You may think it’s far from the historic district, but trolleys, Uber rides, and good ol’ sidewalks will get you anywhere in Savannah in minutes. We took the elevator inside The Bohemian down to the river walk, but while inside, we noted the artwork, colors, and modern embellishments. It’s a place for our next visit!
From breakfast at Two Cracked Eggs to dinner at Vic’s on the River (Oh, those crab cakes, shrimp and grits, and steaks), we found good places to dine right on the river walk. An Uber ride from Eliza Thompson House was both affordable and quick — helping us avoid traffic and the rigors of finding a place to park. (Yes, Savannah is crowded already!)
Lunches at Gryphon and The Collins Quarter brought us to where the young people gather — for bachelorette parties, casual dining, and pots of tea, as well as more spirited options! But don’t forget that you can pick up quick bites at Byrd’s Famous Cookies and The Little Crown at Pie Society in City Market. And for the finest in hand-crafted chocolates, get thee to Chocolat by Adam Turoni pronto!
One recommendation we stand by is this: take a trolley tour — first. There are several companies in Savannah, and, although we’ve ridden on two different ones, we found that the information delivered by humorous, chipper drivers was great on both. By boarding a trolley, you’re indulging in a great overview of the city — passing by some of the beautiful parks and squares and learning where to locate specific places to visit after your tour. Both Old Savannah Tours and Old Town Trolley Tours will take you past the notables, giving you an idea of where you want to go next — from the river walk to City Market to the historic district. Check out the packages they offer with various stops and/or bundled tickets to area attractions online, and then note the departure location — whether at Savannah Welcome Center on West Boundary Street (easy parking) or in town at various stops such as City Market.
One caution during this time of coronavirus shutdown: check to see if the sites you had in mind to visit are open. We found out (the hard way) that the Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home was still closed to tourists. But we saw the outside!
One thing’s for certain about Savannah: shops are open and people are buying! From antique maps at V & J Duncan to the newest soaps and jewelry at The Paris Market, shopping is varied in this city. We enjoyed bringing home kitchen items from Paula Deen’s The Lady and Sons retail store as much as we loved dining on her Georgia Fried Catfish. But if you want art straight from the artists, check out the sidewalks on the riverfront. After all, there are gems of Savannah everywhere you look.
Here’s hoping you, too, find Savannah to be, as David Morissey said, ” . . . brutally romantic.” It’s a charming place, steeped in history.
But mostly for us, it’s one of our favorite Deep South places to see.
Rusha & Bert
To see all the posts on Sweet Savannah, click here.