This year, I'm kicking off a series called 'Weekend Getaways', where I'll be blogging about all my travels in 2015. First up: Savannah, Georgia.
Savannah is one of my go-to vacation spots and I was so excited to go this past weekend with my boyfriend to celebrate his birthday. Since I have been to Savannah a couple of times (ahem 7 or 8) and he had never been, I planned the weekend around some must-see spots, but I'll always make room for something new.
For us Floridians who have to pass through Georgia to go anywhere up the east coast, Savannah is a perfect pit stop. You can fit in most of these spots in a couple of days.
Here are few of my favorite things to do in the Historic District:
1. Walk around the Historic Squares
Savannah was build around these beautiful gems, and it's hard to miss them when you're driving or walking around the city. There are a total of 14 squares, all with significant meaning and beauty, so definitely take time to go through them.
2. River Street
One of the main tourist attractions of Savannah is the infamous cobble-stoned River Street, lined with shops, restaurants and a beautiful view of the water. If you plan on going to Savannah often or have a few days to spend there, I'd suggest picking a spot to eat off The River (due to the high prices), but if you want the full experience, grab a bite to eat at Huey's, Vic's on the River or The Chart House.
3. Take an Old Savannah Tour on a Trolley
Although this may seem like the most touristy thing to do, the Trolley Tour by Old Savannah is a must. You learn all about the history of one of the most beautiful and haunted cities in the US (I know, ironic) as you drive around. There is an on and off tour, or a full 90 minute tour if you want to relax and enjoy the scenery. Oh, and you're also greeted by some familiar faces. :)
4. Jones Street
Named one of the most beautiful streets in the South (care of Southern Living Magazine) Jones St. is lined with beautiful cobble-stoned roads and homes I could only dream of living in. Speaking of homes, there are also a few home tours you can take part in, where you walk with a guide and go through some amazing (haunted) mansions.
5. Drink and Dine Throughout the City
In case you didn't know, Savannah's open container law allows you to drink around the city with cups 16 oz or less. This is a dream. Especially when it comes to shopping on Broughton, or people watching in The City Market. The market is filled with candy shops, art galleries and some live music on the weekends.
Here are a few of my favorite spots to eat:
The Collins Quarter: The latest gem to hit Savannah, this is my new favorite brunch spot. This past weekend was my first time there, and it was SO worth the hour wait. Their twist on brunch includes influences of global-cuisine and the interior is similar to an Australian coffee house. They have the cutest walk up window for coffee while you wait for food, or continue your weekend stroll, and their eggs benedict is amazing.
J. Christophers: Another brunch spot (well I only went for brunch), J. Christopher's has a small town diner feel with colorful dishware and large plates of food. It's an affordable spot located off Liberty St.
The Lady and Sons (Paula Deen's Restaurant) - to 'say you've been there' and for the cute experience - but beware, lots of butter, grease and $$$. Good ol' southern cooking.
The Pirates House - I went here for my birthday a few years back, and it's a fun themed restaurant where the servers and staff are all in character and make you feel like you're on a Pirate Ship. Pretty cute and fun for a family dinner.
Moon River Brewing Company - Savannah's only microbrewery with a cute beer garden, this spot is right across from River Street and is a good pit stop during the day. Their wings are BOMB and the atmosphere is fun with family style seating outside and cornhole in the Garden. I had the Slo-vannah, since I'm a huge fan of IPA's and although not at strong as regular IPA's (thus the name), it's a great local beer.
Alligator Soul: Located in an old basement that used to be a warehouse, Alligator Soul is a southern-style restaurant that uses local and organic ingredients in all their meals. Sure to ignite your taste buds.
6. Shop on Broughton Street
Known for chain stores like J. Crew, Marc Jacobs, Free People and Urban Outfitters, this street is sure to please the shopaholic in your crew. There are also plenty of small boutiques and unique stores that make shopping on Broughton St. fun. Also, if you're looking for some coffee, grab a cup at The Coffee Fox (pictured below).
7. Stay in a Bed and Breakfast
Like I mentioned earlier, Savannah is known to be one of the most haunted cities in the US, so almost every historic building has a story to tell. The Bed & Breakfasts look so cute, so this is definitely on my bucket list the next time we go. There are plenty to choose from, so I'll let you do the Google-ing. ;)
8. Relax in Forsyth Park
Located to the east of the district, Forsyth is a beautiful recreational park, lined with trees, open grass and a band shell for occasional music shows. During the weekends the park is full with people reading, laying out, playing volleyball or frisbee and laying in hammocks in the trees. If we had more than a couple of days in the city, you bet I'd spend an entire day there.
9. Other Honorable Mentions
A few other things that I've done that are good if you need some more inspiration:
- -Take the Paula Deen tour to learn about how she started her business, see her home and restaurant, where she got married, the Bethesda Home for the Boys, and depending on the wait at The Lady & Sons, the restaurant her brother started, Uncle Bubba's, which has amazing seafood.
- - Take a Ghost Tour at night (with the man in a black top hat): Although I don't believe in ghosts, there's a lot more history to learn on these tours, and it definitely amused my little sister when I went a few years back.
- - Hop on a Ferry and learn about the importance of the river back in the day and how some important goods got to America. (For those history buff's)
- - Grab Ice Cream at Leopolds, but be willing to wait a really, really really long time as it's the named the #5 best Ice Cream in the world. :)
All that to say, if you haven't been go – and if you have, let me know what I missed!