Picturesque avenues of historic architecture welcome you into Savannah. Georgian Colonial, Classical Revival and Victorian buildings cluster here, along with all the iconic row houses you’ve seen in the movies. Trolley bells ring in the distance. Horse-drawn carriages of sightseers roll down otherwise quiet streets. Enchanted trees dot residential sidewalks that frame historic squares – pastel crepe myrtle trees, magnolias and majestic live oaks draped in Spanish moss.
For those in search of noteworthy lounges and eateries, Savannah has a lot to offer. Rooftop bars provide an opportunity to enjoy small bites and cool down while taking in fantastic views, artisan cocktails in hand. The casual contemporary Public Kitchen & Bar offers a second floor open-air patio in addition to a stylish indoor space downstairs. A walk along the river leads to gems like Myrtle & Rose, which is lush and romantic, or Electric Moon, where you can get your groove on with the river as your panoramic backdrop.
If you find yourself hankering for a sweet treat, two places stand out. From the moment you walk into the old River Street Sweets Shop on, you guessed it, River Street, you’ll be wrapped in a nostalgic mist of sugary scents. You’ll be able to leave with practically any candy you could crave. Leopold’s Ice Cream shop is an award-winning spot dating back to 1919. If you have any question whether these creamy treats are worth your time, just take a look at the line winding out the door and around the corner at pretty much any point in the day. Don’t be dissuaded; it moves quickly and is guaranteed to be worth the wait.
For coffee and café culture, wander into the upscale Paris Market Cafe for a sip and some macarons, or the artsy Sentient Bean at the south end of Forsyth Park, where you’ll find many students from the nearby Savannah College of Art and Design. Perhaps you are just looking for a great brew and breakfast sandwich, which you will find at Savannah Coffee Roasters. There is something wonderful and unique in each shop that you step into.
You would be remiss if you didn’t have at least one fancy dinner during your stay. At the Olde Pink House, a picture-perfect 18th century mansion, each dining room has its own personality and allure. The restaurant is known for its modern take on Southern cuisine, with a wide range of selections suited to any palate. Try the Crispy Scored Flounder or the Filet Mignon With Green Peppercorn Demi Glace – your tastebuds will thank you!
While discovering all the tasty delights is a highlight of any trip, there are plenty of non-culinary sites to explore. Notable film places to track down include the Six Pence Pub, where Julia Roberts filmed a crucial scene from the movie Something to Talk About. Or the Mercer Williams house from the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. And you’ll probably recognize the tree-lined Chippewa Square, where Tom Hanks’ Forrest Gump recalled his life story and offered that “life is like a box of chocolates.”
Speaking of the beautiful historic squares, any history buff will be delighted to spend an afternoon walking the remaining 22. Each one is full of history and has a charm all its own.
Hands down (and weather permitting) the best way to uncover all the delights around Savannah is on foot. However there’s so much history here – founded in 1733, it is the oldest city in Georgia – that if you want to do it justice, you should consider a guided tour. Old Town Trolley Tours provides you with an experience that is both informative and entertaining. Make certain to check out the visitor center for souvenirs, educational materials and even a small museum to browse.
Savannah is sought out by many thrill-seekers on a mission for spooky history. If that excites your inner true crime junkie, make a reservation with one of the popular ghost tours around town, like Ghosts & Gravestones. This will not only give you the backstory for many of Savannah’s murders and mysteries, but you will also have the opportunity to step inside the haunted homes and misty graveyards where all the secrets are kept.
Whether you wrap up with a little nightcap at one of the many Irish pubs or by popping into a dessert shop for a little treat, there is nothing quite like being escorted back to your temporary residence by the soft buzzing of cicadas, or the clip-clopping of the horseshoes on the aged cobblestone. It’s guaranteed that your trip to Savannah will be painted with so many nuances that it will linger in your brain like a magic spell for years to come.