The historic city of Savannah is a good gateway into the old south — it has one of the largest historic districts in the entire country. The city offers something for almost anyone, whether you like history, good food, or (of course) drinking.
See & Do
- Riverfront Plaza: Nice waterfront area to wander around and watch the ships come in. There are a bunch of touristy shops along the road as well–nothing too out of the ordinary for a tourist area–but the most important part is that there are plenty of bars that serve beers “to go” right along the waterfront. There’s really nothing better than enjoying a beer while sitting by the water on a warm December evening.
- Chippewa Square: The famous square where the Forrest Gump Bench was located. You can try to find the bench but you’ll come up empty handed as the bench was only a temporary prop for the movie. The squares in Savannah are very reminiscent of European city design — storefronts and residences surrounding a public space. You’ll end up in a square every few blocks, and they are a nice place to spend a few minutes escaping the (admittedly minor) bustle of the city. The public squares and architecture feature regional southeastern vegetation which give it quite a unique look that’s different from other parts of the country.
- City Market: A pedestrian street with a bunch of restaurants, local artist shops, and some info about tours. We didn’t spend too much time around here as we apparently came too early in the morning and not many things were open yet! One thing we did notice is that there are almost no grocery stores that sell fruit nearby.
- Colonial Park Cemetery: Wow, this place has a lot of history. Normally a cemetery is very morbid, but this one just feels peaceful. There are headstones from the 1700s (and possibly even earlier?), many of which have been restored, but there are also a few that probably haven’t been touched in 200 years, which is pretty amazing. You can just “feel” the interesting stories by just observing the ages of people who died and family members who also died around that time.
- Cathedral of St. John the Baptist: Very beautiful church in downtown Savannah — this is one of the first churches in North America that I felt really had the same historical feel as a European church. We were recommended to check out the Nativity display (since it was around Christmas time)–it was quite elaborate and very well made.
- Forsyth Park: The “Central Park” of Savannah — what better way to spend an 80 degree day than by lounging around in the park (maybe even with a can of beer too since it’s legal!) .
Eat & Drink
- Goose Feathers Cafe & Bakery: We were craving eggs for breakfast, and noticed this place had some decent reviews so we decided to check it out. About a 10 minute walk from our hotel. Pretty good — I got the Birds Nest (poached egg, salsa, and cheese over grits) — I thought the use of grits in my meal was a clever touch.
- The Coffee Fox: Grabbed this for breakfast on the day we were leaving. Had the Horchata Latte and a few kolaches. Kolaches are a Polish-Texan pastry with several different variations on the fillings. I’d say it’s pretty good for a quick meal on the go.
- Leopold’s Ice Cream: Ice cream, perfect on a hot December day (recurring theme). There’s usually a long line but it looks like we came at a good time as we only had to wait a few minutes to order. The person behind the counter was very nice and patient as we tried to pick out our flavors. It’s really quite a luxury to be able to go outside and eat some ice cream in the heat while sitting in front of a Christmas tree.
- Zunzi’s: South African food
- The Flying Monk Noodle Bar: Serious cravings for some Asian food led us to come here twice. Their specialty seems to be the several different variations on South-east asian noodle dishes (i.e. Pho, Thai Noodle Soup, Singaporean style soup, etc). A nice little respite from the heavy southern food we’d been eating for the past few days.
- Jen’s and Friends: When you’re here, you’re family. Or wait, was that the Olive Garden? But seriously though, this is a very intimate martini bar with super friendly bartenders and patrons. Their martini list is so exhaustive and comprehensive that you might need to take some time to study it out before picking the drink you want. Feel free to grab one (or two, or three…) to-go and enjoy the drink outside. Note that these drinks are WAY stronger than they look–we were pretty far gone after drinking a few of them
- Wet Willie’s: What fun would a riverfront destination be without a bar that served frozen alcoholic drinks. Wet Willie’s is a chain that’s all over the country, but this may be one of the few (besides the New Orleans locations) where you can enjoy your drink outside in public. We had a mango frozen drink and a strawberry frozen drink. There is a drink called the “Call-A-Cab” which is made with some sort of grain alcohol — drink a few of these and you’ll be drunk before you even realize it.
- Hilton Savannah Desoto: The location was great, but we kind of expected a little more from a Hilton. Not that there’s anything particularly bad about it, but there’s also nothing too special either.
- Night of 12/29/2015 till Morning of 12/31/2015