ESSENTIALS

  • “America’s First Planned City” was founded in 1733 by General Oglethorpe and features 21 of its original public squares
  • General Sherman presented the city as a Christmas gift to President Lincoln
  • Savannah local, Juliette Gordon Low, founded Girl Scouts in 1912 and with $700 million in sales since ’99 there is now an app to locate the famous cookies!
  • Visit the north side of Chippewa square to see the spot Forrest Gump famously said “Life is like a box of chocolates” – the actual bench is now in the Savannah History Museum
  • In 2003, the American Institute of Paranormal Psychology named Savannah the most haunted city in America
Savannah
"This place is fantastic. It's like Gone With the Wind on Mescalin." - John Kelso

SHORTLIST

  1. Bonaventure Cemetery
  2. Afternoon tea at the Gryphon
  3. ‘Bench-sitting’ in one of the many squares
  4. Family style lunch at Mrs. Wilke’s House
  5. Drive down the 1.5 mile tunnel of Spanish Moss at Wormsloe
  6. Jepson Center for the Arts
  7. Old Fashioned’s at Planters Tavern
  8. Movie or play at Lucas Theatre
  9. Forsyth Park fountain at sunset
  10. Cappuccinos, macarons and shopping at the Paris Market

STAY

Savannah rental
$-$$
Historic B&B
$$-$$$
Cutting-edge southern beauty
$$-$$$

ITINERARY

Friday

  • Savannah Coffee Roasters | Start your morning and grab a roasted on-site coffee. As with everything in Savannah, there’s history and the roasting company was actually founded in 1909. Grab your breakfast to-go and find a park bench in the nearby Orleans Square.
  • Jepson Center for the Arts | Just around the corner you’ll find one of the Telfair Academy museums with 7,200 square feet of beautiful gallery space. Be sure to check out the Kirk Varnedoe collection featuring Chuck Close, Roy Lichtenstein & Jeff Koons to name a few.
  • First African Baptist Church | Exactly what the name implies, members of the first black congregation 1773 founded the first black baptist church in North America. Tours only available at 11 am and 2 pm Tues-Sat.
  • City Market | While it’s very touristy, there are many galleries worth exploring here. Grab a peach sangria to-go at the Cafe (with a Marilyn Monroe statue in front) and browse local artists’ work. I particularly enjoyed the works of Alix Baptiste.
  • Moon River Brewing Company | Swing by the most haunted place in Savannah once featured on Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel.
  • River Street | Descend the historical stairs to the street with views of the Savannah River and Talmadge Memorial Bridge. Mostly pubs and souvenir shops, under the bridge is a great shop for all things honey. Sample flavors like Tupelo and Orange Blossom at the Savannah Bee Company before deciding on a favorite to bring back home.
  • B. Matthew’s Eatery | Make your way to lunch at this bistro serving fresh and local ingredients. Order a soup & salad and dine outside weather permitting.
  • Broughton Street Shopping | Spend the afternoon checking out boutiques like 24e Design for interior design lovers, Paris Market for all things French and beautiful, and Leopold’s Ice Cream for a scoop of Tutti-Frutti.
  • Olde Pink House | Head downstairs to the candlelit tavern for a cocktail before dinner. Snack on the pimiento cheese sticks at the bar and enjoy live jazz piano. With wax-burning candles, historic brick walls and two stone fireplaces burning, it’s one of the most romantic bars in Savannah. Enjoy dinner upstairs in the main house. The “BLT” Salad and Crab-stuffed Grouper should not be missed!
  • The Public Kitchen & Bar | Sip on a Smoky Peach at this mid-century design bar on the upstairs terrace. The perfect spot to end a day of sightseeing.

 

Saturday

  • Gallery Espresso | Start the day with a latte on Chippewa Square. The cafe and gallery space is filled with SCAD students on their laptops and patrons stopping in after a morning run. The perfect slice of local Savannah life.
  • Forsyth Park | Make your way to the largest park in the historic district and its famous fountain in the morning light. Built in 1858, the fountain is one of the most photographed monuments in the city. Check out the farmer’s market hosted on Saturday mornings.
  • Mrs. Wilke’s Dining Room | Line up at 10 am for a unique travel experience you will not forget. It doesn’t open until 11 am, but diners line up every day to experience Mrs. Wilke’s communal meal. It’s like a Southern Thanksgiving with strangers. Dozens of dishes are passed around the table and your sweet tea is never empty. Don’t miss the fried chicken and keeping with “tradition”, every diner buses their own plate.
  • One Fish Two Fish | A great boutique next to Mrs. Wilke’s with home goods perfect for a summer home on Tybee Island. Peruse the shop while someone holds your spot in line next door.
  • Jones Street | Touted by Southern Living as the “most beautiful street in North America”, Jones is absolutely worth a stroll. Look for the bright red door at “Eleven” East Jones for the perfect photo-op.
  • Cathedral of St John the Baptist | One of the most striking monuments in the city, the church was established by French Catholic émigrés in 1799 after arriving from Haiti. It was nearly destroyed by fire in 1898 but completely rebuilt on year later.
  • SCAD | The campus is famous for it’s art program and even the admissions office does not disappoint in design. Climb the lime green bannister to find a funky yet Southern parlor, a meeting room complete with a pink Eiffel Tower and a huge auditorium with astroturf floors. Just next door you’ll find shopSCAD with an impressive collection of the student’s creations.
  • Gryphon | It would be a shame to miss afternoon tea here on a trip to Savannah. Mahogany bookcases with drawers labeled “tablets” and “lozenges” reveal this 1926 building was once a pharmacy. Stainless glass ceiling, a piano playing 40’s hits and leopard print carpet is unlike anything I’ve seen. It’s the premier cafe of SCAD and many of its students work as servers.
  • Dinner | For an intimate, regulars kinda feel, head to Maxwell’s for tapas at the bar or their signature, Chicken Saltimbocca. Andaz Hotel’s 22 Square Bar is a great place for cocktails after dinner. Local 11 Ten, a neighborhood joint on the south end of Forsyth, has a seasonal menu with dishes like PEI mussels & homemade chorizo or sea scallops in a black garlic bisque. Head up to Perch for a drink on the terrace. 

Sunday

  • Motorini | Rent a scooter at the convenient spot in the middle of town. You can rent for the day or by the hour and it’s the perfect way to tour the city.
  • The Foundery Coffee Pub | Ride out to the coffee pub which is also a “community cultivation” program including an arts conservatory and church. The space provides a gallery for local artists as well as a meeting room for weekly church gatherings. Try a cubano con leche and support this unique collective space.
  • Wormsloe Historic Site | Avoid the highways and take a 20 min drive out to the plantation. Wormsloe is probably most known for its 1.5 mile driveway lined with Spanish Moss. It looks like something out of a fairytale. Once you finally make it to the house (you’ll want to take a picture every few yards) explore the estate and ruins that have been in the same family since the 1700’s.
  • Bonaventure Cemetery | Another iconic Savannah landmark, the Southern Gothic cemetery is haunting and beautiful. It’s not the oldest, but it’s quite possibly the most lush cemetery grounds I’ve ever seen.
  • Soho South Cafe | Head back into town in time for brunch with the locals. The old service station from 1945 has been remodeled into a quirky restaurant serving up a classic take on comfort food. The Monte Cristo was a sweet & savory version of French toast, but they also offer lighter fare. The Parlour bar has 1/2 off bottles of wine for its happy hour.
  • Scooter Tour | Zip around town to see the many squares and famous houses around town including the Owens- Thomas House and Mercer Williams. Return the bike at Motorini and pop into one of the nicest, gas convenience stores, Parker’s Market.
  • Elizabeth’s on 37th | Dinner here is a must. Set in a 1900’s southern mansion with a southern coastal menu, Elizabeth’s is quintessential Savannah. Any of the seasonal specials are sure to be a hit and the cobbler is a great way to top it off.
  • Ghost Tour | While I wouldn’t usually recommend a cheesy tour of any kind, but a ghost tour in the most haunted city in America is like sampling the pizza in Italy. When in Rome! Blue Orb Tours offers a 2 hour walking tour without the gimmicky costumes or kitchsy ride in a hearse.
  • Six Pence Pub | It might be hard falling asleep after all that, so grab a Guinness nightcap at this authentic British bar.

PACKING LIST

 

ROADMAP

Includes every location mentioned above
Lauren Greenberg
Itinerary By

Founder of The Weekender

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