Always bit by the travel bug, I teamed up with fellow blogger and close friend, Taylor-Rae for a springtime southern road trip. After months of deliberation, debating which cities/states we should visit, we settled on a few quintessential cities of the South: Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC. Close to home for Taylor Rae, and somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit, Savannah, Georgia was first up on our list!
Savannah captured my heart from the moment we arrived. Romantic, historic and abundant in live oaks draped with Spanish moss, it’s the ultimate storybook setting to add to your travel list. I’m sure you recognize it as the iconic setting from Forest Gump or even associate it as a Nicholas Sparks-esque town, but beyond its charming facade, Savannah is filled with rich culture and history dating back to 1733– Immediately greeting all who visit with quintessential southern charm.
There are quite a few lodging options found in this coastal Georgia town, but to fully capture the classic southern feel, I recommend booking a stay in one of Savannah’s several BnB’s.
MIRABELLE SAVANNAH (VRBO):
Located directly across the street from the Cathedral of St.John the Baptist, this beautiful cafe-turned-vacation-rental was where we chose to call home. With just four, one-bedroom suites, all decorated with historic romantic decor, the Mirabelle Savannah is ideal for couples or groups of two seeking bright, beautiful lodging in the epicenter of town. Having the Mirabelle cafe located on the groundfloor was a Godsend in the mornings, and the check-in/check-out process was a breeze. Rooms start at $179 per night and are only available to book for a 2-night minimum. (*There isn’t an elevator/ Street Parking only- we stayed in Suite 3) *Pictured Below
HAMILTON TURNER INN:
Had we not stayed at the Mirabelle Savannah, we definitely would have booked a room at this 5-diamond Inn located right down the street. Built in 1873, and decorated with distinct touches to capture Savannah’s southern feel, this 17 guest room boutique hotel was made for the traveler seeking stylish southern hospitality. (Rooms start at $229) *Pictured Below
ELIZA THOMPSON HOUSE:
Another B&B option with a 19th-century feel is the Eliza Thompson house conveniently tucked among local residences on Jones St. With elegance in mind and the perk of amenities, a stay here includes complimentary breakfast, wine and hors d’oeuvres. (Rooms start at $159)
WEDDING CAKE MANSION:
If you’re traveling with a group of 10+, I recommend a stay at the most photographed home in Savannah. 5 bedroom/ 5.5 bath, the "Wedding Cake Mansion" has all the southern bells and whistles, and then some to spare. ($6,600 per week | $1,100 per night)
If history and charm aren’t what you’re after, I recommend a stay at this Bay Street urban hotel. Part of the Kimpton Hotel Group, this 145 room hotel is great for Bachelorettes, Wedding Parties, or any traveler seeking modern flair. (Rooms start at $179)
Whenever traveling to a new city, my first line of business is discovering all that I can do. Savannah is one of those town’s that has plenty to see and discover but you can easily hit the main attractions in just 24-hours, or extend your experiences well into a week to savor all of the charm and history that Savannah has to offer.
When first arriving in town, I recommend taking a 30-min or hour long pedicab tour of Savannah to get your bearings straight and to learn more about the history. This was our first line of business after unpacking our bags, and the enjoyable ride with Royal Bike Taxi left us loving Savannah even more. (Give our friend Andrew a call and tell him Erica and Taylor sent you! — 912-341-3944)
Horse Drawn Carriage:
If pedi-cabs aren’t your thing, but you want to see and learn more about Savannah, I recommend booking one of Savannah’s historic carriage tours. There are several companies that you can easily find once in town.
Weather permitting, I could honestly walk for hours just admiring the architecture of all the historical homes. Some of my favorite residential streets include Jones Street, Troup Square, Whitfield Square, Gordon & Taylor Street.
Home to Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah is not only a historical hub but also a city for the arts. To escape the heat and admire over 4,500 pieces, visit the Telfair Museums in the historic district of Savannah (Open 10-5 Tuesday-Saturday | 12-5 Sunday-Monday).
Probably my absolute favorite thing about Savannah was the presence of whimsical manicured parks all throughout the city. Foley Park is an absolute must, great for admiring the city’s moss covered trees, but also check out Chippewa Square (Where forest Gump was filmed), Troup Square, Chatham Square (One of the quietest parks), and Wright Square (if you’re looking for something haunted!)
Savannah is beautiful but also said to be haunted. If you’re up for a late night of laughs and legends, look into booking a hearse ghost tour ($17) or Sixth Sense Walking Tour ($25+)
We ended up dedicating a whole morning to exploring Savannah’s unique shops. There are plenty of locally owned boutiques and the mother of all antique shops sprinkled throughout town. Some of my favorite spots include:
One Fish Two Fish: a charming home & gift store on Whitaker
La Paperie: A boutique stationery and paper store on Whitaker
Number Four Eleven: A luxury embroidery shop, great for home accents and gifts
Alex Raskin Antique: The "most interesting store in Savannah" with four floors of antiques.
If you have time in your trip, I definitely recommend hitting up Tybee Island and the Cocksure Island Lighthouse. Because we were on a tight schedule we were not able to detour here this time, but I would have loved a beach day at this beautiful barrier island located just 20 minutes from downtown.
In addition to rich history and some of the most picturesque homes, Savannah is also home to plenty of delicious restaurants. From brekkie to a double scoop of ice cream, here are some of the favorites we visited and reccommend.
The Collin’s Quarter Cafe:
Inspired by Australia, located on Bull street, Collin’s Quarter is the #1 place to enjoy breakfast or brunch in Savannah. Think Avocado Mash, Biscuits gone wild, Broche French Toast and Watermelon Salad. (Kitchen closed Tuesdays, coffee bar only!) *Pictured Below
On our list of "must-visit places", we stumbled in absolutely starving and settled on a brie sandwich and quiche. While this stop is better suited for lite bites and coffee, it’s a lovely on-the-go option and the market itself is worth visiting too! *Pictured Below
Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House:
Open Monday-Friday, 11am-2pm, this is the most popular place in Savannah to get some home southern cooking. No reservations, no credit cards allowed, you better show up hungry and early to dodge the loyal crowds.
Soho South Cafe:
Recommended to us by locals, Soho South was the perfect lunch stop for sweet tea and delicious hearty salads. The menu has everything from soups & sandwiches to fried green tomatoes & chicken and waffles + the decor is very insta-friendly too! *Pictured Below
Gryphon Tea Room:
Intimate, elegant and full of tradition, the Gryphon is SCAD’s very own spot to grab local fare or afternoon tea in Savannah’s Madison Square.
The Olde Pink House:
We enjoyed dinner here the night of our arrival and were beyond impressed with the delicious southern menu and beautiful historic decor. I definitely recommend eating dinner here and calling ahead to make a reservation. The traditional restaurant offers seating in the main house or underground in the dimly lit romantic basement where there is also late night music.
The Public Kitchen & Bar:
Open Brunch, Lunch & Dinner, this local dive located on Liberty elevates the usual downtown dining scene with mid-century design and urban classic fare.
Savannah Candy Kitchen:
For a sweet souvenir and taste of the south, pop into Savannah’s Candy kitchen for a tin of pralines.
Whether you need an afternoon treat to cool off from the heat or a sweet bite to savor after dinner, an ice cream from Leopold’s is a must when visiting Savannah. I went with a scoop of Chocolate Chip and Banana, Taylor Rae chose Banana and Strawberry, but all of their flavors are beyond refreshing and delicious.
Savannah has an "open container" law, so you’re free to enjoy your beverage of choice while soaking in the sights on the street. But if you’re craving coffee or on the hunt for something more, here are a few places you should try.
Located on the first floor of the property where we stay, this property also has an adorable french-inspired cafe with delicious lattes and Belgian Liege waffles.
Located in Savannah’s artsier district in Chippewa Square, this local spot is great for coffee or light fare.
The Six Pence Pub:
Your classic British pub with bar food and beer.
Because we were traveling "road trip style" I flew into Charlotte, NC (CLT) and we set out from there, but if you’re looking into visiting Savannah directly, it’s only a 25 minute drive from Hilton Head International Airport (SAV).
It’s important to note, parking is a bit of a pain in Savannah. Because we drove from Charlotte we had the luxury of having our own car, however if you plan on spending more than a day in this charming southern city, I recommend visiting the Visitor’s Center ( 301 MLK Blvd open 9am-5:30pm) to purchase a parking pass for $8 (single day) or $14 (2-day). This will give you the freedom to park in any city parking lot or garage. Otherwise, there are meters available that can be occupied for up to 3 hours as well as Uber or Taxis which also service the town
Because Savannah is part of the deep south, definitely prepare for heat and humidity, especially if traveling during the summer months. You can find more of my heat-proof recs in this post, but I definitely recommend packing several light sundresses, cotton poplin pieces, and airy rompers to facilitate a breeze. Additionally, "downtown" Savannah is structured in a grid-style layout, so pack comfortable walking shoes like Soludos espadrilles or sandals to comfortably stroll through the many beautiful blocks.
During our stay in Savannah, I wore a Rebecca Taylor Midi dress with sandals and a bucket bag, an off the shoulder midi dress with Frye Block Heels and Wicker accessories, and a Gingham Zara Dress during the warmest day, with comfortable espadrilles for walking and a pair of Madewell Sunglasses.
With heat in mind as I made my packing list I was comfortable during the warmer days, but if humidity is less than ideal for your travel requirements, I recommend booking your stay in the spring or fall months. We planned our trip for the third week of May and the temperatures were already in the high 80’s-90’s!
Let me know your favorite places in Savannah and if you found any of my recommendations helpful! I can definitely say it’s one of those classic towns that attracts an instant fan base and recommend adding it to your must-visit travel list if you love history and charm and have never been!