Savannah

delightful savannah

a collection of the most delightful things to see, do and eat in savannah

click HERE to view each and every post
click HERE for my favorite weekend itinerary with kids


River Street / Bay Street

Do

  • Catch the water taxi/tug boat across the river to the Westin hotel for breakfast/lunch or just for the fun of riding on the boat!  It’s free and picks up from both ends of River Street –  near the Hyatt Hotel and down by the Waving Girl.
  • There are festivals and fireworks the first weekend of each month and other things on the rest of the weekends. Check here for a schedule.

Eat and Drink

  • Spanky’s is a great little chicken finger and spuds (their yummy version of beer battered fries) joint for casual dining at lunch and dinner.  Kids are welcome.
  • Grab a praline at River Street Sweets.  You won’t be able to walk by without going in.
  • Have a cocktail at the roof top bar at the Bohemian while watching the boats come in and marveling over the gorgeous oyster shell chandeliers.
  • Belly up to the piano bar at Vic’s on the River for a delish small plate and glass of wine.  A small balcony opens up right over the river.

Historic District

Do

  • Go on a guided ghost tour, trolley ride or carriage ride.  I haven’t been on one in a few years but all are pretty reputable.
  • Ellis Square (just outside of City Market) has a small sprayground open seasonally. There are benches and places to get ice cream in City Market.
  • Forsyth Park is our favorite place to take a picnic and blanket and let the kids run in the grass with a ball or play on the play ground. There is a cafe near the playground that serves light food, coffee and drinks. It’s pretty good.
  • If you are into Girl Scouts, take a tour of the Juliette Gordon Low House.
  • The Georgia State Railroad Museum the world’s largest and most complete Antebellum railroad repair facility still in existence.  If you have a train lover in your midst, it’s worth a visit!
  • The Savannah Children’s Museum opened in June.  Located in one of the original structures at the Georgia Railroad Museum, it’s a stunning and whimsical place where you and your littles can lose yourself for hours.
  • Stop by the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.  I said my “I do’s” in this breathtaking and historic Catholic church.
  • Visit the Colonial Cemetery and be sure to look for headstones with dates changed by Union soldiers during the war.

Eat and Drink

  • Local 11ten is my number one choice for an amazing, locally sourced and Southern inspired dining experience.  The space is contemporary in design, but is housed in the 1950s era Old Savannah Bank building.  There is nothing not to love here!!
  • Perch nestled among Savannah’s old live oaks on the roof of Local 11ten.  The bar bites and cocktails are amazing, and this is a fabulous choice for before/after dinner at Local 11ten, or just as an outing all on its own.  The truffle fries aren’t on the menu but must be ordered :-)
  • The Olde Pink House unrivaled for Southern service and divine eats. This is a must-eat for all visiting Savannah. Start your evening with cocktails in the lounge and end it with the praline basket. If you only do one meal in Savannah, do it here!
  • a.lure Low Country Cuisine is wonderful new restaurant owned by lifelong friends. Open only for dinner, this is classic southern cuisine with a contemporary take, dished up in a stunningly gorgeous building.
  • The Lady & Son’s is Paula Deen’s infamous establishment.  You MUST make an advance reservation as it’s nearly impossible to walk up and get in.  This is traditional, home style Southern cookin’.  Think sweet tea, fried chicken, collards, mac n cheese, hoe cakes and gooey bars served all-you-can-eat cafeteria style.
  • Back in the Day Bakery is a retro, relaxed and remarkable stop for a light breakfast, quick lunch or fabulous dessert.  Very kid friendly.  I implore you to try the ‘nana puddin’ if it’s not sold out!
  • The Pirate’s House is a great place for littles.  The food is pretty good but you really go there for the experience.  Located in a mysterious building that first opened as an inn for seafarers in 1753, you can still see the tunnels that lead to the river and pirates pop by your table.
  • Leopolds Ice Cream is a retro ice cream parlor.  Their floats are divine!
  • Gryphon Tea Room is a nice little ladies lunch spot.  I had my bridal luncheon here, in fact!
  • Vinnie Van GoGo’s is downtown Savannah’s pizza spot.  Grab a slice and sit on the bricks to listen to live music.  Note that they only accept cash.
  • Express Cafe has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember and it’s barely changed a lick in twenty-five years.  It’s a great place for breakfast (all day) and lunch and you cannot leave without a heath bar cookie.
  • 700 Drayton at the Mansion on Forsyth Park is a swanky spot for after dinner cocktails overlooking the park.
  • The Crystal Beer Parlor is Savannah’s second oldest restaurants and a local tradition.  The crab stew, other salad and burgers are all fabulous. Go early or expect to wait a good long while as they do not take reservations.
  • B.T. Byrd’s – a sublime lunch spot!  Get a few small plates and share – we love the parmesan vidalia onion dip and deviled eggs.  An oatmeal cookie sammie for dessert is a must.

Shop

  • Broughton Street
    • 24e – home furnishings and accessories in eclectic contemporary style
    • Savannah Bee Company – I couldn’t decide whether to put this in Do, Eat or Shop!  You must make time to visit the honey tasting bar and learn all about the different varieties.  It’s free!  You can also grab a honey tea or hot biscuits with honey to snack on.  There is a very small beehive play area for kids.  Great place for souvenirs at all price points.
    • Paris Market – Again, a great one to shop and grab a snack.  I’ve never been in without falling in love with at least one thing and generally feel like I could leave with a car load. You must try a frozen french hot chocolate and an iced cookie.  The water du jour is also always fantastic.
    • DC2 – eclectic and over the top home furnishings and jewelry.  They always have a sale going on.
    • Sylvester & Co. – a new shop with unique accessories and a cute little cookie bar in the back.
    • The Lady & Son’s – Even if you don’t eat at Paula’s place, the gem of a gift shop is worth popping in.
  • Whitaker Street
    • One Fish Two Fish – full of eclectic and stylish furniture, lighting, bedding, art and accessories all with coastal accents
    • Number Four Eleven – gorgeous furnishings, linens and accessories and home of the custom monogram
    • Circa Lighting – gorgeous light fixtures
    • La Paperie – stationery, journals, gifts and all sorts of delightful finds
  • Habersham Antique Market – this is a traditional antique market and you never know what you’ll find.  My fave in Savannah.
  • 37th @ Abercorn Antiques – another antique market
  • The Ray Ellis Gallery is at Ellis Square.  He’s one of my favorite Savannah artists and his prints are attainable.

Whitmarsh Island

Do

  • Oatland Island Wildlife Center is a very natural, very low key place to walk trails and see animals.  There are all sorts of things from wolves to alligators.  We do camp here each summer but it is also open to the public.

Eat and Drink

  • Pappas BBQ – we’ve been going for years and it’s delish – I just have a hard time deciding between the fried shrimp and the bbq sammie.  Not a bad problem to have.
  • Sonic – hit up the drive through for happy hour (half off) slushies, shakes and vanilla cokes from 2 -5 daily.  We always head here on the way back from the beach!!
  • Joe Loves Lobster – These are incredibly delish lobster rolls!!  They are pricey but there’s nothing else like them in Savannah!

Shop

  • Polka Dots – coastal accents, Lilly Pulitzer home and gift items and unique jewelry.

Thunderbolt Island

Do

  • See a show at the Puppet People. The children’s shows include a tour of the workshop and a craft.  There are also shows geared towards adults.
  • Visit the hauntingly beautiful Bonaventure Cemetery

Shop

  • River Services – this is really a store for boating gear but I’ve found plenty of things to be used for coastal craft projects – ropes, cleats, maps and nautical flags abound

Tybee Island / Beach

See all Tybee Times

Do

  • Go to the beach! We love the ramp and the far end of the main strip.  Be sure to pay for parking and not to let it expire.  Those meter maids come out of nowhere!
  • Fort Pulaski – explore the fort, walk the trails and have a picnic.  Littles can become a Junior Park Ranger!
  • Marine Science Center offers guided beach walks and they have a very small aquarium type exhibit.  We do camp here each summer and if you are staying at Tybee you might consider this for your kids.  They run Mon-Thu and have a morning and afternoon session.
  • Pirate Playground (for lack of a better word) is fun for the kids.  Right there is also the Tybee Memorial Cemetery, beach volleyball and picnic tables.
  • Tybee Post Theater – catch a movie, play or concert at this historic venue located at Fort Screven.  It’s a new favorite on our list since reopening in late 2015.

Eat / Drink

  • AJ’s Dockside – super casual and very eclectic, much like most of Tybee, but the seafood can’t be beat and the views of the water are unrivaled
  • Tybee Social – One of my all time Savannah favorites! I always get fish tacos and a margarita.  Very kid friendly.
  • Tybee Island Fish Camp – Best food on the island and perfect for a date night.  Owned by same young couple as Tybee Social.
  • AJ’s Dockside – river front dining and delish seafood – try the pineapple margarita and fried shrimp, scallops and hushpuppies
  • The Deck – beach front dining – try the fish and chips, avo toast or coconut shrimp and street corn
  • Seaside Sweets and Sweetie Pies – you have to try the Tybee Marsh Mud gelato
  • Sugar Shack – I’ve been getting a cone here for as long as I can remember.
  • Spanky’s – You can eat in your swim suit and a t-shirt!  Get the fingers and spuds with honey to dip!!  You can call in and order take out as well.
  • Huc A Poos – The best pizza on the island.  Cornhole on the deck while you laze away the day.  Anything goes here!
  • Lighthouse Pizza – Great for takeout
  • The Breakfast Club – a Waffle House-ish Tybee Institution

Shop

  • Seaside Sisters – lovely home furnishings and accessories.  Mary Kay Andrews stocks a booth here!
  • The Shops at Tybee
  • Christy’s Department Store – all sorts of beach gear

In Town

Do

  • Savannah Bananas Baseball Game – I’ve got a “peelin” y’all will love this one!  Get the garbage can nachos, chocolate dipped banana and Byrd’s cookies
  • Daffin Park – nice, fenced playground
  • Savannah National Wildlife Refuge – this is across the bridge in South Carolina, but a great free way to scout out some amazing nature on a 4 mile driving path (think alligators and birds and such)

Eat

  • Byrd’s Cookie Company has a newish bar with yummy sandwiches.  A nice lunch spot. While you’re there, load up on gourmet cookies and southern foods.
  • Two Smart Cookies is a scrumptious cookie bar with a side of lovely home decor.  A great place for an afternoon snack!
  • Maison de Macarons brings a sweet taste of France to the South!  Freshly made macarons are to die for.
  • Cohen’s Retreat plates divine lunches and dinners in a gorgeous manse on Skidaway Drive.  The shopping is also not to be missed!

Shop

  • Annabelles in Sandfly is a new addition to my must-shop list.  Gorgeous, gorgeous home furnishings and accessories. Loads of pieces from local artists.
  • Clutter is home to all sorts of fabulous finds – antiques, art and accessories.

Seasonal Favorites

  • St. Patrick’s Day – March 17 in the historic district and the previous Saturday at Tybee
  • Pirate Fest – October at Tybee
  • Tour of Homes – March in the historic district
  • December Nights in Lights at Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens – walking tour, train exhibit, carols, Mrs. Claus

12 thoughts on “Savannah

  1. Being a Savannah native, you hit a home run with this list!! I may need to print it out and use it to remind me of what my city has to offer on those stay-cation days!

  2. Can anyone recommend a hotel or B&B to stay at in Savannah? Just the hubs and I leaving four boys behind, so it has to be luxurious and/or romantic :)

  3. We're planning and vacation to Hilton Head & Savannah this summer and this is sooo helpful! I'd love to go to Olde Pink House but we'll have our almost 2 year old with us, would that be a No No? We' go for an early dinner but still I'm not sure having not been there before?

  4. I have had this and your other shopping guides saved for years- as Savannah has been at THE top of my bucket list in the US. And now I finally get to make the trip! I will be driving, and I am curious about the parking situation. I do not know where I am staying yet. I’m wondering about the best place to park my car and explore for the day- I’ve heard it’s paid parking. Thanks!

  5. A small plug for my Aunt Judy’s restaurant,on Whitmarsh Island, Papa’s BBQ. I may be partial but it is slap-your-mama good!! I was ruined for any other BBQ after growing up on her delicious nosh! Their BBQ was like a sort of currency growing up, people would beg for bottles of that mouth-watering sauce!!

  6. Just got back from a little trip to Savannah and I have to say, this IS the time of year to take a day trip. The azaleas, dogwoods and mock pear trees were in full bloom and it was breathtaking! (literally for my husband with his insane allergies!) We also stopped in to Wiley’s BBQ on US-80 and it was incredible. The special was a smoked meatball and pimento cheese on Texas toast and, yes, I slapped my pappy! It was just that good! The beef brisket was delicious, also. They claim to have the world’s best beans but, unfortunately, not so much. We will be back and, meanwhile, I will dream about that meatball sandwich!

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