With round trip airfare options from Cleveland for less than $150 per person, and a direct flight, there is no better time to visit Savannah, Georgia. While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going at the hottest time of the year in July, I had a fabulous time in this ridiculously charming city.
To get the true Savannah experience, stay in the historic district in one of the old homes or apartments. We found this charming residence on W. Gordon Street between two of the twenty-two squares located throughout the city. The location was ideal for walking around (it’s only a block from Forsyth Park) and there is ample street parking if you have a car. Also, be prepared to eat really, really well. The food and cocktail scene in Savannah could give Cleveland a run for our money. Some of my recommendations are here:
Savannah was my first trip in almost six months. I was starting to go stir crazy and in need of an adventure, if only for a long weekend. Life had gotten in the way of travel – new house, new dog and new job. What I really needed was a trip to rejuvenate my travel hungry soul. I couldn’t think of a better place to do this than in Savannah. Wandering the historic streets of this small city took me back in time. Between the twenty-two squares throughout the historic district, the live oaks dripping in moss and the gas lights adorning many doors throughout the neighborhood, you’ll feel like you’re living a hundred years ago.
Wake up early (we went on a Sunday) to grab a seat for brunch at The Collins Quarter. Several blogs had recommended this place, along with our bartender from the Cotton & Rye. Beautiful light fixtures, white subway tiles and distressed, red leather booths gives this restaurant the perfect vibe. The brioche french toast was to die for, complemented by their infamous spiced lavender mocha. And yes, it is as good as they say and beautiful too. We also happened to wander by at night and the entire restaurant was dark, except for thick candles in bottles and candelabras on the tables. We need a place like this in Cleveland!
After a hearty breakfast, we hopped in the car and went to my most anticipated stop of the trip – The Wormsloe Plantation. You’ve probably seen the pictures of the live oaks before – there are 400 of them – as you drive toward the plantation. The gates don’t open until 9 a.m., so unfortunately you will have to deal with other people taking just as many pictures as you. The good news is that the road is really long, so you’ll get to a place where people aren’t in your way. It’s definitely worth the trip just to see the live oaks. It’s one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen.
After the Plantation, we drove over to Bonaventure Cemetery. Thee stops are within 15 minutes of each other and the cemetery is very close to historic Savannah. At this point in the day, it was getting steamy hot from the sun and rain lurking in the distance. We opted to drive around the cemetery instead of walking. We did park a few times to check out some of the gravestones, but we were happier in the car with air conditioning. It’s an easy cemetery to walk through, so if you have on good shoes, go for it.
After the cemetery we parked and headed to lunch. I was famished (I don’t know how after our huge breakfast) and needed nourishment before we rented our bikes. Our hosts had recommended the Crystal Beer Parlor. It’s one (if not the) oldest restaurants in Savannah. It opened in 1933 during the Great Depression. It has more of a pub feel and is pretty casual. We had the giant soft pretzel for an app and for lunch I sampled their signature crab soup (OMG, so sweet and melt in your mouth good). At this point I was stuffed from all the food we’d been eating, so our scheduled bike ride after was perfect.
We rented bikes with Savannah on Wheels (right near Forsyth Park) and took them around the downtown area. We walked the bikes on River Street (you can’t ride there on the crazy old cobblestones) and were pretty unimpressed. The riverfront is nice but very touristy. We much preferred the historic district where we stayed. It was great having the bikes to check out all the squares and beautiful streets. Just remember you can’t ride on the sidewalks or in the squares. You’ll risk being ticketed.
After bike riding we rested and enjoyed our home away from home. Later in the evening I convinced my very tired husband to walk with me to Leopold’s. It’s been around for almost a hundred years and boasts having ice cream that can’t be missed. Coming from Cleveland with places like Honey Hut and Mitchell’s, I was skeptical. We waited about 45 minutes in line before we ordered. I have no idea when there wouldn’t be a line, but it was 9 p.m. on a rainy Sunday and it was slammed. For the record, the ice cream is good but definitely not worth the wait.
If you were ever on the fence about visiting Savannah or have ever thought about coming, do it. It’s exactly how you imagined it, but better. It’s a romantic, southern city that is steeped in history and ghost stories. While we didn’t have time to take one of the ghost tours, I’d definitely schedule one the next time we’re in town. I’m just grateful that the general during the Civil War decided to save this city instead of burning it to the ground. I can safely say this is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited, within the US and aboard.