5 Things We Loved in Savannah - Let me tell you.
It’s awesome when you and your spouse both work in education. It’s less awesome when your breaks don’t overlap because you’re working in different counties. But because our fall break just happened to line up this year, we planned a trip to rest, recharge, and refocus on our marriage and the way we’d like to be building our lives after such a hectic fall. It was a much-needed break, but we were also grateful for the opportunity to explore some place we’d never been before. Without further ado . . . here the top five things we loved about Savannah!
1. Exploring Slowvannah
I’ve got no idea where this term came from or who coined it, but we heard it everywhere - tossed around by our waitresses, Uber drivers, trolley guide, and other tourists. It couldn’t be more accurate - Savannah does feel like a city, but certainly the slowest and most relaxed city I’ve ever experienced. The Spanish moss hanging from the trees creates a quiet, otherworldly canopy down every brick street, and the lazy movement of the river and the slow passage of boats up and down it encourage the overall calm of the city. That also makes it a great place to go without a plan - we picked two or three sites we wanted to see, but after that, we bopped and ambled around with no agenda whatsoever. Very little required reservations, which allowed us to simply stop wherever struck our interest, and that in turn stretched our days and made visiting a new place feel like one of the most restful vacations of all time. Except it also means we walked over seven miles on our exploring day, but at least it was at our own pace!
Some highlights include . . .
Forsyth Park and the surrounding neighborhoods
A history lover’s dream! The gorgeous sanctuary of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, me geeking out at the grave of Nathanael Greene, and the wall of the Colonial Park Cemetary
We LOVED River Street so much that we explored it all three days!
2. Tybee Island
Yes, I know Tybee Island isn’t technically a part of Savannah. But they’re so close to each other than you really can’t visit one without at least going to check out the other. Plus, we happened to be visiting at the same time as my Aunt Ellen & Uncle Jerry, which meant we had to meet for brunch, of course! We all highly recommend The Breakfast Club, a laidback local diner just a couple blocks from the beach. There are several sites to see on the island, but in the end, we decided to take advantage of how uncrowded, calm and relaxed the beaches are to lay by the waves, read a fun book, walk and talk together. Definitely a highlight of the trip.
3. The Olde Pink House
One of the few things that does require a reservation in Slowvannah is the Olde Pink House - but for good reason! On the outside, it’s pink, which was reason enough for me to love it. But on the inside, it actually is a real live house, a Southern mansion built in 1771 for James Habersham Jr. , one of Savannah's most important early cotton factors and founding-family members. As their staff put it, you can eat in the master bedroom, the childrens’ room - we even learned (for next time!) that if it’s available, you can make a reservation to eat at a private table in the vault in the basement from when the house was briefly used as a bank in the 1800s. It’s such a neat experience in and of itself, but the food makes it just that much more incredible. I got sweet potato & caramelized onion ravioli with grilled chicken in a pecan cream sauce, while Grant got the half duck. We weren’t planning on having dessert, but then our waitress said “signature bread pudding drizzled with bourbon-infused chocolate served with vanilla ice cream” (pictured below) - and really, what choice did we have? Even though it is a bit more pricey, I can’t recommend this restaurant more highly, as both the quality of the food and the wonderful experience make dining there more than worth it!
4. Leopold’s Ice Cream
Again, Leopold’s wins for both experience and flavor. It was started in 1919 by three brothers who immigrated from Greece, so it has a long history with the city. Though it was closed briefly, it reopened with an even more unique twist - the son who took over the business is a successful Hollywood producer, and the walls are now lined with movie posters and memorabilia from the movies he worked. It was a such a fun place to look around and learn its history, and the Savannah Socialite ice cream (chocolate with pecans!) is heavenly.
5. The Urban Treehouse
There’s no way I could give you a list of our favorite things about Savannah without mentioning where we stayed - an Airbnb called the Urban Treehouse. While there are some phenomenal bed & breakfasts in old, historic homes that I found both on Airbnb & online, they were 1. out of our budget and 2. most required you to share a bathroom with other guests? Thankfully, the Urban Treehouse was budget-friendly and we had our own private suite with a sitting area, bedroom, and bathroom, with a shared kitchen stocked with breakfast supplies and a shared living room. There’s only three suites total, so there’s never many guests at one time and very little noise, and it’s one of the most unique places I’ve ever stayed - particularly when it comes to the decor! A full-sized wing of a plane is propped against one wall next to a rope swing in the living room, while in the corner surrounded by windows sits an antique triceratops kiddie ride. There’s also an organ, an adorable breakfast nook, and a photo booth with a Polaroid camera, so you can leave a picture of yourselves and the dates you stayed on their wall! We loved our stay there and definitely hope to be back. Check it out here if you’re planning your own trip! And if you do visit, be sure to let us know what you think of these sites!