Southern Romance in Savannah
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Take a trolley tour of the city. A popular choice is the Ghosts and Graveyard tour (better if you have someone at your side in case you get scared). Not only will you see this historic city, but you'll hear some spooky legends as well. It makes for a fun night after a nice dinner at any of the great restaurants along the Savannah River.
Pick any one of the Marriott properties along the river or in the historic district (about half a dozen to choose from). Plenty of beautiful buildings and lovely squares are within easy walking distance. It's hard not to fall in love with the architecture in Savannah.
I agree with the trolley tour. We stayed at the Courtyard in Savannah, did the tour, and had a wonderful, romantic dinner at Elizabeth on Thirty Seventh.http://www.elizabethon37th.net/ Would also recommend, if not staying there, at least have a cocktail, if not dinner, on the roof of the Bohemian. Beautiful place and fantastic view. http://www.bohemianhotelsavannah.com/
Stop in for a drink, appetizer or dinner at Vics on the River
The title of this thread is "Southern Romance in Savannah," so my recommendations may seem slightly off kilter, but these recommendations are for “lovers” of history, music, and horticulture. As the first settlement in Georgia, Gen. James Oglethorpe's original city layout is still seen in the historic district. The beautifully landscaped city "squares" are mini-parks, each only a short walk to the next. The original four squares were laid out by Oglethorpe in 1733, the year of colonial Georgia's founding. Originally, they were planned as community green space and militia drill sites, each the center of a city ward. Of the 24 squares laid out and constructed between 1733 and 1851, 22 remain, all of which occur within an area of one square half-mile. Statues of early Georgians and monuments to others adorn the squares. Guided walking tours are available, or you can take a leisurely self-guided tour.
Nestled among the squares is the historic Colonial Park Cemetery. Established in 1750, it holds 9,000 graves within its six acres. Burials continued until 1853, and it's the resting place of some of Georgia's most famous early residents. Many of Georgia's 159 counties are named after early Georgians interred there. And many of the tombstones are mini-biographies, providing details of the deceased's life, such as the number of round-trip trans-Atlantic crossings made in a lifetime—those early Georgians would’ve made excellent MR Insiders. You can spend hours reading those stones and marveling at the colonial residents’ exploits.
Maritime history enthusiasts should make a point of visiting the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, featuring a huge collection of exquisitely detailed models of ships, spanning from early sailing ships to the Titanic. Most of the models are on the same scale, 3/8": 1', so size comparisons are accurate. The museum also has a large collection of artifacts and maritime paintings.
The Savannah Music Festival, Georgia’s "largest celebration of the musical arts," is occurring right now (March 20 – April 14). With venues throughout the city, this year’s festival features performers that include the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Robert Cray, Ricky Scaggs, Vince Gill, Branford Marsalis, and many, many others. This festival makes for a wonderful springtime getaway to Savannah. Incidentally, the Ships of the Sea Museum grounds serve as one of the venues for the festival.
Just outside of Savannah lies the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens. Begun as a private collection in 1890, the gardens, known to locals as “the bamboo farm,” features one of the largest collections of bamboo in North America, with more than 70 species, many of which were collected from all over the world in the 1920s, ‘30s, and ‘40s. The ultra-impressive Japanese timber bamboo reaches heights of 70’ and can grow to 7” in diameter. The USDA took over operations in 1920, using the gardens to research plant varieties that could be economically valuable to the Southeast. In 1983, the gardens were deeded to the University of Georgia, which still operates it today. Other garden collections include palms, with more than 40 species, crepe myrtles, hibiscus, daylilies, iris, and the orchid greenhouse. There is also a bamboo maze, which is a kids’ favorite. And finally, when Yun Yun and Lang Lang, Zoo Atlanta’s giant pandas on loan from China, arrived in Atlanta in 1999, the bamboo farm became the supplier of the bamboo for the pandas’ diets. Since their arrival, the pair has produced five cubs, including twins in 2013. There, I finally got a little romance in there, after all.
foxglove, I when I retire will have to resort to Wal Mart greeter, but you dear sir can most definitely be a tour guide for your home state. Thanks for the plethora of information. And I see the romance in all the things you mentioned.
I'm glad this love was for Savannah and not Atlanta because that place is pollen infested and hard to enjoy this time of year especially...but I have a feeling you could turn it around on a dime and set me straight
Thanks for the post
Thanks, madmax. We really do enjoy Savannah. They've done a marvelous job preserving the history associated with one of America's original colonies. And on every visit, we try to explore some things we haven't visited before. Fortunately, Bill Sherman presented the city of Savannah as a Christmas gift to Lincoln, rather than doing the job on it he did to Atlanta.( And you're unlikely to see any travelogues from me on the charms of Atlanta. As I've stated on this site before, the I-285 loop is the outer circle of hell. Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL) is the inner.)
I have alot of vendors out of the Atlanta area so have travelled to showrooms there quite often. Every time it has been a nightmare although the city is quite beautiful actually. Sad that it has the worst traffic of anywhere and I believe the worst pollen. When you can see yellow in every drainage ditch, something is amiss All other parts of Georgia I have visited are very nice though so I won't hold Atlanta against it.
And we non-Atlantans thank you!
For a romantic visit, stay at the Mansion on Forsyth - beautiful old world charm, right in the historic district.
Walk the historic district -- beautiful homes on quiet shaded squares. Meander and read the historic markers as you go.
For dinner one night go to the Bohemian - grab drinks on the rooftop bar overlooking the river. For a true touch of the south, get the chicken & waffle sliders!
Drive over to Tybee Island to see the lighthouse.
Browse several of the local art galleries, and independently owned shops around town.
See Residence Inn, historic district of Savannah, just posted.
I stayed at this Residence Inn. A bit of a walk to the riverfront, but not too bad. Nice property.
We had a wonderful experience staying at the Springhill Suites Historic district when we went to Savannah. First thing when we walked in the door we were greeted by the front desk clerk "Lauren", who had enough southern hospitality and charm to make you wonder if you went back in time. Very helpful all the time, not just on checking in. They had some wonderful restaurant reccommendations, and told us the best tourist attractions to hit. We went on Old Town Tours tour around the city with a guy who called himself hollywood.We learned allot. Then we went on the riverboat cruise the next day.
Bring your walking shoes. People walk everywhere. The Citywalk area and the Riverfront were only blocks away.
We'd return to the Springhill Suites if and when we go back to Savannah again. Hopefully Lauren will be there.
We recently stayed at the Bohemian--great roof top bar, nice rooms, great head doorman, ate at Elizabeth on 37th, 700 Drayton (can bill it to your room and get points to boot) and would have liked to eaten at the Pink House(next time through). Nice lunchs at the Crystal Beer Palace and Six Pence Pub, took the hop on hop off trolly--nice overview--walked around thereafter. Skip paula deans joint. Trouble w/ phones/internet at the Bohemian
Had a wonderful time staying at the Mansion on Forsyth Park this past Spring. We were able to take advantage of the free shuttle down to their sister Property The Bohemian, in the riverfront area. It was a convenient way to access the riverfront area quickly, we had a Wedding Rehearsal dinner at their restaurant a few nights later and the staff was incredibly gracious and accommodating. The concierge at Mansion was helpful in assisting with itineraries & restaurant suggestions. BTW my sister had her Wedding Reception at the Wine Cellar at Forsyth, its a great cozy location if one is having a small Wedding reception. The Upstairs Jazz bar was a fun addition to the night. Mansion is a perfect location to enjoy the beautiful Park, and if you like to stroll there are many shops within walking distance, as well as a great Art museum. There are additional shops and restaurants along the riverfront, with a lively night life.
Stayed there recently ourselves, see earlier post: Savannah, Georgia
Residence Inn is not really in the "down town" historic area. It is not walkable to the RiverFront. Connivence Store / Gas Station next door and adjacent to the hotel is a "hang-out" for drug dealers and other criminal types at night. Even though there tends to be 2 police cars watching this place, it is too scary to shop there.
In my three day visit there was no (repeat NO) Manager visible at ant time, and when I ask to speak to a manager at night, I was informed that there was NO manager on premise. Marriott National p[lease take note!
Place was clean, and other service was O.K. except for the Bar and Breakfast. The Staff closed up 30 minutes early both days, leaving many (20 or 30 I counted) customers without Breakfast or a night-cap. Manager issue again ???
bikeboy - sorry to hear about your experience - can't really say we had same problems, as we were quite pleased with stay here, including management attention. We knew ahead of time the R.I. was not in walking distance to main part of Savannah, but it is close to several good restaurants, only a few blocks away. Perhaps you would want to try the Mansion, or Autograph, or Marriott Riverfront on your next stay, but then neither the Mansion nor Marriott are in walking distance of main part of town either.
1. The Mansion on Forsyth was lovely. The staff was charming.
2. Tours! The horse drawn carriage tours, the walking tours and the tour bus tours are full of history and southern fun. Also, look for evidence of the city's embrace of the Savannah College of Art and Design. There are SCAD exhibits, architectural projects and events everywhere if you are looking!
3. Walk the parks at dawn, the rolling ground fog gave it an other worldly look. There is a quiet hush on the city before it wakes up. Look up. The tree canopy there is breath taking. With the old trees and Spanish moss, it is a unique back drop.
4. Only do eateries like Mrs. Wilkes' if you are up to random company. The food is good, but it is communal seating. But the good news is there are wonderful local options that are off the tourist-friendly beat. We found two with local jazz performers that were fabulous, and tarried in the park for a performance at the amphitheater.
5. Head to the waterfront for a tail of enduring love, there is a statue there of a young woman... I won't share the story here, but definitely romantic. Then finish off the evening with drinks at the Bohemian. The barge traffic dies down then, and it is nice sitting there by the River.
A cocktail at Rocks on the River at the Bohemian Hotel is a great spot to grab a Savannah sunset and watch the passing ships along the river from the comfort of a rooftop fire pit. Despite not being Kentucky, the bartenders here serve up a formidable mint julep!
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