Spanish Moss trees, Southern Mansions, and a history that dates back to 1773 are just a few of the reasons that Savannah, Georgia has been on the top of my must see cities for as long as I can remember. With just a few short days and a jammed packed agenda, I worried my best friend and I wouldn’t be able to see it all. The good news is, as we quickly found out, Savannah is a very walkable city allowing us to see a lot in a short period of time.
Our first goal on this trip was to find good food. We started our day with a quick stop at Clarys Cafe. I was on a search for really good bread pudding and Google put this at the top of the list. Thanks Carolyn for searching for the best spots! While we walked right in and were quickly seated, Clarys is a famous cafe, and when we left around 10:20 AM a line had started to form outside!
Next stop: Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room.
Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room is one of the most popular food spots in Savannah. Only open from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM daily, it’s no surprise that a line forms in front of the restaurant long before it opens. Carolyn and I arrived at 10:30 AM to over 100 people in front of us! We contemplated whether to wait it out or not and we were both so happy we did. I can honestly say it is one of the best meals I have ever had to date. With a family style atmosphere we sat with two separate families. For the first twenty minutes, not one person said a word as we all stuffed our faces. My only regret that day was not eating more mac and cheese.
Luckily, Clarys was a few blocks down from Mrs. Wilkes allowing us to hit both stops first thing on our first day. Both Clary’s Cafe and Mrs. Wilkes are on Jones Street. Jones Street is known as one of the most beautiful streets in North America. No (iPhone) picture can adequately capture it’s beauty.
From Mrs. Wilkes we walked to the Visitor’s Center and got ourselves free postcards. I have been sending Brad postcards for over eight years now! He has postcards from China all the way to Savannah! The Visitor’s Center is also home to the Savannah History Museum. We opted out of visiting the museum to save $8.00.
Fun fact: Many of the square scenes in Forrest Gump where filmed in Savannah. Forrest’s famous bench scene was actually filmed right in Chippewa Square. *The bench is not in the square. It has been relocated to the Savannah History Museum.* Before coming to Savannah, I had no idea! To say I was beyond excited to find this out is an understatement.
From the Visitor’s Museum we walked to Juliette Gordon Low’s Birthplace (the founder of the Girl Scout’s). I have never been a Girl Scout, which I am still a tiny tiny bit bitter about, but Carolyn was and my niece is! While we didn’t tour the house (that’s an option), we did stop by the gift shop so I could pick something up for Sky and ended up finding a super cool patch for the back of her vest. I’ll try to get aunt brownie points anyway I can.
We also went to Juliette Gordon Low’s Birthplace to try to recreate a picture Carolyn took over 15 years ago. Safe to say she forgot where the original pose took place.
From there we walked to River Street. River Street is on the Savannah River with tons of bars and food options. It’s also in the Historic District of Savannah, where you can posses and consume alcohol in an open plastic container. We stopped at a bar that supposedly had the cheapest and coldest beer in town, it was definitely cold, but mine wasn’t cheap (Carolyn’s was).
We ended our day with dinner at The Pink House. The Pink House is one of the most famous dining places in town, while not cheap, their Southern Sushi appetizer was worth the entire dining experience.
Does anyone else ever go on vacation and feel they have so much to see and are starting to run out of time? That’s how day two felt for me. We decided to do the Old Town Trolley Tour on day two. There are two different tour buses in Savannah, Old Town Trolley Tours and Old Savannah Tours. Both very similar, allowing you to hop on/hop off all day, but there are a few factors that differentiate the two, and after some research I felt Old Town Trolley Tours would best suit out needs. With 15 different stop and a GPS trolley and stop locator it’s incredibly efficient.
The best part of these trolley’s are that the drivers are also tour guides and each tour guide added their own flares to the towns history. If you sit on the trolley from beginning to end without getting off, the tour is about 90 minutes. We had a great time just sitting on the trolley listening to our drivers stories.
On this tour stops were/or were close to:
- Goose Feathers Cafe – a spot close to City Market with really good bread pudding (are you seeing a trend here?). I much preferred this bread pudding over the one at Clarys Cafe.
- Leopold’s Ice Cream – the most famous ice cream spot in Savannah. Prepare yourselves for a line out the door. Leopold’s is also a five minute walk to The Paris Market which is definitely worth checking out.
- American Prohibition Museum – Located within the City Market, it’s a must see with an awesome Speakeasy at the end.
- Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
For those of you who can’t walk for extended periods of time, I highly recommend getting a two day trolley pass. I almost wish we had done that. Giving us time to tour some of the houses.
Tonight we had dinner at Treylor Park. We found Treylor Park incredibly hard to find because there is no sign outdoor. The atmosphere was relaxed, which worked out perfectly because we were getting ready for a ghost tour and it was cold out so we were completely bundled up in sweatshirts. We went on Taco Tuesday, and you get a free draft beer with a Taco Purchase, BUT they didn’t initially tell us that so we paid for a drink.
Our night ended with a walking ghost tour that we found on Groupon for $13.00. Normally, something like this wouldn’t be up my alley, but I felt inspired by listening to ghost stories on the podcast Some Average Janes. While we did find some orbs in our pictures, the scariest part of the tour was the drunk guy who had one too many martinis…
Day three was a short day for us, but we had so much to see in a short amount of time! We drove into the Historic District and very easily found a parking spot next to Madison Square and walked to Forsythe Park. *Benefit to parking in this square is that you can pass Jones Street again.*
We walked through the park and stopped at the Sentient Bean where we had the best Pumpkin Spiced Bread I have ever had.
I really wanted to see Congregation Mickve Israel, one of the oldest Synagogue’s in the United States. While we didn’t have time to tour the Synagogue, one of the awesome workers there spoke to us for about thirty minutes teaching us the history of Judaism and Jews (the nationality).
After our stroll through Forsythe Park we walked to the Davenport House. The Davenport House is the first house preserved by the Historic Savannah Foundation, starting a chain that preserved hundreds of other building in the area. We didn’t have time to take the next tour, but enjoyed talking to the gift shop attendant.
Before leaving the Historic Center of Savannah, we decided to have lunch at The Pirates House. Built in 1734, The Pirates House is the longest standing house in Savannah, GA. While the ambiance of the place was awesome, we found the food to be subpar.
After saying goodbye to Historic Savannah, we drove to Wormsloe Mansion. You will need a car to get to Wormsloe Mansion, but it is so worth it just for the line of Spanish Mosses alone. We had a blast taking pictures and driving underneath the tree arch. While we enjoyed the locations scenery, we did not pay to go into Wormsloe Mansion, because from pictures provided from someone we met who did go inside it seemed like there is very little left of the actual mansion.
Our final stop in Savannah, Ga was Bonaventure Cemetery. While the cemetery is absolutely stunning, something felt really unsettling about taking pictures and enjoying an area where thousands of people are buried. If you go, I’d suggest a tour, because we weren’t really sure what we were looking at most of the time.
Leaving Savannah was bittersweet for us. We just spent three awesome days exploring, but our best friend was getting married in a few short days and all of our friends were meeting in North Carolina.
As always, Savannah, it’s not good bye – it’s see ya later!