Dan and I decided to take a vacation in Savannah before the rush of our spring wedding season. It was a wonderful opportunity to relax and refresh. I’ve always wanted to see Savannah and during our research, we discovered the best time to visit is March and April. PERFECT TIMING!!! The weather is mild and everything is blooming this time of the year.
We decided we wanted to stay in the heart of Savannah’s historic district. We ended up staying at The River Street Inn on River Street. The hotel is Savannah’s oldest hotel, a beautifully restored, 200-year-old cotton warehouse in the downtown Historic District. The hotel captures the unique charm, character, and southern hospitality of this history-rich city. Our beautiful room had a lovely view of the Savannah River. Dan and I loved watching the ships travel the river in the evenings. Side note: The hotel is rumored to be haunted and fortunately we had no scary experiences…LOL! If ghosts are your thing they do have a ghost tour. We decided to pass on that!
The city has all the southern charm I expected with its historic homes, unique architecture, horse-drawn carriages, and cobblestone streets. A great way to see the city is by way of the Old Town Trolley Tours. Or, you can have a great time taking one of the self-guided tours. On the first day we had plenty of time and chose to navigate the historic walking tour of the Savannah historic district on our own. Let’s just say we weren’t lacking in our step count at the end of the day! There are so many amazing things to see and we had our favorite places.
The famous Jones Street is reputably known for being one of the prettiest streets in America. I’d have to agree. The street is a great place for a relaxing stroll to take in the beauty of the mid-19th century homes dripping in incredible architecture along the brick-paved street, and enjoy the coziness of the impressive live oaks dripping in Spanish moss. We stopped at Clary’s Cafe and had a tasty brunch to keep us fueled for the rest of the day.
Forsyth Park is one of the most picturesque and beloved landmarks in Savannah, Georgia. Located in the heart of the city, the park spans over 30 acres of lush greenery, dotted with oak trees draped in Spanish moss. The centerpiece of the park is the iconic Forsyth Park Fountain, which dates back to 1858 and is a symbol of the city’s rich history. The blooming Azaleas and many winding paths made this an outdoor oasis. Throughout the year, the park hosts a variety of events and festivals, including the Savannah Jazz Festival and the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Visitors can also take in the stunning architecture of nearby landmarks, such as the Victorian-era mansions that line the park’s perimeter.
During our walk, we stumbled upon the Mercer Williams House Museum. This is one of the city’s most recognizable homes. The Italianate-style mansion was built in the 1860s for General Hugh Mercer, great-grandfather of popular singer/songwriter Johnny Mercer. Author John Berendt wrote about it in his New York Times Best Seller, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Now hundreds of thousands of visitors to trek to Savannah to see the spot where Danny Hansford’s shooting occurred.
Yep, we went to a cemetery. Originally established as a private cemetery in the 1840s, Bonaventure became a public cemetery in 1907 and has since become a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The cemetery’s natural beauty is breathtaking, with Spanish moss-covered trees, manicured gardens, and winding pathways. Visitors can explore the cemetery on foot or by car, taking in the peaceful ambiance and admiring the impressive and ornate headstones and mausoleums. This was a highlight for Dan, He is fascinated with military history and we saw gravestones as far back as the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.
The Savannah School of Art and Design (SCAD) is one of the 15th best schools for the arts in the United States. SCAD is one of the best places for a career in the creative industry. We met a young man getting a master’s degree in photography. That sounds like a dream to me! But, beware, it also comes with a hefty price tag! We visited the original SCAD art museum and browsed the art of present students, alumni, and teachers.
We took a quick peek inside The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist. It’s a stunning Roman Catholic Church located at 222 E Harris St.
On one of our days, we decided to cross the state line to visit Hilton Head Island. A short 45 minute drive from Savannah this beautiful island is known for its miles of white sandy beaches and world-class golf. This would be an amazing place to get a vacation package for a summer trip. And, although we didn’t make a trip there. Tybee Island is another notable beach vacation nearby.
Alright! You know I can’t forget about the food! This is always a main attraction for us! In fact, the inspiration for the trip was based around food. The Back in the Day Bakery to be exact! I’ve been cooking from Cheryl Day’s original cookbook for a decade. Her recipe for Bourbon Bread Pudding is a family Christmas tradition in our house. What a treat it was to visit the bakery. I saw Cheryl, got a signed copy of her latest cookbook, and ate her delicious pastries! Trip made!
Have you ever had a meal that you’ll never forget and you could spend the rest of your life obsessing over? My meal at Cotton and Rye was just that! You better believe I wrote down al the ingredients of the salad I ate to try and recreate it at home. And, I hounded the waitress for the secret ingredient to the best buttermilk rye cornbread I’ve had in my life! Ssshhh! It’s rosemary-infused burnt honey butter. OMG!!! My mouth is watering just typing it!! We finished that meal with house made lemon bread pudding. This was at the top of Dan’s list in the food category.
Hot Tip! Research the restaurants before you go and make your reservations early. Many of the popular eateries have availability booked out months in advance.
And finally, no Savannah food trip is complete without a trip to the River Street Sweets Candy Store! We took home a pound of their world-famous Savannah pralines…nom nom nom!!!
No doubt a vacation in Savannah is an ideal weekend getaway for a casual, cozy, and relaxed vacation with great food, southern charm and hospitality, rich history, and historic buildings and architecture. This is a romantic city and would also be an amazing honeymoon destination! The Savannah historic district offers easy access to River Street, the town squares, and shopping in the city market.
Speaking of honeymoons! If you’re getting married in Savannah it would be a dream to capture it for you! I’m up for another vacation in Savannah! Contact me HERE and let’s chat!!!
If you like this you might also like: California Dreamin’ – A Trip Down the PCH