If you have been following me for a bit you know that Max and I just moved from Savannah, GA to Charlotte, NC. I moved to Savannah almost 10 years ago and it wasn’t nearly as cool as it is now! Even though I hated Savannah when I first moved there, I LOVE it now! After 6 months of living in Charlotte - I figured it's time for one of my most asked questions and most requested blog posts!
What do do in Savannah, GA
from a local
When I started thinking about writing this post (almost a year ago) I knew I needed to break it up into sections. Drinks, Food, Shopping, Sweets, Places to Stay & Things to Do. Some key things to know : the top tourist (and my fave) spots are River Street, Bay Street, Broughton Street, Jones Street, City Market, and Forsyth Park. They each offer a different experience but are equally amazing! When in doubt ask someone where one of these spots are and you are bound to be in the right direction - but incase you don't like talking to strangers I have also attached maps to each of those places so you can choose walking directions to get you there no problem! I know its a lot and kind of confusing but it's so worth it - SO, without further adieu.... here we go!
First things first - you need to know Savannah is an open-container city! That means that you can drink in public - but only in select areas! You can take your drink to go! You can get a drink at a walk-up bar! If you have any questions about open-container policy I strongly suggest reading up on the policy, the exceptions, and the limitations here.
1. Peregrin - MY FAVORITE rooftop bar! The views are romantic and the drinks are spectacular. This spot gives me my favorite view of Savannah at sunset. They also have swings, hammocks, corn hold and tons more fun stuff to do! It doesn't hurt that the drinks are good and strong as well!
2. Wayward - when I walked into this bar I definitely didn't feel cool enough to be in there...leather, dark hues, great drinks, and a game room!!! What's better than drinking with friends? Drinking and playing games with friends! All of their drinks sounded phenomenal BUT I have a sweet spot for Absinthe so I had the 'Holiday in Cambodia' and it was DELICIOUS and is definitely a must try!
3. Wet Willies - a Savannah staple and one of the yummiest treats! Known for their blended drinks - Wet Willies is the perfect treat to cool down on a hot Savannah day!
4. Lulu's Chocolate Bar - another Savannah staple. Lulu's has the best desserts AND dessert cocktails! Their drinks are to die for and there's honestly not a wrong choice! Make sure you save room for actual dessert because their cakes are to die for! My personal favorite drink is the Chocolate Mint Martini but, like I said - you can't go wrong!
5. The Coffee Fox - one of the places I was referring to when saying you could get a to-go drink! Walk up to the counter, order a coffee or beer and walk out! No one questions a thing! Their snacks are also good on the go and they are super tasty! The atmosphere is great if you need to escape the hustle and bustle of tourism and just work or relax a bit!
The BEST thing to talk about and probably my longest category. Savannah SHOULD be known for our food rather than our ghosts but I get it, Savannah just recently (in the past five years or so) developed a booming food scene and I am not mad about it. This post gave me many reasons to eat A WHOLE LOT! Click the map under the image of the food for walking or driving directions to this yummy food!
1. Tequila's Town - my personal favorite place to eat. Good Mexican food, great drinks, and KILLER made-to-oder guacamole. Located right off of Broughton St., it's super easy to get to BUT if you go on Friday/Saturday for dinner, try to go early or call ahead!
2. Little Duck Diner - Owned by one of my favorite restaurant groups - Ele & the Chef - and located right off of City Market. Known for their asian fusion but excelling in every other style of cooking, you honestly can't go wrong. My personal favorite is the chicken stir fry but a close second is the tomato soup! See so different but so good! They are also known for their outstanding milkshakes and cocktails - some of which come with little rubber duckies in them!
3. Rise Biscuits & Donuts - a chain but a dang good one if do say so myself! While I love a good biscuit my all-time favorite from here is the cinnamon twisted donut! It is the perfect combination of simple, old fashioned and incredibly delicious! They took it away for a bit but know it's back and so freaking good!!!! I seriously am waiting to have some mailed to us since the one right down the street from me in Charlotte closed literally a week after moving here! RUDE! Another one of my favorites there is the King Cake donut that's around at Mardi Gras time! Honestly though, I haven't had a seasonal donut from Rise I didn't like. Heck! I have never had any donut from Rise I haven't liked!!
4. Crystal Beer Parlor - something for everyone! Crystal Beer Parlor has been one of my families favorite places for years and for a few reasons. Food, good beer, and a total family atmosphere. With lots of kids and adults, we can still feel welcome and comfortable here - no matter how loud we are. Pro tip - you can sample beers as well so don't settle on a beer you "think" you may like! Ask for a sample before committing!
5. The Emporium Kitchen & Wine Market - part of The Perry Lane hotel group and another can't miss spot! Perfect for date night but also kid-friendly with honestly some of the best food I have ever had! I went on a date here last time I was in Savannah for a wedding and it was seriously the most amazing place ever. The atmosphere was fun but intimate, the food was delicious but not too much, and the dessert - y'all the desert was the best part, the wine was up there too though. I went on a Sunday and got the Sunday special and it was TO DIE FOR! I had the Buttermilk Fried Chicken with house-made shells gratinée and cabbage vinaigrette. For dessert I recommend the 'Donut Flight for Two' such a good variety of sweets and the perfect dessert to split! I can't wait to go back and try more, as this is a new restaurant in Savannah, but I honestly loved my food so much - I think I have to go back on a Sunday!
6. The Grove - another new addition to Savannah and certainly tasty! Home to another amazing rooftop with great drinks and even better comfort food. While I love a good burger form there, my favorite thing to get is the Pesto Chicken Club! Other great options are the Nashville Hot Chicken and a classic, Chicken Tenders. Grab a drink after dinner and hang out on the roof top (unless you go in the later months) so you don't fry or sweat to death. If you are thinking of dessert, take it form me and get the Vanilla Bean Cheesecake! Don't forget to try the Champagne Pop either! Is there anything better than Champagne and a popsicle?!
7. Funky Brunch - Every time I bring friends home I try to find time to take them here. Everyone laughs because it sounds childish but let me tell y'all .... it is a blast! Think Hibachi and melting pot and combine the two! Its a brunch place where if you order pancakes, you get a bottle of pancake mix and a grill top table to make your own pancakes! It's a blast! One serving of batter is about $8 and can easily be shared by two which makes this a cheap breakfast and then you have more fun money to use on yummy mimosas or other breakfast cocktails! While the pancakes are what they are known for, their monkey bread is also incredible alongside pretty much every other item on the menu! But be warned - lines form quickly here so if you have a family, get there early!
Another one of my favorite things to talk about, SHOPPING! While shopping isn't always an everyday activity - it's always fun to do, especially while on vacation! There are so many things you can buy while in Savannah and some of them will fall into other categories but just know, when living in Savannah these are places I shopped and personally love! All of these places are found on or off of Broughton Street. It is the shopping street of the city after all! This map will take you to the middle of Broughton Street and then it's all up to you to take the east or west side first!
1. Fabrik. Savannah - well, if you have been around for a while you already know Fabrik Savannah and Ashley are pretty much my two favorite things in the city! Fabrik has been home to me for quite some time and have pretty much styled me for. every event I have been to for the past two years! Ashley and her staff are some of the most amazing people I have ever met in my whole entire life and I wouldn't be where I am today in my career without them! Ashley is an amazing. business owner but an even better friend which is what makes her my #1 suggestion for places to shop in Savannah. Fabrik is home to so many amazing and unique pieces but even she will tell you my favorite #fabrikfind is a good Z-Supply t-shirt. If you have never owned something from Z-Supply, trust. me and get you a shirt now! SO SOFT! Ashley and Fabrik are so generous and supportive of me they have also given me a discount code so. you can get 10% off! All you have to do is show her you follow me and you get 10% off! YAY!
2. Anthropologie - a great place for staples and the cutest home decor! Anthro is also home to my most beloved "K necklace" you all love so much! Another great thing about Anthropologie is its a great photo spot for all my Insta Queens out there! The doors are gorgeous and the sun pretty much never directly hits the door! Can we say optimal lighting?! Anthropologie is also right around the corner after Fabrik!
3. Kendra Scott - I'm sure you all already know and love this brand but the staff at our local Kendra Scott is the best! They helped me countless times pick out pieces for events, donated to charity events I hosted, and were just genuinely nice and invested in Max and myself! Also, you can get a discount the whole month of your birthday! And for my bachelorette parties : they have great parties where you can custom make pieces of jewelry so your whole party can match but still be unique to themselves.
4. Impeccable Pig - Savannah recently opened up so many cute boutiques and Impeccable Pig is a great one! I have found so many great dresses there - including the famous red romper from Max's cake smash! The girls there are great about bringing you things to try you may not have seen at first, and their picks are usually what I end up purchasing!
5. Dress Up - I have been shopping at Dress Up for years! Dress Up was my place to shop in college and continues to be a great places for staples and great capsule pieces! They also have great bralettes and pieces for game day!
6. The Paris Market - while not known for their clothes. it is a MUST when it comes to shopping in Savannah. Full of sweets, jewelry, pieces from Savannah makers, and other great knick-knacks. Another great. photo op as well! Paris Market makes beautiful coffees as well and not only do they look good but they taste even better! They also have a basement so don't forget to check it out as well - that's where some of the best trinkets are!
7. Free People - another chain - but also a goodie. My favorite bralettes of all time and bodysuits are all bought from here! They also have great basics such as tanks, tees, and sweaters!
8. Joseph's Clothier - Joseph's is owned by a friend of a friends and is your go-to spot for all southern staples! Whether it be a good t-shirt, a Yeti, some Lauren James, or a suit for a special occasion - Jospeh's has got it!
9. Savannah Bee Company - most of my shopping was done at clothing stores but there are two exceptions and The Savannah Bee Company is one of them. See and hear how local honey is made and even better? Taste them! You can also sample Mead while you're there! There is also an exhibit that is perfect for kids - they can climb right inside a honeycomb and seesaw honey is made!
10. 24E - another great locally owned place to shop! 24E is owned by my friend, Ruel Joyner, and is probably the COOLEST place to visit while on Broughton Street. Home to unique and gorgeous furniture and the most unique trinkets. Miley Cyrus and her mother have shopped there a few times and also love it so , it must be pretty cool, right?! Stop by and tell Ruel I sent ya, he's the best!
The BEST thing to talk. about. is obviously sweets! If you have been following me for a while or know me personally you know I could eat dessert for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and be perfectly content and that doesn't change when it's my own hometown I am in! Although, the calories don't count on vacation! I have included maps under each location so you can just click for directions like I did with the restaurants!
1. Leopolds - my FAVORITE ice cream place in the city! Homemade, old-fashioned good stuff! Leopolds always puts on the best events while serving the BEST ice cream in town! My personal favorites are Mint Chocolate Chip, Strawberry, and during Christmas time - Sugar Plum fairy. The first time Max every had ice cream was at Leopolds and its honestly a saved memory in his baby book!
2. River Street Sweets - one of my favorite candy places in Savannah. There are plenty of options for candy stores in downtown Savannah but River Street Sweets is my favorite because of one thing - their Salt Water Taffy! The taffy isn't the only great thing though.. their candy, caramel, chocolate coated apples are to die for! The free praline samples upon entry aren't that bad either!
3. Byrd Cookies - the sweetest little cookies you will ever eat! These cookies come in a wide variety of flavors AND have a sample bar where you can taste before you commit to a whole bag! Unlike the cookies most people think of these are little crunchy cookies! Perfect for on top of ice cream, as a snack, or honestly just a fourth meal! My favorite flavors are Scotch Oatmeal, Key Lime Pie, Georgia Peach, good ole Chocolate Chip, and Salted Caramel! My best birthday memory was the year my mom sent me a cookie jar alongside 4 large bags of cookies and lets just say they were gone before my birthday month was even over!
4. Marche De Macarons - one of my favorite basic girl photo ops is of a macaroon, fancy coffee, and a couple of beautiful macrons! Whats better than macrons that look beautiful? Ones that taste almost identical to any macron you have had in France. Our own Ladurée macrons if you ask me! You can find them in several locations around town but I have linked the store downtown! You can also find them in The Paris Market on Broughton Street which is the ultimate photo-op for anyone visiting Savannah!
5. Big Boy Cookies - not downtown but still VERY important! Very different than Byrd and special in their own way. Unique flavors, chewy cookies, made for adults! The flavors are all to die for but my favorite is the Caramel Apple or the Oatmeal Triple Chocolate! Best thing about Big Boy? They deliver! Just received a box last week and they were still perfectly moist! (ew, I hate that word)
Places to stay
One of the most important things to look for when picking a place to travel is where to stay! If I don't like where I am sleeping, it kind of changes the whole mood of the rest of my day. I want to wake up, love where I am, not be grossed out by the bathrooms, and be ready to start my day!
1. The Perry Lane Hotel - The Perry Lane is a beautiful, brand new Savannah boutique hotel! While I haven't had the chance to stay there yet - I have toured it and seen so many pictures and I am dying to stay there when I go home next! They are currently running a promotion on their website for 'Savor Savannah' with rates starting at $179 a night and two daily drinks! (you already know how great the drinks are there) If you stay here let me know how you like it!
2. The Kimpton Brice - another great boutique hotel in Savannah! Located on the far side of the river, it is a great place if you want to be close to downtown but far enough to escape the crazies! The Brice has stunning rooms with great light and the accommodations are stunning!
3. The Bohemian - one of my families favorite places to stay and eat! When our house was still being built we stayed at The Bohemian and it was a dream! The rooftop bar and restaurant are what dreams are made of!
4. Lucky Savannah Rentals - hands down my top suggestion for large groups! Like Airbnb but SO much nicer and local to Savannah! The options are endless and there is something for everyone! Have a bachelor or bachelorette party? This is the best route to go for your group! They were SO kind and also gave me a 10% off code that can be used ANY time in the next. six months. (including holidays). - LIKE HOW NICE! Code is 'abravemess'
things to do
Walking around is obviously the biggest use of time while in Savannah but there are plenty of fun places and things to do to avoid the Savannah heat and keep you off your feet for a little!
1. Genteel & Bard Ghost Tour - the BEST walking ghost tour in Savannah. If you take a ghost tour, I highly suggest taking it at night and via foot. I am not sure why, but walking the tour as opposed to being in a bus makes it 1000x scarier! Plus, Genteel and Bard is owned by my friend Brenna and her husband!
2. Trolley Ride - there are plenty of trolley tour companies but my favorite company is the Old Savannah Tours! We took trolleys to prom in high school and it was always the most amazing experience! So fun and such a great way to see the city! Like I mentioned earlier, there are plenty of trolley options and you can't really go wrong!
3. Booze Cruise - aside from our amazing open-container policy, Savannah is home to a lot of fun drinking activities! Savannah Slow Ride included! For $35 you can take a slow ride bar crawl around Savannah! For $350 you and your friends can experience a slow ride all to yourselves! Make sure you check the prices depending on the days you are there because they do vary!
4. Hustle & Blow Dry Bar -while not technically downtown - it. is my favorite place to get pampered! My girl, Jess, is the best with hair and will make sure you or your group of girls look your best! Facials, eyelash extensions, blowouts, and more it is the best place to feel pampered! Jess' whole staff is amazing at making you not only look your best but also feel your best! If you are there for a wedding, I strongly suggest getting a pre-wedding blowout so that Jess can see how your hair holds and reacts to products and so your hair can be its best for the big occasion! Tell Jess I sent you and she will hook you up! While you're there check out her amazing line of products as well as her next door neighbor, Southern Sugaring for all your sugaring (hair removal) needs! These ladies are the best and will make sure you look and feel it!
5. Sea Salt & Sugar - a new nail bar to Savannah working on health conscious nail care! I haven't personally been there yet (it opened right after I moved and I was so sad) but a lot of my friends have been and loved it! They are closed Sunday which is definitely something to keep in mind when booking appointments! The inside is beautiful and relaxing even just in photos! I can't wait to try it personally!
6. The Savannah Bananas - if you are lucky enough to be in Savannah during baseball season you HAVE to go to a bananas game! Seriously the best time I have had in a long time happened at a Bananas game! You will seriously leave with tears of laughter and probably too much good food and beer consumed! The Bananas have made national news several times and it is seriously because they are the BEST and definitely know how to have a good time!
Well, that was a lot and if you are still around and reading this - props to you! I am sure I missed some valid points or suggestions so... if I did, leave them in the comments so others can read them later! I miss you Savannah but I can't wait to be back and visiting all my favorite places. This time as a tourist!