Exploring Savannah's Southern Charm

Savannah Travel Blog

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Over the weekend, my BFF and I took a trip to Savannah, Georgia, to make our pilgrimage to the Marc Jacobs store. He must have decided to place the store there right before his stint in rehab because I have no idea why the hell anyone would want to put a store in Savannah. The city is absolutely lovely in a historical sense, but it’s not exactly prime location for an upscale clothing store. Sure, you can purchase your Seven jeans at the local sorority girls venue, but you’ve still got to make your 5 hour trek to Atlanta to get your Gucci.

Apart from the stores, Savannah has a lot to offer in both history and food. The city plays home to the famous Mercer house, the site of the film and novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. For $8 (student discount), you can get at tour of the first floor of the house as well as the garden and actually set foot in the room of the famous murder. The second floor is the residence of Jim Williams’ sister, so it’s off limits. There is a fantastic amount of antiques in the house, some even dating back as far as the 16th century. Jim Williams was a crazy collector with the best shopping philosophy: “If you like it, buy it.”

We also took a visit to the Telfair Art Museum, which was honestly not worth the entrance fee. I think most people end up visiting it just to see the Bird Girl (also in Midnight). There was a single Roy Lichtenstein, but other than that, I didn’t really see anything that caught my eye. Instead of the museum, I would recommend just visiting the historic houses instead. Most of them contain a good number of paintings and antiques that can easily rival the stuff that’s in the museum.

The food in Savannah is, for the most part, excellent. Even the restaurants that are typically considered tourist traps (like the ones on River Street or the famous Pirates House) are pretty decent. One place that I would NOT recommend is Lady and Sons, Paula Deen’s restaurant. Unfortunately, my BFF is an avid viewer of the Food Network and absolutely insisted that we stop there. We even waited in line at 9:30AM to get a reservation for 11AM.

When we returned for lunch, she ordered the buffet for $13 while I got the chicken pot pie for $11. The buffet is a better bang for the buck. The chicken pot pie was absolutely horrid. There was too much cream, and it was extremely salty. I didn’t think the buffet was worth the $13, but it was a hell of a lot better than the pot pie. When the waiter came by at the end of the meal to ask about my pie, I told him the truth: it was “okay.” The look on his face was classic. He’s probably used to people gushing about the food, so he was really confused when I didn’t find my meal something to cry about.

Instead, lunch at the Grypphen might be a better option. It’s a tea house run by SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design) and its students. We had the poor luck of getting an absolutely incompetent waiter (who we assume is a student at SCAD – yes, we are Georgia college elitists), but thankfully he’s not the one running the kitchen. The menu has a great selection of salads and sandwiches as well as teas and afternoon tea snacks. The scones and tea sandwiches looked really good, too.

I really enjoyed my dinner at the Olde Pink House, though. The house is one of the oldest buildings in Savannah, dating to the late 1700s. It’s usually pretty packed, so you should make reservations. Also, try for an early dinner (5PM ish or so). I can only imagine how crazy it would be during dinner time. We had really good service while we were there with an extra attentive waiter. I ordered the grilled pork tenderloin for $19, which came with a generous helping of collard greens and yams. It was really filling and grilled to perfection. They also have really good desserts, so save room.

The best thing about Savannah, however, has to be the NO open container law. You can walk around and drink as much as you want. It’s fantastic. Wet Willie’s on River Street has really good mojito smoothies ($7 for a 20 oz.), but the bar itself plays host to mostly middle aged white couples with horrible dance moves, so I would suggest taking your drink to go.

Apart from the usual nightlife, there are also some great ghost tours. The one we went on wasn’t that great, but ghost tours are really dependent on the tour guide. I would recommend going on a walking tour since they’re cheaper and a bit scarier than riding around in a carriage.

Savannah provided a great weekend getaway with the perfect road time – approximately 3.5 to 4 hours from Atlanta. It’s got a lot of charm and a lot of southern class, which made me wonder: why haven’t I been there more often?
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358 km (222 miles) traveled
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photo by: Deb