Savannah: Things To Do and See
Bob and I spent a weekend in Savannah scouting out the city, and we fell in love with it! There are many ways to find out all about this beautiful place, but I'll bet you'd like some personal recommendations. Most of the items on my list are places we personally experienced.
Check back here often, as this is a work in progress. If you've been to Savannah and have any recommendations for us, please contact Darian at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know! I'll add them to this page.
SIGHTS TO SEE
NOTE: The cathedral and the two historic homes are close together - you could see them all in one trip. Head out the front doors of the Hyatt onto Whitaker Street. Go South on Whitaker to left on W Charlton. Take the map from your Welcome Packet with you for more detail.
Cathedral of St. John The Baptist
222 E. Harris Street
We were impressed with the building from the outside. The tour guide insisted that we go inside, so we did. We were blown away! A MUST SEE if you can possibly get there. Worth taking a pedi cab or taxi if you have to.
Directions: head out of the Hyatt LEFT onto Bay Street and go 1 block to RIGHT on Drayton Street. Cross Broughton, Ogelthorpe, and E. Liberty Streets (plus a bunch of small streets) and turn LEFT on E. Harris Street. You can't miss it.
Flannery O'Connor's Childhood Home
207 E. Charlton Street (across Lafayette Square from St. John The Baptist Cathedral)
Andrew Low House - home of Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low
Visit the Andrew Low House and see the ante-bellum splendor of a time when cotton was king and fortunes were made. Hear the story of Andrew Low, one of the South's most successful cotton merchants whose southern sympathies led him to involve his family in espionage and to support blockade runners and the Confederacy. The home is also where his daughter-in-law, founder of Girls Scouts of America, lived.
See ten beautifully preserved rooms, including those frequented by General Robert E. Lee (godfather of Andrew's youngest daughter) and renowned British author William Makepeace Thackeray. Tour the property's lovely gardens. Learn the fascinating story of the Low family.
The house is currently owned by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Georgia and is open to tours daily.
Tours are offered on the hour and half-hour daily beginning at 10am. Reservations are not necessary for individual guests. Last tour begins at 4:00. Tour cost: $10 Adult, $9.00 AAA/Senior/AARP.
SHOW YOUR CONFERENCE BADGE AND RECEIVE $1.00 OFF
Located at: 329 Abercorn Street
Website: http://www.andrewlowhouse.com/ Phone (912) 233-6854
Haunted Ghost Trolley Tour
Savannah has been called "America's Most Haunted City." Take a spooky nighttime tour -- we have Monday evening free and one of our trip-mates, Carol Rauch, has booked herself a tour and would love some company!
Per Carol: "I have to be at the meeting place at 8:50 pm. Tour starts 9:20 and lasts 90 minutes. Cost is $28.50 plus tip. I would love, love, love for someone to come with me. I went through trustedtours.com and spoke to Michael at 800-844-7601. The name of the tour is “Ghosts and Gravestones of Savannah.” Check-in is at the Old Town Trolley ticket booth, 301 East River Street. Some walking involved." Carol's email address is email@example.com. Contact her and join the fun!
Travel through Savannah’s historic district, focusing on some of Savannah’s most haunted sites, eerie legends and frightening residents. See the sites of some of the bloodiest battlegrounds in history, where you may hear echoes of battles and the spirits that remain. Stop at the Andrew Low House -- there have long been reports of spirits that inhabit the home, tales of staff seeing apparitions dressed in old-fashioned clothes, and furniture moving with no one occupying it. See Perkin’s and Sons Ship Chandlery, located on River Street, which many believe is the paranormal epicenter of “America’s Most Haunted City." Travel past historic cemeteries, antebellum mansions, and lush squares ripe with live oaks dripping with Spanish moss.
BREAKFAST OPTIONS CLOSE BY
Windows Restaurant Breakfast Buffet - inside the Hyatt
- Light specialty lunches
- Daily breakfast buffet
- Southern comfort food
- M-F: 6:30AM–11:00AM
- Sat-Sun: 6:30AM–12:00PM
Perks Coffee Shop - inside the Hyatt
Choose from a large selection of Starbucks Coffee selections, including espressos, lattes, mochas and cappuccinos. While you sip on a caramel macchiato, keep yourself energized for the big day ahead with flavorful salads, sandwiches and pastries. Open 6am - 2pm daily.
Goose Feathers European Cafe and Bakery (see map below)
We loved this little place. Great bagels, coffee, egg dishes, pastries, waffles. Very reasonable prices. The line can be long but it moves fast.
The Coffee Fox (see map below)
A craft coffee house featuring the pour-over coffee brew method as well as pastries, cheese boards, wine and beer.
Cafe M French Bakery
128 E. Bay Street ~ Open 8am-4pm
SHOW YOUR CONFERENCE BADGE and receive 10% off
French Pastries. Macarons. Savory Sandwiches. These are just a few of the delectable sweet and savory menu items you will find just steps above River Street on Bay, situated in Savannah's Historic Downtown District. Café M, an authentic Parisian café, awaits you with quaint French decor and traditional sounds of France as though you've just stepped out of Savannah and into Paris. We serve fresh brewed coffee all day along side the extensive sweet and savory menu. While you wait for your handcrafted baguette sandwich or latté, why not peruse our selection of imported foods, goods and artwork from France and Europe?
For You Starbucks Addicts - there's one right across the street
IDEAS FOR LUNCH AND DINNER (and snacks)
Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room - Home Southern Cooking (lunch only)
107 West Jones Street ~ CLICK HERE for website
A line gathers each morning at 107 West Jones Street. At 11 o'clock, the doors of 107 open and the lunch crowd finds seats at one of the large tables-for-ten shared by friends and soon-to-be-friends. Tabletops are crowded with platters of fried chicken and cornbread dressing, sausage, beef stew, meat loaf, sweet potato souffle, black-eyed peas, okra gumbo, snap peas, macaroni and cheese, butter beans, squash, rice and gravy, mashed potatoes, candied yams, collard greens, potato salad, corn muffins, biscuits, and more. Dessert is usually famous banana pudding plus cobbler. Seasonal Menu subject to change. Not all items available every day.
Bob and I ate here in the 90's and the food was fabulous. We weren't able to try it on our scouting trip last year, but I'm guessing it's still great.
Open: 11am - 2pm. Price: $22 per person, all you can eat. Credit Cards not accepted. Reservations not accepted.
The Olde Pink House (lunch & dinner)
Reynolds Square ~ 23 Abercorn Street ~ (912) 232-4286 - Reservations recommended ~ CLICK HERE for website
One of Savannah’s most popular restaurants, the Olde Pink House offers new southern cuisine in a sophisticated, yet casual, setting. Dine in Savannah’s only 18th Century Mansion, famous for memorable dining experiences featuring seafood caught daily in local waters, prime aged beef and traditional southern fare.
Lunch: Tuesday – Saturday 11:00-2:30
Bar Menu: Tuesday – Saturday 2:30-5:00
Dinner: Monday – Sunday 5:00-10:30
Paula Deen's The Lady and Sons (lunch & dinner)
102 West Congress Street ~ open 11:00 am - 9:00 pm ~ RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED
We didn't get to eat here and don't have any personal recommendations, but I just had to put it on the list. We stopped in for a peek and the food looked and smelled good, and it was hugely popular - be sure to call for reservations: 912-233-2600
Crystal Beer Parlor - Savannah's Oldest Restaurant (lunch and dinner)
301 West Jones Street ~ open 11am - 10pm ~ 912-349-1000 ~ Click HERE for website . No reservations accepted.
They claim to have the best peach cobbler in America, and Bob and Darian concur. Very casual atmosphere, with interesting historical photos and prints on the walls. A bit off the beaten path, but worth it!
Do you love beer? They have a choice of 80, with 26 on tap.
In the early 1900’s, what was to become the Crystal Beer Parlor opened as the “Gerken Family Grocery Store.” It was operated by a young Julius Weitz with his parents and siblings. They all lived upstairs over the store. Sold in the early Thirties to William “Blocko” and Connie Manning, The Crystal was one of the first American eating establishments to serve alcohol after the repeal of Prohibition. (Probably because the booze was already on the premises!) It’s rumored that Blocko ran illegal hooch and operated a speakeasy during Prohibition.
Native Savannahians still talk about The Crystal. Some got engaged here, had their first date or beer here or came with their family for a juicy burger, homemade fries and creamy crab stew. Many of the pictures on the walls depict scenes from Savannah’s past and some of her more famous and infamous citizens! Pictures from our family album are proudly displayed in the Monroe Room, lovingly named after Monroe Whitlock who, along with A.G. “Smitty” Smith, were servers here for almost 45 years.
The building and the interior are much as they were back when Blocko and Connie grilled burgers and poured draft beer here. Burgers were 30 cents and draft beer was 10 cents a glass! Times sure have changed, but our commitment to good, quality food at a fair price and efficient, friendly service are right in keeping with The Crystal’s long standing tradition of excellence!
Leopold's Ice Cream Parlor (any ol' time)
No trip to Savannah is complete without a visit to Leopold's Ice Cream! Named the #5 ice cream in the world, Leopold's is a "Must Do." You'll enjoy visiting the retro ice cream parlor, complete with old fashioned soda fountain and friendly soda jerks. You'll also experience a little piece of Hollywood in Savannah as you peruse Stratton Leopold's collection of film posters and props from films he has worked on over his 45 plus years in the movie industry!
Leopold's Ice Cream was founded in 1919 by three immigrant brothers from Greece. They learned the art of candy and dessert from an uncle who had already settled in America. The brothers perfected the secret formulas and created the world famous Leopold's VeriBest™ ice cream.
The ice cream is made in house, one batch at a time, using family recipes handed down from the Leopold brothers. With unique soda fountain creations and more than 20 flavors available at any given time, they've got something just for you!
Open 11am - 10pm
Click HERE for a nice website that details the best places to shop in Savannah: River Street (just outside our hotel along -- you guessed it -- the river), City Market, Broughton Street, and Whitaker Street.
CLICK HERE for shops that offer a discount just for showing your conference badge!
If you’re looking for a souvenir, then River Street is the place to be. Along the cobblestone streets overlooking the Savannah River (right outside the Hyatt!) are some of the most delightful shops carrying all kinds of Savannah goodies, from honey to T-shirts, candy, key chains, jewelry, accessories and much more. Don’t forget to go up the historic River Street steps (or go out the front doors of the Hyatt) and check out Upper Factors Walk, because there are quaint shops and great boutiques to discover there as well.
Culture meets the streets at City Market. It’s here you’ll find a wealth of art in galleries all over this four-block market which has been a city center since the early 1700s. Clothing boutiques, restaurants, a candy store and even a shop that your pup will love, can all be found here. Every night this hub off Ellis Square comes to life with live music outside at Wild Wing Café and at several of the bars and restaurants nearby.
If you’re wondering where all of the local fashion boutiques hiding, it’s in Savannah’s Downtown Design District – on Whitaker Street just north of Forsyth Park. But it’s not just clothing you’ll find on Whitaker. Surrounded by gorgeous homes on a street that runs along Forsyth Park are many shops that locals adore, including Custard Boutique, La Paperie and One Fish Two Fish.
Just off Whitaker Street at 340 Bull Street, shopSCAD’s unique retail gallery has delighted window shoppers, tourists and collectors of fine art for the past decade. This is work done by the students, faculty and alumni of the Savannah College of Art and Design. Website: click here . Phone: (912) 525-5180
For the serious shoppers, head on over to Broughton Street, where small thrift shops collide with brand name retailers, which include H&M, Free People, Banana Republic, Urban Outfitters and J. Crew. Favorites like the Savannah Bee Company and Leopold’s Ice Cream draw visitors to this hot spot and the variety has locals and visitors alike shopping all day long. Whether it’s accessories, clothing, jewelry, furniture or fun trinkets you’re after, you’re sure to find it and more on Broughton Street.
THERE'S A LOT MORE TO CHOOSE FROM
The list provided is just a small taste (pun intended) of the delightful wonderfulness that is Savannah. Visit Savannah is a resource readily available to you as well. There is an information kiosk directly across River Street from the Hyatt, staffed from 9am - 8pm with someone who can answer all your questions. Take the elevator down to River Street and look for the big "Visitors Information Center" sign.
There is a bigger location about 1/2 mile from the hotel, at 301 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. It has a history museum, four gift shops, and an information center with all the brochures, maps, and guides you could ever need. It is open from 9am - 5:30pm.
Visit Savannah also has a great website with restaurants, shopping, and activities to explore.