If you haven’t spent time in Savannah I *highly* recommend moving it to the top of your US travel bucket list. It’s one of the most incredible cities I’ve ever spent time in. It almost appears out of no where: we were driving towards Savannah from Augusta and all of the sudden you’re there! There’s no suburban feeling, just miles of Georgia pine lined roads leading you to this magical city.
We pulled into East Bay Street where our hotel, Riverside Inn, was located and the streets were surrounded by Spanish moss covered trees… OH MY, THE TREES. I was losing my cool, I loved them. I could go on and on about how freakin’ sweet the moss trees were. But I was pulled inside the hotel, which instantly made me feel as if I had been catapulted back in time. It was an old tall brick building with antique décor and amazing architecture inside and out. We were greeted by a very friendly staff- what they say about Southern Hospitality has always held true in my experience.
After checking in we made out way to the river front on the other side of the hotel and walked in and out of the many boutique shops, stopping for freshly pulled taffy in the Savannah Candy Kitchen, hand squeezed lemonade, new sun hats, Tupelo Southern Honey (with lots of samples!) boho jewelry, and drinks at a daiquiri bar (stay tuned for more on THAT).
One thing I will say was this walk was where I felt the heat of the south the most. I think after the first day there I started to become used to the insane humidity but at first it almost knocks the wind out of you, it's a warm sticky feeling that's hard to just ignore if you're not used to that. However, it's hard to care toooooooo much because the city just sweeps you away in wonder. I truly felt like I was in a movie and should be clad in a "Gone with the Wind" style dress sipping a mint julep and fanning myself.
After a dinner at Vic's on the River, a fantastic seafood restaurant with views of the river and mood music from a baby grand piano, we took an evening stroll along the Savannah streets for a few hours.
The historic district of the city is made up of 24 squares. Each square has a monument, fountain, gazebo or benches surrounded by landscaping and greenery. The cobble stone and brick sidewalks, historical statues, information plaques, and old houses keep your eyes buzzing left and right. Each time I thought I found my favorite, we'd cross to the next square and there was a whole new set of things to look at seemingly better than the last. The other cool thing about Savannah? Almost all of the lanterns are candle/gas lit. Every house had a giant hanging lantern or porch lanterns mounted to the sides of the front door and they lit up the sidewalks with a warm old fashioned glow.
We walked this district more the next morning to see it in the daylight and capture more of the city on camera. The houses use vibrant paint, giving each house character and we found some really old churches and historical buildings like General Sherman's headquarters during the Civil War. Keep in mind that all of these streets and squares have the moss trees surrounding them, so I can't stress enough how much I felt like I had gone back in time. There are many homes you can tour in Savannah as well as historical trolley and bus tours you can take. We opted for walking through the city because we had just ridden 17 hours in a car to get there so we were ready to stretch our legs and explore on foot but the trolley tours have great reviews and would be a good option for those visiting the city short on time or are uncomfortable walking around in the heat.
No matter what you're doing in Savannah plan to rise early and stay up late because there is so much you're going to want to see and do. If you're looking for the perfect way to start your morning head to Cafe M on East Bay Street near the river walk. It is owned by an adorable French woman who really knows her pastries and coffee. I am a particularly fussy coffee drinker- I need it beyond strong in order for me to drink it. I think what most people would classify as espresso are what my normal big cups of drip coffee are... that's how strong it needs to be. So because of this I often have trouble finding local places to accommodate my annoying issue, BUT Cafe M nailed it every single day. I got a cappuccino with an extra espresso shot and a small pump of pecan praline syrup (we were in the south after all). Their chocolate croissants were flakey and light with creaming chocolate pastry filling and their macaroons were fresh, flavorful and picture perfect. Cafe M was a great way to start your day and I challenge you to try and walk out of there unsatisfied.