For years, I heard friends enthusiastically talk about Savannah’s historic charm and quaint Southern appeal. So I finally decided to take the 4-hour road trip from Orlando and experience it for myself — and it was definitely worth it!
While I spent a fantastic weekend there, Savannah is also a great day-trip destination, particularly if you’re staying on Hilton Head Island (which is only an hour away). Here are a few suggestions for making the most of a day in Georgia’s oldest city:
Savor a Southern brunch.
No trip to Savannah is complete without a side of melt-in-your-mouth beignets at Huey’s Southern Café, a historic River Street restaurant that serves up New Orleans-style cuisine. When I visited for brunch, the waiter suggested I order a Bloody Mary, and I’m sure glad I did. In keeping with the café’s theme, the glass was rimmed with Cajun seasoning and even came with a skewer of pickled okra.
Next up were the beignets. Truly there are no words to describe their deliciousness, but I’ll try: the delightful pieces of pillowy goodness were made of light and fluffy dough, covered in powdered sugar and dipped in Huey’s signature praline sauce. One order consists of three beignets, so I shared them as an appetizer. But if you want to eat them all yourself, I won’t judge!
For a main course, I ordered eggs benedict on a toasted English muffin with hollandaise sauce and grilled tomatoes. If you’re in the mood for something less traditional, their brunch menu is filled with Big Easy specialties, from crawfish etoufee to muffuletta sandwiches.
Stroll through the historic squares.
Thanks to its grid design, Savannah is an extremely walkable town. As I wandered along the cobblestone streets under a canopy of Spanish moss, I felt like I’d walked into a Nicholas Sparks movie. Every few streets, I would encounter one of Savannah’s many public squares nestled amid live oak trees. Each square featured statues of local historic figures, revealing a unique piece of the city’s heritage.
While you’re in the historic district, it’s worth it to explore as many of the 22 squares as you can. Make sure you go as far south as Forsyth Park, one of the most famous areas of Savannah. I spent my time there gazing at the fountain and watching locals play pick-up sport games. I even saw a bridal party taking pictures in front of this beautiful backdrop.
Immerse yourself in the unique shops.
I’m a big fan of eclectic stores with a lot of character, and The Paris Market & Brocante on Broughton Street did not disappoint. From the moment I walked in the door, I was mesmerized by the shop’s French flair. After perusing bath products, jewelry and home trinkets on the first floor, I wandered downstairs and immediately felt like I’d stepped into a home magazine. I loved exploring the elegant furniture displays in a variety of European styles.
Still, I couldn’t take a dining room table back to Florida with me, so I headed to the store’s vintage Parisian coffee bar and bakery. The menu featured traditional drinks like cappuccinos and lattes, along with various sweet treats. I decided to try a macaroon for the first time ever — a salted caramel macaroon, to be exact. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was life-changing for my tastebuds.
Enjoy a nightcap with a view.
As the day wound down, I decided to grab a drink at Rocks on the Roof. This rooftop bar is located at the top of the Bohemian Hotel overlooking the Savannah riverfront. After a long day of walking around, it was the perfect place to unwind. The bar offers a nice wine and cocktail menu, plus tapas to share.
What I enjoyed most, though, was the modern, lounge-y atmosphere and the incredible view. My favorite spot was on the open balcony at a high-top table, where I watched the large ships moving along the Savannah River. The bar was a little pricey, but worth every penny!
Where to Stay: