I wasn’t quite sure what to expect out of Savannah. From afar, it’s a city that’s always seemed eerie to me – blame it on Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, I guess. What I found was that it is sort of eerie, but only in the most beautiful, enchanting way possible. Savannah is known as the Most Haunted City in America for a reason, it seems, where even its lifeless statues seem to exude a ghostly buzz, as they watch over their city, guarding its history…
On the other hand, Savannah is charming—but not in the small town way that the description might make you think. We did experience elements of quaintness, like the horse-drawn carriages that whisked tourists through its streets. But the city is so much more than that. Haunting, with its history, architecture, and cemeteries; warm, with its friendly residents and hospitable service; literally warm, too, with its hot summer temperatures and sticky humidity. We strolled through streets lined with elegant southern homes, and made our way through historic grounds, trying to point out scenes we recognized from movies like Forrest Gump.
Our stay at the Mansion at Forsyth was exquisite, the room incredibly luxe and comfortable, and its restaurant, 700 Dayton, delicious. It’s a bit off the beaten path if you’re looking to be in the thick of it all, but we enjoyed the quiet location (we were even privy to the Riverfront’s Fourth of July fireworks show from our window). Everything we needed was a quick walk away, so we never felt isolated.
Savannah has serious soul, and I shouldn’t have been surprised to find this out; before we hit the road, I put together a playlist of songs inspired by the city—many of them of the jazz variety (our favorite, and the main reason for an upcoming trip to New Orleans, but more on that later). My favorite on that playlist was a song called Hard Hearted Hannah sung by Shirley Horn, and I found myself humming it throughout our visit (perhaps just one more contribution to what made the city seem so haunted; Hard hearted Hannah, vamp of Savannah…).
The wine-lover in us especially loved Savannah for its lack of open container law, meaning that if you can’t quite finish that bottle of wine over dinner, you can pour the rest into a plastic cup, and off you go. It’s amazing what a difference it makes to take that glass of wine on a walk around the town (particularly with our affinity for vino). That being said, all seemed fairly tame; the presence of freely flowing alcohol does not a Bourbon Street make, at least in our experience (phew!).
For those craving sun and sand, the picturesque Tybee Island is only about a 30 minute drive from the city, so it’s perfect for a day trip or an additional leg to your stay in the area. We enjoyed a short spell there, gorging on crabs from The Crab Shack (Where the elite eat in their bare feet!). The joint is more backwoods (literally, you have to follow signs to find it) than elite, but in the most whimsical way imaginable—we loved it. The food was great, the atmosphere was fun, and they have gators! It truly was the cap on a well-rounded, Georgia experience.
Overall, a wonderful weekend stay that left us with warm memories that we’re so thankful to have made. Thanks, Savannah!