If you’re looking to get out of the Queen City, look no further than a weekend trip to Savannah, Georgia. The coastal Georgia city is the oldest city in the “Peach State”. It’s home to the accredited SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) University and to the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, a historic site owned and operated by Girl Scouts of the USA.
And sure, you’ve probably also heard about the open container laws in Savannah’s Historic District (which is quite thrilling), their St. Patrick’s Day parade (the second largest in the country), or the city’s constant comparison to Charleston — but the city has its own charm and history. Drive your way down south in fewer than four hours to find out for yourself.
Here are our top picks for where to stay and what to eat, drink and do there:
Mansion on Forsyth Park, Autograph Collection
700 Drayton St.
If you’re looking to stay in a modern, Victorian Romanesque mansion overlooking one of Savannah’s most popular and iconic attractions, then Mansion on Forsyth Park is for you. The 125-room property is just a few steps away from Forsyth Park, the most Instagram-worthy spot for both tourists and locals. The AAA Four-Diamond Mansion was even recognized on Conde Naste Traveler and Travel + Leisure’s “best of” lists, and we see why.
The mansion has a cool and glamorous design, with more than 400 original pieces of art, assembled specifically for the hotel throughout the space. The haute style paired with old-world elegance can be seen from the lobby all the way to your guest room. If you’re looking for the perfect view of Forsyth Park, make sure to stay in the Deluxe Forsyth Guest Room for just $219/night. Inside the 450-square-foot space will be a generously sized soaking tub adjacent to the sophisticated marble bathroom, along with vibrant and plush furniture to relax after an adventure-filled day.
The pet-friendly hotel has all the amenities you would need, from a sea-inspired treatment at the Poseidon Spa to an outdoor heated pool to the Grand Bohemian Art Gallery.
Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront, Autograph Collection
102 W. Bay St.
If you’re looking for a front seat to the Savannah River, you’ll want to book your stay at the Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront — a boutique hotel also part of the Kessler Collection. The edgy, 75-room property is one of the city’s hottest hangouts, especially because of Rocks on the Roof — Savannah’s original rooftop bar.
Inside a Standard Guest Room ($256/night), you’ll find 300 sq. ft. of inspired space, a striking oyster shell chandelier, warm, neutral tapestries and dark-stained furniture.
This property ‘elevates the ordinary’ when it comes to their hospitality and their amenities. Besides the rooftop bar and restaurant, the hotel is also pet-friendly and has a one-of-a-kind Wellness Center offering everything from free weights to cardio machines.
No matter the choice, you really can’t go wrong in your choosing of the Mansion on Forsyth Park or the Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront.
700 Drayton St.
If you’re staying at the Mansion on Forsyth Park, enjoy their own twist on Southern hospitality at 700 Drayton. The restaurant offers globally inspired flavors with seasonal surprises.
The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and for brunch on Sundays.
If you dine for dinner, make sure to order the Wagyu Beef Carpaccio (parmesan, arugula, crispy capers, mustard aioli, crostini, pesto), Savannah Honey Glazed Chicken (southern dirty rice, collard greens with bacon, red pepper coulis) and the Georgia Bourbon Pecan Pie for good measure.
Pair any of these items with a glass (or bottle) of restaurant’s own Kessler blend.
All hotel and restaurant photos via Carley Rudd Photography, Mansion on Forsyth Park and the Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront
12 W. Oglethorpe Ave.
Executive chef Chris Hathcock is behind the magic at Husk—a true staple in the South. You may have seen or dined at the restaurant’s other locations including Charleston, Nashville or Greenville, South Carolina, but the Savannah location is special. The Southern-ingredient-focused restaurant is Husk’s largest property, once home to Savannah’s Elks Lodge.
You can’t leave without ordering the Pimento Cheese appetizer, $9, the HUSK Burger with fried potato wedges, $14 and the Chocolate Layer Cake, $9. What’s healthier than that?
109 Martin Luther King Blvd.
Ready for dinner in a 1938 art deco Greyhound Bus Terminal? The Grey, a high-end, retro restaurant, founded by Johno Morisano and Chef Mashama Bailey, is a must for dinner in Savannah. The restaurant was just named EATER’s ‘Restaurant of the Year’ in 2017.
The menu varies but consists of regional produce, seafood and meat. In the mood for a good cocktail? Order the El Diablo (tequila, creme de cassis, ginger, lemon), $10.
Soho South Cafe
12 W. Liberty St.
Less than ten minutes from Forsyth Park, you’ll find this adorable lunch and brunch spot—a true staple in Savannah.
On your fried foodie tour, go for the Fried Green Tomato Sandwich, $9, or the Fried Goat Cheese Salad, $10.
115 E. Bay St.
Looking for a fun happy hour spot? Look no further than Treylor Park. This quirky, vintage-chic restaurant was even featured on a 2017 episode of Food Network’s “Super Southern Eats”.
We would bet that you’ve never tried PB&J wings in your life — so at Treylor Park, get out of your comfort zone and order them. And they’re not just tossed in Peter Pan peanut butter. The crispy, fried wings are dunked in a peanut/pecan butter and peach jelly sauce. We’re drooling all over again.
Leopold’s Ice Cream
212 E. Broughton St.
It would almost be illegal not to stop by for an ice cream treat at Leopold’s. The parlor has been serving the city of Savannah since 1919. Yes, for 100 years! If you’re not in the mood for a cold one, they also offer scratch-made soups, sandwiches, salads and freshly baked treats.
Gryphon Tea Room
337 Bull St.
The elegant space located in a 1926 Scottish Rite building, is the premier cafe of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). You’ll even see some of the students working in the cafe.
This is a great spot if you’re looking for soups, salads and sandwiches.
Zunzi’s Takeout & Catering
108 E. York St.
This South African-inspired sandwich shop has brought in plenty of accolades over the past few years including Order the Chicken Conquistador. Men’s Journal dubbed it as one of the 50 Best Sandwiches in America, Buzzfeed named it one of 34 meals worth traveling the world for and MentalFloss deemed it the best sandwich in Georgia. The sandwich was also devoured by Adam Richman on the show Final Bite on the Travel Channel. If we can’t convince you from all of these must-eat lists, we give up.
The Olde Pink House
23 Abercorn St.
The Olde Pink House Restaurant inside Planters Inn is one of the oldest buildings in Savannah, and one of the only ones that survived the great fire in 1796. Inside this Georgia mansion, high-end menu items include their famous creamy Lowcountry she-crab soup, braised pork shank and more. (As of January 23, The Olde Pink House is closed due to a fire. For more details.)
LuLu’s Chocolate Bar
42 MLK Jr. Blvd.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, head to LuLu’s—a chocolate bar voted for having the best desserts in Savannah for 11 years in a row. The dessert spot has everything from a Pear Cranberry Streusel to a Triple Chocolate Mousse Tower to Vanilla Bean Cheesecake. Sign us up.
Ghost Coast Distillery
641 Indian St.
If you’re looking for delicious craft spirits, head on over to Ghost Coast Distillery. Spirits available for sale on shelves and at the distillery include Tiki Spiced Rum, Ginger Flavored Whiskey, Peach Liqueur and more. Make sure to find the charismatic Beverage Manager Sidney Lance so he can point you in the right direction on what you should be sipping on.
Rocks on the River at the Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront
102 W. Bay St.
This rooftop bar will no doubt be one of the best views of Savannah you’ll see. After sipping on a few cocktails and listening to live music, head inside for a Southern cuisine you won’t ever forget. Order Martha’s Meatloaf, $23, or the Sea Scallops, $29.
Service Brewing Co.
574 Indian St.
This veteran-owned and operated craft brewery run by Kevin Ryan, a former Army commander, and Meredith Sutton, has raised tens of thousands of dollars for local, regional and national organizations that assist veterans and first responders. For every beer, a portion is taken out to be donated to the chosen charity for the season. Cheers to that.
Savannah Tea Room
326 Bull St.
Slow your getaway down by visiting the Savannah Tea Room—a part jewelry and gift shop, part tea room. The space is located inside of E. Shaver Booksellers, and offers a little bit of everything—from loose leaf white tea to bagged peach iced tea.
There’s so many options and places to go in Savannah, but here are our top ten activities and spots you should check out before you leave.
- Cooking School at Mansion on Forsyth Park — Get out of your comfort zone or perfect your already top-notch kitchen skills at this cooking class by Kessler Collections. Executive Chef Shahin Afsharian will take you to the farmer’s market to pick out the ingredients you’ll be cooking during the class. This activity was rated by TripAdvisor as Savannah’s most popular attraction.
- Grab a Peach Sangria (to go) from Cafe at City Market — The American restaurant offers a famous Peach Sangria that you can walk around the market with. If you’re looking to stay a while, the restaurant has lunch specials served daily from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and dinner served at 5 p.m.
[Related: A weekend in Savannah for under $150 each: what to eat, drink and do]
- Meade and honey tasting experience at The Savannah Bee Company – Inside ‘the hive’, you’ll find a mead bar, to try and purchase bottles of mead to take home, as well as a honey tasting station where you can indulge in whipped honey and raw honeycomb. This honey makes for great gifts for friends and family, or for yourself. At check out, make sure to donate to The Bee Cause Project, a nonprofit that installs observation honeybee hives in schools worldwide to help students understand, engage and learn from honey bees.
- Wormsloe State Historic Site – This is one of the most breathtaking spots you’ll find in Savannah. Take a guided tour or walk one of the beautiful trails underneath the live oaks and Spanish moss. The site is also home to the ruins of Jone’s tabby house, the oldest standing structure in the city—built in 1745. Tickets for adults are $10, seniors are $9, youth are $4.50 and children under 6 are $2.
- Bonaventure Cemetery – Thrill seekers, listen up. The Bonaventure Historical Society keeps the preservation and conservation of over 100 acres of the Bonaventure Cemetery. There are free guided tours and even Bonaventure wedding options. The cemetery is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day of the year. There is no admission charge.
Other spots you should check out include River Street, Broughton Street, Tybee Island and the Starland District. And of course, you can’t go without taking a ghost tour in America’s most haunted city.