Savannah, GA advice?

We’ll be in Savannah next week for a short trip (honeymoon), but honestly I don’t know much about it besides the reputation as a pretty town… I envision spending a day or two walking through town, but anywhere in particular I shouldn’t miss? Any other place I should consider?

Free bump. And just in case you missed it. . .
An earlier thread.

One thing that I’ve always wanted to do is ride over to Daufuskie (the setting for “The Water is Wide/Conrack” by Pat Conroy). It’s accessibly only by boat, and I’ve just never planned enough time to do it.

Mr. Wilkes’ Boarding House is a tourist mecca restaurant in which diners sit informally around big tables and pass the bowls around. Probably $12/head or more these days.

Thanks for the thread, scr4! I have a conference in Savannah this time next year and am looking forward to it (though I don’t really know anything about it beyond how nice everyone says it is).

OK, there’s only one hard and fast rule about Savannah (er, other than drink early and often): avoid The Lady and Sons like the plague that it is. Don’t listen to the hype. Don’t listen to what anyone tells you. Don’t even ask anyone else for an opinion, just trust me on this one and stay away.

For really nice restaurants downtown, try Alligator Soul or The Sapphire Grill. For a more laid back dining experience (more true to the spirit of the place) try the North Beach Grill on Tybee Island. For the full-on tourist-orgy shrimp-shack experience, The Crab Shack. For breakfast, try The Breakfast Club on Tybee.

If you’re a night owl and like sushi, then perhaps you’ll be as delighted as I was to discover that Sushi Zen downtown is not only fabulous but serves until 4:00 am–God love 'em.

In general, the beach is pretty fun and worth at least one visit. You can have a lot of fun just walking around downtown, looking at the houses in the historic district. River Street is touristy but still worth a stroll; Broughton and Bay Streets have lots of cool shops and pubs, especially around the City Market area. I personally don’t care for the carriage tours, but they could be cool if you’re into that sort of thing. The Haunted Pub Crawl, which starts at Moon River Brewery, is pretty fun once you get your buzz on. Bonaventure Cemetery is beautiful and well-known.

Daufuskie is cool but the boat ride over is cooler. Bring bug spray. If you do, you can eat at Marshside Mama’s, but make reservations first. If no boat, head over to Bona Bella Yacht Club for drinks and oysters by the water. You can usually find me there on Sunday afternoons watching the sun go down over the marsh (you’ll feel like you’re on the cover of a Pat Conroy novel, at least).

Downtown can be tricky to drive with all the one-way streets, but cabs can be even trickier. And remember: you can take your drink with you and walk around with an open container, but you can’t buy on Sundays.

Take a walking tour- they’re a wonderful way to see the city (and there are several of them). Another great way are the rickshaw-bike cabs.

Oh, and I echo the “avoid the Mother and Sons Cafe” (or whatever) from the other thread- extremely overrated. Perhaps if you’ve never had soul food/southern comfort food and can’t get it where you live it’s better, but I can get the same or better soul food/southern comfort food at a dozen restaurants in Alabama without waiting in line.

OTOH I enjoyed eating at the Pirate’s House- not just the atmosphere (18th century tavern [well, one room- the rest is a lot more modern]) but the food itself. Fantastic pulled pork/collard green egg-rolls and spicy pork chops over grits. It’s touristy, but nothing wrong with that per-se, and it has a direct link to the writing of Treasure Island.

And the River Walk of course, complete with a stop for pralines, is a must.

If you want to have a really “nice” meal, try Elizabeth’s…one of my favorite restaurants anywhere.

I took my honeymoon in Savannah for about a week. It’s a great place, but an entire week there may start to drag. We put a two day road trip to Charleston, SC right in the middle of it. It was a nice way to break up the trip, although we are glad we spent most of our time in the more relaxing Savannah.

In Savannah, it was fun to rent scooters for a day to get around to all the little parks. Forsyth Park is also great.

Also, there is a huge cemetery there that is beautiful.


Bearflag’s also right about breaking up the trip and going up to Charleston (my hometown) for a couple of days. It’s a pretty drive, about 2 hours, but do not speed. Charleston’s like a bigger Savannah, and he’s right, after a week things may start to drag. You can always drink more; that’s what we do.

Yes, don’t get me wrong. We loved Charleston as well. They are both fantastic cities in different ways, but the historic district in Charleston is a bit more dense and more old “city” than Savannah, which is slower and more laid back.

When I think Savannah, I think of the parks, the stately manors, the monuments, the river, the slower pace, and the moss dripping from the huge trees. When I think Charleston, I think of narrow cobblestone streets and alleyways, more compact, more 18th Century urban & commerce, the beautiful churches… plus Fort Sumpter.

Here are some pics to show what I mean…



My wife and I had a great long weekend in Savannah a few years ago (shortly before the birth of our child, and our subsequent move out of the state). The absolute pinnacle of the trip, for us, was our trip to Tybee Island. While the beach was nice and all (we were there in EARLY spring, so it was cold), the best part was finding the North Beach Grill. It looked like a little grubby place, but it was right there, and we were hungry. Some of the best food I ever ate.

Another vote for a trip to Charleston. It’s only 100 miles or so and it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the country- unique architecture, fine dining, history out the wazoo [the Ft. Sumter tour is a must because in addition to the fort you get a tour of Charleston Harbor], plus it’s off-season. It’s as beautiful and as historic as Savannah, but very different. I love the Francis Marion Hotel because it’s in the historic district, and they do priceline as well.

Just wanted to thank everyone for their advice - we had a nice trip. We only spent 3 nights so we mostly just saw the historic district, Tybee Island and Fort Pulaski. Including a nice bike ride on the McQueen Trail (I think - it’s near Fort Pulaski, right along the road that leads there.)

The Historic District is easy and fun to walk through, though we wished we stayed closer to the northern end of the district, where most restaurants are. Especially since parking is a nightmare.

It was a little cold for the “haunted tours” (which are all in the evening) so we took a nice daytime walking tour instead.

The Crab Shack was a fun experience, nice atmosphere. Had dinner one night at Sapphire Grill, and one night at Bistro-Savannah. Both are nice places with excellent service, but I think we both liked Bistro-Savannah better.

And we’re saving Charleston for another trip…


I know Savannah is known for its ghosts, but I see that have zombies now too…

Well, I appreciate the bump as I am going next week for my daughter’s soccer tournament. I’ve been to Charleston but not Savannah.

I’m surprised nobody’s mentioned the smell from the huge paper mill in the center of town…

Thats because the smell is pretty rare. And if the paper mill is hardly in the middle of town.

Well Lamar if you’re going one thing I didn’t notice mentioned is the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. It is a beautiful church to take a look at.