What's Savannah like in January/February?

I’ve been offered the opportunity to house sit in Savannah, GA for 6-10 weeks in January & February this year. It sounds pretty nice - the house is a former B&B right downtown, is huge, old, and lovely.

Problem is, I’ve never been to Savannah. Can anyone give me the dope on what it’s like? In particular:

  • good restaurants/bars?
  • outdoor activities - bicycling, running, etc.
  • weather
  • crime

Anything else I should know about?

I lived there for three and half years, about 4 years ago, and grew up 45 minutes away in SC. Weather CAN get into the 30’s, but mostly 50’s in the day, maybe 40’s at night. You will be within walking distance of maybe 50 bars and restaurants on Bay Street, River Street, and City Market. For running I’d recommend Forsyth Park, but they frown on bikes in parks and squares, I believe. Violent crime is fairly low in the “good” areas, but the “not so good” areas of downtown can be mere blocks away, you don’t wanna wander aimlessly in some areas. You could spend 10 weeks there and not run out of things to see, if you like old homes, civil war forts, alligator refuges, museums, architecture, and food and drink.

I personally like Savannah Blues in City Market for blues music, Moon River Brewing Company (or is it Oglethorpe Brewing Company?) on Bay for brewpub beer, Vinnie Van Go-Go’s in City Market for pizza, Mother and Sons in City Market for butter soaked wonderful southern food, Olympic Cafe for Greek, well, you can choose your favorites. If the question is to go or not, GO!

It is a small southern town in a lot of ways, but larger, more cosmopolitan in others.

I think Mr. Blue Sky lives in Savannah, but surprisingly he hasn’t checked in. I don’t, but I do go there several times a year.
I’ll give you some of my thoughts as a tourist:

Restaurants and bars: The Riverfront seems to be the main touristy area. Lots of both, and I haven’t had any bad experiences at any. Just a block or two into the city is the “City Market,” where you’ll find more good restaurants and bars. Can’t really recommend any, since I’ve enjoyed every one. Unfortunately, my favorite restaurant, the 606 East Cafe, closed recently. It didn’t have any real great food, but it was just a fun little place, and Sandy, the owner, treated every customer as though she had known you all your life.

Outdoor activities: I honestly have no idea.

Weather: I’ve never spent a winter in Savannah, but I have in St Simons, which is about 75 miles south. Basically, it’s your typical Southern Winter: Some “cold” days (for us, that is–highs around 35-40), a lot of cool days–but nothing so cold as what you’re familiar with.

Crime: I have no idea on that, either. It’s interesting to note, though, that just a few blocks away from the aforementioned touristy areas are a bunch of run-down buildings where I would not feel safe walking at night.

Beach: Tybee Island. Not much of a beach, but it’s about all you have in Savannah. The main restaurants the I can vouch for there are “Snapper Jack’s” (formerly just “Snappers”), “The Crab Shack,” and “Gilligans.”

I’ve spent a grand total of one day in Savannah in my life. The only thing I can say regarding crime is that you have to be careful getting off the highway. Heh… I got off on the wrong exit and ended up driving through a very nasty looking part of town. I had to stop and call for directions, but I didn’t do that until I’d driven through the very run-down, scary-looking residential area and into some nearby industrial area. I didn’t run into any actual problems or anything, but I got the distinct impression that the neighborhood I ended up in was not the place for a lost out-of-towner to be.

Other than that, though, Savannah has to be one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen (at least what little I’ve seen of it).

You simply must eat at Lady and Sons. When we went, we lost an entire day because we stuffed ourselves to bursting, then had to go lay in the hotel room to recover. There’s also an Irish pub down by the river that has live music and pretty good food, but I don’t remember its name. It’s in a touristy kind of area. By the riverboats and such. There’s a British pub (Churchill’s?) we didn’t make it too, but it sounded fascinating. One of the riverboats offers dinner cruises and such, too.

Let’s see. We tried to hit the beaches out on Tybee Island, but it rained anytime we thought of it. Literally. As in “Hey! Let’s go to Tybee!” BoomCRASHrain We did the forts, but I love forts n stuff, so that’s me. There’s some kind of old railroad route that people use as a running/biking trail, but it was raining, so I can’t vouch for that.

Oh, and everything was closed on some weird day like Monday or Tuesday.

Sorry, I did mean “Lady and Sons” in my earlier post. Churchill’s pours Guiness properly, which says a lot. At least the baldheaded bartender pours it right. Kevin Barry’s is the Irish pub on River Street. (Can you tell I used to drink a lot?)

pestie, I know exactly where you turned off, it was one exit too early. That part looks bad, but the area on the east side (East Broad St area) is worse. At least it was four years ago.

Kevin Barry’s sounds right. We had fun, cause there were maybe 10 people in the pub, one of whom was drunk and obnoxious, and the singer kept making fun of him.

Ditto the above info. The “bad part of town” you encountered means you likely came off I-16. It drops off near the Civic Center (worst. venue. ever) and the Visitors Center.

Don’t be fooled by the accent of “The Lady” in The Lady and Sons. I’ve met here and she ramps up the accent for the tourista. You’ll find everyone to be pretty friendly and helpful. As with all Southern towns, try to avoid the “that’s not how we do it in (insert non-Southern town name here)”. Trust me, it’s easier that way. The weather can be rather nasty, but is usually pretty nice. If you’re brave, head down to Tybee Island. If you do, WATCH YOUR SPEED!!! The Tybee Island police have a voracious appetite for tourist dollars.

Plenty of night spots (I can’t recommend them personally since I don’t drink). When you’re downtown, expect to see lots of art school students from SCAD (Savannah College of Arts & Design). You should be able to find coffee shops if that’s your thing. There are several theaters (thanks to SCAD’s restoration efforts). Be sure to check out the Lucas Theater. It’s a 1920’s style theater that was restored to the tune of about $15,000,000 and was featured on “This Old House”.

For the activities, check with the SCAD students. Crime tends to run toward the drug-related. In the downtown area once you get into the numbered streets (31st - 42nd) that is where the rough parts are. Avoid!

There’s a couple of malls. Most of the the movie theaters are in Midtown or Southside.

Since you’ll be downtown, the buses can take you most anywhere if you want to avoid driving (and you WILL want to avoid driving, especially at 5pm anywhere).

If you need any more info, lemme know!