Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Savannah Trip Recap


Thank you to everyone that reached out about this post! Travel posts are very new to me, but I’m so excited to share everything I did/saw/ate in Savannah.

Disclaimer: I had never been to Savannah before this and there’s still so much that I want to do. Don’t think this is the last time that I’ll be posting about Savannah, TRUST ME.


Day One: Travelling

We didn’t do a whole lot during our first day in Savannah. We left Florida later in the morning and got to Savannah around 3 in the afternoon. My parents had visited Savannah a couple of times in the past and have stayed in all kinds of places ranging from haunted BnB’s to regular hotels. My mom and I chose the *safer* option and picked a hotel on the river.



After we checked in, we decided to head over to Broughton Street to shop. This area has a lot of shops like Urban Outfitters, Free People, LOFT, Kendra Scott and more. We shopped a little and explored the squares that were closest to us. After that, we headed back to the hotel, grabbed a quick bite at the restaurant there, and got in bed for an early wake-up call the next morning.

Day Two: Exploring Savannah

The second day was our first full day there. It was PACKED with so so much! My mom convinced me to do the trolley tour that day, but honestly, I’m so grateful we did.

Trolley Tour

If you’ve ever been to St. Augustine or other historic cities, you’re probably familiar with the trolley busses that cruise around the city all day. My mom had done one in the past when she visited Savannah and she told me it’s the only way to do all the good spots in the historic district.

I 100% agree. It’s around $30 per person to do the trolley from 9-5pm on most days. You get off at stops and get back on whenever you’re ready. So we’d get off, explore a little bit, get back on and then do it all again at the stops we wanted.

Not only is it your Uber for the day, but the drivers give you cool information while you are riding around. We never got on a trolley with the same driver, so it was fun to hear different things each time you got on. Kinda like Jungle Cruise, ngl.

Some fun facts:

  • Most of the streets in Savannah are built over gravesites and many of the tombstones in the historic district don’t actually have anyone buried underneath them because they were relocated.
  • Savannah is the most haunted city in the United States.
  • The bench in Forrest Gump in Chippewa Square is no longer there.
  • SCAD owns and maintains over 70 buildings in the historic district of Savannah.
  • There’s only one grocery store in the historic district: a Kroger.

Mercer-Williams House



The first stop we got off at was to tour the Mercer-Williams house. If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” is something that Savannah is known for. My parents absolutely love the movie so I vaguely knew about it.

Basically, a rich antique/art dealer in Savannah had a house and threw lavish parties there. In the 80s, he shot a man in the house out of self-defense (allegedly). After four trials, he was acquitted and got to live in peace. He had a heart attack and died in the same exact room in the house where he shot the man.

That being said, we toured the house where all of that happened and where most of the movie (starring Kevin Spacey and directed by Clint Eastwood) was shot. The tour was $12 per person ($8 for students with a student ID holla!) You couldn’t take any pictures in the house, but it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. It’s been pretty much untouched since the 90s, except changing out artwork from the original owner’s vast collection.

Our tour was around 45 minutes and so so informative. We went in each of the downstairs rooms and the one where two people died in. HIGHLY RECOMMEND this tour, especially if you know anything about the story. If not, rent the movie on Youtube for $2.99 and then tour.

Squares


After that, we walked down to Forsyth Park, which was only two blocks away. We had to take pictures at the fountain (obviously.) After that, we hopped on the trolley once more and then got off at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Mass was being held when we got off, so we walked around the square for a bit.


We stopped by the Hamilton-Turner Inn, where my parents stayed like 10 years ago when they came for a trip. It is HIGH KEY haunted. Like my dad doesn’t really believe in paranormal activity, but he was scared straight. It’s so beautiful, but definitely won’t be staying there anytime soon.


After that, we stopped by Treylor Park Hitch for lunch. So many people recommended it to me and I’m so glad we stopped! You have to swing by there for a meal if you are in the historic district. I got chicken pancake tacos and it was 10/10. Also, I don’t eat avocados but I thoroughly enjoyed their avocado fries!!!



When we got done with lunch, we popped into the cathedral. Side note: I am not Catholic, but you can be any denomination and still be absolutely captivated by the inside of the cathedral. First off, it is MASSIVE. The ceilings, the walls, the stained glass windows...absolutely breathtaking. There are huge wooden carvings on the walls detailing the crucifixion of Jesus and both my mom and I were getting teary-eyed. We spent a good 30 minutes in there.

After that, we explored the cemetery behind the church. This is the one that our trolley driver was like “yeah, most of those tombstones were relocated from their original grave, so there’s not a lot of bodies actually buried there.” Kinda spooky though because that area used to be where they did duels. Again, the most haunted city in America!!!

Our final stop was at the Olde Pink House. Sadly there was a fire there around Christmas this past year and they are still repairing the damage. We only saw it from the outside, but I want to go back and eat there so badly!

Paris Market





We wandered through the historic district until we finally got to Paris Market Cafe, which was recommended by a lot of people, especially my sister. It lives up to the hype! There’s a cute little cafe there where we got iced mochas and macarons. After sitting and relaxing for a little bit, we shopped in the boutique itself.

I think this was my favorite place we shopped during the entire trip. I snagged a cute little jewelry dish with a navy watercolor oak tree painted on it. My mom snagged some home goods and we got Shelby a t-shirt. I could’ve spent hours there honestly. So be sure to add it to your to-do list!

Drinks on the Rooftop

We headed back to the hotel after a little bit of shopping to unwind from all the walking. Later, we headed over to the Bohemian hotel and had drinks on the rooftop. It’s right on the river so you can see the bridge along with the barges coming and going from the port. It was cold but so worth it. If you are looking for a chill vibe, highly recommended heading there for drinks and appetizers on the roof. We watched the sunset and everything!

Day Three: Outside the City

The next day was our last day in Savannah so we decided to venture out to a place that a lot of people told me we should check out. When I say venture, it’s like a 15-20 minute drive, so nothing too much!

Goose Feathers

Before we even began the day, we stopped by Goose Feathers Cafe, a recommendation per my sweet mother. It’s a quick-service restaurant, so perfect for busy days exploring Savannah. Their grits are TO DIE for!!! If you are looking for a good lil breakfast spot, Goose Feathers doesn’t disappoint!

Wormsloe Historic Site





We headed to Wormsloe Historic Site which is an absolutely MAGNIFICENT plantation that’s been around since the 1700s. This is easily recognized by the oak trees that seem to go on for miles. GREAT PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES I PROMISE.

Not only is it just beautiful, but it’s also so historic. We drove down the oak tree-lined path and parked at the visitor’s center. After browsing the gift shop (surprisingly impressive!!) and popping in the museum, we walked the trail behind the visitor center. It was probably a ten-minute walk and the weather was perfect. We visited ruins of the first building that was ever constructed on the property.

The house was like a small fort and it was used to see when Spanish ships were coming towards the port of Savannah so that the colonial army in Savannah could be alerted of attack. So interesting and so pretty!!!

Definitely recommend wearing good shoes and in the hotter months, some breathable clothing. But it’s breathtaking and worth the small trip outside of Savannah.

Bonaventure Cemetery

After we finished up at Wormsloe, we headed to the cemetery that was connected to “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”. Our trip quickly became “what else from that movie/book can we find here” which I wasn’t complaining. I love history and it was so fun exploring.

Bonaventure Cemetery was another 10-minute drive. Disclaimer: that cemetery was HUGE. You can take a golf cart tour for an hour and see famous gravesites and learn the history. But it was $50 and we decided against it. Instead, we just wandered around. The statue that’s on the cover of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” once lived at this cemetery. The statue has nothing to do with the story, it just was chosen to be the cover photo. That’s why people started flocking to Bonaventure to see the statue. The cemetery had to remove it because it was getting damaged. We’ll come back to that though.

It was probably the prettiest cemetery aside from Arlington in DC that I’ve ever been to. There were so many flowers blooming and it was organized so well that it was just nice to walk around. There’s a bunch of famous people buried there, but we didn’t try hard enough to track them down. There are tombstones from the early 1800s there, so definitely worth a stroll!

Telfair Museums

Bird Girl Statue


The “Bird Girl” statue is known as the cover of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” and it was located in Bonaventure Cemetery for 50 years, but once it was used on the book cover, people flocked to the cemetery to see it. It had to be removed and put in a museum in historic Savannah to preserve it.

After we went to Bonaventure, we just had to see the statue, so we went to one of the Telfair Museums, the Jepson Center, to find it. The “Bird Girl” used to be at that museum in an exhibit, but then it got moved to the Telfair Academy.

Long story short, Mom and I made it to the Telfair Academy, which is more of a traditional art museum, found the “Bird Girl” statue, and actually thoroughly enjoyed the museum. The museum itself is located in the old Telfair mansion that Mary Telfair donated to the city of Savannah on the condition it would be a public art museum (YGG!) If you love art, definitely check it out. If you purchase a ticket at one of the museums, you can go to all three of the Telfair Museums.

Leopold’s



After browsing the museums, we took a little walk down to Leopold’s. This was a HIGHLY requested spot that people suggested we do! It lives up to the hype, I promise. We waited in line for about 15 minutes, so not too bad. A little backstory, Leopold’s is celebrating its 100th year this year and they still use the same recipes from 1919. AND IT’S SO GOOD! Some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had. Make sure to make a quick stop here for afternoon snack or dessert!

Must Do’s


Savannah has so much to do and while we had so little time, we got to enjoy so much! If you are just going for the day or only want to hit a few spots, I’ve outlined my top five things that are must do's!


  • Forsyth Park - Iconic fountain, picture perfect location, and just a good spot to relax.
  • Paris Market - Cute little cafe & the best shopping!
  • Wormsloe Historic Site - So much history and the BEST place for photos!
  • Trolley Tour - Quickest and easiest way to see all the good spots of historic Savannah.
  • Mercer-Williams House - Amazing tour, especially if you are a fan of the “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”

Recommendations

Going to Savannah was such a quick trip and I seriously want to go back so badly. There are so many historic spots that I’d love to tour. I also want to go to the Olde Pink House once it’s reopened!

If you are planning a trip, you honestly can’t go wrong with doing anything there! Definitely wear comfy shoes and avoid wearing any sort of heels (the walkways are old and prone to a loose brick here and there!)

Let me know if you are planning on going to Savannah anytime soon so I can live through ya!!!! Any Savannah locals out there, be sure to let me know if I missed anything!

- B

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