Two weekends ago I headed down to Savannah, Georgia with a friend. Having gone to UGA, I have a number of friends from college that live in Georgia - one happens to be in Savannah! I hadn’t been to Savannah in about five years, so I knew it was time to make a visit to see friends and tour the city. I’d forgotten how much Savannah has to offer, and I’m so glad I made the trip.
My friend actually lives a little outside of the city, so the friend I was traveling with and I decided to stay at the Perry Lane Hotel, which is ideally situated in historic Savannah. We stayed two nights and filled our weekend with good food, drink, art, and history.
On our way into town Friday afternoon we stopped into Laney Contemporary Fine Art, which showcases contemporary artists. After a lovely tour of the space, we checked into the Perry Lane Hotel and set out to see a bit of the city. Alex Raskin Antiques had been recommended by a few friends, so we tried to stop in for a visit, only to find out it had closed a bit early. Although we didn’t get inside this trip, the store looks interesting and worth a visit next time around. Since we had a later reservation at The Grey (also highly recommended), we decided to get a few drinks and appetizers to hold us over. First we sat outside at the Public Kitchen & Bar before heading to our hotel rooftop (Peregrin) for a drink. The weather was perfect for being outside - a little cool and overcast, so not too hot. I would definitely recommend both spots for a drink before or after dinner.
Situated inside a 1938 Art Deco Greyhound bus station that’s been spectacularly restored, The Grey offers a lively take on more traditional Southern food. Run by Johno Morisano and Chef Mashama Bailey, the menu varies daily. We ordered in rounds and shared plates, which ended up being a great way to get a taste of what The Grey has to offer. The food, wine, and service were all amazing, and I would definitely go back the next time I’m in Savannah.
Our Saturday started early, as we knew we had a lot we wanted to see. After breakfast at the Emporium (I would highly recommend) inside our hotel, I set out to meet my friend and her two little boys, while my friend went to the SCAD Museum of Art, where I would later meet her. It was really great to catch up with my friend from college over coffee, and to meet her two little boys. It’s crazy how time flies!
After touring the SCAD Museum of Art, we walked to the Telfair Academy and the Jepson Center. The Telfair Academy, Jepson Center, and Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters are all part of the Telfair Museums, which means one ticket will get you into all three locations!
The Telfair Academy is set in a two-story mansion built in 1819, designed by William Jay in the Neoclassical Regency style and features “three nineteenth-century period rooms and houses nineteenth- and twentieth-century American and European art from the museum’s permanent collection including paintings, works on paper, sculpture, and decorative arts” (source). The Jepson Center, located along the same square as the Telfair Academy, “links the history preserved by the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters and Telfair Academy to the future of art and architecture. The modern building, opened in 2006, is filled with art, activities, and educational opportunities” (source).
We then made the short walk to the Paris Market and Brocante, which is my favorite boutique in Savannah, complete with a Parisian café. The Paris Market is located in a restored 1874 Victorian building that was originally built as a grocery store. According to the founder, Paula Danyluk, “"when we opened The Paris Market and Brocante, we wanted to create a place where people could forget about everything and get lost in a world of beautiful, inspiring, and sometimes peculiar things.” - and she’s accomplished just that. It’s easy to get lost in the store, and I would recommend taking a break to grab something from the café to enjoy the atmosphere.
After some time at the Paris Market, neither of us was quite hungry for lunch yet (although Little Duck Diner was on my list to try), so we headed to the River Street area, home to antique shops, boutiques, pubs, restaurants and more, for a walk along the Savannah River. It’s in this area that you’ll see the iconic riverfront shops and pubs, cobblestones, and the Savannah River, which still functions as a bustling port. After our walk along the river, we set out to see the Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters. We didn’t realize that you had to do a tour to view the house, and since the next tour wasn’t starting for about an hour, we ultimately decided not to wait. As my friend pointed out, since the house is a historic monument, we can plan to visit the next time we’re in Savannah.
We ended up getting drinks and an appetizer at Six Pence Pub, which was around the corner from our hotel. It was nice to sit and recharge a bit before continuing into the evening. Later that night we had dinner at Cotton & Rye with two friends from UGA, followed by drinks at the Top Deck Bar (the rooftop bar of the Cotton Sail Hotel) which is along the Savannah River. Both our dinner and drinks were fantastic. I’d highly recommend Cotton & Rye, even though it’s a little further out of the historic area. It was definitely one of the best meals we had! The Top Deck Bar is a must-visit as well. We were lucky again that the weather was perfect for sitting outside, and the view of the Savannah River didn’t hurt either.
After breakfast at the Emporium again, we walked to Forsyth Park, checked out of the hotel and then went on to Wormsloe Historic Park before heading home. Our hotel was ideally located in the middle of the city, so nearly everything was within walking distance (including Forsyth Park). Wormsloe is a bit further out of town, but that was the only sight we had to drive to (aside from dinner Saturday night). Since the park opened at 9am on Sunday, it made sense for us to visit on our way home. I’m so glad we made the stop! Wormsloe is on of the most photogenic spots in Savannah, and its history is interesting as well. You can read more about Wormsloe here.
Overall, I’d definitely recommend making the trip to Savannah. Whether it’s for a weekend escape or a a bit longer, there’s plenty to see and enjoy. If you’re in the area during the summer months you can head out to Tybee Island, which features sandy beaches and a laid-back vibe.