Places We Love: Savannah Edition
What's not to love about Savannah, GA? If you're stationed at Fort Stewart/HAAF then you get to enjoy one of the South's iconic towns any day of the week. For those of you a bit farther out, Savannah makes for a perfect weekend getaway from Fort Benning, Bragg or Gordon. Not sure what to do when you get there? Well, funny you should ask...
Where to Stay/When to Go
Whether you have one night to spend or a long weekend, there's no lack of things to do in Savannah. When I visited over summer, I got myself an Airbnb about 3/4 of a mile outside the historic district and I just walked from there (or used Uber). I found this to be a much cheaper option than getting a hotel room, and it was easier to park my car rather than fighting for a spot closer to downtown. However, if you're visiting for a short weekend or decide to splurge a bit, then I'd highly recommend staying at 17Hundred90 Inn. Full disclosure...it's haunted, but that's kinda the point!
You can plan a great last-minute trip to Savannah during most times of the year with the exception of Saint Patrick's Day. This is Savannah' signature event, and it will likely require you booking accommodations well in advance (like months in advance!). They go all out and attending should definitely be on your bucket list if you're stationed nearby.
I don't have kids, so I'm not super savvy on family-friendly fun in Savannah. There were several places I visited that you could certainly bring your kids to and I'm confident they would have a great time. What follows are a few of my favorite things about Savannah that are both kid and non-kid friendly. You make the call.
At about a 20-minute drive outside the city center, this an absolute must-visit spot during your trip. You see the main picture of this article? Chances are you've seen this picture before in catalogs and travel sites. This iconic, long, dirt road lined with Spanish moss-covered oak trees is actually the entrance road to Wormsloe Historic Site. Once inside, spend a few hours touring the museum, go on a guided tour of the grounds (complete with historic reenactments), and learning about all the history of this beautiful estate. There are plenty of trails throughout the property and you can even bring your dog!
Visit a Cemetery
Your trip to Savannah won't be complete without a trip to one of its famed cemeteries. While there are multiple cemeteries within the historic district, you're gonna want to check out Bonaventure Cemetery. Any fan of the book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" knows of the allure of this cemetery. It's a beautiful place for a late afternoon stroll and you can take a free guided tour on the weekends.
Right and Up Tip: I highly recommend driving here since it's about 3.5 miles from the historic district.
Tour a Historic Home
There are no lack of historic homes to tour in Savannah, but my two favorites are the Mercer Williams House and the Davenport House. Both homes require you to register for a tour time and pay a fee, but the guided tours are always so well done! I recommend signing up for a tour as soon as possible so they don't book up, though it is possible to get tickets the same day.
Go on a Ghost Tour
Apologies for the horribly blurry photo, but it's the only one I have from the best activity of my trip. That blurry pic perfectly captures the fun and hazy adventures of a Savannah bar-hopping ghost tour. Now, not all ghost tours include frosty beverages that you can take with you along the walk, but let's be honest...those are the only ghost tours I want to be a part of. We booked our tour the same day with Tara Haunted Tours (specifically the Boos and Brews Tour). It was such a blast as we hopped from bars to haunted venues!
Visit Tybee Island
If you got some extra time, consider driving out to Tybee Island. The picture above is of Fort Pulaski, which is located on the island and is a major historic site of the Civil War. The larger allure of Tybee Island, however, is its beach! Great spot to bring the kids and let them expend a bunch of energy before stuffing them with seafood at the Crab Shack right after. See "Food" paragraph below.
While the activities listed above were the major ones I enjoyed during my last trip, there's so much more to do in Savannah! If you've ever thought of getting your fortune read, Savannah is the place to do it (and NOLA, of course!). There's also a fantastic drag show at Club One (most shows are 21 and older). This is where Lady Chablis did her best work!
Obviously, a trip to Savannah would be incomplete without walking along the waterfront (River Street) with alcoholic beverage in hand. I suppose I should've mentioned up front that there are no open container laws in Savannah's Historic District. So grab those beers to-go and just walk around enjoying the sights and sounds!
But What About the Food??!
Of course I wouldn't forget to mention the food. Did you have so little faith in me? One of the best things about Savannah's food scene is its seafood! Luckily for you, we have a Savannah seafood article just for this reason. Aside from any of those places, I absolutely LOVE The Collins Quarter (highly recommend the Swine Time Beni pictured above!). It's an Australian cafe with a super cool vibe and menu.
One of the most famous places to eat in Savannah is The Olde Pink House Restaurant. Never eaten here myself because I failed to get a reservation in time, but I hear great things! If you're interested in eating here then do plan ahead.
But what about River Street??? I find River Street to be a bit too touristy for me, but if you're a glutton for cheap beer and fried oysters, then you should definitely try any of the restaurants along the water for happy hour. The one place on River Street I love is Vic's on the River. It's a classy place with great food and service. I always like to sit at the bar by the window to enjoy my food with the view.
Would love to hear about your favorite spots in Savannah! Let me know in the comments!
about the author
Riley is an active duty US Army Captain and the Founder of Right and Up. She’s currently stationed in Washington, DC, with previous assignments at Fort Huachuca, Fort Bliss, Fort Riley and Fort Benning. You can typically find her eating embarrassingly large amounts of food in local restaurants, or exploring her military town with her husband, Sean and her dog, Gus. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!