14.04.2012 - 16.04.2012
My Dearest Savannah,
Thank you for beautiful sunny skies. Thank you for abundant parks filled with green, green grass and sleepy live oak trees draped in Spanish moss. Thank you for quiet cobblestone streets and brick sidewalks lined with quaint shops and secret gardens. Thank you for good eats that are one part soul food, one part butter, and one part pure southern fried love. Most of all, thank you once again for your gracious hospitality.
Savannah is one of those places I return to again and again because it is a simple recipe for a quick and delicious weekend getaway. For me, Savannah is simply a two day eat and shop fest, interrupted only by the occasional cocktail or cat nap. For that reason, there is really no story to tell here. Instead, I’ll give you a delicious play-by-play of how you might spend 2 decadent days in Savannah……
1. Stay at the Zeigler House Inn. It’s hard to say what the best part about the Zeigler House Inn is…..whether it’s the amazing location that allows you to walk to everything in historic Savannah, or whether it’s the beautifully appointed rooms with thick duvets and lush featherbeds, or whether it’s the delightfully personable innkeeper – Jackie – and the mountains of baked goods and treats that she tempts you with during your stay….whatever it is, it has kept us coming again and again. This was our 4th stay with Jackie and it won’t be our last. We especially love the street level rooms where you can have your own private patio and your own entrance, only venturing upstairs into the inn if you choose. Don’t worry, if you are the “B&B” type, she also has beautiful rooms upstairs inside the “Inn proper.”
2. Eat lunch at the Crystal Beer Parlor. If the historic exterior isn’t enough to lure you in, the smell of hamburgers and fried green tomatoes surely will be. Walking into the Crystal Beer Parlor on West Jones Street is like taking a stroll back in time. From the gleaming wooden bar to the antique fixtures to the old school cool round booth in the back framed by ancient wall menus, this place never lets you forget it is one of the oldest restaurant in the city. Originally opened in 1933, the Crystal was one of the first U.S. restaurants to serve alcohol after the repeal of prohibition. Things here look very much as they did back when the Crystal grilled burgers for 30 cents apiece and poured draft beer for a cool 10 cents a glass.
3. Do some shopping. Savannah’s side streets are littered with wonderful antique stores, cute clothing boutiques, and treasures hidden in quaint shops and corners.
One of my favorites is No. Four Eleven. Not only do they have lovely housewares that make me want a beach home every time I step inside, but they also have Stewie.
Stewie is an excellent salesman and highly recommends that linen sofa.
4. Walk. That’s all. Nothing more. Just walk. There is so much to see from block to block. The gardens, the historic homes, the hidden courtyards. Besides, the exercise is pretty good for working up to the next meal.
5. Have a romantic dinner at Garibaldi’s. Garibaldi’s is located in an 1871 Fire House and provides a casually elegant retreat from the bustling streets. Who wouldn’t love a restaurant that lets you add a lobster tail to any entrée?
6. Give yourself a Wet Willie. I have said it before, I’ll say it again: Savannah is not Savannah without at least one tacky, colorfully slushy concoction from Wet Willies. Nothing does a better job of making you feel like you are twenty-one years old again in Daytona on Spring Break than carrying an open container filled with Pure Grain Alcohol down a city street.
7. Visit Tybee Island. Tybee Island is the summer town of your childhood. It is a classic old beach town complete with a wide expanse of sand, a long fishing pier, a lighthouse, and an abundance of vintage style shops and eateries.
8. Don’t miss Gerald’s Pig & Shrimp. It may just look like a food truck with a throw together outdoor pavilion, but Gerald’s Pig & Shrimp might be the best kept secret on Tybee Island. When you are in Savannah, it’s a tough call between good old southern food and delicious coastal seafood. I hate being forced to choose. Gerald’s eliminated my dilemma by offering both: Pig and Shrimp. What could be better? You can’t be the combo plate piled high with BBQ, Fried Shrimp, and 2 sides with choices like greens, fried okra, cole slaw, baked beans, potato salad, or cucumbers in vinegar. Although, the Low Country Boil looked mighty fine too.
9. Be a square. Savannah squares are the heart and soul of the city. The original plan for historic Savannah called for a central square surrounded by public buildings and residential lots with a lane down the middle for passage. These lanes now make up the streets of the historic district. There are 24 squares in Savannah. Each one is a mini-park and is as unique as it is beautiful.
10. Don’t miss Local 11 Ten. If you look in a tourist guide for the “best restaurant in Savannah” you are likely to see the Olde Pink House or the ever-popular Lady & Sons, but if you ask a local for their favorite, you’re likely to hear the praises of Local 11 Ten. In a beautifully renovated old bank building, this upscale establishment prides itself on the creation of a unique menu filled with southern flavor using local and seasonal ingredients such as fresh coastal Georgia seafood and fresh herbs from Savannah farms. Not only is the interior gorgeous and the food delightful, they have an amazing rooftop bar called Perch that serves up some very inventive cocktails and nibbles while putting you eye-level with a cathedral of live oaks.
So there you have it. This trip to Savannah's top ten. We'll see what's left to find next time.....