Back in June, the Mr. and I headed to Savannah with our 3 month old in tow to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary. It was the first time we flew as a family and although we had some reservations, we had the perfect weekend. We checked the super light, highly recommended bjorn baby travel crib and our brand new, enormous wheely suitcase containing the familial wardrobe, breast pump and formula supply and off we went. I was born and raised 30 minutes from Manhattan and often find that I am way too NYC centric. What a nice surprise it was to discover the charming city of Savannah with its hipster art students, and picturesque town squares. I experienced my first dose of southern hospitality in a celebratory weekend filled with long walks with the stroller, southern comfort food, and perfectly garnished Bloody Marys! Here are some of our favorite spots…be sure to check out the NYT’s 36 Hours in Savannah before you go too!
Pulling a classic move, the Mr. promptly checked out of the 4 Points Sheraton, minutes after entering ourdingy room that overlooked a scary parking lot (the sweet bellhops were dumbfounded). Starwood points be damned, we took a 2 minute cab ride to the Bohemian (102 W Bay St) where the concierge warmly welcomed our “lil miss” and showed us through an art filled hallway to our well appointed room. I was so happy to see a spotless marble bathroom, a crushed velvet (!) tufted headboard, and a British campaign style desk, the perfect makeshift spot for mixing bottles! Traveling with a baby meant hanging out in our room more often than we used to, so the money was well spent. The room was clean and cozy and the hotel bar was the perfect spot to hang. Our lil miss is a fancy hotel kind of gal, she slept through the whole night for the first time at the Bohemian!
Don’t miss Savannah College of Arts & Design shop, ShopSCAD (340 Bull St). Its filled with clever stationary, clothing and home designs by students and alum. We picked up a colorful, waterproof, graphic rug for our kitchen which is a great souvenir from our family weekend. The jewelery selection had me drooling as did the effortless gypsy style and bold lips of the shop girls manning the counter.
Peak your head in to Gryphon Tea Room (across the street from the ShopSCAD or stop for lunch or tea. I adored the colorful bookshelves, mid century chairs and leopard print carpet.
Upon the recommendation of the hotel clerk, we hit up local joint, J. Christopher’s (122 E Liberty St) for our first brunch. We grabbed a seat outside next to graduating SCAD students and their proud parents and indulged in our southern brunch fantasies: skillets full of eggs, meats and potatoes and my favorite, pecan pie french toast. We also loved the restaurant at our hotel, Rocks on the River/on the Roof where we could kick back and take in the views. Had to go back twice for the fried green tomatoes smothered in goat cheese and jalapeno buttermilk dressing. Each time I washed this excellent dish down with a southern style Bloody Mary topped with shrimp and pickled okra.
There’s no shortage of great food in Savannah, in addition to buttery desserts and ice cream everywhere you go, particularly in the historic district. At Byrd’s Famous Cookies, we sampled jalapeno, chedder, and vidalia onion biscuits . I fell in love with the shop’s old timey feel and wanted to buy a dozen tins to take home.
Nearby, we laughed every time we passed the line outside of Paul Deen’s The Lady and Son’s restaurant, which reminded us of this SNL skit. Hot butter and oil!
On the eve of our anniversary, we set off for the The Olde Pink House, (Reynolds Square 23 Abercorn Street) with our lil miss. I’m a sucker for ‘olde’ mansions and this one was just perfect, right down to the bubble gum pink facade. Each room had a little bit of a different vibe to it but the common denominator was gorgeous wide plank wood floors, fireplaces and crystal chandeliers! We sat a bright And contemporary room at a table with plenty of room for the car seat, and I was very tempted by the adjacent empty balcony and the dark candlelight tables I spotted en route to the ladies room. Cornbread in the bread basket made up for the lack of romantic lighting as did mac and cheese poppers, fried fish, green tomatoes and collard greens.
Savannah is the perfect walking city which made it ideal for our new family. Downtown Savannah was designed in 1733 by James Oglethorpe and retains much of its original town planning. Gorgeous candy colored mansions, lush secret gardens and historic squares shaded by sweeping branches are the perfect setting for ambling along after one too many Bloody Marys! We fed the lil miss on a bottle on many a square bench as she stared up at the Oaks, Magnolias, Crepe Myrtles and Palms trees in wonder! While the riverfront was quaint but a bit too touristy, we adored the vast Forsyth Park with its statues, fountains and tree lined walkways. We passed many a hearst carrying ghost tours through town and debated doing a paranormal mansion experience but in the end opted to take the tour at the Owens Thomas House for a peak into the beautiful English style garden and ‘one of the earliest intact urban slave quarters in the South.’
Check out Savannah, ya’ll! You won’t be disappointed.