Savannah’s Southern Charm

Savannah's Southern Charm | Always A Foreigner

Caren and Cazzie

Hi, We're Caren and Cazzie and we're Always A Foreigner. Welcome to our travel blog! We hope you find it useful. We love waterfalls, street eats, and anything to do with travel and adventure. We met while volunteering in India, and since then have made it our goal to travel to as many places as we can. Join us on our journey!

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Savannah’s Southern Charm

Located in the Northeastern portion of Georgia, Savannah is one of those amazing original coastal cities that has withstood the test of time. The architecture of the houses transports you back to a time period long ago, when Georgia was the 13th and final colony of what would become the United States of America. I had been looking forward to a trip to Savannah’s Southern Charm almost since I started living in the South, and spending a long weekend here was time well spent. 

 

Charming Squares

Oh, the beautiful squares. Spanish Moss adorns the branches, and drapes over the trees creating the most picture perfect scene. Each square is a little different, some with fountains, some with statues, and some with simply trees and gardens. Every block or so in the downtown you’ll come across one, so take the time to sit and enjoy the nature scenes among the downtown houses and buildings. 

Savannah is known as America’s first planned city, the 24 original squares were meant to be meeting places or places for business. The foresight that the founding members of the city had to create such beautiful streets is astonishing. It’s not too often that you find a city that developed with nature and park space in mind, rather than rapid expansion, and I’m truly grateful for it!

Fantastic History

While the history of the United States is much shorter than most other countries in the world, the coastal towns in the south stretch far back to the conception of the colonies. Savannah is a beautifully preserved historic town, with the original houses still lining the spanish moss covered streets. There are many preservation or restoration houses that are available to tour, but each are beautiful in their own manner.

 

We chose to tour the Davenport House Museum, the birthplace of the Savannah Historical Society in the 1950’s. This is a restoration house that was on the brink of being torn down to build a parking lot, but a group of women came together to form the Historical Society that ended up shaping the future of Savannah.

 

The Davenport House Museum

This brick face home has classic symmetrical features of federal architecture. The house was built in 1820 and restored in the 1950’s. Now a museum, there are tours of the house available every 30 minutes. Our tour guide was a wonderful woman that knew her history and seemed to be enchanted by the past of Savannah. Tickets are $9 per person and can be purchased in the store in the basement. Interesting facts from the tour:

  • Pillows were once filled with boiled Spanish moss as stuffing.
  • The house is haunted by a kitty cat.
  • The floors of the house are made from Georgia pine trees, which are extremely long in length so each plank goes full across each room.

 

How to Get Around

Because of the squares sprinkled throughout the city, and the abundance of one way streets, the easiest way to get around is walking. Savannah is a pedestrian paradise, with certain roads blocked off for traffic, mandatory car stops for people in crosswalks, and everything within a short distance from each other. Renting bicycles is also an excellent option, but you’re not able to ride through the squares and must abide by the rules of the road.

 

If walking isn’t your thing, grab tickets for one of the many hop-on-hop-off trolley tours. Your ticket will be valid all day and the trolley will take you from important place to place along with commentary. Tickets are usually about $30 per person for a full day tour.

 

Food

Savannah has some of the best food in the region, so it’s so hard to pick and choose where to eat while there. We absolutely loved The Collins Quarter, for their adorable take on Australian cafe life and excellent brunch and dinner options. Both of our meals here were so pretty they were almost hard to eat…until we tasted them!

Cazzie’s scallop dish from dinner at The Collins Quarter

 

My Collins Quarter Dinner!

 

Another favorite was CO, a modern sushi restaurant that turned into a lively scene at night. The sake here is awesome, and there is a posh cocktail bar on the upper floor for a drink or two after dinner.

Don’t miss out on southern seafood like shrimp and grits or crab legs while in Savannah. The proximity to the ocean makes seafood seriously fresh and tasty. For dessert or to cool off in the heat, head to Leopold’s ice cream for a signature scoop of their Lemon Custard, unchanged since 1919. 

 

Watering Holes

Like I said earlier, one of the best parts about Savannah (in our opinion) is the no open container restrictions. As long as you’re using a plastic cup, feel free to walk around town with any drink in hand. Cheers!

 

One of our favorite places was The Ordinary Pub, for their bottomless mimosa special for $10, daily from 10AM-4PM. They will also give you a “togosa” which is a mimosa in a to-go cup when you’re ready to leave!

The entrance doesn’t look like much, but The Ordinary Pub was great

We stopped in The Public after renting bikes all day, and absolutely loved the charm of the place. The patio outside is on a quaint street that features historic houses and a view of a square. The inside is bright and airy and the staff are all extremely friendly. We sat at the bar and met locals and travelers alike. Their wine list was very good, and the bartender was very knowledgeable about both the beers and wines they offered.

For outdoor seating, Moon River Brewing Company has a wonderful patio that always seems to be busy and stays open late. Added plus of them brewing and serving their own local craft beers. There are also countless River Street rooftop bars that you can pop in and watch the people walk below, or watch the cargo ships come and go on the river. Sunset here is magical, even if the area is a little bit touristy.

Things to Do

As legend goes, Savannah is one of the most haunted cities in North America. There were plagues of people that died from yellow fever, and the rich history the city possesses has created many ghost stories. Join one of the numerous ghost tours to take you through the creepy side of Savannah!

 

Tour one of the many historic houses, such as we did at the Davenport House. There are also tours available of the Mercer House, which is featured in “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” and many others as well. Simply walking around to see the beautiful houses around the downtown area is also a fantastic time.

savannah southern charm
The Mercer House

Head to the Farmer’s Market in Forsyth Park every Saturday morning. This was one of the better farmer’s markets I had the chance to go to, and wished I lived there so I could have snagged a lot of the items being sold. It’s a nice time to visit Forsyth, as it is lively with people and you can get a feel for the local side of Savannah. Walking around Forsyth and visiting the famous Savannah fountain is a great half day activity. Bring a picnic and enjoy! 

savannah southern charm
Farmer’s Market Fun! Be sure to try samples of the amazing produce and products here.

Experiencing Savannah’s Southern Charm truly is an excellent time for a variety of reasons. It would be very hard to not be able to find something that you enjoy doing in this lovely and beautiful city. I can’t wait until we’re able to go back!

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18 Comments
  • Looks great. We enjoy that area so much and hope to see it more often.

    • Always A Foreigner says:

      We enjoyed it as well. I hope to make it back to the city soon. I felt like I could have spent much longer there just finding new and wonderful things to do.

  • Vito says:

    I need to get back to Savannah! I loved it there but that was about 6 years ago now 🙁

    • Always A Foreigner says:

      It’s such an amazing city! We had a blast biking and walking around and exploring the city. It’s truly an unique place. I hope you make it back soon!

  • Loved Savannah when I visited, oh the peach daiquiris!

  • I’ve always been intrigued by Savannah and would love to visit one day. I may have a potential trip to Atlanta coming up so wonder if it’ll be too much to try to tackle Savannah during the same trip… 🙂

    • Always A Foreigner says:

      If you can make it work, it might be worth it. Savannah is the absolute opposite of Atlanta, with tons of green spaces, a laid back atmosphere and getting around is so easy. It might be nice to visit after the hustle and bustle of Atlanta.

  • Angie says:

    Savannah is definitely on my list. I’d love to go in October when fall is in full swing, and of course, since the place is known to be one of the most haunted cities in the world!

  • Savannah sounds intriguing. I would definitely sign up for one of those haunted tours to get some shivers and shudders 😉

  • Oh my goodness, all of your pictures make me want to go back to Savannah! My husband accuses me of saying this about every place we visit, but my most frequently uttered phrase when we were there was, “I could live here. *sigh…” And I completely agree that walking is the way to go in Savannah.

    • Always A Foreigner says:

      Ha, I agree with you! I’m constantly saying “I could live here..” about half of the places we visit. But Savannah seems like a place that is more livable than most. I hope you get back down soon! I just got back and I still want to go back soon, so I understand how you feel.

  • Oh I missed this one when looking for places to see when I was in Georgia, specifically when I was in Atlanta, it was raining everyday in the city during my visit there so its hard for me to get out when its raining and its cold 🙁

    • Always A Foreigner says:

      I’ve never actually been to Atlanta except to fly out of the airport there. How did you like it? Savannah is a much much different place than Atlanta. Much smaller and less of a city.

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This last weekend we spent our time in the picturesque high country town of Blowing Rock, North Carolina. We chose to hike Grandfather Mountain on Saturday, only to find the further we hiked, the more foggy and ominous the weather became. About a 1/2 mile from the top, we realized that we had hiked smack dab into the middle of a cloud. But even with the dampness, we wouldn't have spent our day any other way. .
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