Saturday, April 30, 2016

Savannah, GA ~ February 2016

Three years ago, Steve and I had the honor of visiting the beautiful and historic city of Savannah, GA for the first time. We immediately fell in love with the romance and charm that exuded from this tiny yet robust city. Considered “The Hostess of the South” the people of Savannah are beyond hospitable and the city offers an infinite number of great places to eat and drink. The historic squares and the oak trees draped in Spanish moss are so picturesque that we were constantly wrapped up in the beauty that surrounded us.

If you’ve read this blog, then you probably know our Mexico travel friends, Jean and Ron (actually from New Jersey). We have vacationed with them in Mexico three times and they visited us in Cleveland last October. We figured why not extend our traveling adventures to Savannah? They visit the Savannah/Hilton Head area frequently and we decided it would be a great place to visit together. Great idea!

Jean and I are both great at travel planning, so we researched together and were constantly sharing ideas. I came across a vacation rental agency with several properties at reasonable prices. We decided on “The Champagne Suite” based on its location, beauty and our unanimous adoration for champagne J It offered two bedrooms, two bathrooms and ample space.

The highlight of Savannah is its historic squares. At 2 ½ square miles, the Savannah Historic District and its 24 park-like squares are one the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States. Living in Lakewood, we’re used to walking everywhere within our little 5 ½ square mile city, so when you see that the Historic District only covers 2 ½ square miles it put space in better perspective. I continue to be surprised at the restaurant diversity they’re able to fit into such a small area.

The squares vary in size and personality, from formal fountains and monuments in the largest, to the playgrounds and basketball courts in the smallest.

As long as you stay within the Historic District, there is no need to rent a car, but be sure to bring your walking shoes because you will put plenty of miles on them. It’s hard to say how many miles we walked, but we all wore a Fitbit and we all surpassed 10,000 steps every day. We made sure to spend time in each of the squares and took pictures to prove it!

 Forsyth Park is a large city park that occupies 30 acres within the Historic District. It contains walking paths, a cafĂ©, a play area, a fragrant garden for the blind, a large fountain, tennis courts, basketball courts, park benches, and areas for soccer and Frisbee

 Due to Savannah being the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low (founder of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America), there were Girl Scout cookie sales everywhere! Jean just couldn't resist buying a box. 

Prior to Ron & Jean's arrival, Steve and I attended a pre-Valentine's Day party at Service Brewing Company. I had read about it online and we thought it sounded cool and the price was right.

There was live music and Service Brewery beers were paired with local ice cream and desserts.

They even had costumes and a photographer on-site so we could take these beauties!

With the exception of the beautiful squares, food and drinks are often the highlight of our travels. We love exploring new and old restaurants and Savannah offers so many options and I have documentation to prove it!

Treylor Park was the first place we visited and it quickly became our favorite. It’s one of those places that makes you feel at home and would easily serve as our go-to spot if it had a counterpart in Lakewood.

 We tried several items from the menu including Treylor Park Nachos, PB&J wings, sloppy Joe and fried banana peppers. I loved their beer special of the week, the Dogfish Head Sixty-One.

We also checked out Pacci at the Brice Hotel. Located across the street from the condo, it was convenient and had delicious cocktails. Although the service was great on our first visit, it was less-than-stellar during our second visit and we decided to take our drink dollars elsewhere :)

On Valentine’s Day, we had a romantic dinner for four at the famous Olde Pink House.

 After a few bottles of wine and fantastic food, we headed out for some post-dinner drinks at Square 22 in the Andaz Hotel.

Jen’s & Friends is a place Steve and I had visited during our first stay in Savannah and Ron and Jean visited based on our recommendation. Jen’s & Friends offers 300 different martinis that are impossible to resist. As you can see, we had our fair share ranging from the Elvis (peanut butter and fluff) to Rice Krispie Treat. They are like candy…actually they are candy!

Vinny Van Go-Go's is a small pizza place in the heart of it all.

B. Matthews is a restaurant I had read about online. It was voted best brunch in Savannah, so we had to give it a try! Well, our first attempt was an epic fail because reservations were required. We tried again (with reservations) and so glad we did! Wow. Not only were the bloody Mary and bloody Maria's awesome, but the shrimp and grits and avocado, bacon, fried green tomato BLT were outstanding! Definitely something to write home about.

Zunzi’s was a place we wish we would have eaten at more than once. Not only could we easily split a sandwich, but it was reasonably priced and extra delicious. The Conquistador was selected as one of the best sandwiches in America so we had to give it a try. Wow. Tons of chicken, lettuce and their super special "shit yeah!" sauce. It was that good. They even sold wine to go :)

The Crab Shack on Tybee Island is a staple for Jean and Ron when they visit the area and a place we've never been. It's a huge place with picnic tables and tons of food! We ordered the Captain Crab's Sampler Platter for four and had lots and lots of leftovers. It was messy, relaxing and so fun.


The Rail Pub ended up being our go-to bar most nights. Not only did they host karaoke, but their happy hour consisting of buy one, get the second for $1.00. It was a deal we couldn't pass up. We met locals and tourists from all over and had a great time.


 Rocks on the Roof offered beautiful views of the river with a classy atmosphere.

We stopped at the Crystal Beer Parlor during one of our long walks around the historic district. A little off the beaten path, they offer a great beer list and decent food.

The Ordinary Pub caught our attention for one reason...bottomless mimosas! Steve and I stopped in for a snack and decided to make reservations for brunch. We're glad we did!

Next door to the condo was The Pirate House, the oldest restaurant in Savannah. We stopped in for a drink and snack because it was so close. I just couldn't resist the souvenir pirate glass...OK, I probably should have resisted, but it makes for a good conversation piece :)

 Finally, we had to stop at the Savannah Candy company to pick up some pralines for my dad. Free samples are always a welcome treat.

Well, that's it! Once again, we recommend Savannah to everyone. I'm glad to be back blogging and look forward to the next several months. We have the NBA Playoffs underway and lots of travel ahead of us! I leave for Ocean Maya in Playa del Carmen, Mexico on May 7th to celebrate my mom's retirement and 70th birthday and Steve and I head back there again in July to celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary. We will be joined by Ron & Jean who are celebrating their four-year anniversary!

Until next time...Have fun and PIBE and SHIG!