I’d been to Savannah with my family when I was still in elementary school but didn’t remember much besides its reputation for being the “most haunted city in America.” This let me go in on a return visit with an open mind, and I was impressed by the city with its numerous antique shops, gorgeous parks with flowing Spanish moss, and other general oddities the city has. Here are some highlights:
1.) Green Truck Pub–We stopped here for dinner our first night in Savannah, and the food was delectable. My friend Will swears on their burgers, and they looked incredible, but I took a pass as we’d already stopped at Steak & Shake earlier in the day for lunch. I elected instead for the Chicken & Apples sandwich–think fresh bread, crisp apples, and moist, tender chicken. Although Green Truck looks unassuming from the outside, inside the lights are dim and there’s a perceptible hearty atmosphere. I would definitely eat here again.
2.) Jinx and barhopping–Ali and I were in town for Will’s 21st birthday, so on Tuesday night we hit up some Savannahian bars, starting with Jinx. I’d read about this bar and music venue in the NYT’s 36 Hours in Savannah article, and Will and his SCAD friends also recommended it, so it was a winner all around. It was hip-hop night when we went, and people took to the stage in a freestyle competition which was fun at the very least, if not great rap. The bar is decorated with a punk and goth theme which is also fun. After that, we stopped by the Tree House–more expensive but has porches overlooking City Market. Being a Tuesday night, the city was quiet overall and places closed kind of early, so our pub crawl was limited to just the two spots. However, the humidity and heat during the day meant that the nights were pleasant and warm, a refreshing change from nippy nights in Maine.
3.)Foxy Loxy and coffee–Our week was filled with ducking into coffee shops to escape the heat, and Savannah has some caffeine gems. Gallery Espresso boasts a fun atmosphere with its beaten, mismatched couches and chairs and hipster baristas. The Sentient Bean is located right on scenic Forsyth Park and serves up dark, rich mocha lattes and fresh cold brew. My two favorites, though, were Foxy Loxy and Maté Factor. Foxy Loxy has a distinctly neighborhood feel with its walls covered in community event flyers and comfortable couches, chairs, and tables for people to meet up, study, or read. As far as their coffee is concerned, they serve up eclectic offerings like the Horchata Latte, and their cold brew ranks up there with the best I’ve tried. On our last day in Savannah, Will brought us to the Maté Factor, and I absolutely recommend this spot for breakfast if you’re in Savannah. Their baked goods are all fresh and mouth-watering and they make a variety of drinks with a mate base, letting you enjoy the taste of coffee without a jittery heart afterwards. I tried the Mayan Mocha, which is made with carob, a no sugar added chocolate substitute–great, sweet, and refreshing. Another selling point here, though, is the atmosphere. Stepping inside is like entering a treehouse with music evocative of Splash Mountain (bad comparison, I know, but my Southern U.S. experience is limited).
4.) Parks n Squares–Savannah is organized on a grid system, and is thus ripe with squares. While we walked around, I couldn’t help but take pictures of the parks lined by historic, colorful Southern homes and full of trees draped with Spanish moss. While being outside in humid Savannah in June may not sound the most enjoyable, the canopy of the moss creates a noticeable difference in temperature and a welcome retreat from the beating sun. Forsyth Park is one of the most iconic parks, and in Chippewa you can find the spot where Forrest Gump sat on a bench (the real bench is in the Savannah Museum of History–don’t go, it’s a waste of money).
5.) The Book Lady–One final, enjoyable place we visited was the Book Lady. This basement bookstore is full of vintage, antique, used, and new books and has an overall cozy bookstore vibe. Not to mention the fact that the owner’s dog is adorable.
Here are some of my other picks:
- Mrs. Wilke’s Dining Room–famous brunch spot where you share family style food at communal tables
- Tubby’s Tank House–burgers and fried pickles
- Forsyth Park
- Sorrel-Weed House–haunted house where you can go ghost-hunting (but pricy)
- Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
- River Street–lots of touristy places, but pretty along the water
- City Market
- Magnolia’s–get the Boo Y’all shirt
- SCAD Art Museum
- Alex Raskin Antiques–inside an old mansion
- The Tree House
- The Diner on Abercorn–end the night here